Special Lantern

11 08 2006

A Settle Lean

If one is possessed to enter a hole in the ground – deep that is, where ‘bowels of the earth’ is a phrase that burrows in your soul, then you may as well do it right. Not spelunking in spandex shorts with crevasse defying, blinding lamps. Not scrambling beneath sewered city streets with fearsome brands of branches wrapped in pitchy rags. Never again a fingernail creep through war blown trenches with hope your only light. Nay, my friend – we’re going to explore an ancient mine, and I’ll show you how it’s done.

What you have in your hands in a miner’s hat with an acetylene lamp built right in. Select a couple of rock chips from the can – use tweezers not your fingers – and drop them in the trey – screw on the lid. Now fill the drip-can half full from your canteen and wipe up your clumsiness. Check the flint and thumb wheel – a single spark will do. Fine! Open that stop-cock just a might – when you hear a hiss, count three and thumb the wheel. We have two hours – let’s go.

The tiny yellow flame is just enough – not more – to keep you safe; a reflected cone of eerie light guided by practice sweep of head and transfixed eye. Feel you way with toe and finger – the light is only to let you know yoou haven’t turned to stone.


Consider how you deal with others – seeking knowledge, that is. You can lead or follow or just keep out of the way – mostly fumble by wits alone in caves of mystery, no matter what you’ve been told. You always have a lantern to guide your way, though – at least allowing others to get a sense of who you are. Just allow a little of your spirit to drip, measure by measure, onto the solid pebbles of your principles and flecks of knowing. A golden glow! Keep a low profile and be wary of pits of fear and shaky shorings of other’s beliefs. Just settle for sharing the lean glow of inner light with a friend – and allow their light to guide you to where you’ve never been. Don’t look for treasure – just try and get out alive.


Choosing Cuin’s Lantern

8 08 2006

High Lantern

Why does one carry a lantern,
held high at the cresting of day,
when dogs hide from the withering heat
and sillier men squint and glare?

Machiavelli gave a clue
applicable now as back when,

"Men in general judge more by their eyes
  than by their hands;
  everyone is fitted to see, few to understand
  Everybody sees what you appear to  be;
  few make out what you really are." 

I stand before you, portly tall,
 and the sunlight gives reflection
 of what fond nature has given –
 but nothing of soul, heart or wit.

A lantern’s feeble glow does less,
 certainly in compared delight;
 but at least casts a noon shadow
 that you might know I am alive.

No, it is the lantern itself
 that tells something of who I am,
 for I alone chose the cubic form,
 with shutters, lens and candle flame.

It takes in as much it lets out
 if Light be the measure of self,
 to bounce about and come out fresh
 with a bit of my life entwined.

You may see only an open hand
 lifted to shade your sweating brow –
 but know it contains a flicker
 that lights the way to my spirit.