Monday, September 6, 2010

Two Poems and a Time Out

Though you cast your net

A thousand times and more,

A million shinning fishes

Live and wriggling on the sand,

You can never catch the Sea,

Or hold it in your hand.

As some readers of this blog may know, I was the recipient of a liver transplant a little over two years ago. It was, in fact, the transplant experience that first stimulated me to begin writing poetry on a regular basis. Within a few weeks of the transplant I developed a persistent bile leak that has been a constant source of trouble for me, causing constant pain and landing me in the hospital on a regular basis. The doctors placed a trans-hepatic drain through my new liver in an attempt to allow the leak to heal. It has failed to do so. As a result, I am having corrective surgery done on Wednesday morning, September 8th.

I'll be in hospital for a week or so and laid up for the better part of a month. Before I do so, I would like to thank my friends and readers for your encouragement and support through these last two years. I hope to be back soon and posting new work here.

I'm posting two poems today, the first above this text was written earlier today, inspired by something I was reading in the classic "Blue Cliff Record" , Case #38, where Feng Hsueh speaks of "... scouring the oceans fishing for whales, I regret to find instead a frog crawling in the muddy sand". The second, below, is one of those nagging little intruders that appear sometimes during meditation. I'm often not exactly clear on what they mean. What, for instance, is the handout that the self comes looking for so tenaciously? Any thoughts?

Who is this,

Tugging at my eyelids?

Just myself, again, I'll wager,

Come poking 'round

Between the breaths,

Looking for a handout!

The net-casting image was taken from:


Anonymous said...

Needs to be fed or self is nothing at all.

Like a child saying, "see this?" over and over until acknowledged.

We learn very early to do this.

Hope all goes well.

Barry said...

David, thank you for sharing your wonderful - truly superb - poetry, and the story of your body's journey. May the upcoming procedure go smoothly and your recovery be complete!

Best wishes in the Dharma,


David Clark said...

Thank you Barry, your support means a lot to me.


I suspect you are correct. It's interesting that our hungry self craves not only the world's notice "Look Mommy, look!", but our own self-notice. We feed ourselves with a near constant narrative stream as if to fix our character and a chaotic world in place by repetition. We call the blessed relief from this stream "liberation".

Silence is golden. Indeed.
Thank you for your comment.

Rizal Affif - The Soul Sanctuary said...

I'm a new reader to your blog.

You have wonderful, thoughtful poems.

Will be waiting for your next posts.

Hope you will be fine soon.

My prayers, be with you.