Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Machik's Heart

For Jenny

Machik Labdrön appeared in my Ngöndro visualizations of her own accord, early on, dazzling white, and always dancing. She borrowed her forms from Chenrezig and Sukkasiddhi, I suppose: like most enlightened beings she shifts forms casually. I'm partial to her because she paid her dues as a human being, having married and raised children to adulthood before achieving enlightenment. (I found this image of Machik on the web, by the way, unattributed, which may mean that someone somewhere holds a copyright to it. If so, let me know! I don't want to be thieving.)

A flush along the jawline;
a little catch in the breath.

I listen for all that's not said.
I am so many people in so short a time:
the lover who left, the boyfriend in highschool;
teacher, false confidante, mother,
the little cat that came once and
never came again.

It is not this business of
becoming other people that is risky
It is trying to remain myself.
Let go, let be, remember only
the infinite tenderness of the Buddha,
Milarepa's quizzical smile, and Machik,
dancing, white,
dancing. I hold her heart,

beating, in my hands, not just hers,
but my own, and Machik's, and
the cat's, all one heart, just this one
fleeting evening.

Later I stand in the washroom,
unable quite to catch my breath,
having traveled through an alien,
intimate past, knowing far more
than anyone ever meant for me to know.


Robbi N. said...

This is wonderful! I am sorry I waited so long to visit your blog and read your work, after seeing your comments on Marly's blog so often.
I have a poem that speaks to the same (or similar) concerns, but it isn't published, so I am reluctant to put it up here.

Dale said...

Thanks so much, Robbi! I'd love to see it. You could mail to to me if you like.