Three Poems from Retreat

If you could only admit

that there is nothing between

you and the Horsehead Nebula,

no difference – the way the atoms

curve through, the way most

is empty space,

and all forms of light

on all wavelengths

are in there and in you.


Sky above,

fields either side of me,

path beneath my feet

With a shout of joy

I walk between them all


I am not different from the unconscious stars,

the clouds that blot them out,

the grass, the trees in veils,

this hut, the steps in front of it, my pillow.

No different from the fire in the wood burner

or the candle flames swimming beside me

on the table. I can’t understand myself,

never will. I am not.

No childhood, no adulthood,

no future. No sorrows, no dreams.

There never were any. Look,

I’m already gone. I sleep the sleep

of one who knows he was not created, ever,

and is not here to die.

Dharmavadana is poetry editor of the Buddhist arts magazine Urthona (http://www.urthona.com/). His own poetry has appeared in the magazines Haiku Quarterly, Brittle Star, Ambit and in the anthology The Heart as Origami: Contemporary Buddhist Poets (Rising Fire Press 2005), as well as previously in the Buddhist Poetry Review. He lives in London.