“The Ocean (with vocals)”

Looking out among the heavens
Looking out among the stars
Heavens in the heavens
Stars among the stars
A tiny planet with a garden
A tiny plot among the hillsides
Glowing bright with wondrous flowers
Glowing bright with healthy fruit trees
Still and quiet, lovely silence
Peaceful, growing, kindly, waiting

Muriel and Jason
Looking up into the skies
Saw the mighty planet spirals
And modest planet lives
Looking up one evening, thoughtful
Jason saw the distant rings
The distant rings around the planets
A ring of truth in Saturn’s sky
Circling with remotest armor
Saturn held in free embraces

What are those rings, he asked her, silent
Knowing not to speak aloud
What are those rings that hold a planet
In its permanence and spin?
Where is a ring that holds a planet?
Is it out, or is it in?

There are many colored rings to see
Of time and life and dreams
Rings and rings of sure consistence
Of elegance and noble things

They extended far around him
Encircling his planet
Claiming his attention
Yet, beyond his reach
He could not lift his eyes from
Their remarkable effulgence
Out among his star-filled heavens
Well outside his circle sky

The farther reaches of the finite
Reaching outward to the future
Reaching inward from the past
Rings of ribbons around boxes
Of inclusions first and last

Muriel was in the garden
Among the hyacinth and daisies
She was standing in them, waist deep
Looking backwards to the cabin

Jason walked on the veranda
To look out across the valley
To the sunlit hills beyond it
To the sky that settled easy
On the distant jagged hillsides
Which were mountains when seen closely
Or held up in contrast to the clouds

All the distance was in shimmer
From the shining of the city
And the glimmer of the cabins
That surrounded him, familiar
As the neighbors and the light

Yet this day, there was a difference
A persistent, clear, yet subtle difference
To the light from these reflections
To these flickers in the distance
Something came to mind so vaguely
Something watery in memory
Like an old forgotten play line
Or a half remembered friend

This unremembered gleam
Was settled in the distance
Nestled down among the mountains
It was a glow made by reflection
Of the sun star on the garden
Of the flowers of the garden
And a loved one in the garden
Standing waist deep in the folds

Was this gleam where water hurried
Down the hills of time and laughter
From the gravity of living
From a life of blindness, searching?
Was this where the water settled
In this far off crater formed
By volcanoes when collapsing
Into time’s recursing walls?

If I go there, will this water
Be the birthplace of my being?
Will this formlessness relieve me
Of the quest with no requiting
Of the end without an end?

These were wistful thoughts that tested Jason
In his careful measured thinking
Looking out from in the cabin
To a garden
Rife with bloom

Muriel was in the garden
Among the daffodils and tulips
And she knew what he was thinking
She had known the same faint essence
In her times when she was growing
While the heart that beat around her
Was still tender and naive

She knew what he was thinking
He should unquestionably go there
Most assuredly should go there
To see the shine up close

Johnson came across the valley
Dark and smileful, as was normal
He too knew of Jason’s thinking
In the same thought that she knew

He knew Jason saw the water
Saw the shining from the water
He had seen the gleam’s reflection
Of the sun star on the lake

Jason, looking at the planets
At the rings around the planets
At some specific rings he saw there
Had briefly seen the water shine

He was thinking he should go there
To continue on his search
For the answers to a question
Of his death and of his birth

Where do the flowers come from
So I can stand among them waist deep?
What happens when they die down?
What happens when they sleep?
What do they weigh when dreaming?
What does an idea cost
If the word supposed to say it
Has unknowable extremes
Or no steady state of emanation
No moving state of gain or loss?
Do I dissolve into the midst
Of the distant shining water
In the hills where comfort sits
In a chair made out of questions
And a house made out of bits
Of the flowers I am standing in
Waist deep among the fist
Of the tiny folded blossoms
Waiting, still, for love’s first kiss?

Jason stops here for a moment
Is the jolt too hard to take?
Does the mind recoil from layers
Of the waves upon the lake?

