Shining threads

Shining threads

Friday, 31 December 2010

Re-arranging the ocean

My task is to cut up the ocean, into slices of fluid beauty and arrange the pieces, to construct a portrait of what I mean.

The erase button on Nature's programme has been hit and ecologists scrabble to save what creatures they can.

The Divinity of God's children has been spliced, twisted and perverted in a swash of chat-room trivia and hardcore pornography.

Booksellers tear up the Amazon and McDonald's arches frame the world.

Arctic ice melts to reveal more oil-fields for companies to exploit. 

Teenagers of the affluent starve themselves to death in a narcissistic mirroring of Third World poverty.

People dance to a happy beat, furiously intoning the mantra - 'it's all going to be alright'.

Developers push against the will of indigenous peoples and protesters for the forests, plains and rivers of the earth - lungs choked and decimated by the smoke of industry.

There's a battle going on between simplicity and complexity - between regression and evolution - the angels of extremity thrash into one another.

People dig their heels in, the reality knocking on their door is too much of a stranger - too fluid, too risky, too free.

Controllers try to assuage their anxiety by building prisons of thought and behaviour to protect citizens from the freedom of existence.

Mystic madmen are left in asylums, staring at the infinite surface patterns of their skin.

Feminists desperately try to reinvent the position of women in society and at one pole of experience, pole-dancers cavort pulling against the other end of the spectrum where, shrouded in burqas, femininity is kept under wraps.

And the beautiful people attempt to track down some fair-trade, organic cocaine.

The techni-colour fizz of TV keeps our minds focused on a high-definition of sanity, prescribed by the media of our times. If too many cooks spoil the broth, then what's going on on our screens.

The bankers could be Nietzsche's prophesied Supermen - beyond human, beyond morality, walking the tightrope of finance. And our fragile economy hangs precariously in the balance.

All the petty ideologues squabble to be heard in the crowd. A million factions and distorted opinions, have their three minutes of fame on youtube.

The American Dream came true for us in the West - hallelujah - and like all good spins, it's a two-sided coin, with ecological disaster and poverty on the other face.

Revolution flares up in a domino effect across the world, tagged freedom fighters, protesters or pure criminality, depending on the perspective of the commentator and the tone of the uprisings.

And a lone runner heads off into the distance, but nobody knows what he is running away from - perhaps it is us!

Does a crack baby's scream make a noise, if there is no-one in the council flat to hear it?

If you can bear the danger, talk to a stranger or look at the sun, because we are all one.

Amnesia is the condition that keeps the mass turning the wheel.

Those who imagine a day of judgment should bear in mind that the animals will be part of the jury.

Perspectives collide and their fusions give birth to new forms of thought.

The monkey at the typewriter has given up the task, since postmodernism has taken over the incessant, potluck generation of random prose.

The taut elegance of formal language is being massaged, seduced and raped by renegade poets, rap-artists and generation text.

Art is being bent, bleached, burst open - the bloody carcass of tradition has had its guts spilt and only those with courage proceed.

Tapping at our door, psychic phenomena and creatures from other dimensions pop into sight in dreams, comic books and hallucinations, reminding us of unseen realms, excluded from contemporary vision.

The race to Mars has been postponed, whilst we negotiate whether life on this planet will endure.

Politics has been squashed, compressed and packed into darts of spin - tipped with a poison combining promise, ambiguity and lies, in an unconvincing yet compulsive mix.

The earth shakes, because that is what the earth has to do, to keep itself vibrant, and all those cultures that have built upon its joints, see their buildings fall.

Our closest friends are our wits, which need to be exercised, to be kept alive. People, often with the best of intentions, sometimes with much worse, can pull the wool over our eyes.

In a cyclone, the safest place is the epi-centre, the still-point around which the illusion turns.

Forgetfulness may be an agent of grace, but memories are also doorways to wider perceptions, which the grey agenda has tried to shut down.

Pressure forces us to reply to the ongoing question of our lives - 'What is it, exactly, that you want? Where are your allegiances?'

And in the alchemical laboratory of emotion, the transformations of love, stress and pain - a new creature is being formed - whose blueprint lies in your dreams.

Things must be turned upside down, if we are to awaken to life.

Only through rebirth, can the lies that have taken up residence, be dissolved.

Now we can see the roots of life are in the sky and nature is a mirror of our psychic landscape.

The poetry of the universe is being made visible and her children are setting themselves free.

NB. Another person on the poetry scene, a while back called me 'a cultural conservative'. This comment makes most sense if you know the person though, reading this poem, I can see that strain of thought in my writing. However, although there are some lines which betray a scepticism about some elements of youth culture (which I hold to - for example, poor use of language in some cases), there are also here acknowledgements and celebrations of creativity - of artistic and psychological nature. What is true is that I am not slavish to popular culture and tend to carefully select what I enjoy, approve of, what is most useful and what is most potent. 

Many ways to begin

There are so many ways to begin.

Scattered fragments lay out in front of me.
Different possibilities of configuration play themselves out in my mind.

Where each seed idea might lead is uncertain,
as intention and novelty stretch each other in creative tension.

From the shattered bowl, I rearrange shards into a mosaic.
From the dying tree, I break off branches to build a den.

Chaos tears apart the status-quo and a more complex order emerges.
Fixity is dying and a more humble, yet exciting worldview is demanded of us.

Those who cling onto the old, choose to be the dinosaurs of the new era,
whilst pioneers take initial baby steps, as they build their confidence in the dawning context.

The scepticism about certainty that kept thinkers chaste, now seems to be paying off,
as openness becomes a virtue, and old beliefs are left behind, to play their rigid pattern out.

From the fissures that the less loyal allow to break open,
comes fresh life from the well-springs of beauty.

Perception evolves so we can see more.

As each node awakens to deeper life,
ripples spread out through the network and relations rearrange.

