Poetry: Between Worlds

R.L. Boyer

Photo by Kaplan


Precarious, the poet’s stance—one foot in this world,

one foot in the next. Double, the poet’s vision, 

two-faced Janus, god of passages, gazing this 

way, and that: Outwardly, a numinous reality,

larger than Nature, shining through the transparent  

fleshiness of corporeal things—light-filled common

mysteries, transfigured; inwardly, the shape of 

my own depths rising up from the abyss like so 

many bright-colored, tropical fish—flickering, 

fleeting, ephemeral. There is something quite strange 

going on here, between the worlds: a mysterious 

arising, a magic mirror comprehending 

itself. Along the seamless encountering of 

form and formlessness, along the shifting horizons 

of appearance and disappearance, along the 

mysterious borderlands where form begets

emptiness, and emptiness, form—in the eternal 

void of things, in the infinite shapes of 

nothingness—along the invisible thresholds of the 

double-world, between the I and not-I, the naked

image assails me from within, from without, 

spherical, surrounded by cosmos, infinite, 

eternal. A seer, a seeing, and a seen, an 

unfathomable, unified field of being and 

becoming where, sometimes, I find myself looking 

at things and see them looking back at me. And

with this sudden intuition, what is there left 

on which one can depend? So precarious, 

the poet’s stance—gazing inside out, and outside 

in, one foot in this world, one foot in the next.

Photo by Gary Newman


Beneath the shining snowy heights of
Mt. Shasta, wreathed in clouds and pale blue 

sky, the wind sings nature’s secrets in a
torrent of whispers through a stand of 

ancient pines. A raven’s black call is
answered in the torrid noonday sun.


In the heat of the midday sun
high in the bright blue sky above 

a trio of turkey buzzards circles
like the blind witches in Macbeth

performing an ancient rite, a
strange circular dance—floating in 

soft spirals on invisible wind trails
over the valley exploring the 

curved edges of space on feathered
wingtips within them the still-point 

in everything falling.

R.L. Boyer is an award-winning poet, literary author, and screenwriter. Boyer is also a depth psychologist and scholar of symbolic-archetypal imagery in mythopoeic storytelling. He is currently a doctoral student in art and religion at the Graduate Theological Union and UC Berkeley.