Beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I will meet you there. Jalaluddin Rumi
I had a favourite t shirt with this Rumi quote printed on it. This was one of my favourite garments and I wore it until the letters faded so much they were indecipherable and my shirt was raggedy. Here's my poem, 'The Four Fields', which I wrote on a day of trial and tribulation.
The Four Fields
On a spring evening I find four fields in my heart. I walk into the first field
it is called Jeopardy. Then I walk on into a field of sadness.
This one draws me across in an irrevocable line into the third
where the sun is setting. A voice in here says this is The End.
But I see a fourth gate wide open with you standing beside it.
This is the field beyond wrongdoing and rightdoing where we meet.
There are two reasons I'm prompted to write a post about this poem. The first is that it has just appeared as an Easter guest poem on the Acumen poetry website. This is a considerable honour.
The second reason is because it was almost accepted, previously, by another magazine editor, but that time I was asked to say something about what's behind the poem's mystery. This I decided not to do, so no publication happened for it that day.
Needless to say, I wasn't asked to explain the poem by Patricia Oxley, Acumen's sensitive and perceptive editor. However, .I wonder if people do find this one too mysterious and, also, if I can I rise to the challenge of saying at least a little about it? It may be useful to bear in mind, when reading this poem, that we do all have four fields, or chambers, within the heart and that in some very challenging time, we may need to encounter our deepest emotions in a stage by stage process. On the occasion of this poem, I found it useful to consider my changing approach to a thorny dilemma as journeying through these different parts of my heart and, consequently, give myself time and space to consider the full weight of the situation I was in. This is one of those unusual poems that came complete in its first draft. It never demanded any word to be altered, or any phrase to be rephrased. On the simplicity of its surface, it's literally an accurate poem, about walking (albeit trespassing) across four of the beautiful meadows which surround my home. This isn't my usual practise, but this was no ordinary day and I was in the mood for a transgression of sorts. We all have those days when we just need to get out of the house and walk somewhere absolutely peaceful. We are very lucky if Rumi happens to be about out there to step into the heart, hence, into the final three lines of a poem!