MS (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

! ! The Listening One

The Listening One


Does he, did he, know, what he contributed
to the truth of what was spoken?

Towards the back seats of the lecture room,
this tidy, slim, quiet, dark-complexioned youth
listened with unwavering attention;

so much in the moment, his mind, so visibly,
claiming nothing; receiving all that there was to receive;
contributing, all that an audience can:

under his so steady listening,
I could not lie, blur, dodge; be anything
but dedicated to the truth;
from his attention, through my own,
he gave the audience more than I prepared.

I wonder if he knows the gift he’s shaped.
How many others has he blessed thus, with himself?

The Hindus have a name for him:
the Southward Facing, and the Formless One;
the Self as youth who teaches elders by his silence.

You may have met him, mortal, once or twice;
I wonder if he knows his priceless gift?

*

[A long-delayed debt of gratitude never since forgotten.]

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