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Splittin the Arrow and Threadin de Beads

Splittin the Arrow - Peter Malakoff

This was written after my Mother passed away in Florida in 2001

She died as my father and I sat at her bedside

at the moment of her death a large owl

swept up past the window wings outstretched



Der be small patterns and der be large patterns

sometimes dey be in seconds and sometimes in years

An thru em all like a string strung through beads


the Eternal Way

which is subtle, rare an can’t be bought or sold


What most knows about

is only de beads demselves

Dey see de fruits and styles of action


see de beads and the thread dat runs through em

The law of karma


but threaded through dese beads and threaded through the thread

runs another thread

the thread of the thread

the warp of de woof

de wetness of rain

fine as all beauty in space and time


as one arrow splitting another

quivering true on the target of all possibilities


A great and terrible wonder

lies in de middle of de law of the law of karma

an runs smack dab thru the center of every bead on dat string


Some have said you cant say shit about it

Some have given it a name


some say dat when you smell it

it smells like Freedom

When you sense it

it seems like Liberation

When you touch it

it feels like Grace


Most call it God or the Great One


And the greatest of them dat say

say dat when you know it

you dont know nothin

which is their way of sayin

you aint

aint nuttin but God



aint separate, apart from, other than or stead of

you aint a knower

an dis whole blame, blessed, crazy world is strung out

on a thread of only God

and de beads is God

an de string dey strung on is God

and every thing is God

an Dey say

we might as well put our worried luggage down on this train of life

for there is no need to carry what is already bein carried for us

our whole destination of possibility is already God ordained

as it has always been

an we should stop our strained and whinin’ refusal

of ‘dis aint wat we wanted’

an pour ourselves some tea of always true and sufficient ease


It don’t make a damn bit of difference what we believes in it or not

cuz our belief just don’t add up to that much

We must not forget dat dis universe

extends our feeling far beyond infinity in all directions


Out past the walls of keening mind and perception

Nature, Reality

dont give a shit bout you or me or anyone and never has


Dis here a dog eat dog, blessin, foolish, crazy, ugly, terrible

incredibly beautiful world

an when we aint stressed out by carryin that luggaged load on our head

and worryin bout what may happen

we might come round to re-memberin dat we don’t know nothin

out here on dis green blue watery globe

floatin in endless space


an everything is still happenin to us

an the world will get on fine without us

an our shoulders can relax

an our sphincters can release

an we can breathe all de way down

an know an feel again


always Love and Serve


Open our ears and hear

our mouth and praise

our heart and love


Open our grasping fists and let go


An then

we will live


eventually truly die

the only death that is worth dying

for we lived!


Knowing full well

it is our life that will bring us our death

a life far beyond our control

that breathes our breaths and beats our hearts


Look around

I ain’ talkin metaphor

This whole damn place is a miraculous killin’ machine


Nobody, no one, no thing is makin’ it out alive

unchanged, un-ruined, victorious


and when we die and only then

we will know


if we are really dead or lived a life of needless worry

and simply slipped off into another room of what is

the very same occasion for givin it all up again


We will know what we know by how we live

how deep the breaths we take when the path is steep

how strong our bearing when the wind blows in our face

how vulnerable our heart when we are wounded

for this is our actual situation


in these moments before we die

when we stand on the scaffold

rope around our neck

our helpless hands tied behind our backs

and we look around and everyone and everything we know

is standing there too

all of us

waiting for the floor to fall away


when we sit at the bedside

listening to the labored breathing

of our beloved

as it gets shallower and slower

and all the threads unwind

and de string breaks and the beads spill all out onto the floor

and the arrow pierces our heart


We will know then

all about split arrows and threaded beads

and we will not care

one bit

because of the immense love we feel




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