Words of WonderIf-you-hanker---james-broughton

If you hanker for
a zenith of felicity
on the bed of the Divine
begin by dusting off
the wings of wonder
on your local pillow
Lift your ineffable
out of the mundane
Aim for airborne
with the eye of the heart
as your sky pilot
and soar to glory

by James Broughton


A radiant case for bringing beginners mind and fresh curiosity to life-as-you-find-it on ‘your local pillow’…

I’ve been struggling with a cold for the past week and though it hasn’t quite stopped me in my tracks, it’s definitely influenced my energy and mood in the downward direction. Which is perhaps why a poem starting with ‘if you hanker for a zenith of felicity on the bed of the Divine’ caught my eye – I’m not even quite sure what that means but yes, I’m hankering for it! 

I guess the question is: what helps you to ‘life your ineffable out of the mundane’, what helps you to ‘soar to glory’? It’s so easy to stay in the drab familiarity and pressures of the autopilot – particularly when not feeling well – but maybe what’s needed is not some massive life change, but a simple re-orientating to ‘dusting off the wings of wonder’.

For me, one thing that can do wonders is looking at the sky. It may be the teachings I’ve received from venerable Buddhist masters about the mind like the sky: the sky’s qualities of limitlessness,  luminosity and spaciousness as a reminder of the true nature of our mind. And then Pema Chödrön comes to mind, saying: “You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.”

But it may also be less metaphoric and more immediate than that. When looking up, there may be a play of light and clouds, or the simple wonder of a bird in flight, wings lit up from below by the setting February sun, or even better, a flock of birds – seagulls, pigeons, geese, or that jackpot of the natural world: a murmuration… and even thinking about that makes me smile and breathe out in a different way.

I wonder what some of those magic things are for you, that you can steer your gaze towards in moments of hankering..?



  1. Great poem thanks! I see the skies these days at sunrise by witnessing a flock of gulls fly past my window. Wings of wonder indeed. Every day is different and their flight paths, speed and patterns change with the weather. They can describe the wind. And then, staying with it, one sees beyond their moving silhouettes to the rising sun, the sky itself and its boundless spaciousness x

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