Be nothing

Be nothing - though you can wear many hats and take on many roles

See nothing - though a dance of images plays on your eyes

Feel nothing - though emotions fluctuate through the day

Breathe nothing - though odours vary from perfume to smoke

Taste nothing - though you eat from a banquet fit for the gods

Say nothing - though arrangements of words fall from your lips

Do nothing - though you move in the world, responding appropriately

Touch nothing - though your hands move over a range of surfaces

Believe nothing - though you interact with a harem of beliefs

Know nothing - though facts and lies come knocking on your door

Hear nothing - though music and chatter provide a soundtrack to your day

Remember nothing - though memories flicker in and out of consciousness

Learn nothing - though each day brings a new configuration of elements

Create nothing - though your hands mould all manner of artifacts

Ask nothing - though your questions penetrate far and wide

Give nothing - though you offer your skills and presents to others

Receive nothing - though you accept the gifts that life offers

Destroy nothing - though you let go of things to clear new space

Imagine nothing - though your imagination can see all possibilities

Try nothing - though your curiosity takes you in exciting directions

Embrace nothing - though everything is your lover

Dreamt-up sayings

(I wrote these doing an exercise from a book called Shamanic Christianity where you are told think of something that would change your life forever)

The way is unnameable - beyond any religion or category - everywhere present and always speaking - you are a mouth-piece if you are receptive.

You are free to do whatever you want.

Ageing is an illusion brought on by time.

In eternity, everyone lives forever - they can appear as young or old as they want.

You need no money - as long as you believe in it - it is useful.

People are much more open than you think they are.

Sexual ethics are negotiable - you need only courage and mutual respect.

You need to create opportunities, as well as take advantage of the ones that come to you - life is a creative process that requires your complicity to unfold.

Courage is an energy that cuts open the trap of fixed views and opens up the vast space of reality.

If you stay open, nothing can hurt you.

You can eat what you want - some people prefer the lightness and purity of being vegan or vegetarian. Others like the substantiality of fish and meat - depends what you want - there is no right and wrong.

Drugs and alcohol can be quick ways to achieve certain states - there is often a cost - some people are willing to pay the cost - others are uncomfortable with the cost, but forget and repeat the behaviours - still others decide the cost is too high and let go of them - again, there is no right and wrong.

Books will show you what other people think but the most exciting thoughts are your own - fresh.

Politics is the grouping of people into different belief systems and battling it out in society - you can participate in this if you want but you will find the subtleties of your own thinking are drowned in the mess of the conflict - just being who you are is a strong enough statement to start a revolution.

Movement is the best route to spiritual transformation and will open your eyes to the beauty and diversity of life.

Death is an opening - whether it is perceived positively or negatively is up to the experiencer/observer.

God is just a word for a very open, infinite space of consciousness - watch a bubble expand and disappear into air and you will understand the journey of the soul.

Your perspective is no more and no less a unique window on the world and you can see that as proudly and humbly as you like - there is no right and wrong - you have a contribution to make since no one else sees the world quite like you - share your viewpoint.

Every sense is wonderful in its own way and if you focus on your senses, you will experience complete immersion in the sea of consciousness.

Spirituality is about the fine perception of beauty in all the diverse manifestations of reality.

Don't worry about not getting on with everybody - we all have limited knowledge about each other and it is easy to make false judgments - just get on with people who are friendly and accepting of you and leave others be.

You do not have to help anyone - everyone is responsible for their own journey - if you want to get involved that is fine but equally, if you don't, that is okay too.

Salvation seems to be an individual process but it is actually about coming into complete relationship with everything in a network of consciousness.

Sex and touch are wonderful things and can be very grounded and pleasurable, if handled skillfully and respectfully.

The will to dominate and manipulate and hurt is based on a misperception of life - these are unskillful ways of getting what we want - actually what most people want is to be understood and the best way to be understood is to learn how to communicate skilfully

Jesus was a teacher of the way and used the language of the time and place he was situated in.

Another word for salvation is commitment - when you give yourself to something completely, then amazing things start to happen.

Imagine the universe as a gigantic bubble, which is constantly rearranging itself and reflecting off itself.

Everybody is a distinct person and also an expression of one being - that which is beyond identity - religions identify it with their spiritual teacher - so ultimate reality is called Jesus or Buddha but it is truely ineffable and unfathomable.

Don't have to do anything - everything is choice.

Can do whatever you want.

There is no right and wrong, only actions and consequences.

Every moment is an opportunity to choose love and fun and pleasure.

Right and wrong vary according to the context - what do you think?

The silence/God does not care what happens.

Most people totally miss the point of life which is creativity in every thought, word and deed.

Reality is up for grabs.

Most people, especially intellectuals, are utterly deluded.

There is no inherent meaning in life, it is something we choose to create.

Everybody is responsible for their own experience.

Happiness lies in realising the limits of your power.

Nothing is forbidden - there is only advice from those who have trod paths before.

Best to go back to a blank slate and draw a line to begin movement.

Life is always moving between the axis of paradoxes.

You are the ultimate authority - not the religious priest or the professor or doctor - you decide what happens in your life.

The best friend you can have is your own self.

Celebrate liberation through language and beyond.

It's all a gigantic, ever-evolving conversation or exchange - sometimes warlike, sometimes amorous, sometimes business-like.

Nobody knows what is right or wrong - we are all blagging it as we go along and that is the joy of it.

It's all good - all in your perception - way beyond any system - life is ever inventive and radically inclusive - it all depends what you want.

Everybody is okay - beatific vision.

Call yourself what you want if you want a label to define your way of being but remember - you are unique.

Develop your own vision - you have one, unique, unrepeatable life - make the most of it.

Bust any system you come across yet also accept it as a room in an endless mansion of thought - others may feel happy living there - people are in their reality tunnels which all interconnect and make up a divine, magical reality - be free.

Different people have different ideas about right and wrong - different standards.

It's all a big negotiation and we often do not agree.

Myths are an important part of life - different myths express different truths.

Let beauty shine through a multiplicity of portals in the world.

Don't be freaked out by others' beliefs.

Reality exceeds expectations - reasonable proportions - it is all a divine comedy - though not exactly as Dante imagined with his medieval mindset - let go into a more fluid 21st century world.

You are God is Love and that can be expressed in an infinite amount of ways.

You can take as long as you like.

You can have it right now if you open yourself up widely enough.

Every occurrence in your life is an opportunity to wake up.

Life is less of a design and more of a flourish.

Peace would come if more people learnt to dance.

It all adds up to nothing.

Only you have the power to announce your own brilliance in life.