The lake, once reflecting sunlight
And the images of skies
Are they still in this reflection
When the wind is troubled by?

Let us stop here for a moment
And we will talk about the time
We’ll make mention of the meter
And its reference to the shine

And we’ll return to action shortly
After briefly stopping here
To annotate the moment
For the observer has appeared


In Jason’s thought, the lilting rhythm
And the convoluted time
Went unnoticed when unspoken
Went unmeasured with no motion

Because the story stops now
We shall see what we shall see
By moving out a level
From the still, reflecting sea

To a bigger lake
By orders of a magnitude unbound
Flowing to an ocean open
Unrestricted by the ground

If it’s meaning Jason’s after
He will have that soon enough
We are speaking plainly, aren’t we?
We are not confining words
Or their value as ideas
Because it’s useful now to know
Where the ideas come from
Wherefore they come and whence they go

So we stop here for the moment
And consider what we see
As observers, we have changed things
We cannot see what is the sea

To be conscious of the rhythm is enough
We can move on to the next part of the story
Jason’s quest, then Jason’s song

No poet is at work now
No poetry, ere long
We are stepping back a moment
To let the music play the moment
To let the meter change the moment
Charge the meaning of the moment
And let the dance unfurl the song

As Jason stood there on that evening
Looking out into the skies
Seeing light from shining water
He was held for our same moment
While we stopped and thought about things
Only we could understand now
What to him were mysteries

As a reader, we are authors
As a player writes the play
As a teacher teaches teachers
Pretext, criticism, stay the cycle of meaning
We’re supposed to find in here
So our prison and our garden
Is now the ocean in our ear

We are stepping out upon a level
From observer to observed
To the alter of our ego
We are beating out the words
Playing in our head as laughter
And as questions, and as pain
Turning slowly in the sunset
Turning gently in the night breeze
In the black pools of resistance
Stepping back from our perspective
Seeing Jason now reflected
In his curious amazement
At the distant shining planets
Unbroken circles of the rings

We will go upon the journey
As we have upon the others
But a difference will be with us
A new attitude is with us
For we hear the storyteller
Hear the beat of storytelling
Hear the pulsing of ideas
The meter of the concepts
Coming forward from the prison
Growing up inside the garden
Where we are standing waist deep
Seeing Jason think of thinking
Think of flying, think of knowing
All of what he is now thinking

Watching as he finds us
Finding from the stage’s apron
In the orchestra’s fine tuning
In the timing of the passage
A meta power of the word

Jason spoke to Muriel softly
Does that shine define the water?
Yes, she thought among the flowers
Do you think you want to go there?

Jason nodded his agreement
As he nodded his acceptance
And said yes to the requirement
He was certain must be made
If he went to find the source
Of the ocean there above the mountains

Do you want Johnson to go with you?
Would you wish for me to go
For directions, if you need them?
I have been there once before

Jason thought about the options
Considered well his many options
Looked at both of them with gladness
Of appreciation, gladness
And he knew he must stay single
In the solitude of searching
In the looking for the answers
In the waiting for the answers
At the door of least expecting
He would wait alone while knowing
They had offered to come with him
To the glow among the mountains

He remembered his last journey
A journey from the myth
A journey that went nowhere
Across the muddy rivers
Up the frightful stair
To watch the nonsense monster
As it turned into a bear

It was a journey of not going
Of waking up at home
Of finding he had never left
Had never walked the river
The other side remained unknown

Like the prison with no walls
Only seen once he was outside
Only strange and set, perplexing
Among paradox and questions
He was in a formal system
Running up against a limit
Much like the one he suffered
When trapped inside a prison
With no walls, and hapless guards
Who could only see the way things were
When what they were
Was seeable at bedtime
As they counted all the bunk beds
And said it all looks fine

