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The TAT Forum: a spiritual magazine of essays, 
poems and humor.

October 2011
The Poetry Issue

This Month's Contents: The Last Unraveling by Deborah Westmoreland | The Scent of Longing by Ben Rainey | Video: Whoever You Are, Holding Me Now in Hand by Walt Whitman | The Bellows by Art Ticknor | Pulse by Lauren Hirsh | The First Sun by Rabindranath Tagore | Humor | Reader Replies | Question of the Month


Editor's Note
by Shawn Nevins

spiritual magazine When night's late hour unrolls upon my plans
I want to call, on occasion, and ask, "God, what is this place?"
Where Angels dress as demons
And dance between
Love and obsession,
Compassion and ambition,
Lies and intuition.
Instead of harps, they play with pens as if possessed,
Scrawling again and again
Words they cannot live.
Give us one line that echoes
Across the empty space.
Not for me, or you, or us,
This truth:
Plunging your mind into the moment
It's silence all the way down.


The Last Unraveling
by Deborah Westmoreland

It's as if
God
Put a whale hook
Straight through my chest
To seize that last black knowledge
Of a me.

Dredging the half-dead putrid thing
through the coral reefs,
the jagged rocks, the sharks circling
and feasting on that weary flesh,
each gash of skin repeating some ugly phrase.

Yanked out then
Into the rough sand and dragged
For more miles in the tropic sun
Than one can remember.

It's getting down to it,
To nothing, nothing but
Breath and bones.


The Scent of Longing
by Ben Rainey

Love leaves roses
in the overlooked corners
of a wind-spun story.
A petal floats on the
soft sounds of a
dying man’s eased breath.
A red bloom brightens the
face of a weary friend,
tired in grief.
And where is this Love
who stirs the heart’s
desperate grasp,
Leaving bittersweet reminders
of the holy presence
just departed?
The Love was known
in some vague past,
but left rejected
by the pride of me.
I scorned Love’s trust
and let Love go,
choosing instead
to embrace my self.
But Love’s here, Love’s here,
ever so close,
The sweet fragrance
of Home’s warm embrace
still haunts the room.


Walt Whitman Poem - "Whoever You Are, Holding Me Now in Hand"
read by Eric Vincent

If you don't see a video clip above, go directly to youtube.com


The Bellows
by Art Ticknor

Lying in bed,
Luxuriating in a few minutes between waking and arising,
I listen to the sound of my breathing…
Where will I be when the bellows are silent?
What will I be?
After years of searching within, I discovered the answer –
I recognized what I am
that subtends the waking, dreaming, and dreamless sleep states,
that remains unchanging with the passing of nights and days,
of seasons, of years, of life.
Life and death I now see in perspective…
And see that they don't affect me.


Pulse
by Lauren Hirsh

A certainty fused with an uncertainty yields strange, e l a s t i c results.
Confusion in essence, a pulsing brevity
Seeking within a story without, throughout.
I tell thee to rid thyself of fame and torture.
Mixing paint and blood, a pulsating brush reveals a portrait.
Now undisguised, it swims on the canvas with lucid knowing
Breathing in the day...today.
And tomorrow's uncertainty is seen with the clarity of a sea monster
Gliding through the dark, sending shadows to the surface.
Frequently I wait in hiding, hide in waiting, always churning, not yet flowing.
Yet the scripture flows through me, giving strength to my limbs,
Weight to my dreams, air to my musty, heavy heart.
It pumps into my tumultuous river wine and whispers
Of now, and here, and then, and how, and sometimes where
Yet never why.
Why is written elsewhere.
It is the river itself.
The river pulsating with the brevity of an infinitesimal moment in time.
Eternity has its own pulse
And it resonates within me.
I hear your heart beating, the rhythm of one.
There is only One, and yet in so many places, so many faces
Coming together, pushing apart, like rubber souls
Bouncing into, off of one another recklessly, with so much longing.
Where is that fusion? I don't know.
Oh, there it is...
I think.
No, I know
... ... ...
It's this


The First Sun
by Rabindranath Tagore

The first sun
asked
the world’s first life:
“Who are you?”
No reply then.
Years passed.
The last sun
asked the last question from the western ocean
on a soundless evening:
“Who are you?”
No answer now.

Written by Tagore on his deathbed: 27 July 1941.


Humor....

"Detected"

In Congress once great Mowther shone,
Debating weighty matters;
Now into an asylum thrown,
He vacuously chatters.

If in that legislative hall
His wisdom still he'd vented,
It never had been known at all
That Mowther was demented.

~ Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)


Question of the Month replies

Q: What do you know for sure?
A: There is no security in life. But my mind demand security all the time -this I know for sure

Q: What do you want to know for sure?
A: Nothing

~ T. T.

What I know for sure is that being is. Everything else is up for grabs.

I feel I want to add something. I've come to really enjoy deep ignorance. I do remote healing and, lately, I find myself often starting a session by going into a state of deep ignorance. I just let go of everything I think is the way it is. I just let myself wallow in not knowing what to do, or whether I even know what to do anyway, or not knowing what could be wrong with this person with whom I am engaging, or whether any of this could even work, or whether any of this matters, or what I am or am not, or whether or not there is an I for whom anything matters, etc. Then I slowly come to and make it all up as I go. That's how I do remote healing these days.

~ I. B.

What do you know for sure?

Nothing for sure, except "Knowing-Being Itself" for sure!
What is known or unknown is perceptual and conceptual, and hence I cannot say I know for sure!
What we claim to know for sure is empirical and pragmatism!

What do you want to know for sure?
Stay with Knowing-Being as I know for sure!

In other words, let Life live itself as it would!

~ P. B.

What do I know for sure? I know for sure that I know absolutely nothing! Even "I Am" I don't get. I, really, truly, truly know nothing for sure!!!

What do I want to know for sure? This question is as easy to answer as the first. There is nothing left I want to know for sure. Nothing. I'm good.

~ S. R.


And...
this month's Question:

May I make a suggestion for a question that should bring forth much insight into the power that music has in our lives. We were talking recently about the lighthearted music that makes us glad and forget our trivial troubles but we have enjoyed spiritual type, uplifting music too, that tries to remind us of some mighty truths. There are so many beloved songs that we have been blessed with that I don't know how I could narrow it down to two. But off the top of the heart, at this moment, I pick Nature Boy and Imagine. I'll bet your audience would really enjoy that spiritual, musical, exercise. I sure would like to read what others have to say about the subject.

The question could be along these lines:
Name two special songs that you have loved for many years. Why do you think these songs have had such a long time influence in your life? [Bonus points if you can provide a YouTube link to the music video]

Thanks for the monthly newsletter and best regards,
~ N. H.

Send your replies to .


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