Where am I?  And…who am I?


A pearl of great price set above a vale of gold,

There the quiet girl waits for you amongst her sheep.

To reach her you must pass through the wooden gates

Mysteriously missed by Henry’s men, into the inner holy place.

She gazes at the Tree of Life, its rainbow radiance

Mirrored in the meadows where she stands,

A flapper nymph and saint, cradling the sacred space.


Westwards lies the city where old scholars mapped the world

And three choirs sing at Lammastide,.


Here you are nothing,

Feel the chance, like her, to throw your fables in the fire

And go for broke,

This place is ever hidden, ever open

It smells of truth and of






3 thoughts on “A RIDDLE FOR POETRY DAY

  1. Such a lovely window!

    In our Gurdjieff ‘Beelzebub Tales’ group we recently were discussing the idea of the pearl of great price, resonant with images of irritation coating a grain of sand (intentional suffering) to make a pearl (higher being bodies). Someone shared some quotes on the topic from a book by Red Hawk called “Self Observation: The Awakening of Conscience: An Owner’s Manual”, which I liked:

    “It asks extraordinary things of me: that I sell all that I own. In return, the inner irritation or friction which it produces develops a “pearl of great price.” Can you intuit the need and value of such a thing? This provides a new and different level of meaning to the phrase, “carrying my own cross.” What is it worth to you? Are you willing to sell your complaining, your gossiping, your negativity, your vengeance and righteous wrath, in order to purchase the services of Conscience, the Guardian Angel?

    This practice is difficult for me, but the source of the difficulty may surprise you. It is not friends, colleagues, or even strangers who put this practice to its greatest test in me, though they all do, certainly. No, it is with my wife, whom I love so deeply, and with those closest to me that I have the greatest struggle to hold my tongue and keep my judgments and anger in abeyance. So I have much Work to do with this practice. But I value it deeply and am glad to struggle for it, not against my habits, but for this pearl, for the help which the Guardian Angel provides. Only with its help is there hope for a person. It is my deepest wish and prayer to follow my conscience, always and in everything. This is my aim.

    Furthermore, because there is now in me a mustard seed of conscience, not belief systems borrowed from others, but something which is all my own because I have paid for it—I wish to sell all that I own to purchase this pearl of great price—now I suffer most intensely, now I suffer in a whole new way and on a whole new level. And this suffering feeds conscience. Still there is no need to change anything I observe. Conscience will change everything, and in its own proper and appropriate time and way; I can change nothing and if I try I will make an awful mess of things, just as always.”


  2. Yes, in the poem there’s the line ‘cradling the sacred space’. She carries the church in the nonchalant way a shepherd might carry a lamb. I like what you wrote above about the grit which creates conscience. Margaret means pearl. But I won’t say where the place is yet in case someone wants to guess.

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