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.
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.
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.