Tulsi Sahib

INTRODUCTION

Here we have the long and the short of it. The single voiced utterance, not unlike Ella Fitzgerald at her finest, deft and effortless. Metaphysical metaphor: the chanter of beads, recurring enlightenments filled by seeing. I am making events my mother. Condensed darkness – turning over slowly and without comfort – and mighty display: My worlds swing out from me like spider babies. This is the poem as snowflake but tinted, running with hues; perception as interactive force fields. Maybe memory, too.

Tripidium has people with names (Sal and may, Paul and Ted) and stories but they’re all kept in a dark larder of jars. Whole orchards rather than solitary fruit. I, too, have come across degenerate, violating zeuses (but kept my distance). Soon they were whirling together bound by their own emanations. Ah, yes. Yet the clear, cool distillation is still there: Watching her attempt to become the Martin Luther King of the laundry room, though giving out an atmosphere of an unpredictable Caligula was a wonder for me. I love the stream god and his toll system. Only the children go toll-free.

The short poems are like diving into soft pools and there’s nothing round about except sky and the close bushes and the cry of unseen birds. Tripidium is a river journey with all the widening out and narrowing down that destiny brings.

By happenstance, as I was writing this, I came across a declaration by Tulsi Sahib (North Indian mystic, early 19th century):

The soul hears a wave of sound and rhythm that becomes visible from the west. It opens the door – unspeakable, indescribable. Going beyond rhythm and sight, one enters the gate of the tower of emptiness, where by means of the two doors of sight and sound one finds the level of highest reality (parbrahma). Then one sees the sound current issuing forth hundreds of universes, and sound penetrates to the middle of them all, their crown jewel, which is tiny as an insect.

Yes, it’s a bit strange, a bit technical. Yet it rings with direct seeing. Sophia could have written it – and she’s never heard of Tulsi.

Praise be.

ANDREW RAWLINSON.

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