4.02.2014

At my desk

At my desk i am a copilot.

My vista is grand; i see beyond the
horizon.

The instrument panel
topped with talismans
(family photos, coasters,
a clock that actually ticks)

Directs my sight
Inward and outward,
Before and beyond.

i am only three stories above
a parking lot
Beside train tracks
And an office park,

But i fly
Toward meaning
High above myself

One breath at a time.

--Mr. Gobley

2.20.2014

In Praise of Fog

In preventing clear sight, you encourage insight,
O mist of memory.
You are a galaxy of water in a universe of air;
You introduce us to the mystery of short horizons
And the ever-present possibility of
Revelation.

When you descend upon us--
We that are on land,
We that are warm,
That do not struggle for our very lives--

You whisper a secret,
Promise a new truth:
That when the curtain is lifted,
And the old truth is renewed,

We will newly understand
That what is brief is beautiful,
What is shrouded
Is sure to return.

--Mr. Gobley

1.23.2014

Where the time goes

Inside the smallest movement
time lives not, and yet is breathing.
The world, made up of worlds itself,
is a life-death interweaving.

World unknown to its own self,
it unfurls by means of a breath,
to coil again within the world
of whatever self is left.

Our shoulder to the wheel of time,
we labor toward an ending.
But we cannot change the wheel's course,
unerrant and unbending.

A shard that glows will soon grow dark
and drown in the ink of night.
And here, we're taken up by time,
subsumed within its light.

Sloughing off our parchment skin,
our scaffolding of bone,
we see at last what's lit within:
our light, but not our own.

Time goes to the end of all things,
which is where all things begin;
coiling at last upon itself,
it is gone --
and here again.

--Mr. Gobley


12.25.2013

The Highest Light

The highest light is the light within.
Descending, we ascend and win
The heavens, though they distant be,
Reposing here 'twixt you and me.

Our coldest season lights the spark
That vanquishes the roiling dark;
Our blindness ebbs toward understanding,
Furnishing the view commanding:

We constitute a constellation--
But bound up in our situation,
We see, but do not comprehend,
And strive, unto the bitter end.

Exhausted by the endless push
We never see the burning bush;
What would be the path we took,
Had we but turned aside to look?

Every tree's already lit,
Awake within, and ponder it.
Look beyond, and look again--
Perhaps you'll understand it then:


Every light is the light within,
And every thought its distant twin;
Immortal is our evanescence,
Our orbit is our very essence.


--Mr. Gobley

12.01.2013

In Praise of a Splinter

Between the ridges of a fingerprint,

A microscopic javelin:

You have to hold up the finger

Against a dark background

Even to see it.


And yet, each time you brush it,

The whole body thrums with a

Warning, a plea:

A need.


You ask yourself:


How can something so small

So alter my outlook?

How can the barely visible

Be so unbearably insistent?


Your day is filled with such splinters.


Do you not see how finely woven you are --

How the plucking of one nerve

Awakens you to the vulnerability,

The sensitivity,

The dangerous thrill

Of simply

Being?


My splinter was the shaft

That split open my slumber.

The tiny opening it made

Let a world pour in.


i thank it.


--Mr. Gobley

Prayer After Giving Thanks

One moment of respite
Within the womb of plenty
Is worth a lifetime of gratitude.

Please teach me to give thanks
When I am bereft,
To sing hymns of praise
When I am abandoned,

And to remember the bounty
Of breath
In that instant
When it
Ceases.

--Mr. Gobley

9.09.2013

Before the screen

Before the screen there was the page, the scroll, the tablet, the stone.

There was a way of seeing--understanding, envisioning, comprehending-- through reading, first for a select few, then a few more; then everyone who could read had the chance to "revise," remake, the world.

Then the mind's eye became a screen, and the screen was outside the mind, and the screen became the mind's eye.

Then the mind ceased to be a mind.

Then everyone had a screen.

And no one had a mind.

--Mr. Gobley


7.19.2013

The First Cup of Memory

The first cup of memory
Fills the throat
With sorrow and expectation

The veins with the fuel of longing
Regret

Anticipation is Time's trollop
But memory is her angel
With the ever-turning sword.

Each present moment
Holds more past-ness;
The past grows more present.

As i look out the window
On the rising heat of the day,
I drink the first cup of memory

And turn toward my desk.

--Mr. Gobley