A light breeze from the ocean caresses the palms,
In an open breezeway, 20 souls peacefully perched on cushions and chairs,
have faded into the luminous depths,
A syncopated rift of harmonic chirps breaks the early morning stillness.
A tropical feathered calliope plays.
Deep in the depths, A swish of the tail, and I'm gliding through the cold languid dark,
then, a luminous flash, from the corner of the eye.
And I bite, take the hook.
Am hauled to the surface and into light.
I lean, to pull this majestic catch to my craft. Life pulsing into light.
"It's a jewel of the sea, mahi mahi", the boatman whispers.
Out of the fathom deep, into the light and clutch of this world,
Now, a rainbow of brilliance aglow in the sun,
"It's a pity, but
Soon you'll see it's shimmer fade and die".
We sit in the depths, with sharpened hooks, a line,
Waiting in grace, we hope to haul this elusive brilliance into our world.
I composed this poem years ago at a meditation retreat Susan and I attended on the big island of Hawaii at a plantation-turned-retreat center.
It begins to capture the stillness and tranquility of the place - and the haunting morning riffs of unseen birds from palms. The insight I felt at that time was about the fleeting nature of clear perception - its majesty and brilliance, and impermanent nature. While attention may rest in the world, this beauty comes from the deep where "outer" and "inner" loose all distinction.
The catch is life. With camera packed, here are a few of the images I stole when my attention shifted from breath to beauty.