Psalm 68
The form of the soul is the form of your world *

Wandering Brooklands Spit
Enraptured by the sweep, swirl & swoop
Of black-backed gulls – Hearts portal swings
To reveal the beating wings of a giant albatross
Its great head craning – ever forward – ever onward
As it tracks the timeless sea –

It is forty years since I first saw these mighty wings –
Forty years since True Imagination first unveiled
Soul’s immortal flight –

Yet – today – in the vast breaking that becomes my life
I am lifted – hoisted – born aloft on the updraft
Till my tiny heart beats with a measureless joy
& all down the blaze of these tempestuous days
I hear her triumphant song –
We are Entity!

Kevin Moran 4/5/12

Whakapapa: I began writing this poem after a walk (December 2011) on Spencer Park Beach with my companion, Annette. Black-backed gulls were wheeling & circling above us. As they did, they triggered a joy-filled re-experiencing of my first visionary experience. It felt like a circle was being completed, a promise fulfilled. In the 1970s I lived in the Shivananda Yoga centre in Dunedin. As I was meditating in the Centre’s meditation room, what I now recognise as my heart’s eye briefly opened. In an instant I saw a giant Albatross, its great wings spread wide as it flew majestic above a vast sea. I was above the Albatross looking down at its all powerful form. The vision only lasted a moment but it left me stunned. I knew I had encountered a deep level of spiritual consciousness. I also knew (that in some mysterious way) I was connected to the Albatross, that the Albatross was me. The phrase ‘True Imagination’ (or Imaginatio Vera) comes from the scholar, philosopher & theologian, Henry Corbin. Corbin uses it to describe the visionary capacity of the human heart. The ‘True Imagination’ is the way we connect with ‘mundus imaginalis,’ the intermediary world of the soul, which is located between the physical world & the spiritual world. The final words of the poem, ‘We are entity,’ are adapted from the phrase, ‘It is one entity,’ spoken to me by the Self (18/10/11). The albatross has many symbolic overtones. As a bird, it shares in the symbolism of hope. ‘Hope is a thing with feathers,’ wrote Emily Dickinson. The albatross is also a seabird which takes long & solitary flights, thus symbolising solitude & voyaging. The albatross in this poem is a ‘her’ which for me has resonances of the guidance of the eternal soul. To mariners, an albatross is a symbol of good fortune. To kill an albatross (as happened in Samuel Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner) brings ill fortune. The albatross also symbolises Nature. To follow & flow with Nature brings fortune & life. To ignore & go against Nature brings misfortune & death.

* ‘The form of the soul is the form of your world’ Tom Cheetham… source unknown.

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