SWALLOWING THE MOON
Poems

PREFACE
     
     
      Writing poetry is one way I express my love and devotion to the Presence of the Unknown She, the Divine Light of the (non-gendered) feminine principle of God. For most of my life She was hidden inside of my heart. But now this Light is no longer hidden. Itís the illumination of my life and She has entered the realm of my consciousness. Every morning and night I wake up in Her Presence.
      This is not the same light as the sun. Itís the quality of Light that has never been touched by fire. Itís the Light (Love) that illuminates the empty, black space in the universe. The same quality of Light in every particle of dust and every drop of water in the oceans, rivers, ponds, streams and lakes--itís in the concrete surrounding shopping malls. Itís the hidden Light through which Her creation becomes manifest--the Light within the heart of every human being.
      Sheís the Light that IS for those who have eyes that see. Her wisdom IS for those who have ears that hear. In previous times, only the initiated had access that kind of perception, but now She is present in a new way, available to anyone who sincerely seeks the Truth. One only has focus their attention inward and listen. When I listen, She speaks to me in poetry.
      I first heard about Maata Lynn Barron five years ago when I was visiting friends in California. I was told that she had experienced a total annihilation of the small self or ego. Immediately my heart quickened, and I knew that I had to meet this woman who carries the transmission of the Unknown She. I knew that she was a saint, and she was someone I had been waiting to meet for as long as I can remember.
      I finally met Lynn a year later, when she and another friend gave a day retreat in the living room of a friendís house on the Pt. Reyes Peninsula. Lynn spoke very little that day. As far as I was concerned Lynn didnít ever need to speak. The silence that emanated from and around her filled my heart with joy and gladness. I was embodied in Truth. Words would have been a distraction from the immediacy of my experience. This kind of energy impacts the heart, not the mind. From Heart to Heart It moves faster than the speed of light.
      Several more years passed. I took the opportunity to sit with Lynn once or twice during that time, whenever I could. Then she and another friend came to Taos, NM, during the summer to give a three-day retreat. At that time Lynn discovered that I wrote poetry, and she asked me to sit in front to the group that evening and read some of my poems. Lynn was using me to make a point to me and everyone else attending the retreat that most of us are further along in our spiritual unfoldment than we realize.
      The moment I started reading my poem, I felt the power of the transmission go through my body. I was filled with Light. Someoneís voice (mine, of course) was reading the words to my poem. I heard the sound echoing from the back of the darkened room. I was dimly aware that I was the reader but at the same time, whoever ďI ď had become felt completely detached from the reader.
            From that moment on, writing devotional poetry to the Unknown She became my spiritual practice. I get up at four AM and meditate until a little after dawn. Then for the next three hours, I wait in front of my computer screen for poems to emerge. Sometimes words appear in a poem that come not from me, but from a hidden resource inside my heart.
      Through this practice I experience Her Presence unfolding wisdom inside of me. Slowly I am becoming aware of who She is, of Her attributes of beauty, goodness and wisdom. In me She lives predominantly as Joy and Peace; sometimes Her sweetness enters my heart.
      I am an ordinary person, perhaps like you, who always longed for something that seemed to be always just beyond my reach. I waited for sixty-five years before I discovered the Source of my longing. It wasnít another relationship, recognition as an artist; it wasnít a journey to a foreign country or living in exotic Hawaii, or (although this is a source of great pleasure) watching my grandchildren grow up
      What I longed to experience (not in the abstract, intellectual, Ďskim milkí way, but as a visceral, organic, sweet -clover cream taste of the REAL) was The Reality of Light, Love, Joy, Peace and Wisdom hidden in my heart--the same Secret hidden that is in the hearts of all human beings, the Treasure of Love longing to be unveiled. And I wanted to be able to connect with other people through the same Light, whether it was awake in them or asleep. Nobody is completely asleep. Love, our true nature, reveals our hidden Self to us in the most surprising ways.
      On earth things are never as they appear. Once we awaken to Her Light, we see with our eyes that see how suffering, sorrow, disillusion, despair and separation are veils that we project upon the Divine Reality of Love within ourselves. This unconscious distortion of Reality reflects the same collective anti-life illusions upon others, our living planet and all creatures upon it.
      Her Presence inside each one of us, made conscious by an act of Grace, transforms the illusions and distortions into peace, gnosis-wisdom-Light, that Reality which is Love, the root of our origin. These poems are my way of bearing witness to that transformational Presence of the Unknown She alive in all of us.
     
                  Seen and unseen
                  Love moves eternity in
                  And down through us
                  As consciousness unfolds
      Herself to Herself, darkly
                  And lightly--
                  Light upon Light
                 
      Mysterious One,
                  Light the world with your Luminous Face
                  The hidden Face we are becoming--
                  Same as our enemies Face
                  Unfolds through time,
                  The way we looked
                  Before we were born
      --Alicia Otis
      Santa Fe, New Mexico