Tuesday, March 3, 2009

In the Garden of the Heart

To the Blood Pool

In the green garden of the heart
a lusty sea god fountains in a bronze surf
of mermaids. Bluebells are out
under the tender green canopy of the beeches.
A bee is unscrolling a hibiuscus under a wall
and lavender fields beyond the far terraces
tempt me with their perfumes, I answer the call
of the mettled horses, drilled for dressage,
that are prancing in place under the bridle.
In powder-blue coat and tight perruque
I mount my favorite creamy mare and ride her
round and round the great ellipse until it is time
to leave the grounds of the winter palace
for wilder places. I fly up stone-cut stairways
to a cobbled street that smells of oranges
and find myself, at last, at the blood pool.


I did not know it until I came here.
The blood in the round pool is fresh,
flowing from a secret spring. Seeking its source
I see the faces of those I have loved and lost
and unhealed wounds and interrupted dreams.
A black dog comes to guide me,
walking on my right. A lion flanks me on the left.
They bring me to the antlered one.
He glows like electrum and between his horns
sun and moon float together.
How could I have forgotten him?
Blood flows unceasingly from his great heart,
freely and unobstructed, into the red pool,
where it is thinned as a painter thins his oils.
Here the lion laps courage. Here I dip
my pen in the inkwell of the heart
and find regeneration in the ever-giving wound.

- Mosswood Hollow, March 1, 2009

Note: One of the exercises at my recent gathering at Mosswood Hollow in the foothills of the Cascades (Washington State) involved opening a door to the heart center and journeying to a garden within.

5 comments:

Nancy said...

Robert,
Thank you so much for these images! I particularly like "The blood in the round pool is fresh, flowing from a secret spring. Seeking its source I see the faces of those I have loved and lost, and unhealed wounds and interrupted dreams."

Just yesterday I dreamed of being rescued from a submarine & thrown into the sea with an oxygen tank I found I did not need to breathe underwater. I'll blend your word pictures with my dream for more clarity. Thanks!
Nancy

Carol Davis said...

Synchronistically, on Thursday evening while teaching at a retreat center near Washington, DC, I led a dream journey into the garden of the heart. At the end of the evening a woman shared that she met the Christ in her heart's garden, and there found healing.

I would add that when I arrived at the retreat center the night before, the deer were walking in the gardens. We stopped the car, turned off the headlights and were treated to the quiet beauty of watching the deer. Once inside, I headed for the conference room to view an antler that had been left in the nearby woods by a three year old buck.

diane said...

I'm reminded of a line from Kahlil Gibran's, The Prophet, "Our pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses our understanding." It's said that the deeper sorrow carves into our being, the more joy we can contain; inspiration coming from the self-same well. I love your imagery so full of vitality and sacredness...the singular power of the antlered one...I'm reminded of the magnificent antlered ones that have walked and watched through my dreams and appeared like mirages as I walk the earth. Thank you!

Nicola said...

Robert
Thankyou for this vivid story.
The image of The White Hart followed me for many years in my youth starting with a very special visitor, a beautiful wild baby deer coming to within an few inches of my nose whilst I was playing at being invisble in an ancient Scottish forest,to numerous sightings of the very rare albino deer running across roads with its dowdier friends, one sighting was on Poo bears home ground in Ashdown Forest and finally, living in an ancient building named The White Hart in Cornwall where I experienced a human Killing from a few hundred years ago.
This concept of the ever flowing blood of sacrifice and love has been a bit of a life long theme.

lee said...

Robert,
When I read this beautiful poem I was intrigued by the exercise that led you to it, opening a door in the heart center to a garden. And what a lovely garden yours is! I especially loved "a bee is unscrolling a hibiscus."
Later in the morning, I was doing some meditation with chakra balancing. When I got to the heart chakra, I thought of your poem and exercise. I got an immediate, unbidden image of a gorgeous green dragon. He has a falcon's eyes and beak, and rich green scales.
Thank you, Robert, for helping me find my dragon heart!
Laura