Harley White


Epiphany - Poem by Harley White

Once upon a time I dreamed
I dreamed there was a once upon a time
I dreamed with the mind that dreams
I dreamed in the darkness of dreams
I dreamed the delusion of dreams
I dreamed I was asleep and dreaming
I dreamed a dream in the depths of a dream

Once upon a time I dreamed
I dreamed a dream within a dream
I dreamed a dream dreaming a dream
I dreamed and was lost in a dream
I dreamed a dream in a dream
of the sorrows of birth and death
I dreamed a breath outgoing
had no dream of an incoming breath

Throughout my giddy-paced time
I strutted my reason and rhyme
like a phantom floating
whisked away in a wink
from the lapis lazuli home
where life is fleeting and fragile
more flimsy
than bubbles of foam

Once upon a time I dreamed
of present mirth and present laughter
a dream of birth with no hereafter
I dreamed a dream
with the wind and the rain with hey and ho
I dreamed a dream
that that is, is - the world begun
I dreamed a dream
but that's all done a great while ago
Nam-myoho-renge-kyo
Say it again above the din the pomp and show
Nam-myoho-renge-kyo

The worldwide seekers of peace
with their bland brands
of human-ism delirium
catastrophically
underestimate
the darkness of dreams
the darkness of delusion
which manifests
in greed maddened rampaging rage
ignorance and hate
the fundamental darkness innate
as is the reality
of original enlightenment
inherent in the dreamers
who are asleep and dreaming
the dream within the dream

Once upon a time I dreamed
I dreamed I was dreaming a dream
I dreamed I had been dreaming
I dreamed of dreaming a dream
I dreamed a dreamy dream
I dreamed a dreamer's dream
I dreamed of a ceaseless self
within the self
within the self
I dreamed of my self
I dreamed I would awaken
awaken from the dream of death and birth
I dreamed I would be born and die
on an endless inner enlightened earth

Once upon a time I dreamed
I dreamed a dream of inspiration
I dreamed a dreamer's aspiration
I dreamed I would not speak
the babbling gossip of the air
I dreamed I would not write
wild words and ornate phrases
I dreamed I would borrow
the language used in dreams
I dreamed I would entice
the dreaming people to awaken
I dreamed the dreaming people
would awaken from the dream
So on and on I go
Nam-myoho-renge-kyo

Topic(s) of this poem: wisdom

Form: Free Verse


Poet's Notes about The Poem

This poem, 'Epiphany', expresses some of my insights as a practitioner of the teachings of Nichiren Daishōnin.

The poem can be seen with its intended shape at the [Poems etc.] link on my website at... harleywhite.awardspace.com/ and on my page 'Poetry with a Buddhist Theme ~ by Harley White' at <http: //www.dharmagateway.org/harley_poems.htm> on the website dharmagateway.org...

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Painting ~ Albert Joseph Moore ~ 'Dreamers' ~ 1882

Comments about Epiphany by Harley White

  • Pamela Sinicrope (8/25/2016 3:35:00 PM)


    I don't know allot about Buddhism, but I like what I am reading in your poetry and in looking up your inspiration. I looked at your website and it is much easier to follow your poem in its proper format. This is a prime example of a poem that is strengthened by the use of form. I see that Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is a meditational chant that helps lead the pracitioner to epiphany? I love the line, I dreamed I would not speak the babbling gossip of the air. I love the use of words in this poem, they seem so carefully selected and meaningful, but also at the same time, they lend to the chanting form of the reading. The repetition, in a strange way, seems to help the mind to focus and cancel out the background 'noise.' Thoroughly enjoyable read. Well written and throughtful. Thanks for sharing. (Report) Reply

    Harley White Harley White (8/25/2016 4:36:00 PM)

    Ah, Pamela, you have delved deeply and gone to the link for the poem. This is a subject very close to my heart! Yes, the rhythm and sound are all-important. That single phrase encapsulates the entirety of existence... and always more than I can fathom, even after forty years of practicing (reciting) it... There are so many misconceptions about Buddhism. If you are interested, I recommend exploring the website, which has a wealth of material (constantly being updated) . The main page is the following: http: //www.dharmagateway.org/index.htm

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  • Navod Dilhara (2/28/2016 12:15:00 PM)


    A wonderful poem Harley.! (Report) Reply

    Harley White Harley White (8/25/2016 4:15:00 PM)

    Thanks so much, Navod!

  • Dr.tony Brahmin (1/13/2016 8:18:00 AM)


    I dreamed of a ceaseless self
    within the self
    within the self
    I dreamed of my self
    I dreamed I would awaken
    awaken from the dream of death and birth.. very much mystical......... your thoughts are very high and philosophical and poetic. thank you very much. tony
    (Report) Reply

    Harley White Harley White (8/25/2016 4:14:00 PM)

    Yes, it is like going deeper and deeper within... and more... Thank you, Tony!

  • (12/28/2015 4:44:00 PM)


    amazing amazing amazing poem. (Report) Reply

    Harley White Harley White (8/25/2016 4:12:00 PM)

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  • (5/4/2013 10:08:00 AM)


    Breath taking. Your poem tells that you think like a dream. Beautiful. (Report) Reply

    Harley White Harley White (8/25/2016 4:11:00 PM)

    Thank you very much! (Sorry I am so late in replying...)

Read all 10 comments »



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Poem Submitted: Sunday, October 21, 2012

Poem Edited: Wednesday, December 2, 2015


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