Jason had to travel solo
Muriel and Johnson knew this
But they each had made the offer
In an effort to be helpful
To provide a little comfort
For they knew the journey’s peril
They knew Jason was in danger
Of getting lost and even worse
Although, no worse than lonely travels
Lonely walking in the ruins
Of the mountains and the ocean
Looking for still water
To reflect the light he saw
Shining in the rings above them
Rings around the planet, soaring
Rings around the sun and moonlight
Around the sky and shore

Both bid him farewell darkly
For they knew he might be lost
Might not return or see them
Let his garden rust and tumble
No matter

Whatever outcome was in store
Whatever waiting heartbreak
Was on the distant shore
Jason would keep moving
Jason would keep looking
From first to last to always
The most important thing
Was relationship and structure
The composition of the planets
And the ever constant rings

People among people
Stars among the stars
These were guiding Jason
To the lake beyond the mountains
To the ocean of the present
The waiting unknown future
While opening the past times

And thus, his journey started
A walk upon the hillside
With no provisions packing
Looking straight before him
Into the calling water
Reflecting in the sunlight
The sunlight there upon it
In the daylight of the day

In his mind were stirring questions
About distance, space, and time
How the planet kept its circles
Kept its rings around its sphere
Kept its head above the water’s
Shining sun star in reflection
Giving light and love and laughter
To all who would receive it
Perceive it and receive it
Like a gentle spoken word

In humility and wonder
He set upon the hillside
Footsteps after footsteps
Wonder after wonder
Spirit before spirit
Loving after love

Into the dangered wood now
Just beyond the hillside
Between the glassy water
And the hillside where his foot fell
Caressed inside the heather
And the blossoms of the wild trees
That helped to hold his shoulders
As he went into the woods now
Into the darkened woods now
Like the others in the prisons
The prisons of the false worlds
The schools and clubs and business
Of the city by the river

He returned without his thinking
Into the false wind blowing
To a life outside his thinking
To a life outside of knowing
To an objective danger lurking
To inferring from the system
To some other dread existence
Of a mind beyond this one

He would enter in the woods now
And look at all the creatures
The great and little creatures
Some predator, some prey
Terrifying in the nature
Of a prison and its walls

He would look and see the picture
The most awful, wrongful picture
Wherein one consumes the other
Destroys awareness of the other
For a startled, stark survival
In the woods where there was danger
Among creatures large and little

Jason trembled as he entered
From the footfall on the hillside
As the black and gloomy outside
Covered sunlight from the branches
And the shadows of his dreaming
The things that were not right
Or wrong but only must be
Only must, impossible
Only must, without the how-to
Just the be and is and all
Of the terrible dark woods now
Between him and his own nature

Were not the journeys all like this one
With a shadow covered walkway
With a passage fiercely darkened
From the sunlight of the day?

There was something in here, certain
He knew it well by now
He only knew it inside
Knew it not from doing
Or remembering the details

And there it was, the flicker
Of a light out from a window
Of a mansion beyond grasping
Not like anything on earth

Not like the richest merchant
Not like the oldest money
Not like the kings and barons
But a mansion of the trees

A mansion from the ground up
With crystal windows leaded
Like something from a Tudor
And something from the desert
An architecture fountain
With walls of mud and willow
And a roof made out of tiles
And the tiles made out of red clay
And mahogany for doors

This was no show of purchase
No reason for a party
No fixture of successes
No place where ideas fester

This was a place, a homestead
And it was square and level
But not to earth or planet
Or to prison or to garden
Was it square or was it level

It was perfectly assembled
From a spiritual template
From a substance solid, forceful
From reality unbound
Then it changed, there in the forest
It changed like Johnson’s house had
Like the city with its boundaries
A casual perforce
Persuasion of the moment
It changed
It changed again

It did not change completely
This was no waking from a dream
It was a dazzling display of
Something hidden and unseen

There were forces now at work here
Establishing this mansion
So as Jason approached slowly
He saw a curving driveway
For a carriage or a canon
For a story that needs telling
A graceful curving driveway
With revealing rounded rambles
To the portal to the doorway
To the windows with the crystal
Diamond leaded crystal windows next to doorway

