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The Art of Memory

  The Art of Memory When we can traverse the plains of memory, stopping at each fire to warm ourselves before we start again on our journey, there is a world inside a world that keeps going on to infinity.  If we are lucky enough to hear the eternal melody that is at work in these moments, many fine hours may come upon us.   But sometimes the solace and hospitality are too much and we live with our new found companions, taking them along wherever we go, as a shadow upon our eyes.  The memories of Thoreau, or the early frontier narratives of Indian captivity, are something that I have felt eternal and unchangeable in human nature, not for any piece of information they have given me, but because my melancholy has always found peace in their environment.  For some the world is old or the world is new, but the point is that we tend to look at it through memory.  One memorable event confounds all future celebrations; we remember so as not to forget, but we do not remember that we are able t

Book Release Coming Soon!

  A new volume of poetry will be released in the very near future by Douglas Thornton.  This volume will include all original poems published and unpublished from the years 2016-2022.  Here is the description from the back of the book: 'Before the red sunrise Could catch my steps Upon the dew, Across the quiet hills They came, where sun Is last to leave And fog is first to move, And a solemn, Inward marching Awaits the moon....' A world perceived in change, a moment hidden in darkness, silent companions to our inward movements....  Who are the uninitiated?  Where do they come from?  The poems that make up this volume hold a sign of our connection to phenomena, entering into a space where chaos becomes recognition, where attention finds purpose, and ancient ritual an understanding of the present.  The more elegantly described, the more truthful feeling becomes; the more truthfully conveyed, the more closely we approach this world and come face to face with ourselves.

The House-Builder

  The House-Builder The great gulfs of time that are swallowed up before we have realized it, rather than giving means, give off discouragement.  It is disheartening to know too much, foolish to know too little, and when we try to become a part of something, the motivation is at best superficial.  There is a ruler that has been put in place, who tells us what to do for better or worse; it takes advantage of our most pleasant stupors, or calms us in arduous fires.  Unrestrained in passion or intellect, it abides by the masses, by the greatest number.  The Buddha saw this and said:  For many lives I have wandered Looking for, but not finding, The house-builder Who caused my suffering. But now you are seen And you shall build no more. Your rafters are dislodged And the ridge-pole is broken. All craving is ended; My heart is one with the unmade. Dhammapada 153-154 Douglas Thornton

Obscured Perspective

  Obscured Perspective The mind is often willing to addiction, as if it were yearning for the exterior world to give something back to its character.   It keeps repeating, bringing out of the dark hole a renewed energy to go forward with what we cannot let go of.  But how does it measure what is given to us by experience, when we cannot place a finger on what it has done?  Why is there always something rather than something else, or nothing?  More often than not, the something that is in the mind becomes annoying or compels us in a foolish way.  We like to judge, but when judgement comes to pass, does the true face of our dilemma shine through?  Even though our experiences and encounters may be deep and comprehensive, it is just that there is always an obscured perspective.  Wisdom is not only about what appears and re-appears, but what vanishes; if it leaves then it can no longer obscure; clarity is what has not yet appeared.  We never watch it leave, but always await its coming. Doug

Newly Published Poetry: The Water-Carrier

  Who is the Water-Carrier?  There is a story the Buddha told of a criminal who was ordered to walk through a crowd with a jug full of water on his head while an officer marched behind ready to behead the man if one drop of water were to fall out.  Many thought this a most difficult task, but the Buddha said it was easy for the man who did it with a right mind.  How, then, do we carry our burden? Please read a newly published poem at the following link:  The Water-Carrier by Douglas Thornton

Unpublished Poetry Series: The Field-Watcher

  The Field-Watcher When in the shadows of the passing day A seat is found, asleep in calm Soundness, as activity of the mind Cease, and the slow and wavy dreams Of reality vanish by timeless Art, he who observes the secrets Of the fast-forgotten world finds purpose Insensible to sleep, remnant Of future life.  The fullness of the stars Softly infuse the distant sky With rays of obscure light, the horizon Ever holds the dawn in glimmer. Douglas Thornton 2018