Always trust your own mind over another.

There is no best thing - there are many things, many options.

As Jesus became God, so shall you all.

Your smile will come from a realisation of unity.

Money is a symbol for energy - use it wisely and lightly.

The best way to enjoy yourself is to abandon yourself.

Death is always a possibility.

It's all about perspective and perception - there are an infinite number of ways of looking at the world - kaleidoscopic and multiplicitous.

Celebrate the artist's freedom and the abundance of a creative life.

It is all relational - an infinite contextual field - choose the configuration you enjoy the most

All archetypes - converge on one archetype whose name is Mystery, which pervades everything - let yourself be blinded by its light - one source - beyond the beyond.

It all fits.

Play with life.

Flowers of emptiness

Flowers of emptiness
hang in a garland
around her neck.

Petals drop down her breasts,
into the hungry void.

She offers him a fruit from the tree of disillusionment,
saying,
'What if the beauty of this Garden were not real?'

How many skins does a snake have to shed,
before nothingness is revealed?

Enjoy the dance of bubbles
through the air,
knowing their dissolution
is imminent.

Flowers of emptiness
line the coffin and within,
the corpse of her life lies.

The spirit is a myth,
woven with invisible threads,
symbolising nothing.

Flowers of emptiness is the title of a book, taking a critical look at Osho's communities in India

Sometimes (2)

Sometimes a poetic lie - a shard of fantasy, flying into our line of vision from some daimonic realm - may awaken us more sharply, than a thousand hours of newsreel - 'missives from the battle-field of reality'

Sometimes we have to interrupt - to tear down the established order - impose an opening to let fresh air into a muddled situation.

Sometimes we need to flick to opposition of the patterns of the recent past, to ignite vitality and sing difference into a linear track.

Sometimes disturbance of 'the peace', calls us to a more immediate attention, shaking us from arcadian dreams, into an apprehension of a more sublime, less comforting landscape.

Striking novel dance-moves on the dance-floor of existence.

Sometimes there must be a shock - a collision of expectation and actuality to shift the configuration to a sharper resolution.

Sometimes we must let cracks appear in the jar of our being, if light is to come through the set contours of clay.

Sometimes things must be smashed - often by accident, occasionally on purpose - to punctuate a situation which has become stuck and reframe awareness to a more fluid nature.

Sometimes incongruity must tear a rupture in the fabric of normality - upsetting the apple-cart of everyday ways, in order to integrate other dimensions.

Sometimes the outsider must impress his alien ways onto the cosiness of the clique - challenging and stretching their customs to accommodate alternative paradigms.

Sometimes we must drop out of our routine - take a hike in a new direction and let the unknown open up our sense of adventure and lust for novelty.

Sometimes we must imagine the death of certainty, living as if we may not awaken from the next night's sleep and see how that awareness transforms the complacency of our assumptions.

Sometimes we must not go to bed, but journey into the darkness, witnessing the shadow of Apollo's daylight and the womb of our dreams.

Sometimes we must not tell it all, cherishing the secrets that uniquely enrich our souls, letting out only hints and smiles that point to the discoveries of our lives.

Conformity is unsettling and sometimes refreshing to the constantly rebellious.

Sometimes we must stop, dead, in our tracks and turn around, so we can meet the possibilities that have been tapping on our shoulder, knowing that destiny is an arrow flying in multIple directions and the way may encompass many paths.

Sometimes we must tune into the still voice that culture is drowning out and dance to a different beat, though the zeitgeist might declare us out of step, the wider pattern of the gods will shower favour on our courageous steps.

Sometimes we must elevate the exception so it has a chance of embroidering the rule. Without integration, this life we have denied will return with the vengeance of the malignly festering.

Sometimes we must invite utopias in, to lift the depression that can suffuse the real world and chance to see how ideals may light the way to expanded worlds, without losing our sense of the ground.

Sometimes suggests variance and fissure - discontinuities and turnings in our paths. The only salvation sometimes offers is transformation.

The foal

She is a foal
in a land of brutes,
whispered along by encouraging spirits.

Legs weak and unsure,
yet a force of becoming,
maintains her resolve.

Her way is crossed by other travellers,
motives various,
so we might miss her
on the thoroughfare of life.

Tender instincts can be crowded out
by more urgent, louder voices.

She is the sapling and the murmur.
The slightest kiss and faint memories
of something intuited.

Partition off her dimension
and you can live,
but not without being haunted
by the drowning sound of subtlety's cries.

The city of our dreams

We learnt magic spells from an ancient book and invoked a mystical cat with occult powers.

The cat laid a golden egg and from it the city of our dreams hatched.

We watched the genesis of the urban vision unfold from afar,
and when it was ready, we slotted into it.

Everything we had ever hoped for was there, along with some novel and ingenious features we never anticipated.

People came to visit and said - 'Aren't you lucky to live in such a marvellous town?'

We winked at one another, since we knew how much time and effort we had spent, nurturing our dream, whilst others determinedly dialogued with dreariness.

One day, we went to our favourite restaurant to have a meal and found it was closed.

A sign hung on the door saying, 'Sorry, but we've giving up the business'.

We went to the next street and everywhere, places were closing and people moving out.

'But where are you going?' we asked a man in desperation.

'Back to the land of seed-time. Cities like this cannot go on forever. All dreams must pass'.

Soon the city started shrinking and eventually the cat came and gobbled it up.

We felt betrayed and adrift. What now, what now, we cried, looking to the cat.

'Dream again' It purred, 'If you dare to explore some more.'

We looked at each other with deep thought - how could we bear to have our dreams snatched away again.

'There is another way', said the cat. 'Join your friends in the dreary town and light everything from within with the lanterns of your imagination.'

With that the cat started to fade and was gone.

We were left along but together, in the world of compromise and set about to ignite it ablaze.

A tale of water

Somewhen, a fellow dwelling in mellow moods, cruising through, half-on, half-off, had a fall.

The fellow fell and hurt his head. Bam, wham, stars hovered around his crest, and something awakened, questions unfolding a quest. His life moved from the surface of a lake, idle languishing, to a discovery of deep, dark depths, long hidden from the sun's illumination.

Our fellow became a fisherman and explorer, diving to five fathoms low and more.

