Saturday, June 21, 2008
Intense solstice light spreads across the river valley. It’s a sleepy kind of day in what Brisbane residents call mid-winter. Coming from southern climes, this seems like a warm spring day. There is a hint of coolness in the delicate breeze; but the heat is pervasive, especially out of the shade. In Brisbane there is very little respite from the daunting summer sun. Happily that is still a few weeks away.
Last night a large orange not-quite-full-moon rose slowly above the hill. It looked magnificent as it heralded in the longest night. I watched as stars began to sprinkle the darkening canopy with bursts of lumino-esssence until the sky was sponged all over with lustrous clusters. What stood out were the two white pointers of the Southern Cross, alpha and beta Centauri, shining even more prominently than those of its emblematic cousin. While high in the sky flowed the dazzling river of stars, the Milky Way.
American poet and global justice activist Drew Dellinger writes in one of his magical poems the laws of earth and objects of feeling the 'strange music' of the heart of this dazzling skyway.
'at the core of the Milky Way there's a black hole with a ring of blue
stars around it
at the core of the Milky Way there's a black hole with a ring of blue
stars around it
does anyone else feel this strange music?'
Dellinger's poetry talks about the ineffable, the spiritual quest and the necessity of merging environmental activism with social justice. He believes that the terms cosmos and justice are synonymous with beauty and uses his beautiful words and his commitment to action to move the hearts of those who feel the 'strange music', where his voice intermingles with the voice of the cosmos.
A performance poet, as well as a reflective activist, Dellinger features on several online sites. In one titled The Poetry of Gratefulness 08, I find his breathtaking and passionate Love Letter to the Milky Way and these words explode off the screen: 'I inherit the voice of the Milky Way in dreams.' It touches me deeply.
So I search among other sites and find a copy of this most powerful poem whose lines ripple with the flow of the Brisbane River as I walk along its edge on this shortest day. It is indeed a homage to the starlight, to the cosmos, to the intimate confluence of human and nature, and to his passion for the planet.
Love Letter the the Milky Way
'I want to tell you about love
There are approximately 1 trillion galaxies
I want to tell you about
In the Milky Way there are about 100 billion stars
I want to tell you
Love is the breath of the cosmos
I want to write a love letter to the Milky Way
Everything is an expression of the galaxy
My 30 trillion cells
The four noble truths
The eight - fold path
The five precepts
The seven energy centers of the body
Everything is the Milky Way
Including my lover,
and every kiss
of every lover that’s ever
the texture of the cosmos
the religion beyond religion
I want to know you like the wind knows the canyon
or the rain knows the rivulets
Lightening is continuously striking in 100 places every moment
The universe spills through our dreams
The future belongs to the most compelling story
Even the word "love"
is not adequate to define
the force that wove
the fabric of
If we could sense everything at once
like Krishna entering with all the memory of his past
then I could tell you about love.'