Lighthouse Mind

written for Tony Crisp (


It’s not just candles and ends she’s burning,
as the ash reaches the tip of the roach.
She takes another toke, as if to drag herself through existence.
Evening draws to an end along with her singed teenage years.
She has no place to go, and nothing to do,
so she crawls away towards her room.
The Victorian staircase casts a shadow,
becoming a stoner’s (not Homer’s) odyssey.
Pulling herself on hands and knees, one stair at a time,
she eventually surmounts the steep incline
that leads to her private place of recline.


Steps now feebly conquered, she enters her room tired.
In too poor a state to undress for bed,
she stands and totters in indecision:
“I’ll pause for a moment and later disrobe.”
Exhaustion has beguiled her will and
brick propped, sagging bed temptation
finds her lying back fully clothed.
She lies awake, she lies awake, she lies awake.
Books line the floor of the shelfless room.
She lies awake, she lies awake, she lies,
but then a new, other world she espies.


Unlike any dream environments she’s known,
her mind feels clear, alert, and free.
Is she awake, asleep, or somewhere in between, in
this place that’s more vivid than previous reality?
Her surrounding is cylindrical, vibrant, and vast;
white light emanates with a strength that almost hurts.
The only route is up the helter skelter stairs of
this lightening bright, snow blindness light-house.
Tentatively, so unsure she starts to ascend;
round and round she coils windowless walls forlorn,
until she reaches the top and it’s sacred platform.


Relief from the piercing light is achieved
where windows open on to darkest space.
Her anxiety easing, she approaches the central display:
an exceptional, universal camera obscura.
Far from static it reveals the whole world and
with just one thought from the viewer’s mind,
a place and a loved one instantly appear
presented real time for one to observe.
Standing mystified, a presence then joins her and
informs her with seemingly no external voice at all:
“This is the place where people come after death’s fall.”


With instant recognition of her self-mortification,
she spontaneously utters: “Oh, so I’m dead!”
The presence inwardly sighs: “No,
you’ve misunderstood my intention:
I’ve brought you here to show that each of the dead
choose someone to guide and watch over on earth.
And that you have a someone still loving you.
Your self-destruction is unnecessary;
you just need to give life a reasonable chance.
Please think on this experience and what I have said;
your duty is still to life, it’s not yet to death.”


Wide awake and bed room returned,
she shakes her young head in disbelief.
If it were but a dream, would she not be drowsy?
But she feels as alert, as she was in the lighthouse.
Bemused yet compos mentis she arises and
finally she prepares to venture to sleep.
Under the covers consciousness leaves her and
she won’t be roused again this mystical night.
But in the morning she hears her door thumping;
her housemate yelling that a guest’s arrived:
a priest is there to see her – a holy surprise!


This transcendent encounter should
encourage all of us to be self-kind,
and is a testament to the protective
powers of our all inspiring mind.

© Rowan Taw, 2012, © Dechen Lhamo, 2012


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