BY E.J. OAKLORE
Before I knew who I was, I knew the poetry inside me. It was the universe that breathed this life into me when my spirit was given its song, and all my soul to the ancient Bards’ vision owes a debt. A debt I pay with a grateful heart when I am able to gaze across a landscape and be inspired by its simple beauty, juxtaposed with a complex grace, and I am gifted with the passion to write about it. Where is a person’s sacrifice who cannot celebrate the song inside of them, the song formed from the very Divine breath of life that is its’ muse and music? And do we not all of us owe to the Gods who made us, an always present sacrifice of some simple part of ourselves? That part of us that might else be occupied by something other than gratefulness for the life we’re given?
So life is given by Divine hands, and by its touch we are made whole; that is to awaken to our interconnection with everything and everyone in all creation. For all things that pass from the memory of man are retained forever in the memory of the universe. And so we none of us truly pass from this existence; we only pass instead from the sight of it. And there, in that sometimes-intangible truth, we are all a part of each other, and all akin to every spirit who has ever come before us, and ever will follow after us. Is it not one of the deeper gifts of our existence that we are capable of such a thing as a dream? In particular, a hopeful vision of a world where every person could be inspired by the simplest expressions of life, and find in that inspiration the capacity to treat all living things as their kin? Where we find our spirit’s inner song, its own natural rhythm, is a matter of where we find that truth; that we are not alone, and we are none of us orphans, that the very Earth herself is not only the cradle of our existence, but is mother to us all.
Such was the purpose of the ancient Bard, and so is the continuing quest of the modern sage and poet, to keenly characterize the triumph of a spirit when it is awakened to the truth of its existence, or finds the passion to lend its song to the choir of the tribe of Earth. It is the ability of the poet to find expression for the natural and endless current of emotional momentum inside us, which I call the ‘inner song’ of the human spirit. And because not all of us can find that expression, the very idea of it, the content of it where that expression becomes real and tangible, even when it is not our own, can renew and enrich us.
So by this notion, what is poetry? Poetry is both song and sonnet; it is creativity and reactivity; it is the wisdom of the sage, and the artistry of the student whose mind is shaped by it. It is the inner fire of the Sun and the music of the rain, the whisper of the mountains and the grace of the wild Earth; it is the song of the soul who observes Nature and sees divinity there; the expressions of those who observe all things in heaven and earth and look with wonder upon them.
It must be understood that poetry is not merely the effect of tasking one’s mind with the expression of lyrical thought. It is not so simple a thing as can be written, read, memorized or experienced in any other way by such outward means. Not all poetry is words on a page.
A great counselor—in actual fact, my own mother—once said to me, “Within the soul of man is the poetry of the universe; if one could just reach out and grasp it.”
So it stands to reason then that every creature is, in effect, a poet; by means of expressing the consciousness of the universe—its poetry—through every breath, every heartbeat, every thought and every deed. We express through our very existence, and all at once intentionally, unintentionally, rationally and irrationally, creatively and re-actively, the rhythm of the infinite and expanding universe. Our very life force is the poetry of the universe. Its consciousness and eternal memory are a part of us, and our lives are its expression. Indeed our lives are the very expression of divine creativity.