Some Personal Thoughts on Poetry

(If you want to go directly to the poems, please scroll to the bottom of this page)

What I love about poetry is how it lends itself to touching ambiguity and contradiction in so many novel ways. Poetry revels in the art of the hint and the half suggested possibility. These qualities make it eminently suitable for grappling with the complex juice of experience that make up the real worlds of our lives. The natural language of dharma, the utterance of the mystic, the mutterings of one lost in passion and wonderment; this is the realm of poetry.

Some of the poems in these collections arose in the midst of meditation retreats, a kind of ‘zen sickness’, a compulsion to try to express the almost inexpressible; a subtlety, a delicacy, a hint of possible wonderment placed in a bottle, sent out on the sea of being to be found by a later Tarchin, or someone else with similar inclinations. Some of the poems reflect very personal struggle points in my life, moments of exhilaration and moments of anguish and the constant journeying towards easefulness, honesty and a growing capacity for understanding. Some record places and events that have touched me deeply on our many travels around this globe. Some have poured forth as attempts to communicate to others in ways that would touch them more fully than didactic explanation; whisperings of barely expressible knowings that might convey a feel for a life of exploration and for the whole living mystery that we are.

Many of these poems were originally recorded in hand written notebooks filled with snippets of meditation and contemplative insight, quotes from books I was reading at the time, ideas for writings, articles, courses and retreats. The poems grew from the context of where I was and what I was doing. In arranging them here I have wrenched them from their notebook homes and their companions of splotches, coffee stains, arrows and later additions, and left them high and dry on this cyber beach of pixels. This loses much of the original context so and I hope they don’t come across as a whale stranding. Page after page of poetry might suggest a degree of obsession that, in fact, was quite leisurely and drawn out. Sometimes months or years would go by without anything being written down.

The poems are arranged in a roughly chronological order and, where I can, I have indicated where I was when they emerged. This inevitably sketches out a bit of psycho-biography and some readers may find that interesting. There is an obvious transformation of emphasis over the thirty year span represented here. Since our lives are the only gift we have to offer, in publishing these poems, I am offering something of my life journey. I hope that some of them will touch your heart.

A Sheaf of Poems, 1981 – 1990, © Tarchin Hearn [GDT Poems 1981 – 1990]
A Sheaf of Poems, 1991 – 2000, © Tarchin Hearn [GDT Poems 1991 – 2000]
A Sheaf of Poems, 2001 – 2010, © Tarchin Hearn [GDT Poems 2001 – 2010]
A Sheaf of Poems, 2010 – 2019, © Tarchin Hearn [GDT Poems 2010 – 2019]