He left no stone unturned - unearthing innumerable creatures of the blue - too obscure to detail, yet each emboldened his mission to shine the light of his curiousity, now a furious curious drive, onto the aquatic labyrinths below.

From the initial lake, he moved on down streams and rivers, to other ponds and pools, down waterfalls and wiers, weird backwaters and canals, detailing and documenting the phenomena various of different local waters. Out into channels and seas and oceans, his motion was unceasing and circulating, until he perceived the common link.

'Water, water - it's all water - I'm surrounded by water and now I know!'

Rather than retreat to a restful retirement, he spent his days taking folk down the avenues of his own adventure and inspiring them to make their own, hoping that they too might realise what he had.

The hair-pin

The hair-pin was lost in the hay-stack -
only a magnet will bring it back.

The gold dust was sprinkled along the dirt track -
falling from a hole in the sack.

Now the trail from the beauty-salon to the farm is marked forever -
but only to be discovered by the clever.

Many months later the farmer is clearing the barn.
Moving the bales to another part of the farm.

And what does he alight on but the hair-pin itself,
which drops from a bundle with steely stealth.

A flash of metallic catches the farmer's eye.
And he picks up the pin from the ground nearby.

My, my, he wonders, how did this happen to end up in his farm?
His mind races through many a posssible yarn.

Was it a society lady who fell to disrepute with a stable hand,
or a bewigged gentleman who took a fancy to a woman of the land?

I'll leave the answer to your own imagination.
Sometimes enigmas can inspire fascination

and leave you inventing your own storyline
to fill in this sketch of mine.

Inspired by watching a production of Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas at the ADC theatre.

The pedestal

'Can you give me a lift?' She said.

'Where?' He enquired.

'Up on this pedestal, please.'

'Why?'

'I think I'll look better up there.'

'But I won't be able to see you properly. You'll tower over me. I'll be looking up your skirt. Well, perhaps we could do it for a bit.'

'I want to be your muse. I want to be adored. I want to be untouchable. I want to taste the nectar of the gods. I want to be like a spectacularly high cathedral that men try to climb'.

'Yes, yes. Well, okay. I'll get a step ladder. What are you going to do once you're up there? There is not much room for movement. You might find it a bit static - statuesque.'

'I'll enjoy the view. And I'll be kept busy by all the people worshipping me and heaping praise on me.'

'Well, a change is as good as a break, I suppose. Just make sure you don't fall off and break something. Right, here's the step-ladder. It's a bit rickety, I'll hold it whilst you climb up.'

'Oh, I like this feeling of ascending. Now I can see all sorts of things which I couldn't see before. How do I look?'

'Erm. A bit distant. I've got a good view up your nostrils. You look a bit weird, actually. The perspective has put you all out of proportion'.

'Do I look like Boudicea on her chariot or Cleopatra on her throne or Joan of Arc being burnt at the stake?'

'Yes, dear. Now would you like a cup of tea?'

'Ooh yes. I could murder one.'

'Well, you better come down then, since I won't be able to pass it to you. I'll just get the step-ladder. Oh, no, it's broken. I'm not sure what to do. I'll just drink this cup of tea and describe it to you and then at least you can enjoy it vicariously.'

'Maybe if I call out to the heavens, they will help me'.

'I guess it's worth a try.'

Stained

The tapestry is stained, the psyche is flawed.
Nature is jagged, the angels have had a fall.

The beauty looks rough in the morning, the person in flesh doesn't quite match the photo.
The vegetables are nibbled by insects, the mind forgets what was formerly known.

The apple is dappled and bruised, the stitching on the shirt is frayed.
The photos are faded, the shop-keeper doesn't give the right change.

The majesty has a shadow, the plot seems to continually digress.
The quality is sullied, the mechanics don't quite make the test.

The skin is marked by blemishes, the hair is flecked with grey.
The furniture is chipped, the weather rarely gives us a cloudless day.

Reality is imperfection, each others' foibles we must continually forgive.
Nothing quite makes 'the grade' so better to get on with it and just live.

Scarecrows

A line of scarecrows, stand, arranged in an S-shape across the field.
The wind gusts and they fall like dominos on top of one another.

Crows circle, never scared for a minute,
laughing at the vanquishing of this human fakery.

Worms insinuate themselves into the straw-stuffed innards
of the pretend-men, now leveled,
and humbled by the blow of spirit.

The ascender

She spins and spins like a child - letting a kaleidoscope of ideas impress themselves on her psyche - flung wide open.

The conspiracies of the counterculture warp and weave their idiosyncratic patterns on her perception - now I can see aliens, fairies, angels.

'The Illuminati' are in the background - baddies to battle against. The fight is ignited - like a lit joint - and the heat burns her lips.

Rainbow hippies welcome her into their realm and they chant 'Om' into the night.

Everything is very, very, very beautiful - her eyes are enchanted - a wide-eyed sleep.

God provides - according to her wishes - like the loaves and fishes - desires multiply.

Her intention is pure and simple - and nothing will stand in her way.

Higher and higher, higher and higher - the carousel wheel has broken with its motor and spins off into the sky.

'You need to come down' says everyone but she's too in love with the stars.

One day, I will be enlightened, she says - even if I'm burnt up in the furnace of the sun.

And on she spins into the embrace of nature whose shining lights keep her entertained.

The ascender wonders if there is a ceiling to it all.....and infinity's laughter ricochets around its endless pathways.

Born without ears

I was born without ears.

The world did not grant me that sense - a rationing for a reason I do not know.

My perspective is watching the dancers move without knowing their inspiration. Silence.

I see them talking but do not comprehend and make do in my relative isolation, drawing on inner thoughts. Thoughts without ears.

I get my kicks from other sensations.

Knowing life through my tongue and touch, smell and eyes.

They say (the ubiquitous, abstract they) that a loss of one sense leads to a sharpening of others but how would I know? What is, is all I have known and I suspect the sentiment was formulated to make those endowed with all five, feel better about their luck.

I was born without ears, though I cried through the tears on my birth and everyone else heard.

The June sun shone through and another life emerged to witness existence and make its mark.

I woke up somewhere down the road - when do memories start? - and I was one without - marked by my lack - and labeled as special needs - a category apart, with a need to be 'integrated' as best as possible.

