Introduction to Doughty’s Poetry

I have been writing poetry all of my life, but about 15 years ago, my consulting partner at the time said: “There are two kinds of writer. Those who concentrate on some genre, so they can sell commercially, and those who write as a spiritual exploration.” That was a lightning bolt moment, I knew at once that I belonged with the explorers.

A decade before I had begun a daily meditation practice, so that it seemed only natural that I should append to that practice the daily composition of a poem. I had read somewhere of a Buddhist monk who had vowed to carve 10,000 Buddhas, and I vowed to write 10,000 poems.

10,000 is a big number. To write 10,000 poems at one poem per day is a project that will take you more than 27 years. But that is the least of one’s problems. To write 10,000 poems is to make a huge excavation in the obdurate mountain of the soul.

I have written at least one poem per day for more than twelve years now, and expect to continue this work for the remainder of my life. 10,000 is just a number, the process and the devotion are what really count.

In 2006, Reverend Doctor Patricia Keel and I had the good fortune of having a private audience with Sri Bhagavan of Oneness University. The University initiates people of all religions (even atheists and agnostics) to give deeksha, or the “oneness blessing,” primarily by a laying on of hands. I read the poem below to Sri Bhagavan, and at that time he said that the blessing would be transmitted through the poems.

It is way too large a claim for me to say that these poems will be a blessing to others. Most of the poetry is not overtly spiritual. Many poems are nocturnes, which examine those darker experiences that most of us try to avoid, but which life seems nevertheless to thrust upon us. But I do know, from my own life experience, that poetry does provide a mysterious kind of blessing of its own. It is one of humankind’s most ancient and widespread practices. And for eons, in every culture, on every devotional path, it has served as lifeline for the spirit amidst life’s ongoing tumult.

This site will be dedicated to offering some of these poems. I want and solicit your comments. If you have benefited, I want to hear about it, and others may need to hear about it.

The site will include texts, sound files and occasional commentary. For some, it may also include blessings.