Profoundly Found

For the pseudonymous poet, Watt, who brought this phrase to mind.  And so many other images.


I am profoundly found commented a poet recently.  He was travelling at the time.


One evening, late, the poet came down from the net and, without asking, in the insouciant manner of poets, crossed over into my private domains. On my screens and in my mind.  (More and more the same thing?)


I recall wondering what would happen when he is in my kindgom: a floating expanse of sensibilities: the great crested grebe, the only rose native to Africa: the  Abyssinian Yellow; the Aravalli Hills.  John Donne. 



I am profoundly found.

This is a phrase of which I am very fond. Not for the events of another person’s life.  But of my own.  

As I am fond of poetry.  That is where I discerned that I have several homes offering a profound finding, a foundation.


Homes of physical shelter.  The ambient world, its trees, people, suggestions, gestures, food, culture, paving stones, smiles; and ambiguities to let me pass unnoticed.


Threshhold also, particularly of a stage reached in the spiritual/emotional life.


All to have survived and even (mostly) flourished me my whole life.









Two Poems of the Profoundly Found for the Poet. 

Or for us.


From Time in the Rock, or Preludes to Definition XI, 1936

 Conrad Aiken, 1879-1973, American



Mysticism, but let us have no words,
angels, but let us have no fantasies,
churches, but let us have no creeds,
no dead gods hung in crosses in shop,
nor beads nor prayers nor faith nor sin nor penance:
and yet, let us believe, let us believe.


Let it be the flower
seen by the child for the first time, plucked without
broken for love and as soon forgotten:


and the angels, let them be our friends,
used for our needs with selfish simplicity,
broken for love and as soon forgotten;


and let the churches be our houses
defiled daily, loud with discord,–
where the dead gods that were our selves may hang,
our outgrown gods on every wall;
Christ on the mantelpiece, with downcast eyes;
Buddha above the stove;
the Holy Ghost by the hatrack, and God himself
staring like Narcissus from the mirror,
clad in a raincoat, and with hat and gloves.


Mysticism, but let it be a flower,
let it be the hand that reaches for the flower,
let it be the flower that imagined the first hand,
let it be the space that removed itself to give place
for the hand that reaches, the flower to be reached–
let it be self displacing self
as quietly as a child lifts a pebble,
as softly as a flower decides to fall,–
self replacing self
as seed follows flower to earth.




Opening onto a Vast Plain from The Book of Hours (1905) 

Rainer Maria Rilke, 1875-1926, Bohemia (Austro-Hungary)

Translated by Joanna Macy translated with Anita Barrows



You are not surprised at the force of the storm—
you have seen it growing.
The trees flee. Their flight
sets the boulevards streaming. And you know:
he whom they flee is the one
you move toward. All your senses
sing him, as you stand at the window.


The weeks stood still in summer.
The trees’ blood rose. Now you feel
it wants to sink back
into the source of everything. You thought
you could trust that power
when you plucked the fruit:
now it becomes a riddle again
and you again a stranger.


Summer was like your house: you know
where each thing stood.
Now you must go out into your heart
as onto a vast plain. Now
the immense loneliness begins.


The days go numb, the wind
sucks the world from your senses like withered leaves.

Through the empty branches the sky remains.
It is what you have.
Be earth now, and evensong.
Be the ground lying under that sky.
Be modest now, like a thing
ripened until it is real,
so that he who began it all
can feel you when he reaches for you.




The Himalayan Poppy, Longwood, Pennsylvania














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