You make the best of things - if you are sensible - once you have put aside anger and existential questioning. You learn to see the upside in your situation - I have my own language - we have our own language in sign - which affords us skills and opportunities which others don't have. I notice other things - perhaps this is what is meant by the compensatory gain. And I think and dream in silent sign - you could never imagine. Even God signs his wisdom to me: a non-dual message using both hands.

I was born without ears and I shall die without ears. As long as medical science remains helpless. Religion promises healing of hearing but perhaps that is just metaphor. My journey has not led me to those waters where I place myself at the mercy of the Divine.

Would I want it if I could be given my ears back? Might I go mad? Would sound make any sense? Perhaps, like Van Gogh, I would cut them off again, repulsed by the sonic onslaught that was unleashed.

Sometimes I do wonder. I try to imagine sound. See how the normal people react and put myself in their shoes. I can dance, of course, but not for the same reasons, or not all the same reasons as them. Sometimes I follow their movements - they are my visual beat and melody, with their stomping feet and arms in the air. Sometimes I just do it for myself and on my own terms and in my own way.

I was born without ears - that was my fate. I could have been born in any period of history, into poverty or great wealth. With stupidity or genius. I could have been dumb or blind or had any of the physical illnesses and conditions. But I was born without ears and, whilst it is not what 'I' would have chosen, it is okay.

The cycle messiah

Coming over the cycle bridge, it's the two-wheeled messiah, head lit by the halo of a yellow helmet, announcing over and over again, the virtues of open-air motion.

Breaking through the commotion of a busy city street, the bicycle messiah winds his way around walking shoppers and scatters trouser-clips amongst the desperate masses.

The people have been crying out for salvation and now here he is - the cycle messiah - showing the way by making a clear arm signal to the left, whilst urging people not to read significance into everything he does.

It's hard being the cycle messiah, pot-luck navigation around pot-holed streets - seeing who he will meet - mending punctures, fixing brakes, adjusting seats, confronting those on the make to examine their humanity and adjust their set so they might receive a clearer signal.

The bicycle messiah rings his bells and poops his horn - arms high in the sky, riding with the confidence of an 11 year old, at the peak of his pre-pubescent powers.

This revolution is a two-wheeled one and makes progress through cyclical movement in a forward direction.

Writing poetry after Auschwitz

The images came into my life, slowly over time, until it was made clear that the recent past was deeply troubled.

Adorning the corridors of collective memory are pictures of camps where concentration is annihilated by the tedium of explicit oppression and slaughter.

Many declared that this was where God died, finally, the chosen people decimated by another chosen people.

We all do the will of God since the gift is freedom.

Surely poetry was written and thought and remembered in the dormitories where people, ordinary and exceptional, exceptional and ordinary, ordinarily exceptional, exceptionally ordinary, waited to die.

There is a period of grief, of turning inward, of negation and spiritual asceticism, where things are purified and emotions cleansed, as best they can.

And then...

Poetry can not die, just as water cannot disappear from these world-cycles. There is always a welling-up. Culture can build dams but the impulse breaks through in some. Who deliver to others. No-one is untouched by poetry, even after Auschwitz.

Especially after Auschwitz.

Language

Imagine language like an electric eel...slivering with razor sharp speed through the air...darting into your ear to tickle your brain...awakening circuits long dormant...joyous at the curvy precision of the linguistic keys that fizz with enlightening information....The eel has no beginning or end...but travels circuitously, constantly transforming itself, to the marvel and awe of its recipients.

Imagine language as feathers...blown by the gentle force of your breath...to tickle the inner workings of your friends. Words so soft, that people must become so supple and open to receive their intended communications.

Imagine language as immaterial food, which you crave, which you gorge upon, which nourishes you - a multitude of fruit trees, offering endless blends for us to enjoy. 

Imagine language as bullets, blown from the pistol of an aggressive, rigid soldier. Sent to destroy self-esteem and terrorize the semantic networks of humanity. There are two ways to deal with these firings. The first is to build a shield of strength. Impervious to the attacks of the verbally pugnacious. The second is to become so porous that any attempt to strike you with hate will just sail right through your infinitely flexible being and fly off into the horizon, inevitably to strike the sender when his karma ripens and the words have traveled 360 degrees.

Imagine language as a garden, words as seeds, sentences as beds, and stories as ecologies. The eloquent gardener grows a fertile plot of verbal flowers - to make garlands of meaning and wreathes of poetry.

Imagine language as the bars of your prison and the keys to your emancipation. Particular arrangements offering entrapment or liberation, according to the harmony or otherwise of the pattern you construct. The oppressed of the world have imprints of texts deep in their beings, binding their neurology to the outlines of long-dead sages and speakers. The joy that comes when erroneous phrases are burst and the energy they held within is released into a freer, truer space of creative possibility.

Imagine language as the aural emissions, flying from mouth to ear, itself a thread knitting together souls in incestuous conversations, endless exchanges.

Imagine language as a cosmic pattern, evolving, stretching and interweaving its expressions, its dynamic creation. From roots of primal chaos, to rough attempts to elucidate communications, to increasingly diverse and complex vocabularies and dialects, to the subtle realms of the ineffable, inexpressible, wordless.

Thursday, 30 December 2010

The Story of Truth and Fiction

Truth was a hard lad - he exercised everyday. He emitted a cold light and did maths and logic to pass the time. He was the ultimate conformist. Truth marched. Unrelenting. Boring. Fixed in his ways. Like rock. Like steel.

Fiction was a slippery character. She flittered around, mercurially. Everyday she practiced telling lies, just for the hell of it. Fiction skipped and shape-shifted. Chimera-like. The grand illusionist. Like water. Like clouds.

One day Truth ran into Fiction. To be more accurate, Truth ran over Fiction. But Fiction just reshaped herself into new forms. Truth was aggravated. He tried to tell Fiction how things were but she was having none of it. He could not catch her devilish dancing nature. Like an elephant trying to snare a butterfly, it was all doomed to failure.

