A Poem: Emptiness

The mystics said that God is emptiness.

I never understood.

I walked up to God, my hat held in my hands

Behind my back, my head bent low.

I had this feeling that God was too weary for

Eye contact.

“Are they right?” I asked.

“Are the mystics right?”

There was no answer, so I looked

Up, and there were God’s metaphorical eyes,

looking at me, and in an instant,

I saw.

Such emptiness. Such sadness

In those metaphorical eyes.

(Yet it was not exactly sadness.)

“I have given all away,” God seemed to say.

“I have held back nothing.”

And instantly I saw:

a river, not holding the delightful water, but

giving it away, all away, each moment,

as quickly as it comes, it goes,

it flows.

And instantly I saw it:

a tree, receiving water through its roots, then

pumping it upward, upward, in a million

tiny tubes, out into the leaves, and into the air.


given away.

And instantly I saw it:

an infant nursing at a generous breast,

full of play for so short a time,

then growing up so fast,

work, work,

giving birth, giving all,

growing old and then, in a sigh,

in a final exhalation,

all received, all given away.

“That is you, isn’t it?” I mused, or

prayed, or both.

“In all the giving, in all the flow,

that is you.”

And I did not fully understand

(I never do) but I saw,

God in the river,

God in the tree,

God in child,

Life, breath, flow, death.