Enjoy a few selections below from Jeff's work.
Jeff's published poetry appears at
I bow before the Mahasiddha,
The Source of All Names,
who hears these frail words
cast out to the storm for His discernment.
I bow before my Sovereign Lord,
The Principle of Understanding,
who shook off all garments of crude religion
long before we ever thought to ourselves.
I bow before my Holy Guru,
Man of still-water eyes ,
always first to forgive,
then, sudden as a ripple, to demand.
I bow before my Chosen Prince,
Master of Wildness,
who taught us in the way of women:
skin over thought, love over will, feeling over plan.
I bow before my Gracious Master,
Curer of the Loveless Heart,
who trains my pride into balance,
as a dog can learn a single human word, exactly.
I bow before my Illustrious Host,
Tireless Servant of His Devotee,
who made a solemn oath to me through mother's ear
before I left the womb.
I bow before my Silent Witness,
Whose Bare Feet Leave No Tracks,
in whose Presence I now kneel—
a riddle for the iris: why He can’t be seen.
I bow before my Only King,
The Steadfast Inner Ruler,
whose walking staff inks black my spine,
in a law that binds past death.
I bow before my Laughing Man,
Maker and Breaker of All Rules,
at whose feet I set the splintered bones
of all my love and lover-killing births.
I bow before my God of Mercy,
Who Drowns The Heart In Forgetfulness,
who crippled me with His coldest eye
to make this root move softer in the soil.
I bow before my Outcast Savior,
Whose Body Eclipses the Brightness of Suns,
who has no power to turn away
from those who turn from Him.
I bow before my Humble Servant,
Whose Body Is Constant Prasad,
whose single hair lies curled in my locket,
hung on a tarnished silver chain.
I bow before the Human-Bodied Mystery,
Whose Loving Glance Unbinds the Self,
who adores our fresh cut tulips in the morning,
knowing they’ll only last a day.
I bow before the Howling Gale,
Great-Bellied Messenger of Truth,
who severs men’s heads at first meeting
to order all future exchange.
I bow before the Open-Handed Yogi,
Who Gives The Siddhi Of Gratitude,
with a well-timed whip
that’s stopped this donkey’s hoof at the tip of many cliffs.
I bow before the Source of Paradox,
who weaves our bodies in a veil
through which all light may run.
I bow before the Love of Lovers,
Whose Name is Known by Devotion,
who nodded His head to my drumbeat once
sitting close in the summer sun.
I bow before the Conscious Light,
Rainbow-Hued, Devoid of All Color,
who holds a mirror before the face
so it can be more easily lost.
I bow before the Diamond-Bladed Warrior,
Still Eye In The Hurricane of Form,
who eats and eats the coming dark
that will nearly blind the earth.
I bow before the All-Consuming Fire,
Lone Companion of the Heart,
who carries me through hells I thought were fables
about which I will never speak.
I bow before the Turner of the Wheel,
Unfading Friend of the Earth,
buried in repose, cross-legged,
facing West in the blood of all our lands.
I bow before the Master Dancer,
The Perfect Devotee,
who taught me that to bend my head before a sage
is to wake up from below.
I bow before the One Who Has No Equal,
Restorer of the Secret Way,
who pours His heart through every chest
like paper lamps along a chasm's wall.
I bow before the Knee of Listening,
the curving river of nectar— you
who read these lines in time.
I bow before the One In Whom There Is No Difference,
Sacred Mirror Who Reflects All Things,
I've told you what I know of Him.
I am a lover who murdered his King.
Praise to the Avatar of this waning earth.
Who sees all through a sun-woven eye.
Who lives for each in deathless rebirth.
Who loves the single one without remove.
Who stands indifferent to all, in noble silence.
Who IS all.
Praise, I say! With my many friends in this river.
Praise to that Giver of the Law that unbinds.
Compassionate. Merciful. Merciless in Love.
Praise to the Maker of the conscious Heart.
But... why praise?, say man and woman.
Is what IS a thing that can be praised? Or should be?
Oh no. No, said the river stones:
Praise only if you're dying,
like all of us.
Praise only if you've slapped away like a fatuous housefly
your great fool's burden of effort.
Praise only if your debt runs so deep
that to pay it you must go even deeper.
Praise only if the one who lives you
Or, good human—
if praise is yet beyond you,
remember what it was He said
to pass on to yourselves, one ear to the next,
as though it were the mother of all secrets
on that languid afternoon:
"ALL OF THIS IS NOTHING
BUT THE ONE TRUE WATER OF CONSCIOUSNESS ITSELF."
We wept like peasants.
We threw holy frankincense oil on each other’s bare chests.
Laughed so hard at people and their foppery
at times our stomachs nearly curdled.
In winter, naked and steaming,
we let the alchemy tilt our heads back.
Not a word or gesture between us
to reckon what we saw there
in the spirit of the wolf-moon night.
We slapped that small town’s law,
kicked up its unchristian dust.
In one near-death ending, on a flat hilltop of buffalo grass
where we just buried the last of our saviors,
we shivered and wept for our souls.
The iron bars of prison coming far too near
as a cataclysm leapt up to greet us, neighborly.
And by warmest grace, it only notched bones
to make us wary of our lawless trade.
We got lucky. We saw broad waters from that height,
were given a way back, down a lightless path
over rivulets and stones, rasping our penitent breath.
This morning, years ahead,
we hold up blue ice calathea to our foreheads.
We wipe blessed waters on our skin.
Tonight, we’ll sit around a circular driftwood table,
sober and unmoved to speak, with friends
so much more eager than we are.
What can be said about us?
We remember how we came to this.
Where we stood.
The violent luck of it—
our bowed heads like harlequins,
beholden in this near deceit.
We circle the living tomb.