Night falls & I am lit by the hallowed memory
Of the voice (now fierce, now tender)
Which, brings me to this place –
To this I cling, as I take the upward turn
Beyond the 2nd lookout
To where Ara o Te Kinga
Steepens – ascends –
To where my boots slip, slither, slide
As I stumble ever upward
Toward Te Kinga’s brooding peak
By a shy, peeking faith
Linking me ever deeper –
Ever inward –
To the wild bush honey
To become this unexpected shower of tears
As I cry –
Oh my Te Kinga!
My wild, lonely Aroha
Kevin Moran 15/8/11
Whakapapa: I began this poem after 3 dreams over four days around the theme of ascending a mountain. In the first (16/7/11) I was given a book titled ‘The Inner Life of John of the Cross.’ I knew John of the Cross had written a book called ‘The Ascent of Mount Carmel.’ I knew it was about John’s experience of darkening & inner purification. The following night I had another dream: ‘the voice’ said, ‘Bowmen Mountain is the biggest, deepest, most darkest, mountain.’ The mountain in this poem is a symbol of the Self (the Self being the personal face of the Divine in an individual). Climbing the mountain is symbolic of the inner journey in which the ‘old personality’ is purified & transformed so a ‘new personality’, which is in harmony with the Self, can be created.
The psalm is located on Mt Te Kinga, my sacred mountain which overlooks Lake Brunner (Kotuku Whakaoho). I enjoy walking ‘Ara o Te Kinga,’ the beautiful track which winds through the bush up the side of Mt Te Kinga. However, I have never ventured beyond the 2nd lookout. After the 2nd lookout is a place for experienced fit trampers. Certainly not me! The psalm is set at night. In this I follow the tradition of John of the Cross. For John, ‘Night’ symbolises a time when a person’s experience of ‘God’ dries up; yet ‘God’ is secretly in the dryness & the unseeing. If you have not read John & you have an interest in spirituality & personal transformation, I’d encourage you to do so. Here is a taste of the beautiful ecstatic poetry John of the Cross wrote after his dark night experience.
On that happy night – in / secret; no one saw me through the dark – / and I saw nothing then, / no other light to mark / the way but fire burning in my heart.
That flaming guided me / more firmly than the noonday sun, / and waiting there was he / I knew so well – who shone / where nobody appeared to come.
O night that was my guide! / Oh night more friendly than the dawn! / O tender night that tied / the lover and the loved one, / loved on in the lover fused as one!
From ‘Dark Night’ by John of the Cross, Vs. 3 to 5, Pg. 171 of the book ‘To Touch The Sky, Poems of Mystical, Spiritual, & Metaphysical Light; Translations by Willis Barnstone.