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From 'Just One Who Sees'

by Douglas Harding

Lines Written On My 97th Birthday

Do not go ungrateful
into your everlasting bliss
but let your gratitude surface
with your mounting amazement
that anything at all exists
and that only the first person
singular present tense
is really and truly awake
and is none other than the Love
that makes the world go round
and leaves no-one whatever out

Just One Who Sees

To walk around in the wide world
looking out at its
everchanging shapes and colours
and simultaneously looking in at its
neverchanging clarity
right finger pointing outwards
left finger pointing inwards
is to be the One Seer in all beings
the kingdom the power and the glory
the unfathomable mystery
the early morning freshness of the world

Here are Douglas Harding’s poems: engaging, passionate, quirky and original. They are selected from those he wrote in his last months, a late flowering of his remarkable creativity.

All his life Douglas had imbibed poetry, from the King James Bible to Hopkins, Yeats and Frost. Lines committed to memory were quoted enthusiastically and incisively in conversation.
Poems touched him deeply and he owned them. Finally, in those last months, he fell upon a form – free, unpunctuated, pithy – into which he could pour his essential heartfelt concerns in a fresh and playful way. He loved the process: mulling over an idea (“marinating” was his word) and finding the exact expression. And then, with a captivating intensity, he would share his work with visiting friends. 

Happily, now that this selection is available, the circle of those appreciating Douglas’ poetry will widen.

Colin Oliver

(This collection of poetry was published in 2013.)

(All books presented in our Book Extracts are available via Amazon or our website shop.)

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