I am that

the play of the sun
and the drama of the clouds
— simple rhetoric —
by which God speaks to the heart
using a person’s own voice

In my dream I was in Rome, walking along a river, presumably the Tiber. But the buildings on the opposite side of the river were a long way away and in real life the Tiber is not that broad. It felt a bit like Venice where you often find yourself gazing at buildings on the skyline, across water. The sky became very dark. I noticed I was able to look directly at the sun because it was partly shrouded in cloud. A massive storm cloud lay directly overhead, but it was moving swiftly and I awaited the return of the sunlight any moment. I wanted to convey in my poem a sense of awe at knowing oneself caught up in some huge massive impersonal drama involving simultaneously both Nature and Civilisation — and the paradox by which this drama is also the fact of my own individual existence — hence felt at the most intimate and personal level. I only arrived at the title after completing the poem, and I had to google it just to be sure it was a genuine Sanskrit saying (which it does seem to be). I’ve no idea where I would have heard it originally. In a book no doubt, in the days long before the internet.

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