Saturday, August 15, 2009


[ * There are 20 pieces of writing on the mystical
path in this blog: essays, articles and poems.
The 'blog archive' or Table of Contents
is located below the tall, narrow image at left.
Click on a white triangle to open it. *


Images and Text  
© Copyright 2018 by Neall Calvert

House of Jewels   (c) 2018 by N.C.


         If My Hands . . .         
Turn Crosses into Art
Midlife In Three Chapters
Unwakeable Sleeping Infant  
    To A New, Spiritual Family       

The Man Outside My Door
'Cultivate Ordinariness'
The One I Cannot See

Campbell River above Elk Falls   (c) 2018 by N. C.


The longing for belonging,
the longing to be celebrated,
the longing for Big Picture living,
the longing for inner peace
(a vacation from self-negation),
the longing to be better at courage
and compassion, can all be satisfied
through relationship with 
a ready-and-steady,
demonstratively compassionate
invisible Higher Power—
the One in All / All in One, 
the One Mind that is part
of every mind, that is hardwired
into every human heart.

Riverside Giant, Campbell River   (c) 2018 by N. C.


                            for Maren

If my hands were the wings of a powerful angel
I would have reassuringly brushed against
That special place high in the centre of your back
The very momentspeed-demon that you are;
     your mind far ahead of your body—
You prepared to dash through four lanes 
Of rush-hour traffic. My well-timed touch 
Would have charged you with radiant comforting strength, 
From your foot-soles up to your invisible winking stars,
Restoring to you your rightful stance
     In the cosmos.

If my hands were the wings of a powerful angel
I would conduct a symphony written in your honour
And, with a wave, transform your mind’s yet unreleased pain
      Into gladness.

If my mind were the mind of God
I would see youmind, body and spiritas loving and complete,
And sing praises that the scientific “charm” 
That holds in orbit a gazillion whizzing electrons 
Reverberated, moment by moment, in your every atom
      As conscious, charmed living.

Electrons at Play  (c) Neall Calvert


Some say turn swords into plowshares—
I say turn crosses into artwork.

Gather a few old ones. Dismantle
     the heavy timbers; plane off
     the rough edges, the weathering
     of centuries, the grime and pain.

Don’t do the work yourself—you’re weary
     from lugging them. In the electric age,
     Dear Jesus, we give such jobs to machines.

When fresh wood gleams, splash with varnish.
     Atop a swaying skyscraper
     creatively arrange the beams just so, and so—open
     to their home elements: wind, rain, sun . . .

For the next twenty centuries
Let this lumber carry a happier form.


'Lo, how a Rose e'er blooming...'


For a decade nothing I try works
and I don’t know who I am;

For a decade I know who I am
but I am alone;

Today I am no longer alone:
the people around me remind me who I am.
In a dream, my brother says, “I trust you now.”

This moment

              is always the right one

                            for bowing down

                                          in gratitude.

South Granville, Vancouver   (c) 2012  N. C


What shall I name you, infant,
Swaddled, sleeping deep within,
Blissfully unaware of life, unwakeable.

For your unspoken requirements—for decades!
—I’ve strained to keep the raucous world
Away or shushed, denying my own needs
For worldly engagement,
Career, income.

Unbidden you’ve come while I’m wond’ringly
Gazing out misty bus windows—downtown to pick up
An infrequent paycheque . . . I want to charge
“You’ve sabotaged my career!” but this,
Our incredible first meeting, is larger than anger . . .

Home again, I ponder:
. . . Infant, how do we even begin
To communicate—you asleep
And me defended, drifting in life,
Not connecting . . . Who are you?
Why do you not awaken?! . . .

. . . I am Awakened, although sleeping . . .
I am on a long journey—
eternal, in fact . . .
Dialogue with the timeless
Is not the same as other conversations;
It happens through
You see? We
can interact . . .

. . . But what function do you serve . . . ?

. . . I carry sacredness
From all traditions, times,
Religions, belief systems—
Believe in me and you shall be saved. . . .

. . . But how?—you are in me . . .

. . . Exactly . . .

. . . Then it’s been necessary for me
To keep the world at a distance—
For decades . . . ?

. . . Yes—until you could develop
A path of your own. . . .

I descend into
Sleep: an hour’s
Pure peace.

["Unwakeable Sleeping Infant" has been published
online at Recovering The Self:]

'Photographs In A Water Glass' series


Feeling ashamed and worthless as a child
Before the immense, punishing power
Of a wrathful, arbitrary God / father
I put my essence far away—
So deep inside even I couldn’t find me.
I left home but I was young—a child—
What could I do? I wandered
In a strange forest world.

Today, as a six-foot adult child, having searched
And having found myself deep in a wood, I rage—
To cover the fear I may not be strong enough
To protect you, indomitable boy of mine.

Let me now communicate with you;
Let me remember that as an adult
I can now protect, nourish, parent, love you,
Bright little one in me—for who else
Could do it so well? . . .

Suddenly I know
I have merely forgotten the way home—
I am home; I am found.

O wonder boy! O more wondrous Protector / father—
Not unreachable in heaven now
But in me: father and son as one!