Inside the mansion, stillness
Outside, the forest
Steadied in the wind of Jason’s searching
In the longing of his heart
His mind was racing ’round him
Looking for the state
Where he could describe conditions
Of the mansion there before him

All the trees, the forest
And the life, abundant, playing
On the outside of the mansion
To the creature, they were saying
In the walls of this great house
There is a heaven for the keeping
Not a heaven from the ancients
But a heaven from the present

The walls are sides
The doorways are the entrances extreme
The windows and their crystals
Are for clarity and for looking out
Into the stream

The stream that runs along here
One you traveled often by
Over to the Johnsons’ homestead
And into Muriel’s great sky

There is the stream, and there’s a garden
And a place to lay your head
If you are weary and hard traveled
And in need of this day’s bread

Jason had just started
He was not tired in the least
He was curious and alert now
He was waiting for some word now
From the other forest creatures
And his own unfurrowed brow

Trepidatious, slowly, forward
Over threshold old and oaken
Past a door left partly open
To the waiting light around
Through a passageway unbroken

The light was coming from no fixture
From no sun or starry sky
Yet there was light all round about him
In the entrance to the mansion
Like the light that lights a booklet
An intelligent perception
About orderly perfection
About mansions and their time

This house was not a household
Was not real estate for sale
Was instead an unbound body
Where the inside and the outside
Of the curtain shown in pale
Unhurried contrast
To the crystal windows opened
Like eyes that wondered
Focused about questions of the past

The inside and the outside
Of one gigantic room
The same walls stood as both the wales
Of the same gigantic loom
Where wove the endless fabric
In and out
External to itself
And nothing other than itself
To know the room

There was no calling from the distance
There was no table set
This was no mystery of living
This was a state of being
Where his self was looking
For he questions, for the answer
Now before him through the door

The light most slowly coming
Flowing in like drifting rivers
Filling up the rooms with lightness
Flowing out beyond the windows
Rolling down into the still lake

Reflections in the pond
Coming from no constellation
From no hydrogen consuming
From no nuclear explosion
From no sudden rearranging
Of a nature ordered sequence

Ideas providing thought
Like awareness of the truth
Of where he was now standing
Deep within the mansion’s root

Infinite and ever upward
The projection of the light
Of a pure and only spirit
That was living and its life
The life of all the houses
Where the calculations stood
To determine all the square feet
Of all unrestraining good

Of a good that swept him over
From the woodland and the mansion
To the rings around him now
As if he were a planet
Encircled and protected
Protected and provided
With a limitless inside
Where the time and space and structure
Of the outside was not ruling
Where the limits were not ruling
Where the spiritual transcendence
Revealed actual appearing
To the only mansion perfect
To the only order standing
Of the only way to heaven
Of the disappearing mortal
Of the disappearing fear

From the shores to the far sun stars
The great ocean was a sphere

Lifting out for a brief moment
Of the sense of imperfection
Of the balances of combat
Between the evil and the good
Rising up beyond the truce
Between reacting factions
Between the going and the coming
Of not knowing which to choose

A sudden unity of spirit
Continuity sublime
Not a seam among the flowers
Between seed and harvest time
Between right and left, no line

An orderly progression
A sequence of eternal truths
Establishing the roadway
To the uncontested premise
To the laws and to the rules
To the light of sure existence
To the absolute existence
Of the light among the jewels

Jason saw the new horizon
Saw the evidence of God
Not of God who was a person
Not an atheistic God
Not a God of never knowing
But a God of only good

Saw the sphere of true existence
Where the dream of life in limits
Faded out beyond the walls
Where the walls came down in tumbles
And the new horizon dawning
Came to him through joyous tears

In submission to life’s force
To an intelligence supreme
To an enlightened being
To a harmony unseen
By the darkened sense of mortals
In the darkness of the dream

