Planet Earth

Foto by JasonWeaver, 2017

When people ask me
“Where are you from?”
I do not hesitate to respond
“From planet Earth.”

Although, I must admit,
that sometimes I
wonder if that is
the outright truth.

And if I am to be
absolutely honest here,
by the looks on their faces,
I think they often doubt it as well.

by Jason Weaver, 2017

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Śramaṇa Rising

Foto by Jason Weaver, 2017

Foto by Jason Weaver, 2017

 

(To hear the Blacksmith Tree Frog please press play)


— The day prior to a New Moon compels total abandonment and complete surrender,
a release from all fears; by becoming an empty vessel, we can be reborn in purity —

The Shaman, dressed in his intricate fine-thread garb, has lit the
sacred flames ensconced within the ornamental shrine, festooned
in floral garlands and feathery plumes, around which they all gather,
chanting mantras and prayers, echoing his verse; later he reads
to them from the ancient texts, his sacramental words.

It is a ceremony of separation — one of death and birth,
of creation and destruction, of mothers and sons, of water and stone.

— And out of the primeval murk he was born, the strands
that once connected them shorn, as man arises from earth —

In attendance is the Seeker, who sways hypnotic to the reverberate
thumps and rings, enchanted at the ritualistic flourishes of his Master’s
lashes of sacred waters, at the intoxicating scents of mystic incense.
He knows that this ceremony is as much for himself as it is for them all,
for tonight, he has shed his doubt, arriving prepared to emerge.

Abruptly, he feels a split, the is a severance, and one by one, like strings
being snipped, the Shaman’s words begin to lose all meaning and sense.

— Bearing down in a grassy field near a passing creek, a mother
delivers
her newborn son, cutting the umbilical cord with her teeth —

Opening his eyes he finds that they have all gone. He is alone in a forest clearing,
a passage, surrounded by bog, the sounds he is hearing now like so many drums
are the tympanic mating calls of male blacksmith tree frogs resonating across
the water. Where once was a fire-lit altar, he sees a patch of grassy stalks
jutting from the murk, the scents are of night-blooms, of algae, of damp.

It is done, the cycle is complete. Cleansed and unbound from his corporal and
temporal ties, he must forge a new path of unification. But for now, he must rest.

 

By Jason Weaver, 2017

Although I took artistic liberty to re-create this account, an actual ceremony was performed by my good friend and mentor Afonso Domingues on the evening of February 25th, 2017, on New Moon’s Eve. Some details in the poem are truth, while others are embellished or simply created. In this story I call him the Shamen to instill an atemporal feel to reflect that which we all surely felt. The photo was taken earlier in the evening before the ceremony. Later, I returned to this spot just as it began to get dark, and the chorus of tree frogs (Hypsibaos Faber) left me without words. It was within this context that I wanted to share with you what happened to me that evening, and how I prepared myself for the next phase of my journey. The Title Śramaṇa Rising refers to a seeker in various Indian religious movements, and among other things, fits in with the concepts of birth and death cycles, and ultimately, finding liberation from those cycles through ascetisism.
Credits:
Audio of Blacksmith Tree Frog (Hypisboas Faber) by Rodrigo Dela Rosa, accessed from amphibiaweb.org
Lunar cycle legend retrieved from http://www.lunarplanner.com/characteristics/1-New.html
Information on Śramana I retrieved from 2 sources:
http://www.wisdomlib.org/definition/%C5%9Brama%E1%B9%87a
https://www.boundless.com/world-history/textbooks/boundless-world-history-i-ancient-civilizations-enlightenment-textbook/early-civilizations-in-the-indian-subcontinent-4/religion-in-the-indian-subcontinent-25/the-sramana-movement-108-13209/

invisible / invincible

Foto by Jason Weaver, 2017

Foto by Jason Weaver, 2017

i will make myself invisible
disappear into the thin
leave behind ego and self
abrogate virtue and sin

transcend duality
this divisible quality
of other and i

i will remake myself invincible
reappear and reside within
inhabit every leaf and stone
emerge as all creatures known

transform to one
this singularity forgone
whole and complete

i make myself invisible
vanishing infinitely
i make myself invincible
vanquishing all uncertainty

By Jason Weaver, 2017

Iteration

Foto by Jason Weaver, 2017

Foto by Jason Weaver, 2017

He’s been here before,
he’s almost sure; it’s nearly the same
although some details have changed;
what once was up is now down,
left has become right,
and something in the core
has shifted slight, but the rest appears
familiar, too familiar in fact,
and that is what has tipped him off.

“Aha! a test,” silently he speaks in his head,
“now just to remember… ”
Yes, he is convinced he knows.
Well, best not be too cocky, go slow,
more than once egotism has led to strife.

“See it for what it is,” he reminds himself.
As the scene plays out before him,
he seems to watch it all externally —
from over his own left shoulder,
he sees his hands, hears his voice,
they are his, and yet somehow
…ethereal…

And almost as soon as it begins,
it ends, each voluted turn drawn
tauter, denser, quicker as
minutesdaysmonthsyears
collapse in on themselves.

Iteration–Extinction–Inception

Yes, he has been here before,
this time he is certain; it’s nearly the same,
of course some details are changed;
He sees it for what it is, an experience
sees every step he must take
on an elliptical path of existence,
every birth, every death, and
every life to be had within.

By Jason Weaver, 2017

 

In a Valley

Foto by Jason Weaver, 2017

In a valley pass, I am
LIMITLESS
like an eagle I glide
above the land,
like a fish I breathe
beneath the sea,
beyond the ego-bound
barriers of body and mind,
I am the Earth,
her chartreuse covered
contours against
cerulean skies,
I am her ruddy dust in
sun-warmed winds,
and from within,
I am light.

By Jason Weaver, 2017

Change

Leaflets_JasonWeaver_LoveMoreStudio

Leaflets– acrylic on canvas by Jason Weaver (2014)

They closed the doors
for the final time that day
to the ol’ café, you know

I worked there once, years ago
and it hadn’t much changed since the time I left, nor
much at all since well before I’d ever arrived —

a presence of permanence inside
those walls, I can yet recall a swell of laughter from behind the bar
— a grand echo of gufFAW-haw-haw-haw

and a steady clonk of heavy-heeled shoes that fall
upon the well-worn wood floorboards– the boss
tok tok tok tok tok tok tok tok tok tok tok tok

a rush–
through the open entry an endless crush
of patrons, and waiters, and busboys who hurry by
passing in and out, in and out, in and out, in

and out of a place that is no more, since
they closed the doors
for the final time that day to make way

for change.

by Jason Weaver, 2014

Original Artwork by Jason Weaver, Leaflets (2014), acrylic on canvas, 70x120cm

Poem dedicated to all of my friends and colleagues at the Van Dyke Café, whose closing played on my mind while painting this week. Ultimately, I wanted to convey a sense that change is neither good nor bad but a necessary component for our understanding of the world– repetition broken by change allows us to see events in new ways, to grow from them, to break free of them or to embrace them further. It is a sentiment that is both nostalgic for the past and hopeful for the future–and no amount of change of place can take away the friendships that we created during that time. Thank you all for the memories ~peace, Jason

LINKING up with DVERSE poet’s pub this Saturday Night— submitting this for a prompt on repetition– stop on by and join the fun!