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Phil Dubuque

Former Treasures

How many have even turned
to look at former treasures
beach shells or stone
the piece of smooth driftwood
or twisted bit of brightly coloured plastic
                once charged with inexorable magic
those things of magnetic attraction which,
once grasped and enjoyed
fade from the mind's relish
like last week's cut flowers

Drawers full of the most useless rubbish
drawers not unlike our monstrous memories
wherein we docket what we mustn't forget
for some imperative reason
which we have long ago forgotten

But how few have seen
even for a second
the emergence of that pure delight which,
before it smothers the current object
            of mystery and attraction
warms the heart
        promises fulfilment
                and brings life
to our dream-worn days

And how very few have let go
the grasping race for the next thing
ears pricked up for the faint music
just out of hearing
have turned to seek the Source
of this delight of life
in a realm apart from the great bulk
            and weight of things
                which die in our hands

In a region unmapped
or which must be mapped anew
by each new traveller who thus
stumbles on the first meadow
            beneath the foothills
                    in the mountains of his own soul

Phil Dubuque

Seeing Life

Infant - Preconscious Seer

It all began with light and sound
I was nowhere to be found
Wonder filled with touch and sight
Moving toward the warmth and light

Child - I Have Both Views

I'm older now, this is fun
I'm everywhere, the only one
All I see is filled with joy
I play at being a little boy

Youth - Losing My Space

What is this? I'm losing touch
Don't know what I miss so much
Something big and very pure
That left me feeling strong and sure

Walk out on a different world
Around my space confusion swirled
Among the many I'm just one
The moon has just eclipsed the sun

Teenager - Getting A Face

Join the club, here's your face
Pay your dues, forget you're space
Get in line and take your place
You're signed up for the human race

Now it's greed and fear and shame
That go together with my name
With pride at others I defeat
And craving praise from those I meet

Young Adult - Beginning To Doubt

I try with all my might to see
From their eyes as they look at me
But all that I can ever do
Is guess at how they see the view

It's so much work and worry to
Imagine, think and guess at who
The young man is who has my name
Is who I really am the same?

Adult - Turning Around

I try to picture with my mirror
The way they tell me I appear
Divided now I strive to be
What everyone expects of me

Before I die I'll dare to see
The way that I appear to me
My bathroom mirror holds the clue
To a very different view

Adult Seer - open Again

The man I look at gazes out
I let my own view turn about
What a shock to find I lack
A face at my end looking back!

In a place with others near
I look down at my body here
Unlike them I find instead
The one in my shoes has no head!

Child Again - Seeing Remembered

Could this be what I used to know?
The view I lost so long ago?
How odd that this allays my fear
The simple act of looking here

For it's a fearful thing to do
To be the one things happen to
What a difference this has been
I'm the One things happen in!

Living Seeing - Reclaiming My Self

My face is yours and welcome to it
Yours is mine, you always knew it
Now I take my rightful place
The world is in my empty Space

In the end it's light and sound
I am nowhere to be found
Wonder filled with touch and sight
My home the Source of warmth and light

Phil Dubuque

Three Haiku

The late autumn rain
        falls into me all day long
            in great blazing sheets

The cry of a gull
        has left this winter morning
            cold, white and quiet

In this freezing cold
        the snow squeeks beneath my boots
            through the twilit town

Phil Dubuque


In this vast darkness
a sudden tiny speck of light appears
like the twinkling invisible rays of starlight torch-like
illuminating the empty Space I am

Then, slowly
the megalithic curtain is drawn back-
an awesome spectacle explodes into being
and I turn and look at my still-ringing alarm clock

Phil Dubuque

Gift of Grace

Something I have touched in dreams
And long forgotten childhood scenes
That does not wait for leave to pass
And go away or stay when asked

It seems quite inconsiderate
Of wishing for a glimpse of it
Nor constant wishing on my part
Will make it come and still my heart

And now there's nothing I can do
But say my word and see what's true
I'll stay here where it has its Source
And let my feelings take their course

There was the cool refreshing taste
Remembered of this gift of grace
I ask as if I had a choice
But only in a quiet voice

To be this All is quite enough
Without demanding other stuff
Like long forgotten childhood scenes
And something I have touched in dreams

Phil Dubuque
(Dedicated with great affection
to Jane Rolfe)

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