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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.

D.E. Harding

After Games What?

At the end of his Games people play
American Transpersonal Psychologist
Eric Berne has a brief chapter describing
 the rare but not impossible gamefree state
 as Awareness with no motives hid
and Spontaneity or unpredictability
plus Intimacy which is his name for love
whereas I say this is our natural state
 and easier than winking
all we have to do I say is to notice
what we're looking out of

D.E. Harding

Cost Analysis

The aim is your eternal bliss
its cost your perfect freedom
to act on impulse with not even God
knowing what you will do next
it is friends and not robots He seeks
He can't prevent pain and disasters
but He can and does cushion the impact
tempering the wind to the shorn lamb
He having paid the full cost
in the Garden and on the Cross
of the eternal bliss of all beings

D.E. Harding

Dear Earth

The life on Earth
is the life of Earth
and the selfconsciousness on Earth
is the selfconsciousness of Earth
but when I'm being only human
and party to planetary murder
Earth is my convenient space platform
or else my closewoven magic carpet
until I commence taking an interest
in her curving path in the heavens
and I'm thereby getting the feel
the feeling of just what it's like
to care for and be Dear Earth

D..E. Harding

No Degrees Of Enlightenment

The light that reveals your true nature
is turned on by a make or break tumbler switch
and not by a fancy dimmer switch
for enlightenment is an all or nothing business
one moment you're completely enlightened
the next moment you're completely endarkened
and by far the best way
to make sure this is so
is by observing the marks
these jetblack marks on white paper
and seeing how impossible it is
to improve on the way you're doing so
oh what a relief to discover at last
something one can't make a muck of!

there are those that are so very much practised
that enlightenment's their ordinary state

D.E. Harding


You tell me you are HERE
and you tell me you are NOW
but please go on to tell me
how big is this HERE
how lasting is this NOW

I hear you telling me in one breath
about THIS hair
and THIS group of galaxies
about THIS tick of the clock
and THIS millennium
but please go on to tell me
who this remarkably elastic fellow
now takes himself to be

D.E. Harding

The Death Of Death

O Death where is your sting?
O Grave where is your victory?
and the answer is there
over there where people
are dying like flies all the while
but when Death the Reaper comes here
to reap me as he presently will do
what he does is to reap himself
for to be sure of my death
I must go on to survive it
to survive it for ever and ever

D.E. Harding

How To Work Miracles

To work a miracle is to do something
with no idea at all how you are doing it
you its doer are as clueless as its spectators
for example wave your hand
up and down up and down up and down
with no idea at all how you are doing it
or turn the sight and colour of a peppermint lozenge
into the taste and tickle of a peppermint lozenge
with no idea at all how you are doing it
in fact I would be fascinated to hear from you
of anything you do that isn't miraculous!

D.E. Harding

Giving Sight To The Blind

It takes two people to read this poem
you with closed eyes and a companion with open eyes
who puts to you the following questions

On present evidence what is your size and your shape?
do you smell or taste your lack of boundaries?
or do you SEE their absence quite clearly?
on present evidence what are you looking out ot?
do you think or imagine your lack of eyes?
or do you SEE their absence quite clearly
giving sight to the blind with the greatest of ease
quite sure that this is for sharing
with any blind friends you may have?

D.E. Harding

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.

D.E. Harding


Sun of my soul thou saviour dear
be with me now while night is near
these were the words I loved to sing
in my heart as a very young child
and all life in the sun
was the life of the sun
and all my flowers were sunflowers
but now it's my sunset that's lovely
while my sunrise is plain
as plain as the nose on my no face

D.E. Harding

IN becomes OF

Nothing could be simpler or safer
yet more universe transforming
than the propositiion that the life on Earth
is the life of Earth and far from parasitic
and that the life in the Sun is the life of the Sun
of the mature Sun alias Solar System
and by the same token the life in the Galaxy
is the life of the Galaxy
and that the life in all the Galaxies
is none other than the life of God
two indispensable components of which
are your human life and my human life
this being so don't imagine He can allow
either of us to perish

D.E. Harding

The Kiss Of Her Sword

I am the Resurrection and the Life
I am the Alpha and the Omega
the First and the Last
the Bright and Morning Star
I can't read any of these I AM scriptures
without feeling elevated
and genuinely ennobled
it's not a case of bragging
or of self conceit
Queen Sophia is knighting me
I feel the kiss of her sword on my shoulders

D.E. Harding

Olympic Gold

Intelligence isn't measured by a body's complexity
but by its adaptability to circumstances
to find out how adaptable the human body is
that is to say how intelligent
watch the Olympic Games

you are a walking city or nation on legs
more populous than most Earthly nations
its citizens practise their callings
with consumate skill and coordination
but when you take personal credit 
for the wonderful things your citizens do
they are naturally apt to go on strike
can you blame them?
after all they are only human!

D.E. Harding

The Guarantee

Cross my heart the following
is too good to be false

I give my life for my worst enemy
no less than for my best friend
and do so in spite of all appearances
and misgivings to the contrary
 for perception is none other than
disappearance in favour of the perceptee

recognizing the obvious fact that unlike you
I have all the details of your face
and that unlike me
you have all the details of mine
is our guarantee that Earth
has turned into Heaven.

D.E. Harding

Swan Song

I think that with Saint Paul
I can declare unhesitantly
that I have run the race
not won it but run it
that I have fought the good fight
and certainly not won
that I have kept the faith
namely the amazed realisation
that this Unique One is
the source and origin
not only of the universe but of Himself

D.E. Harding

The Alone

There is only one cure
of your much dreaded loneliness
and that is your perfect Aloneness
and the very way you can make quite sure
that you are none other than the Alone
is by observing that only you
can at will destroy
a billion stars and galaxies
and revive them again at your pleasure
and at last you are doing yourself justice

D.E. Harding

The Still Centre

Why must you make up your mind
which of these two it will be?
on the road either you are moving
through the countryside at (say) 50 mph
in which case you will be killed
or else it is moving through you at (say) 50 mph
in which case you are hand in hand
with the incomparable safety
that is why you must make up your mind
doing so by watching the behaviour
of the roadside hedges trees and telegraph poles
if you can catch them on the move in you
that is because you have become
 the eternally still centre of the moving world.

D.E. Harding

Your Infinity

To get this poem to behave itself
you will have to poke it with a walking stick

The ancient Greek philosopher Euclid
said that parallel lines are those
that come together at infinity
I say that the corners of this room
are vertical and parallel
and when you prolong them downwards
with your walking stick
you will find them converging on your belly
thus demonstrating your infinity conclusively

D.E. Harding

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