The Castle Within
Journey to a place that’s sacred,
travel above, below, within.
I walk a path of emptiness
not knowing who it is I seek.
Clouds catch colors that fill the sky
casting reflections on pure water.
Naked, submerged in fetid water,
utter words, evoke the sacred,
brandish ideas across the sky,
soak in lies that stir within
not knowing what it is you seek
embracing only emptiness.
not understanding emptiness,
your thirst ne’er quenched by stagnant water
you do not know the source you seek
cathedrals, temples, though deemed sacred
cannot answer those doubts within
though spires stretch, they reach not sky.
Drowned in mystery—above, the sky.
Below—a trough of emptiness
that murkiness you find within.
Troubled tempest of primal water
envelops all that you hold sacred,
eludes the meaning that you seek.
What is it, soul, that you seek?
To know who lies beyond the sky?
To touch the silk of all that’s sacred?
To fill the void of emptiness?
Blissful, to float in limpid water?
To satisfy yearnings within?
Satan, begone, for here within
the castle of my soul I seek
not to probe the depth of water,
nor soar to crystal heights of sky.
You tempt, betray my emptiness,
eschew the gifts that I hold sacred.
Your emptiness has birthed the sacred,
immersed in water—filled within
because you seek, you touch the sky.
(Based on the writings of John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila.)
I rewrote this 2011 poem for dVerse Open Link Night, paying more attention to the form–a Sestina with an attempt at iambic tetrameter.