Fiction turned and swirled around Truth, telling him of all the other possibilities besides Reality. She tried to open his mind to fantasy and imagination and magic. Truth laid out the exact contours of existence. Fiction hid it in a series of veils, hoaxes and embellishments. He was outraged at her irreverence and lack of gravity. Truth bought her encyclopedias. Fiction cut them up and made poetry out of them. Truth recited statistics, facts and figures. Fiction laughed and said 'picture a different world!'. Truth played with an open hand whereas Fiction bluffed and blagged her way through.

Truth frowned disapprovingly. Fiction smiled indulgently.

They looked at each other for a long, long time until......

Truth saw the charm of Fiction and Fiction realised the sincerity of Truth.

They touched and Truth melted, just a little and Fiction became a bit more solid.

Both Truth and Fiction were changed by their encounter and learnt to dance together. Though they still bickered sometimes, neither denied the other.

Alternative ending:
Both Truth and Fiction were changed by their encounter and leant to dance together and in their dance their identities blurred. Truth's sense of ground started to slip away and Fiction began to engage with existence. Their dimensions mixed and multiplied and their children burst forth as hybrid seeds to regenerate life.

The meaning(s) of life

Some people say life is a school,
we're here for learning, discipline and rules.

Others point out it's a big trip,
an opportunity for experience and being hip.

Scientists assert it's about evolution,
developing habits for survival and mutation.

Players say life is just a game,
play to win otherwise you are lame.

Fighters say existence is a war,
and are militaristic to their core.

Breeders think life is about reproduction,
fulfilling our bodies' ultimate function.

Fornicators say life is all about sex,
and confine their time to carnal projects.

The Religious preach the rule of the Divine,
obey the proscriptions and all will be fine.

Hedonists sing the world is a big party,
drinks, food and being hearty.

Romantics speak of utopian dreams,
Behind appearances, love's radiance gleams.

Nihilists say there's no point to it,
and lose themselves in the abysmal pit.

The social say life is a conversation,
chattering to their mutual elevation.

Determinists say there is no choice,
just submit to life's guiding voice.

Capitalists are here to make money,
any other motivations are deemed funny.

Communists are purely moved to share,
Only then they think will life be fair.

Artists' raison d'etre is to create,
to innovate and make their own fate.

Me? I blend it all together,
on my journey into forever.

Life is too immense to be fixed,
The greatest revelation is that it's mixed.

Litter

Everything fits.
As I walk down this road
(one of many I know),
I pass by litter.

Not stopping to pick it up
(the desire for order)
but letting the messiness of things
massage my brain.

Anomalies break through rigid systems,
like flowers sprouting from cracks in the pavement.

I look up to the
disymmetry of the sky -
infinite worlds
whirling in all directions,
where aliens drop litter as art
and sing hymns to nature's lavishness.

Tips for a disorientated life

Step outside your routine and make friends with uncertainty
Walk blindfolded for 10 minutes - hoping that car drivers will treat you benevolently - and see where you end up
Discard notions of left, right, up and down
Greet strangers like long-lost friends
Honour Father Earth and Mother Sky
Ask people what they mean whenever they try to talk
Put on a coat of now and follow signs everywhere pointing to nothingness
Follow an obscure tribal religion
Create new words and use them
Adopt a new mother and father
Wear odd socks and put your t-shirt on inside out
Take on a new name everyday
Question received wisdom
Ask people whether they are treating life well rather than the other way round
Travel backwards and say goodbye to people when you arrive
When people ask what you do - start a list and keep going until they tell you to shut up
Shoplift, just because you are good at it and give the money to charity
Challenge cliches and dogma wherever you go
Face your fears and dance with them
Write with your opposite hand to normal
Ring up sales people and ask them if they would be interested in a communist society and if so could they please fill in a form with their name, address, website, consumer preferences, etc....
Do something out of character - and then do something else and keep going
Make wild propositions and follow them up
Beat your chest, stick out your tongue and jump up and down (though of course you don't respect the notions of up and down any more!)
Use the toilets designated for the opposite gender
Eat less (unless you are anorexic and then try eating more)
Spin, spin, spin until you have forgotten why you started
Learn Hebrew (and read backwards)
Go to a church and give out flowers and hugs
Mix metaphors and split infinitives
Tell someone what you really think about life
Praise the heavens when it rains
Add salt to deserts and sugar to main courses
Nail jelly to the wall
Say thank you when you give and please when you receive
Smoke clouds and drink oceans
Inject sunlight into your veins
Burn money and teach beauty
Give waiters a tip about life rather than cash
Dreadlock your beard
Sing nursery rhymes to your Grandmother
Put your elbows on the table whilst talking with your mouth full of glory
Go round the world to lose yourself
Teach feminism at the local men's working club
Ask a tramp for financial advice
Donate some money to Warren Buffet
Invite the Prime Minister to an anarchist's ball
Telll a priest you believe in dogs rather than God
Ask Jesus if he would like a follow-up appointment
Storm round to your neighbour's flat and demand that he turn up the music
Cook salad and eat cakes raw
Congratulate bullies for their kindness
Point out ways in which corporations could be more ruthless in exploiting their labour-force
Write a book about how to be a successful beggar - '90p for a busfare' and other lies that work
Create a CV full of skills learnt on the street
Launch a political party promoting a universal aristocracy
Wear a fish on your head

The toad's transformation

A toad crouches on a lily-pad,
a venomous creature,
ugly in thought, word and deed.

Alone and defiant,
cranky and cantankerous,
hallucinogenic and cynical,
tripping out in dark hell realms.

Stranger in this haloed world,
cursing the very air he breathes,
wishing for the whole nightmare to collapse and end,
wishing, wishing.....

Until one day innocence breezes by,
flowers in her hair,
all nubile nudity,
wandering where the path might lead,
heart in love with all creation's particulars,
whistling the song of the carefree,
known to all tongues
as the melody of liberation's dance.

The toad, though immersed in foul odours,
stirs as innocence passes.

Seeing him she smiles,
purses her lips
and as sweet sounds stream forth,
showering him with love,
the (un)fortunate amphibian realises his beauty,
and the two fuse,
souls collapsed into the ecstasy of oneness.

The toad's wayward pattern is absorbed into the
compassionate flow of the circle of life,
and he is free to play in the garden of redemption.

