The Dangled Carrot

comments 47
Poetry

In the inky darkness
of the void,
beneath a tender moon,
a door cracks open,
and perfect quiet
spills out to form a shadow…

A moth appears–
wings a-flicker
from the very first,
as if it has been curiously
darting to and fro
for quite some time,
and the door has appeared
of its own volition.
To be polite.
To show the way.
The weaving gray feather
is hardly more than a tickle
upon an endless sea,
a lone, blurry movement
abidingly happy
within the endless
presence
of space.

Then,
a tantalizing hesitation
behind the door–
a moment of decision
about whether to do so
or not–!
as the moth curls back
alarmingly
towards the threshold,
then curls nimbly away,
exhibiting a whim
that causes skies
such as these
to smile proudly.
The door closes,
and vanishes,
and the moth,
left to its own
uninterrupted curiosity,
glides in a lazy circle
then flutters up
towards the moon.

The Buddha
is doing it again…
opening doors
from one world
to the next
so tiny, happy minds
riding upon silky wings
don’t bump into the end
of the previous one,
and become frightened—
reminding how innocent and pure
endless, whirring movement can be
when the sky itself
is the perpetually
dangled carrot.

47 Comments

  1. The Buddha
    is doing it again…
    opening doors
    from one world
    to the next
    so tiny, happy minds
    riding upon silky wings
    don’t bump into the end
    of the previous one,
    and become frightened—
    reminding how innocent and pure
    endless, whirring movement can be
    when the sky itself
    is the perpetually
    dangled carrot.

    mind, officially blown 😉

    Liked by 5 people

  2. The door closes and vanishes, of course… the inescapable logic that doors close so that we don’t bump into the end of the previous world. That’s why things are the way they are. Thanks Michael, something very satisfying about this, I feel it’s the answer to a question that’s not been asked yet.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you, Tiramit, for such an insightful comment– one that meets me halfway across the emptiness of my wanderings, and says, yes… this is one of the ways… There’s a kindness in this being met halfway. Thank you for holding the doorway open…

      Blessings
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  3. And we are both moths and buddhas for each other, under a super moon; opening doors for one another, sometimes signaling for the avoidance of bumps ,sometimes daring each other to peak through, and sometimes just tickling with a feather. What magic sparkles in your sky my friend!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes, Andrea, I agree completely. If this poem had kept going, I would have done well to sprinkle in a few more moths and Buddhas, exactly as you have described, all exploring together the startling gifts of the Super Moon… (Let’s go ahead and capitalize that, shall we?) 🙂

      Thanks for flitting across this sky, and holding sky on your end in which I can wander so happily–
      Michael

      Like

    • Genie says

      What? this is too much, the tacky iSlave added a box, while I added me dancing, no way, I won’t have it this way, I dance in the sky. 🐉

      Liked by 1 person

    • Genie says

      What? I just received a notice that I liked my own comment, I tell you, this iSlave is defective! oh well, what can one expect from collie labour?

      I unliked my own comment, so if you get a note that I liked my own comment, it’s iSlave’s defective software program.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Genie says

        What? I wrote coolie labour, not “collie labour”, that’s an insult to border collies, this iSlave is just way over the top lousy, nothing like Hafiz, who would never override my own spelling and writing, nope, he does everything for free, too.

        Not like this overly priced iSlave, Apple ought to give them away, after all, they make so much money from these spy devices, that they should hand them out to fools who line up at stores to buy this junk, to unknowingly be spied on (the microphone is on all the time, even when the device is turned off, say Edward Snowden, Julian Lesange, and others).

        Enough! back to your fabulous poem, I do think those dangled carrots must be as lustrous as diamonds whose rainbow colours exude a balanced colour frequency.
        And don’t we all seek balance?!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ha! Well, our hearts are always on-line, too, even when we’re sleeping, or panicking, or trying to understand what our little portable devices are up to when we’re not looking… 🙂

          We do all seek balance, my friend. Those dangled carrots are indeed lustrous diamonds exuding a delicious infinitude. We are flooded with vastness in every direction– left with no alternative but to wing out a little dance or two across the sky…!

