I/ Loom Of Light
—a poem by Ken Mckeon
A loom of light, of a coastal city, say San Diego
Years ago on a warship returning from Vietnam,
A horizon away from light, I saw light’s loom,
A soft spreading bundle, nothing truly bright about it,
But a pleasing luminous sense of your home port at last,
Right here, coming up really soon, opening to you,
As we were to it too, arriving in dark waters,
Riding the ongoing swells, deep rolling waves
Hours and hours away from a final lift and spill
Of foam, a thunderous arriving beach crash down,
So stirring to kids in early morning surf play,
But, though young, we were kids no longer,
If we ever were after so many years of strife,
Strife in the streets, in our homes, minds, wills,
In country, out of country, in sky or land or sea,
You name it, and, more especially, you see it
In the broken, and the armless, legless, fatherless,
Such a long list of what many of us here now lacked,
And, of course, so many lacked life itself, lacked
Even the capacity to know the lack, dead or alive,
And still we steamed on, and in the east the loom
Of light gave way, fading out into the greater light, the dawn,
The sun spread beaming showering rising gathering
Up all into a so freely availably splendid right now,
One cannot turn away from it, for one is that light,
Arising in and as the shock of light, the front page
Slam of light, wretchedly dark breaking anger fed
Whelming rage of light, broken ragged gasp of lungs
And heart tunneling numb shattering full display of light.
Come to the table now, even now, and break the bread of light,
And into the chalice of your being pour the whole of light,
And drink fully from that cup as an offering to all, and find
There within at last the gift of light and that share
As you will and can, yes, share and be in this dark realm
With care and gentleness in all ways now this loom of light.
II/ The Missing Key
(if anyone understands this, please explain it to me)
His neighbor, returning late one evening, finds Nasrudin on his hands and knees under a street lamp.
“Did you lose something?” he asks.
“Yes, my house key” Nasrudin replies.
“Let me help you look,” the neighbor offers. “Where’d you drop it?”
“Over there”, Nasrudin replies, pointing down the darkened street.
“Then why are you looking here?” the neighbor asks.
“Because the light is better.”
I wonder if the following could give a clue:
“Knowledge is not an object to possess or display. Like the sun shining in space, it is available everywhere, illuminated through its own luminosity.” Visions of Knowledge, Liberation of the Modern Mind, p 11.
But then, what does that mean?