Uncommon wisdom

Sometimes the grass really is greener on the other side

Leap before you get stuck just looking

There really is such a thing as a free lunch....just say thank you and enjoy it...

There are certainly plenty more fish in the sea, but also octopuses, sharks and jellyfish!

It isn't always a case of it wasn't meant to be - maybe you just messed it up

There isn't a reason for everything - some things just are without any great significance

Some clouds don't have a silver lining

An apple a day keeps the grocer in business

Some good things are eternal

Not all roads lead to Rome - some lead to desolation and ruin, some to heaven on earth, others lead to New York and others to Luton

He who waits may find that good things pass him by

You do not have to lie in the bed you make, you can rent it out

A watched pot certainly does boil

Are you treating life well?

Barking dogs sometimes do bite

Beggars can be choosers

Generally, welcome Greeks who bear gifts - may be a nice bottle of olive oil

Some boys will be girls

Brain is not always better than brawn - depends on the situation

Blessed if you do, damned if you don't (or vice versa depending on the situation)

Burn your bridges if there is a clear enemy on the other side

Sometimes a book's cover is a fine way to judge it

Look a gift horse in the mouth if the gift is suspect or unsatisfactory

The early bird does not catch the worm if he has only had two hours sleep

Don't go with the flow if it is leading to poisoned waters

Give and sometimes create a dependency

If at first you don't succeed, by all means try and try again, but after a few attempts, perhaps a different direction is in order

Life begins when you start to dare

Lightning sometimes strikes in the same place

Don't miss the trees for the wood

Opportunity knocks at every moment

That which does not kill you can often leave you weaker

Some of the best things in life cost quite a lot of money

The customer is often wrong

Sometimes it might be a good idea to argue with the barrel of a gun

Sometimes speak before your thought kills the impulse

Trouble shared may just exacerbate the trouble

Two's company, three's saucy

You can have your cake and eat it

You can have it both ways - in some contexts

You can teach an old dog new tricks (though it might be hard)

Life is neither 'short' nor 'long' but infinite and eternal

Life is a bitch and a whore and a lover and a milkmaid and an empress and a temptress and a mother and a babe and a granny and a witch and a 21st century liberated business woman and much more besides....

The defence of Poetry

Poetry stands accused.
In the dock,
on trial,
banished from Plato's geometric city walls,
outlawed as mere fancy by puritans and theocracies,
dismissed as irrelevant by mechanistic science,
and illogical by rationalists.

Poetry hears the charges,
and laughs with a gentle fierceness.
Eyes blazing
(and the eyes of Poetry are many)
surveying the quirks, curves and designs of nature,
of humanity itself,
considering what she knows feeds people,
beyond bread and water.

Poetry relishes the assault,
winking at her friends, music and pleasure,
who stand by the edge of the court,
whispering sweet nothings
into the ears of one another.

'Poetry' thunders the judge.
'You have been deemed useless,
a drain on our resources,
a senseless exercise in vanity,
and self-indulgence,
insubstantial and silly.
We, the powers that be,
have decided your presence
is no longer required in the world.
What do you have to say for yourself?'

'Well,' said Poetry,
wetting her lips, relishing the moment.
'I think you are overlooking a few matters.
Let me remind you,
in case you have forgotten
why I am here.

Poetry springs forth from souls,
in the most curious of circumstances,
like a nectar to balm the sores of a frayed life.

Poetry mounts revolutions,
seduces, enlightens.
Plants seeds of rhythm and rhyme,
beauty and outrage,
documents emotions and situations,
which might be unspeakable,
in ordinary parlance.

Poetry pushes back the black shadow of despair,
to reveal the true colours of the psyche.

Poetry is the sound of language rapping on the doors of the soul -
pushing and pushing until its light breaks through.
Flashes of clarity come.
Flourishes of an all-pervasive luminosity.

Poems evoke the dormant landscape of the imagination,
awakening all manner of secret beings,
aching to be paid attention,
aching to dance once again.

Poetry poses paradoxes,
setting off itches in readers' minds,
which over time,
maybe moments, maybe decades,
worm their way into the depths
of people's being,
lexical keys,
unlocking forgotten dimensions of existence.

Poetry is the language of divine, angelic and fairy realms.
It's how the bards of ancient times told their tales.
The hidden harmony beyond the rigidities
of proper grammar.
The music of the spheres
which embroiders the astronomers' clinical vision.

Poetry pops up to perturb and perchance to persuade,
joining words, which live in
a dictionary town of detached houses,
to step out and join a dance,
spiralling round the universe.

Poetry knows no bounds,
yet can take on form
and restriction for the sake of play.

You need me, all you
scholars and lawyers,
engineers and economists.
Let the fragrant rose of poetry
soften your hard sciences.
And when you plumb the depths of your disciplines,
you will see that poetry was always there,
woven into the fabric of existence,
in neat turns of phrase,
eloquent equations
and profound truths.

Poetry is sitting there,
on the bookshelf,
on the web,
little phrases that pop into your head
and remembered fragments of masters
studied at school.

Every city, every community,
has its poets,
every prison and school,
government house and hospital.
An ongoing revolution,
sometimes private,
sometimes sung from the hilltops,
to announce the presence of the sublime
and the ridiculous,
and the freedom we must exercise
to liberate poetry (though it was never truly imprisoned)
and plant it in the ears and hearts
of people, hungry for movement.

The point of poetry is....(drumroll!).....nothing!'


I didn't give up

I didn't give up, I just stopped.
I didn't fall, I just dropped.

We didn't break up, we just moved apart.
It wasn't a new beginning, just a fresh start.

I wasn't fired, I just left.
I didn't steal, it was just theft.

We didn't argue, it was just a talk.
We didn't stroll, it was just a walk.

I didn't lie, I was just economical with the truth.
I wasn't rude, just a bit uncouth.

I didn't moan, I just sighed.
I wasn't fat, I was just wide.

I wasn't poor, I was just broke.
I wasn't enlightened, I just awoke.

I didn't crash, I just collided.
It wasn't synchronicity, things just coincided.

I didn't laugh, I was just amused.
I wasn't perplexed, I was just confused.

I didn't change, I just shifted.
I didn't become happy, I just lifted.

I didn't ignore, I just walked past.
I didn't go quickly, I just moved fast.

