“Of One and Many Worlds”



Of One and Many Worlds by Rayn Roberts available @ http://www.poeticmatrix.com/title/roberts.aspx

The Book

This collection covers a wide expanse of topics from metaphysical issues about the nature of existence, to suffering, right action, aesthetic experience and how we live our everyday lives. Intellectual honesty, even skepticism, are important parts of the volume. The poet acknowledges that there are ultimate questions, but denies that there are final answers that could be given by any final authority.

We see his keen eye for the beauty of nature and change within nature, and we can watch his keen nose at work, close to nature, sniffing out the joys and suffering of everyday living.
— Paul Dolinsky, PhD, from the Preface

Like a prophet – subtle/rude, elated/defeated, but always accessible and wise – his words call complacent silence to a duel.
— Lesley Synge, author of Organic Sister

Rayn Roberts sees the spiritual dilemmas and opportunities of Korea with clear eyes, getting just the right words about them on paper.
— David Mason, author of Spirit of the Mountains: Korea’s San-shin and Traditions of Mountain-Worship

Rayn Roberts

Rayn Roberts is found in print and online at Chronogram, Rattle, Rattapallax, Retort Magazine, The Sow’s Ear Review, Voices in Wartime, Opening of The Heart, PoetsWest, Thunder Sandwich, The Pedestal Magazine, Fireweed, Sauce Box, Gypsy Magazine, Tamafyhr Mountain Poetry, Turbula, Void Magazine, Poet’s Corner in Fieralingue, Poetic Voices and others. He appears in four anthologies, In the Arms of Words: Poems for Distaster Relief from Sherman Asher & Foothill Publishing, The Book of Hope & The World Healing Book from Beyond Borders Press and Paths from The Philosophical Library of Escondido, California. These books include new and established poets Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Rita Dove, Marilyn Chin and a great voice for peace, The Dalai Lama. In 2006, Evolving Editions Press in New York included him in their “Illuminations” series, volume three. “Illuminations” is concerned with interfaith understanding through poetry, art, photography and interviews. Of One and Many Worlds is his third book. In 2003 he toured the U.S. to promote Jazz Cocktails & Soapbox Songs. He is also the author of The Fires of Spring, a collection of Buddhist poems written in South Korea. Website:www.geocities.com/raynrobkorea

From Of One and Many Worlds:

When Ray Charles Checked Out Memory at Chu Suk*
He could not escape the news reports
Of how he used women
Like dope
Had them, tossed them when done,
But the week he left his body
America mourned Reagan’s death,
The good and evil made—Poor, blind and black in America,
Had the Boogie-woogie at an early age
Had the calling,
Wrapped in shades
Ray Charles leaned his body back
Tilted his head up
As if he’d turned his inward gaze on paradise
And sang
Swayed above the black and white
Wood and wire,
And for the short while
He took the stage
Time ceased to turn, death squads ceased to kill
There were no A-Bombs, AIDS
Arms sales, Contras, cold war…
All the walls
Of every evil empire fell
Because a sightless man found a way
Into the Seeing Heart—
And though death takes all, some are honored
And some grieved for: all that week
And longer
I remembered Ronald,
but grieved for Ray
For an hour in autumn I saw all time

I was alone, yet not!
Saw a million years and more
Beings I’d been
All it took to come to what I am:
Sad for what is
What lives as if to spite death
But cannot win, what pushes
Against a tide of pain…

A last cicada singing in a twisted pine

Chanting for a future
And not a single other for miles
To hear the song,
The union of two as far off
As the cat’s eye nebula opening slowly
Outward —Mind being born—
A neon rose glowing in the dark…

Night like summer thunder came down:

A vision, no, a memory
Of all the flesh and blood I’d seeded
Or killed throughout time, mothered
Nurtured, kidnapped, protected—
But not this time— I saw the fact
And the lie of my existence:
The truth of the Chu Suk moon.

*Chu Suk: Korea Thanksgiving

The State of World Affairs and Other Madness

The cat chases it’s tail, the dog whimpers in sleep
The heart skips a beat…
It’s not a nightmare, not a movie, a TV show.

Wake when you will, but where will you be, in bed alone,
In the den, your unknowing hand holding a gun,
At your desk starting at nothing?

It doesn’t matter— Looking deeply matters:
Unless you turn it inside out, look long at what you find
The mind eludes the eye of reason.

Recall the flowers of betrayal and delusion with merciful disregard,
Struggle all your life to save this dying thing
This beaten, bloody thing called love.

For the tail is chasing the dog,
The cat is barking in sleep, the heart is cracking
Hope is a Gypsy song rising over the ash of Auschwitz

Madmen rule the world—

And if they wake from a coma of hate, will they give a vision truth?
Will they feed the poor, give up peace?
When will your heart slow to a murmur and hiss into silence?

I want to say the cat is calm, the dog happy, humankind is wise and kind,
But the cat is gnawing the cage, the dog is humming a dirge,
The good flower colombine was never a flock of doves:

Littleton, Kosovo, Dachau, Wooded Knee, Kabul, Santa Fe:
Large extensions of the fist we use to abuse the children—
Where next the murder of the day, massacre of the week

Where next the World War?
The heart is failing, the heart is failing, there are no known donors.



This poem first appeared in the Book “Jazz-Cocktails & Soapbox Songs”.


“This is the time we know we have to fight. We have to stand up and deal with the Right.” from Chant of the Poor Man, by Leftfield

The Beauty of Apples

Had he known the beauty of an apple, seen it, a flower
In the palm of her hand, seen in his wife’s hand the sun
Light to a tree of knowledge, knowledge of air and weather
The river, the flame, the earth, he’d know earth was woman
Insect and animal, he would see in her hand the farmer
A field hand picking the apple, the worker make the truck
Mechanic at work on the engine, trucker haul his apple
To the grocer who oiled and set it out, he’d see in an apple
The checker check it, the boy bag it, the energy of a star
To power the car that carries him home to the hand of Eve,
A sun in her hand, a blossom; he’d know what an apple is
Never again blame her for sin in a garden, nor she him

For the loss of Eden.






Rayn Roberts 2016

The Beauty of Apples first appeared in The Sow’s Ear Review as a Finalist in their annual poetry contest.   Cover photo of apples by Rayn Roberts

Rayn Roberts On KSER FM 90.7

April 14th 7-7:30 pm. Presented by Poets West

masthead.logo   #242

The Poet’s Language         (29.06 minutes)


Notes from a Conversation 1.50 Rajaa Gharbi

Reading at the Beach 2.21 Mark Halperin

Poetocracy 0.53 Nancy Dahlberg

The Words 1.20 Duane Niatum

Burnt Offering 0.36 Keith Holyoak

Oscar Wilde parable 2.03 Michael Magee

Salvage Rights 0.46 David Thornbrugh

Jeffer’s Pipe 2.16 Dan Williams

Questions after Neruda 2.05 Scott Galasso

Blind Man Walking 1.23 Edwin Delgado

Oracle at Greenwood 1.55 Rayn Roberts

Daybreak 0.48 J. Glenn Evans


Bridge at 14.58

Keith Jarrett Koln Concert Tk1    ©2012 PoetsWest    

Self Portrait, Rayn Roberts