Looking for Self

This appeared today – on the wind like the first swallow.

Looking for Self

Buttocks press on the meditation stool.
Instruction: check posture.
Sensation: slight curvature at base of spine.
Automatic straightening for tension release.
The body lifts and ease follows.
Mind says: ‘this experience is like a still pond,
A surface like glass – reflecting experience.’
Labelling arises: ‘this is model making.’
Now the smooth pool ripples – with words.
Yet another image.
Who is the image-maker? Find him.
He is sensed, somewhere in the background to all this.
But there is nothing to grasp.
When I reach for him with mind – he disperses
like dye in water.
Thought: ‘I could set this down in lines,
like a poem,
but will the poem be any good?’
The self is back – with his desire for acclaim.
Acclaim from where?
From other bundles of self-delusion?
Thought: ‘no wonder there is pain.’
Reach out for the experiencer of pain before it evaporates
But it has gone – vanished when looked for.
Eyelids lift – there is the image of the Buddha.
Reflection: ‘this search was his search.’
Below him sits Green Tara – she gazes back.
Her sympathy comes like the offering of a flower.

Harry Nicholson

About Harry Nicholson

I once bred Beveren rabbits in all colours. Today, I'm an enameller who works with a kiln, fusing pictures in glass onto copper. On Amazon is my novel, 'Tom Fleck', set in the North of England of 1513 - the year of Flodden. A sequel to 'Tom Fleck' is 'The Black Caravel' published in 2016. My anthology of poems came out in 2015: 'Wandering About.' Recently I published memoirs of my time in the Merchant Navy: 'The Best of Days' and 'You'll See Wonders" I've a blog of poems, stories and art at: https://1513fusion.wordpress.com/
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4 Responses to Looking for Self

  1. todadwithlove says:

    I’ve really enjoyed this poem, Harry.

  2. viv blake says:

    This is lovely, Harry, the first for a while, I guess. Your words chimed with my own feelings at the moment. Only one thing I would change, mainly for reasons of grammar and precision: ” looked for.” – why not sought?

    • Thanks, Viv. If I made that change it would bring a subtle shift of emphasis to a meditation experience – which is what this is. The poem is hardly thought through. I’ll keep my editorial urges off this one and let its freshness be.

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