The Split. A Poem by Robin Ouzman Hislop.

He knew not, he said, whether he was a butterfly
                 who awoke to find he was a man
or a man who awoke to find he was a butterfly.

To begin in the image, he kills for in his dreams
                   he wakes from half forgotten
to the commotion of the day sealed by a story.

To begin in the image, a view before the abyss
                      from old familiar haunts
what clings, where there's neither choice nor chance
        yet beckons, to the impossible impasse.


             Wu Ch Eng En descends 
the mountain of the five elements 
   bearing the moon as his lamp
forever,grows longer,he muses
leaving no footprints in the snow.

       At daybreak the view is emptiness
the truth of truth is its lie, he muses
            to a lamp without a night.

Wu Ch Eng En rested
to speak with the world on emptiness.

He looked at the village's railings
                  their fierce barbs pointing to the sky
between which shadows peered
                as if to promise through tricks of light
Mystery but revealing only bondage
                  to landscapes in whose labyrinths
             you could believe you were in a place 
                                 you'd never left
         and where to return was just deception.

Must not you and I be inside emptiness
        for we cannot both be outside
         but the world made no reply
          lost to a fleeting memory 
     that may never return or may.

We Ch Eng En said

        Day dreams the wandering mind
as lonely as a cloud, flower and song
                but not without blood
the lifeless, Terra-Cota army
     marches over our groundless days
outwards from the tomb.

Nature Thrives on Deception.

Chuang Tze perched
                 on his usual precipice and reflected
on to suicide or not to suicide.

He recalled he had worn a dark suit
                 dark glasses and returned
on a crowded summer's night to a past
                 whose memories 
he could no longer remember
                 there he had sown his wild seed
and what had they come to now
                 but the way of all nothingness.

                    There are those who maintain
                creation is a purposeless drift
          and those who maintain its entelechy
   can simulate a deity of divine attributes.

Chuang Tze rocked to and fro
           would not such deities grow perplexed
about their state of affairs
                  traces of white fleece trailed
across that blue emptiness called the sky
                                and in that fall
from that exalted simulation
               believe they were immortal souls.

Chuang Tze said

                        Even the wind is flawed
      as it speaks through the leaves of trees
                       the moment of history.
                   Now caught in time evermore
        yet the leaves belong to the branches
        and make small patterns in infinity.
                    And we, where do we belong
 with our swan song, as if we were going home
                      the day after tomorrow.   
Poetry Life & Times

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