By William T. Hathaway
“Seek and ye shall find,”
I keep telling myself,
seeking along in my sneakers,
trying to find the way back to you,
my source, course and goal.
The path gets steeper
as I clamber over scree slopes of past deeds.
In this deep karma the sneakers have no hold,
so I boot it in hobnails
until the path disappears midway
into flinty rocks of despair.
The sun drops, light deserts me,
but in the dark night my soles
strike sparks from the flint
to show the way. But I stray
and am lost. I cry out,
and the sound bounces back from you,
steering me by sonic echoes.
Again I slip away, and they fade.
Bereft of hope, I can only surrender.
Body sinks to the ground;
mind sinks to its ground –
awareness without thought,
consciousness without an object.
There, humming and glowing, is your name,
Shivaya, leading me on. I follow your mantra
like a radar beacon deeper and deeper,
staying on your beam beyond matter and mind
into the transcendent. There I expand
into my true Self, which is you
– Shiva-Devi-Krishna-Buddha-Jesus –
my lord and redeemer,
the one all-pervading, all-encompassing Self
manifesting and masquerading as the universe.
As soon as I’m with you,
I think, “Wonderful!”
And you’re gone.
But tomorrow I’ll again seek and find,
going beyond body and thought into samadhi.
Gradually I’ll abide longer,
and eventually in enlightenment
I’ll never leave you
because I’ll embody you.
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About the poet
William T. Hathaway’s books won him a Rinehart Foundation Award and a Fulbright professorship in creative writing. His peace novel, Summer Snow, is the story of an American warrior falling in love with a Sufi Muslim and learning from her that higher consciousness is more effective than violence.