From Copernicus to Galile
In conservation of mechanics
From Newtonian admissions
To the relative revealing
Now, the undefined uncertain
All held in perfect peace

Stood in silence now before him
As he looked out from the stars
To the mansion after mansion
The complete and perfect mansions
Redolent, abundant, wisdom
Patient, life abiding
As the flowers in the garden

The prison was a doorway
The garden was a path
The mansion was a body
The dreamer wakes at last

There, embraced within the ocean
There are no dreamers there
No birth nor death or knowing
No living in the midst
Of particles at war
No debts announce the past
The ever present motion
Of the ocean and the sky
Show the now forever sphere
Of the new serene bright heaven
In its perfect form complete
Awake and clearly seeing
All the spaces and the times
Informing simple metrics
Simple songs with simple rhymes

Leaving Jason now transfigured
Lifting up above the mountains
Lifting up above the skies
Lifting up above the ocean
Into the infinite sublime

Flying without effort
Flying past the wind and water
Flying where no boundary settles
Flying up above the night
Into the joys and wonders
Of an unimagined height

Resting while still flying
Soaring, sailing in the light

Jason was observing
From an unrestricted height

As observing unobserved
We see ourselves within this light
For the writer is the written word
Upon the door of the mansion in the woodlands
In mind and nothing more
Mind without limitation
Of imagination’s lore

As rings of truth encircle mansions
And the mountains of the mansions
In perfect resolution
Of a thing unto a thing
As the boundless state of mansions
Gave Jason’s thought its wing
As the boundaries no more finite
No more caught, while still defined
There were now no changing mansions
There were now no other times

No arrow moved before him
No boundary drew him back
No crossing lines were in the water
As below him moved the years
Of his flight, serene and safe
In the infinity of spheres

Far below him were the houses
And the roads and the waters running
As his thought was lifted higher
And he felt the ocean’s calm embrace
As he heard the ocean’s roar
Coming now from open waters
Falling in an infinite
Falling through a door

It was the roar of many mountains
And the mansions of great rivers
As far as he could see now
There were people among people
Ideas among the skies
Each one flying by itself
While opening each other’s eyes

As the ocean rose above him
Far beyond his solo dreams
There were other beings like him
Other loves with the same dreams
All behaving in accordance
With symphonic schemes
Of the melodies and beauties
Of the infinite unseen

All the debts were now forgiven
All the burden for all times
The past was thought the present
When the present was confined
To the land of many waters
To the land of many minds

All the past no longer causal
All the debts were gone for good
All the debts and all the notions
From the shadows in the woods

Nothing left to be forgiven
Nothing left to be afraid of
No more time to be alone
Only time content with loved ones
Only space and open vistas
Of the ocean far and wide

The central loving stillness
Of the infinite inside
The infinitude of being
Without conflict, loss, or gain
An infinitude of all things
With no suffering or pain

Here was now the ocean
In one unbroken theme
In the union and the substance
Of a fabric with no seam

A quiet, clear reflection
Of itself upon its skies
Limitless conceptions
Far beyond the mortal ties

Into the bright lands, forward
Into the earth and heaven
Among the stars and in them
The completed native state

The normal man was flying godward
Where God naturally was seen
Away from shallow concepts
Away from shallow streams
In the integrity of being
In brilliant self existence
In the answer to the call
From the origin of being
As the master peace of all

The reflections in the ocean
The great water in the distance
The great rings within the water
The final spoken wisdom
Above the desperations
Of all the long, sad partings
The tragic last goodbyes

Ever present, ever being
Shone through Jason’s eyes

And his face was changed to smiling
And from smiling, changed to laughing
Then from laughing, changed to flying
In complete dominion, flying
In and out of all the worlds
Of the light and of the fullness
Of the past he had forgiven
In and out of time, now ending
Into spirit, into life
As a part of a great union
Where body is in soul

Here is soul with no beginning
Here is mind in clear perfection
Now is life that is forever
A soul in love with life