The Soul of the Universe

David Wiley


I. Variety

There is sameness in differentness

and difference in sameness,

thus all things are born

to live as variously as possible,

thus all things are made

to be related.

Having encountered worlds within worlds

and guided them into the still

currents of Being,

I follow now the tumult of rivers,

thunderstruck by the serenity

of canyon walls

and the quick certain movements

            of birds and fish

leading me into that cauldron

            of eternal novelty

where a golden cloud

            surrounding the world

            follows overhead,

and all the new colors and sounds

leap forward

on wings of desire,

to take me

            to the hinterlands of understanding,

Into the mind of newborn music

where I may dwell long enough

to taste the infinite ways

            of its becoming.



II. Exploration

In newness there is oldness

and in oldness there is newness,

thus we do explore in all directions,

thus we search in time and place.

I have walked with unlikely caravans

and journied

            into the penumbras of darkness,

I have danced once or twice

            on the tongues of the sun

and drifted lightly

            through the rainbow’s

            careful unfolding.

Comets have been

            my occasional companions,

and as a youth

            I loved gazing at lakes

hovering above the mountaintops

and clouds hovering below them.

Too many times I have failed

            to take the path untaken,

too many times the compass

has whirled me onto a stage

            without actors.

But when summonses came

from faraway places

I embraced at once

            those haunted voices

whispering lyrics

as urgent as thunder

as ancient as rain

telling me

I have come too far

and given

            much too much

to cease my explorations.



III. Reflection

Within reflection there is revelation

and in revelation there is reflection,

thus we live and learn

            in the prisms of our own making

thus we discover ourselves

            in an unknown land

where a hall of mirrors

            awaits us.

All the stories I have told

            and retold,

all the traumas of waking and sleeping

now mix and reverberate

and seek to be washed away

in the quiet mouth of the river

where at last I am free

from the merciless charms

            of the torrent.

Now I float

            between heaven and sea

bearing witness

            to a strange romance:

the sky and the ocean are old lovers

forever looking at each other

            in each other’s mirrors,

forever mingling in uninhabited

            latitudes and meridians,

forever singing to each other

            in shades of blue.

Let them carry me

            to their marriage bed

where I may lie down

and feel their boundless passion

bring forth new life.



IV.  Seeds In the Heart of Everything

With every beginning

            there is an end

and with every end a beginning,

thus we recite our words

            in sequence,

thus we end our songs

            as we began them.

Having learned in places

            far from universities

that our planet is a seed

I return now to those

            mysterious tributaries

where fertility and imagination


where the drama is written

            anew every day

and things that live in the sunlight

            want to fly.

I will dig my toes

            into the mud

and become a cornstalk

or a sunflower.

I will play sly tricks on madness.

Leaves of grass

            will be my accomplices

and usher me

            into the heart of chaos,

the place where countless creatures

            yet undreamed

are waiting to be fed,

the place where civilizations

            made of light

are waiting to be born.



V.  Adrift In A Sea of Unknown Familiars

In familiarity there is strangeness

and in strangeness familiarity,

thus we become acquainted

with what we cannot see,

thus the unknown winks at us

throughout the day.

Once having seen all the tapestries

            and building blocks

and beckoned rare colors

            from the Four Quarters,

now only the ancient has meaning,

as all novelty is but oblivion

and returns to what it was

or might have been.

I want to dance

            with the sacred confusion

and with it

make something splendid

something our grandmothers

            might have admired

something our ancestors

would have engraved

            on the face of a shield

or a block of wood

            above the doorway,

something returned from the dead

to be alive as never before,

bearing gifts and wonders

carried on magenta barges

drifting silently

along the fog-encrusted banks

            of a river circling itself,

where the words of poems long-forgotten

fall like raindrops

            into the current

and become the sea,

become another time and place,

the scene of rearrangements

            more astounding

than a colony of geese

performing Much Ado About Nothing.

Let them take a bow

while the cosmos applauds

with novas


big bangs

red giants

and dazzling spirals,

all the fireworks

            we knew were there

when we gazed up

            into the darkness

and beheld an endless garden

            of unearthly delights

waiting to be cultivated

by gardeners

who might be ourselves.

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Scene4 Magazine - David Wiley

David Wiley, painter-poet, exhibits throughout
California and abroad. A book about his work,
The Poetry of Color, is in progress.
To inquire about David Wiley's paintings, click here.
For more of his paintings, poetry and articles,
Check the Archives

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©2016 David Wiley
©2016 Publication Scene4 Magazine




February 2016

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