Lily of the Valley, the Bright and Shining Star

Night sky

By CHARLIE HOPKINS

one

In the undertow of evening I am settled around myself.

Those who have lived long enough to keep quiet

should be listened to.

In the valley between my shoulder blades I sing to my Self

where a river is running underground.

I am always kneeling.

I kneel to the one who knows but will not speak

the first word that sets these worlds in motion.

two

Every man is alone and every woman is breathing in the gulf

with schools of mullet in her tidal hair.

All night long the left hand feels in the dark for the right.

Shivabalayogi is my Guru. Carol is my wife.

This is all I know.

three

The angel of the Lord is flying again

over the Cascade Range and Hood River Valley.

Wings made of fire drop light into undergrowth.

I am a standing flame.

My fingers matchsticks all struck at once.

I am the river in the Douglas fir

the living water rising through root and trunk

taking in and giving out breath.

You are above me spread out as breath and as the prayer of breath.

Shivabalayogi I am kneeling to you.

Carol I am kneeling to you.

Copyright 2001 Charlie Hopkins
Photo courtesy The Telegraph

Charlie Hopkins is poetry editor of this website.

More about Charlie Hopkins

This page was published on August 9, 2001 and last revised on April 2, 2014.