          Peace
          Michael

          Liked by 1 person

  4. “Perfect quiet spills out to form a shadow”

    – What a beautifully evocative line Michael. My blogging friend Bert – you know him I think? – is very often referencing ‘silence’, yet he does not mean the absence of sound, nor sound itself of course, and instead, it is something like a ‘shadow’ of knowing, which is at once a ‘perfect quiet’ yet beyond it too.

    The moth is playing in the world of name and form, just as we too are. And just like us, (s)he too is full of desire and aversion, and not a little desperation at times. This imagery reminds me of the words of a favourite musician of mine, the Canadian songstress Amy Mann:

    “The moth don’t care if the flame is real
    ‘Cause flame and moth got a sweetheart deal
    And nothing fuels a good flirtation
    Like need and anger and desperation”

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, Hariod. I think that is the one line I was ultimately happy with in this one, but that is neither here nor there. This moth is indeed playing in the world of name and form, enjoying the moments set aside for mapping the silences… I do know Bert, and think I know this silence of which you speak. As I write, I’m reminded of something that came to mind either this morning or yesterday morning on my ride to work, and that was the remembrance that knowing is so simple– it’s the absence of not knowing. Whenever I string together a few moments without uncertainty, or seeking, or questioning, it is simply there… Knowing. So, I know this silence if I can take credit for a moment I felt when I wasn’t doubting anything at all… 🙂

      Amy’s verse is true methinks… our hunger drives us to the flame, but then perhaps there’s this annihilation, and a release of light…!

      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I could be “abidingly happy within the endless presence of space.” For a time anyway. But then there are always the doors……and the tantalizing…..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I had the feeling of how tantalizing space itself might be when writing this one… how magical to explore a realm without dimension, yet discrete enough to sustain a moth’s easily-flapping wings… Life is magical, and the doorways do indeed appear!

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

    • You’d forgotten!?

      It’s a bit like wondering where you set down your coffee mug, isn’t it? Ahh… there it is. But all the while you don’t have the mug, and you’re fixing the knob on the cabinet or cleaning out the refrigerator drawer, you have the continuous sensation of unfinished business very near by… I think it’s like that. We just set Love down, and we’re scanning the counter-tops, tapping our pursed lips, retracing our steps…

      All is Love!
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Michael,

    This whole chunk,

    “Then,
    a tantalizing hesitation
    behind the door–
    a moment of decision
    about whether to do so
    or not–!
    as the moth curls back
    alarmingly
    towards the threshold,
    then curls nimbly away,
    exhibiting a whim
    that causes skies
    such as these
    to smile proudly.
    The door closes,
    and vanishes,
    and the moth,
    left to its own
    uninterrupted curiosity,
    glides in a lazy circle
    then flutters up
    towards the moon.”

    I read this and pictured something out of a Studio Ghibli film; the animation of it was spectacular, soft, and aglow with the delicate details of natural movement; everything is alive and precious.

    Beautiful. Thank you,
    Ka

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Ka… I was really captivated by the imagined flight of this moth to be honest, and words were feeling like such blunt tools when I wrote this. I confess I had to look up Studio Ghibli, but now I’m convinced I need to see a few of those gems… They look as though they have a little of the feel of those original Hobbit cartoons we once discussed… Yes, everything is precious, so carefully held, like a moth drifting along in the gentle breath of eternity…

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Michael, I was going to leave you a link to the Studio Ghibli wiki, but I just thought I’d simplify, or I don’t know why I didn’t. As an aside, I included a clip from such a film in the most recent version of my ‘about’ section, which is really not very informative by itself. I do like it though for now 🙂 Did we discuss original Hobbit cartoons? I’m going to go hang out in my hobbit house now and meditate for a while, not too long?, but I don’t know. “Yes, everything is precious, so carefully held, like a moth drifting along in the gentle breath of eternity…” 🙂
        _/1\_ K

        Liked by 1 person

        • Hi Ka,

          Somehow I am missing the film clip you are mentioning here, or I’m not finding the About section. Regardless, your work is done! Studio Ghibli is on the list for the next time I wish to hunker down and watch a good movie… Tonight I’m taking my father to an MLS game for his birthday, and am looking forward to some fall-ish, golden light here in New England…

