DOXOLOGY: THE FALLING LIGHT

In POETRY by Thade Correa1 Comment

In the story of Buddha’s death, his attendant Ananda
kneels weeping at his side, face contorted in grief,
golden robe darkening with tears. Ananda is an anxious man,
and Buddha strives to calm him. “Past Buddhas
have had good attendants, but none like you, Ananda.”
Buddha lifts his face to the west,
gazing on far rice fields flickering and flaring
in the falling light that

now and forever, world without end

lights the earth. Buddha speaks: “Ananda, have you seen
the golden rice fields stretching out to the horizon? They are
so beautiful.” Ananda pauses, looks westward. “Yes, Lord,
they are beautiful.” Shot through with late sun,
the still air glitters. Buddha’s eyes close, his arms
and legs stiffen, the sun sinks, Ananda’s heart breaks,
but the rice fields remain. The night wind rises,
runs blue fingers through their hair, as

now and forever, world without end

I am traveling home this evening, caught
at a lonely crossing by a passing train.
I pause, look westward to see twilight’s first red rays
set fire to fields of wild grass around me.
The night wind rises, runs blue fingers through my hair.
Rushes whisper in the distance, many-tongued,
tattered birches gleam whitely, their leaves like flames
flickering and flaring in the falling light that

now and forever, world without end

lights my eyes, and once again I know there is
no other world. Here are the all the fallen
stars of heaven, here are all the fires of hell. Here are bodies
burning in time and blazing with sun, here is the heart
borne through millions of skies in its chariot of bones.
The train roars past, disappearing into the openness
of an opal sky which remains, stretching out
to the horizon and beyond, curving its arms

now and forever over this world without end.

About the Author

Thade Correa

Thade Correa is a writer, composer, pianist, translator, and teacher. He has studied at IU Bloomington, University of Chicago, and Notre Dame, where he received an MFA in poetry in 2013. He publishes his writing widely and his music is available online and through Alliance Publications. He is a longtime meditator and a Shambhala community member.

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Comments

  1. Beautiful poem reminding me when I lived on Wilmington Island near Savannah. Twenty minutes before and through sunset in Autumn, the marshes shone with the most brilliant waves of shimmering gold. That amazing time of day was extra special there.

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