Sand Painted Mandala

Time will reveal its truth
on the lonely highway
rutted with errors
we celebrate and enshrine.
Only the humble
will find a key
to the portal,
decode the mystery
of the long unjust.
Each stumbling step,
each hesitant word
tests our muscle
yet we are not so old
as age broken stone,
not so brittle
to deny the gifts
bestowed by the gods.
No matter the hardship
let us find the way
to our place in the eternal,
drawn with mastery
on the sand painted mandala
of this our earth
in this our time.



photograph by Patrick Orleman























Reading of “Sand Painted Mandala” with music by Ahura


10 Responses to “Sand Painted Mandala”

  1. David Banner says:

    Let us find our way, indeed…I am reminded of Uranda’s words in the Seven Steps to the Temple of light in Patience….let not the things of the earth disturb me…….

  2. Lloyd Meeker says:

    There are some powerful ideas here, Don. Thank you. Not so brittle as to deny the gifts, time always ALWAYS reveals the truth… a journey-mandala so brief as to offer only a momentary glimpse of larger design. Given all that, I still feel each stumbling step I take connects me to that larger meaning.

    As for patience, I seem to have stumbled into a 180 degree turn in my mandala, learning to be patient with myself while I find a way to let the voices and currents and things of the earth move me deeply, an essential aspect to walking the mandala of my spirit-heart.

  3. “Only the humble will find a key to the portal, decode the mystery of the long unjust.” These words go well with the impasse I’ve come to this morning over the virus/vaccine controversy. Lloyds words resonate inside. Being in the world but not of it doesn’t imply turning my back to the “inhabiters of the earth” now being assaulted by the “wrath of the dragon.” I am moved deeply and yet I know that this is essential if my expression of love and compassion at this level where it is needed most right now is to have meaning and offer an honest blessing. I love what your poem has opened up in me today. In the final resolve, there is no mystery to the “long unjust.” Perhaps that is the key, just like the answer to the riddle of how to get the Goose out of the bottle: “The goose is NOT in the bottle.” Bless you, poet sublime.

  4. Geoff Tisch says:

    End of human ego playing,
    playing to a god of its own creating.

  5. Christina Pivarnik says:

    Again, so timely and beautiful Don. We make those stumbling steps or say stumbling words sometimes, but the bottom line is we do know the way and we do know our place in the eternal. This is our time and we simply need to be present, to show up, and to draw the mandala in our lives. Your words are joyfully welcomed!

  6. Maria Frid says:

    The intricate image of the mandala, with its layered and colored details is an amazing representation of our lives. Slowly, patiently and with great care we paint our life. Humbly and with awareness we draw, faithfully still and accepting of the colors of the sand given to us.

    Thank you for this lovely poem!

  7. Tom Figel says:

    Don, the mandala is a compelling idea, even though I disagree about the way being lonely. It seems like one boisterous group of friends stepping along while exchanging ideas.

  8. Chris W Dalengas says:


    “Only the humble will find the key to the portal….”


  9. Veronica Lim says:

    Don, the music by Ahura is a perfect container for your words –
    words that seem to emanate from the portal, drawing us in to the eternal.

  10. David Barnes says:

    Yes Don—sharing with you and others, drawing from these painted poetic patterns, walking the luminous pathways of this blue-green sphere, spiralling through this planetary dance, showered by the golden light of a greater orb, drinking from the rivers of a flowing milky way, it is obvious that I am star dust, angelic sand crystal—born within a living cosmic mandala

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