The Journal of the Unitarian Universalist Association

The Hermit's Wheel
By Helen Iacovino

Meditations May/June 2000

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I know without revealing the
truth of the tiger.
I reveal without knowing the
truth of the tiger.

The hermit & the wheel of fortune
are the tightrope
across the abyss
they are the path
between the lion's jaws,
they are the koan

The hermit rides the waterwheel
& like a circus seal he balances
the round world on his nose.
He turns with the wheel
in the wildly splashing water
& is never wet
& never upside down.
The descent
is never twice the same,
his balancing posture
is never twice the same,
but with each turn
he stands in triumph
upon the ascending wheel.

Turning inward, the hermit dreams
of a herd of tigers
all chasing their tails,
of a wildflower's center
& its autumn seed,
of the sun in the sky
traveling west to east,
& the dew the moon leaves
on the flowers,
of a leaf with a picture in it
of a deep reflecting pool
whose waters ripple
until he jumps. . .

& in that splash lies
a moment's world
without the wheel.

Helen Iacovino was born in Montreal, has an English literature degree from McGill University, and has lived in Toronto for the past 14 years. Her poetry has appeared in the magazines CV II, Canadian Author and Bookman, Mamashee, Atlantis, and Puerto del Sol, as well as in Cross/Cut, an anthology of Quebec poetry. A member of the First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto, she currently chairs the church's RE committee.

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May 16, 2000 by
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