why does your path
spiral upward
through seven heavens
beyond creation
to the outermost
emptiness of seeing,
only to curve
downward like a bow
and carry you
to earth again?
So that you may become
round and whole,
the living seed
of all that flowers
from your longing.
In the beginning
God is light,
then God is darkness,
then She is green.

Morning of the Nativity

Cherubim wonder how it feels
to be a leaf kissing a sidewalk.
Stars pucker for a smack of green.

Your eyes are grails.

Dilute the light with tears.
Seraphs thirst for a taste of this seeing.

They yearn for a shadow, a body
like yours,
made of stars that vanished
eons ago.

The lonesome lord of hosts longs deeply
to pitch his tent in your cheeks.

The future Buddha knows
there are secrets learned only here,
on a mid-Winter morning.

A nest inside an egg, a mother's womb
encircling her savior,

or that, when you rest in your own
peculiar rhythm, motion is stillness.

Never underestimate the small, the fallen.
Let humbled triumphs of snow
repose in glistening impermanence.

Wherever the melting takes you,
friend, go there.
Just to be awake is Christ.


Why does the flame
in the temple of the heart
need no oil?
Because it drinks
from the radiance
of the Self.

Painting: Elena Kotliarker