I celebrate my new, spiritual family.

VIA Rail Station, Courtenay, Canada








When at night my solitary rooms became still
I sensed, lurking outside my dwelling’s door,
A mysterious silent man. Sometimes I feared 
He would break in with a great
smashing and splintering of wood.

For weeks I strained to hear thumps of approaching
Or leaving footsteps, especially after midnight
When corridor light streamed around my entry’s edges 
Into the murk . . . In daylight I puzzled 
         this perilous male potency.

Getting nowhere I finally challenged WHO ARE YOU?  
Startling facts began trickling through the thick portal:
I’m handsome, with a ready smile;
I’m healthy and walk with a confident step! . . .

The noiseless knocking had been announcing
A shimmering shadow brother — Man of Light
Who was everything that I in darker hours
            thought that I was not.

Self-portrait, Courtenay, Canada


          "Anxiety means you're on the edge of growth." 
                                                       —Psychological teaching

June 1991, Vancouver International. Big parked planes
Look happy, like bright balloon toys. Uh-oh:
Mine is small, faded, dirty with oil-streaked wings
And soon jammed with chattering Dutch. It's a discount
Amsterdam excursion, every seat's taken, and I've become
A tinned sardine.

We're rumbling and lumbering too long, barely accelerating 
—is liftoff even possible? The abrupt silence of leaving terra firma
Is broken by fifty cheers—I hadn't been the only doubter.
A quarter mile up, the grimy jet suddenly tilts to head east 
And just as suddenly—terrified, panicked—I fiercely clutch
The armrests. It will fall! My mind's eye sees only flames
A massive fireball after the ground shudders.  
Into this horror-film-without-an-exit a female voice announces:
"You are not ordinary enough to die yet . . ."
Its source turns out to be not the plane's loudspeakers, however,
Rather the centre of my own head!

"Listen to me" this at-last-recognized voice (current spiritual teacher)
Thinks into my gyrating mind. "I am calmer than you. Listen."
I quiet myself enough to pay attention; the voice continues:
"Inside yourself you feel special—above all others—and separate.
In your mind, a conflagration like a place crash
Or a catastrophic illness: 'Death at a young age!'
Is the necessary outcome of such a belief system. 
Your biggest, and lifelong, tasks are these: To become ordinary:
A good friend, companion, neighbour; a partner, co-worker, student
And teacher; a brother, husband and father . . . And after many years
Of living a creative, connected life, you will see
That to die is an ordinary thing . . ."

High above Canada's tundra, soaring over the North Atlantic,
I cycle my new flying mantra: "You are not ordinary enough to die yet.
                                                        You are not ordinary enough to die yet.    
                                                        You are not ordinary enough to die yet..."  

At last feeling safe enough to read, I open Whitman's Leaves of Grass
And notice every poemthe title evencelebrates ordinariness.
And, improbably, I am now more serene than the last time
Sitting in my living-room's easy chair. This inner quality
Is being created by a strange kind of awarenessthe knowledge
That, assembled around me, are hundreds of invisible others
 —each one crucial to this all-of-a-sudden incredible journey:

Aircraft designers, underground miners, metal refiners,
Riveters, rubber tire molders, midnight-shift assemblers,
Ticket takers, meal makers, fuel fillers, fellow passengers
—and all of their mothers and fathers; 
Flight attendants, flight instructors,
Men and women who built the electrical plants 
That generated electricity to run the power tools
That built this planetheir fathers and mothers . . . 
And on and on: an ever-growing circle of interdependence. 
All persons that ever had anything to do with this craft,
Including me as paying passenger 
plus the air we are hurtling through giving essential lift,  
Plus the equally essential Sun shining in the windows 
—are here, now, charging this ample moment. 

The aircraft in flight unites earth and sky; connects everything.
It is anima mundithe soul of the world—a living force . . .
And I myself am part of this living spirit, connected
To past, present and future (Amsterdam and beyond)
—to everything and everyone . . .
This state of wonder, this place of grace, leaves no room for fear.
I've become the unflappable Buddhist monk who knows "It's all space
 . . . There is nowhere to fall."

In a 500-mph tin can, five miles above the Earth, I have created
My most expansive, happy and peaceful moments ever.

Campbell River & Quadra Island, Canada


(c) 2016 by Kannara Daniel & Neall Calvert

Her gentle winds caress
my hair, making every strand
come alive. Though I cannot
see her, the Goddess brings change,
and I know when she stays
that I can expect things
to never be the same.
She is uplifting thought,
new kinds of memory,
the seeds of inspiration.
She weaves patterns of light
and geometrical shapes
into waves of understanding.
Free of form, she lives
without constraint. Carefree
and unattached, tranquil
yet all-powerful, she soothes
the frown lines from my face
and dries my tears, for she is
the Goddess, moving her consciousness
through me, exploring herself,
measuring time with eternal ideas,
radiant in my dreams, waiting
to seed each aspiration in the physical
at the perfect moment.

[To connect with Kannara, go to

Phoenix Rising  (c) 2012 by N. C.

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