The corpse I am become
lives in pure counter-
poise, between weight and
weightless tidal flow, its breath
osmotic, its pulse subsumed. Here
is death beyond fear, without
want of resurrection, unyoked

from hate or any spur to forgive,
where all the masks of God
melt into irrelevant silences.
Here the body surrenders all
tethers to the past, its crowns
and cups of woe, and hope’s
a stain absolved of any future,

where the only present is presence,
a nothing that is everything stillness
yearns to inhabit, that lights
no way to or fro. Dark bliss!
Yet give me back, for now,
my stuttering heart, staccato air,
the buzzing contagions of the world.

– Richard Foerster

Savasana, as I’m sure you know, is the rest-meditation-rejuvenation period in yoga sessions. It’s translated as the corpse pose or the dead body pose. During this time, practitioners try to let go of things, step away from things, and be present.
This is an evocative description of the pose, what it entails physically and mentally to stay in it, and the poet’s drawing back with a little jerk to stay very much in and of this world.
You can read more about Richard Foerster here and about his latest collection and his recently winning an NEA fellowship here.

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