Thinking of You Today

Thinking of You Today

Looking out onto the world
between the slats of the blind—
too beautiful a day
to stay inside—
the light white on everything
the wind almost nowhere to be found
the trees stand motionless
some leaves slowly undulating
like the waves on the surface
of a calm ocean
reflecting sparkling lights
off the thin skin of the water

I think of you today
and how your world will be
when you awaken
three hours later—earlier
three thousand miles apart
as if time and space
had their own domains
and consigned us
confined us
to our own

But you and I—
our consciousness—stretches
across time
across space
weaving our own connections
under the surface fabric of things
to always remain
one singularity
separate—but joined
at the trunk
of the tree
of this universe

© Ken Chawkin

I wrote this poem about 11 years ago while residing in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. After finishing my morning meditation, I started reading an article, That Greater Than Which Nothing, about the poet Jorie Graham in The New Yorker, July 14, 1997, page 62. Included among her poems printed there was Salmon (PDF). It had a profound effect on me. The mood of that poem, the beautiful mysterious things she remembered seeing and was describing—opposing natural forces, shadow and light—along with the bright light shining on the trees outside my window, got me thinking about the times spent with a friend. The whole thing inspired me to want to write a poem, and Thinking of you Today came out in one smooth thoughtful take; not a word was changed. The spirit of Beauty was transferred from one poem to another. Sometimes special things like that innocently unfold, and you’re thankful when they happen. Beauty invokes the sense of beauty within us to see the beautiful without.

Returning to this poem now, (Sept 18, 2011) over 11 years later, I realize it’s also paradoxically about the ephemeral, yet eternal nature of love. I came across a French proverb: Love makes time pass; time makes love pass. True, since we love someone as long as they are dear to us, dear for the sake of the Self. as the Upanishads tell us. “Funnily enough: all love is directed to the Self,” said Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in a talk about relationships. But our hearts yearn for a love that’s eternal, a divine love, since our souls are eternal; we long for unity, totality, Brahman, the state of complete enlightenment.

One morning during my stay there, I was listening to a public radio program on poetry. Diane Rehm had invited Bill Moyers to talk about his PBS special, Fooling with Words, which he filmed at a poetry festival. Their discussion included 3 poets. Each was asked to read a poem and explain how it came to be written. After listening to the ideas and images expressed in the conversations and poems, I was so inspired that I wrote a poem about it called: Poetry—The Art of The Voice.

2 Responses to “Thinking of You Today”

  1. Nathanael Says:



  2. Celebrating Poetry Month with one of my poems, Poetry—The Art of the Voice, and what inspired it | The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] poem I wrote at that time was Thinking of You Today. It was inspired by reading Jorie Graham’s poem, Salmon, included in The New Yorker article […]


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