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BLONDIN: These poems cover over forty years. Writing them is like collecting the bubbles which stream away from the stern of a small boat crossing a vast ocean. They are all different. They are all the same. Fragile, inconsequential bubbles of livingness. The subject matter ranges from Oxford, its colleges and ghosts, to the Far East with its temples, its hunger for life (and concrete jungles), and its two and a half thousand year old Buddhism. Here, Theravada monks still proclaim, in the Buddha’s own language, that “all things are suffering, all things are impermanent, all things are not self. Nibbana is the Highest Happiness.” Here is the teeming multiplicity of life and the utter freedom and stillness of the Unconditioned State which runs like a crack through the universe. Through this crack beings escape from the burden of becoming. Through it they return again. From one lifetime to the next. From one moment to the next.
Every man is Blondin.
Every lifetime a rope,
finer than a spiders thread,
sharper than a sword,
stretched between birth and death
(Breath and breath)