poetry by Rod Hemsell

How to measure the swirls between the stones:

Let your gaze relax into the width
and breadth of the stream that you see

Where you sit and listen to the crashing falls
above and below the wideness of your view

Gazing upon the ever-flowing patterns
ever-changing now within your vision

When your vision embraces their flow
and your stillness becomes their endlessly swirling change.

You are the smoothness of the stones
and the swirling patterns of vision and sound

You are the continuous moving swirls
that recur within the limits of your gaze

You are the stones that limit the water’s flow
and give you the measure of its change:

Ever the same in the stillness of your gaze,
ever-changing in its foaming crashing flow;

In the sameness of stone and the water’s continuous change,
you are the oneness and the difference that you know,

Like the difference between an enemy and a friend,
or the difference between a pleasure and a pain,

The positive and negative poles of experience
whose valences and reversals hold your vision steady

Unchanged by the river that flows between the stones
smooth and unmoving as the constant patterns of life,

When you step away and stand above the stream of time
Viewing all in the stillness of your unifying gaze;

The river swirls between the stones, forever the same,
revealing forever its constant patterns of change.

The stones will always be there directing the force of the stream
Like ideas in the riverbed of time, your life the current swirling between them.