Monday, December 10, 2012

Old Man On The Cliff

One day,
A sinner sought out
A holy man who
Lived on a deserted island.

After securing his boat,
He found the holy man
Sitting on a cliff
Looking over the raging sea.

When the holy man
Noticed the sinner,
He bowed deeply
In the direction
Of the sea then
Turned to his visitor.

"Greetings one who is most holy,
I, a sinner, seek your wisdom,"
The young man said.

"Tell me, are you truly a sinner?"
Asked the holy man,
"And why do you say
That I am most holy?"

The man hesitated,
The sound of the sea
Filling the silence.

"I have sinned,
I was told that
I am a sinner."

"Many have told me
That you are a holy man,"
He answered.

"Is this rough?"
The older man asked,
Gesturing at the waters
Beyond the cliff.

"Why, yes,
Look how it crashes
Against the rock,
It is indeed rough."

"But is it not
The same as that
That exists over there
By your boat?
That is so calm and still."

The waves crashed
Against the rock,
Spraying them with
A fine mist.

The old man nodded,
He pulled a mat
From a bundle at his feet,
Handing it to his visitor.

He sat down on his own mat,
Waiting patiently for the other man
To do the same.
He studied the younger man.

"You are not a sinner.
I am not most holy.
We are more than our actions.
We are greater than such labels,
Because like this body before us,
We are fluid and ever changing."

"Strip away all your labels,
Those given to you by
Others and by yourself,
Then tell me who you are."

The old man sat
Facing the horizon
Waiting for the man's answer.

The sun travelled
Across the sky, slipping
Into the horizon, and
Still the man said nothing.

When the old man looked
At his visitor, he say
Tears on his visitor's face.
"I am nothing."

"You are nothing and
Everything. And this,
My friend, is by the beginning.
Come, it is too late
To travel back.
We will talk inside."

By morning,
The older man imparted
All he knew. He knew
He could speak
But it was for
The young man to listen.

As he walked with
The young man to the boat,
He bent down and
Scooped up water.

"Be like water,
Be fluid and constant,
It is the water
That carves the rock
And it is water
That sates our thirst."

The man sailed away
And the old man nodded,
The seed had been planted,
He can only hope that
The young man nourishes it
And allows it to grow.

He nodded once more
And dissolved into the water.
Only taking form when
His wisdom was being sought,
When one needed to be
Guided to their greatness.

Submitted to imaginary garden with real toads and dVerse Poets


Brian Miller said...

there is some delicious wisdom in this...i am nothing and everything...i really like the way that you told it as a give much to think on...and i enjoyed it...

Mary said...

Very interesting poem....with much to reflect on. Interesting that he only took form when his wisdom was being sought. I think this is a good lesson really. We cannot find wisdom unless we look for it....from a wise person or a holy book or anywhere else. We have to be open to receive, and this is the wisdom I took from this poem.

Teresa said...

What a wonderful tale you tell. There is much wisdom here.

Herotomost said...

Whoooop!!!!! Great parable, I find it most pleasing on a Great work.

Susie Clevenger said...

A lot of wisdom shared so creatively. Interesting concept, "he only took form when wisdom was being sought." Nice work!

Kerry O'Connor said...

I love a well-paced narrative with wisdom to impart, and this has all of that. It is a most enjoyable read.

We are more than our actions.
We are greater than such labels...

Abin Chakraborty said...

This is almost a parable.very well written.

Tatius T. Darksong said...

Really great read,wisdom found here also.

semaya said...

you are a secret Sufi

Lady In Read said...

We are more than our actions.
We are greater than such labels,

Then tell me who you are...

these lines persuade me to do the same:) so well written and so much wisdom here.

rumoursofrhyme said...

There is so much wisdom here - especially in the line "tell me who you are." Knowing who we are is the first step towards becoming who we want to be.

M. A. S. said...

I like the prose approach to this.