"Wheels Turning Inward" is a is a rich collection of over fifty poems, following a poet’s mythic and spiritual journey that crosses easily onto the paths of many contemplative traditions. The artwork at the top of this page, is one image found in the Gordon Moore Memorial stain glass window at Trinity Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas, by the artist Kim Clark Renteria. The image of these three circles, is emblematic of both the Trinity and the title for this new collection of poetry now available from Friesen Press.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Mockingbird's Song

There are moments,
like this morning,
when my heart is so full
it has become the song of the

Mockingbird singing outside our windows.
Who may sing at any time day or night, its song
of wonder and making.
Who is binding the world together

with each single and heart-making note, whose
songs are as bright as God's love for all of creation.
It is 4:42 AM precisely now,
at such and such longitude and latitude.
(29° 48' 22'' N 95° 23' 47'' W)

And I am sitting in a chair
typing as quickly as I can these
words arising out of the emptiness
of my own being, alive with wonder.

So that no single word may escape the
gesture of my mind, which in this
moment is like a razor's edge,
sharp and clearly defined.

The Mockingbird is still singing its song,
which you may easily imagine moving up through its
gentle heart, and throat, and out through
its voice, to spin again and again

up and around this fragile world, our home.
The song of its being is still winding its way
into the many mansions of my heart,
opening my heart to the mystery of its word and voice.

On Friday afternoon our neighbor delivered to Joanne,
a bouquet of lilies from her garden, Easter Lilies in May.
Oh, more than a dozen I can picture now.
And then yesterday Joanne brought home

even more flowers.
Carnations and mums for church today,
so the house is full of their fragrance,
along with the smell of my morning coffee.

If the self is constantly changing,
from one moment to the next
as my Buddhist friends tell me.
If the self is so impermanent as

to be not-self, or no-self, anattā (uhn-uht-tah).
Why is it then that I feel so
completely and utterly
alive in this very moment?

Why is it that I can still
hear the song of the mockingbird
entering my heart?
Raising it up again and again

like a sacrament,
to the wonders of creation,
to this gift we call life.
Why is it that this one song never

seems to leave me from
one hallowed moment to the next?
Why is the song more, much more,
than a vague and distant memory?

Maybe as the Buddha suggests, this is
a question we should put aside for now, not to worry.
And just to be as we are, to answer or say neither
yes or no, to live in the mystery perhaps.

Still, wherever you may be this morning, whatever
you may be doing, stop now. Stop and take one
deep breath, breathing in slowly and fully, and out once again.
Stop, and realize if nothing else, that you are alive.

And that within your own heart is the same song, of
the same mockingbird, in the very same tree outside our window
that is singing through our own hearts, binding us
together as one human family, a family of humanity.

Let this one moment become a beginning, a healing,
a grace, a passage from one human heart to the next. Where
the world is made new and whole, where we know who we
are with a certainty marked by compassion.

Where we come to see Christ, and even the Buddha, alive in one another.

Ron Starbuck