          Oh wait… I found it. I always forget the top word of a pull down menu is itself a link… I loved the clips and images there, and particularly this quote, “I am currently running a long-term errand for the Universe by using my own Self as its media.” I’m pulling over to the side of the trail to let you dash past, knowing we will meet again soon along the trail… All our errands add up to something wondrous…

          Peace
          Michael

          Liked by 1 person

          • Thank you, Michael. What you described to me about your experience with the site was very helpful to me for future decisions, as I hope to be able to make my site not only more easily navigate-able (better edited and more refined, while still creative and flow-y, and touch whimsical, mysterious and playful), so now I know where to go with my thinking when I am ready to do more site construction.

            _/1\_ Much appreciation.

            Enjoy the wonderful glow of autumn in New England, and have fun at the soccer game! (you may have already did that by now. Happy Birthday to your Dad!) Merry meet…

            Thank you, Ka

            Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, O! And thanks for your enthusiasm on the poetry book, and the novel-in-progress… Your advice and thoughtfulness are so very much appreciated! I hope you enjoy a few of those poems…!

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

          • Thanks mm.

            I got your great letter. And I loved your synopsis. Enjoyed reading it. And, How awesome (it was) – for a quick summary on the spot it was excellently written and gave me a much clearer picture of goggles.
            We are working in the same spots. So I feel a mutual kinship with you about our directions and goals. I’ve been working on trying to put together something like what you wrote for my book, but in 250 words, and it’s taking me weeks. The summary is part of the query letter, btw. So save what you’ve written.
            And I agree that we should only part with our work when we feel best about it.
            I got to a point where I feel the book is good enough to share. It ain’t perfect. And it never will be, but I am ready to move on and get her done/printed.
            I’ve lived with her long enough in my own mind. I need to see what others think. And that feeling of wanting to share and get feedback is stronger than fear or doubt or the feeling that something in the book is missing that definitely needs to be there.
            You’ll get there soon.
            Never ever give up. I know you won’t. I can tell by your emails.
            Hugs
            O and om. ♡

            Liked by 1 person

            • Thanks, O! It has been both fun and helpful discussing our mutual progress, and I feel the kinship as well. I think you are a few steps ahead on the journey of what must be done, but I am enjoying the steady progress (on both fronts), and the sensation of forward movement!

              I won’t give up! And I do look forward to reading your work when it is available!

              Peace
              Michael

              Liked by 1 person

            • Very very very good news.
              I agree completely. And I’m glad to have you as a new matrix electronic pen pal.
              Wishing you Happy writing always, and unfettered inspiration…
              O and om

              Liked by 1 person

  7. Dear Michael …I love this moth ! You bring understanding in such beautifully quiet ways , thank you my friend this morning as I too find a way to gently ” curl away ” ( I have been overwhelmed with puzzlement lately ) love , megxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Meg. I love that little moth, too– that innocent little explorer… a fragile winged perfection… I’m sorry to hear you’ve been overwhelmed, and I do hope the pieces fall into place gently, as you curl through spaciousness… When we’re moths, a little turbulence can seem a great storm, and when we’re space, we find we’re able to hold all of it just so… We are the moth, and the space, and ever puzzled when we lose one for the other… Sending a drop of starlight in a satchel on the back of a night-flying moth…

      Much Love
      Michael

      Like

  8. ” happy minds riding upon silky wings don’t bump into the end of the previous one, and become frightened”
    One Happy mind here Michael as I at last touch base with your poetry again 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much, Sue. I’m glad you’ve been able to swing by and enjoyed this piece. It feels like just yesterday you were writing about getting the flowers and vegetables going in the garden, and here we are inching our way through a shallower sun and shortened days… When you live so far north, the shadows of the seasons are always crawling swiftly by…

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes time this summer has gone, Autumn now and clearing out the veggie beds. The cooler darker nights are closing in ever faster it seems.. More so than when I was a girl 🙂 Blessings your way . Sue

        Liked by 1 person

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