yd tor yd yd


poems and photographs 439

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another poem and photograph every weekday. Or so.

(photographs: Tom Davis)

Thursday, 27 July, 2017







God himself...


God himself, the Father and fashioner of all that is, older than the sun or the sky, greater than time and eternity and all the flow of being, is unnameable by any lawgiver, unutterable by any voice, not to be seen by any eye.

But we, yearning for the knowledge of him, and in our weakness being unable to apprehend his essence, use the help of sounds and names and pictures, of beaten gold and ivory and silver, of plants and rivers, mountain peaks and torrents, naming all that is beautiful in this world after his nature--

Just as happens to earthly lovers. To them the most beautiful sight will be the actual lineaments of the beloved, but for remembrance sake they will be happy in the sight of a lyre, a little spear, a chair, perhaps, or a running ground, or anything in the world that wakens the memory of the Beloved.

Why should I further examine and pass judgement about images? Let men know what is divine. Let them know: that is all.

If a Greek is stirred to the remembrance of god by the art of Pheidias, an Egyptian by paying worship to animals, another man to a river, another by fire, I have no anger for their divergences.

Only let them know, let them love, let them remember.


Maximus of Tyre

For Sarah Verney, taking her vows.






Wednesday, 26 July, 2017


thorns 2





the flame of the thorn

more the idea of the flame than the flame,
as in: the flame

of the rose petal, the flame of the thorn
the sun is a flame


From Nick Flynn, Fire.






Tuesday, June 25th, 2017









'Twas the old road -- through pain --
That unfrequented one --
With many a turn -- and thorn --
That stops -- at Heaven.


From Emily Dickinson, 'Twas the old road






Monday, June 24, 2017







be a lamp unto yourself


As the Buddha was dying, Ananda asked who would be their teacher after his death. He replied:

"Be a lamp unto yourself. Be a refuge unto yourself. Take for yourself no external refuge. Hold fast to the truth as a lamp. Hold fast to the truth as a refuge. Don't look for a refuge in anyone besides yourself.

And those, Ananda, who, either now or after I am dead, shall be a lamp unto themselves, shall betake themselves to no external refuge, but, holding fast to the truth as their lamp, holding fast to the truth as their refuge, shall not look for refuge to anyone else besides themselves, it is they who shall reach to the very topmost height. But they must be eager to learn."


From The Mahaparinibbana Sutta, retranslated by Tom Davis







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