I didn't decide, I just made up my mind.
I didn't conform, I just aligned.

I didn't win, I just came first.
It wasn't a disaster, it was just the worst.

I wasn't born, I just emerged.
I didn't accelerate, I just surged.

I didn't die, I just stepped back.
I'm not lucky, I've just got the knack.

It wasn't love, it was just a romance.
It wasn't situational, it was down to circumstance.

I didn't repair, I just mended
I didn't bow, I just bended.

I didn't breakdown, I just crumbled.
I didn't trip, I just stumbled.

I didn't nag, I just fussed.
It wasn't by necessity, it was just a must.

We didn't dance, we just jived.
I wasn't living, I was just alive.

I wasn't ignorant, I was just in the dark.
I didn't make an impression, I just left a mark.

I didn't catch, I just received.
I didn't see, I just perceived.

I didn't hug, I just embraced.
I didn't hurry, I just made haste.

I didn't play, I just fooled around.
I wasn't silent, I just made no sound.

I didn't shout, I just spoke out loud.
I didn't rebel, I just deviated from the crowd.

I didn't cry, I just wept.
I didn't hoard, I just kept.

I didn't discover, I just found.
I didn't sink, I just drowned.

I wasn't dishonest, I was just wiley.
I wasn't manic, I was just very smiley.

I wasn't rich, I just had lots of money.
I wasn't amusing, I was just funny.

So look at my life, in a different light.
You think grey is black, but maybe it's white.

Planets of sound

There's a planet, not a million miles from here,
where the only word used is 'bliss'.

There's a planet, dreamt up somewhere,
whose inhabitants speak in cockney rhyme.

There's a planet, an evil twin of earth,
where everything is spoken backwards.

There's a planet, nestled away across the milky way,
where silence rules, except for a minute every year, when everyone cries, in respect of those who died by sound.

There's a planet, you can see if you squint,
where nobody can understand what anyone is saying.

There's a planet, yet to be discovered by astronomers,
where people communicate through a combination of singing, telepathy and sign language.

There's a planet, heard of in ancient tales,
where everyone uses computer-generated speech,
and speak of a long-awaited prophet called Hawking.

There's a planet, spinning through the astral realms,
where twisted creatures can't stop laughing at a joke which everyone long forgot.

There's a planet, down, down, in the hell realms,
where language has been stripped of beauty and pleasure, and merely serves to describe machines.

There's a planet, spinning round a nearby star, where sexy aliens utter orgasmic groans, in an ever-rising, never-ending crescendo.

There's a planet, where we reside,
in which languages are becoming extinct by the day.

There's a planet, which is being born,
where different languages dance and mix to create a new poetic vision, the age of the imagination, starting NOW!

Sometimes

Sometimes yes, sometimes no.
Sometimes fast, sometimes slow.

Sometimes stop, sometimes go.
Sometimes steer, sometimes flow.

Sometimes sad, sometimes glad.
Sometimes sane, sometimes mad.

Sometimes up, sometimes down.
Sometimes serious, sometimes clown.

Sometimes struggle, sometimes career.
Sometimes trust, sometimes fear.

Sometimes idle, sometimes busy.
Sometimes calm, sometimes fizzy.

Sometimes focused, sometimes open.
Sometimes pagan, sometimes zen.

Sometimes feeling, sometimes thinking.
Sometimes blinking, sometimes winking.

Sometimes moving, sometimes chilling.
Sometimes stalling, sometimes willing.

Sometimes quiet, sometimes chatty.
Sometimes smart, sometimes tatty.

Sometimes refined, sometimes coarse.
Sometimes surrender, sometimes force.

Sometimes swim, sometimes fly.
Sometimes sing, sometimes cry.

Sometimes hit, sometimes miss.
Sometimes wink, sometimes kiss.

Sometimes lose, sometimes win.
Sometimes grace, sometimes sin.

Sometimes indulge, sometimes serve.
Sometimes forward, sometimes swerve.

Sometimes rise, sometimes sink.
Sometimes feel, sometimes think.

Sometimes both, sometimes none at all.
Sometimes, just sometimes.

Many

Many shapes of oak tree are in the acorn.
Many adult selves are contained in the newly born.

Many possibilities of relationship spring from the opening line.
Many futures may manifest from this moment in time.

Many universes spring from the eternal void.
Many mutations see the light before they are destroyed.

Many drafts are written from the seed idea.
Many dark fantasies are bred out of fear.

Many trajectories sprout out from this point on the road.
Many beautiful memories are bound up in the load.

Many configurations build up from the opening scrabble letter.
Many visions come from those who think they could fashion society better.

Many seasons turn around a point of light.
Many colours fan out from a source of white.

Many people share a consciousness with the one.
Many planets spin out from the radiant sun.

Many books have come from the primordial Word.
Many different sheep are in the seemingly homogenous herd.

Many games are invented to fill the space.
Many expressions animate the human face.

Do you want?

Do you want to be stretched......so your skin becomes translucent and luminosity shines through?

Do you want to learn in a school where day-dreaming is mandatory and what you study each day unfolds according to your twists and turns?

Do you want to find out why wind is used as a metaphor for spirit?

Do you want to discover beauty in tragedy and remain grounded around triumph?

Do you want to see that you are seeing?

Do you want to discover the precious particularity which only you can contribute?

Do you want to make friends with the birds and the cats and the stars?

Do you want to lean into faith and embrace uncertainty?

Do you want to open your eyes in the morning and then keep opening them, in a constant rebirth?

Do you want to weave together rational and mythic ways of being, opening up dreamworlds amidst this very life?

Do you want to give birth to the elusive light, laying latent in your soul?

Do you want to crumble religions and philosophies into a cauldron of liquid experience, adding nuggets of poetry and art as seasoning, then hand out the result to passers-by?

Do you want to ride waves of becoming into an endless horizon?

Do you want to climb a hill, circle a savannah and dive into a lake, simultaneously?

Do you want to treat metaphor and meaning as an infinite pack of cards, remaining open and unattached?

Do you want to bless every turn of the seasons?

Do you want to touch and be touched by the sky?

Do you want to dance with the fluctuating pulses of life?

Do you want to become a voice of the divine?

Do you want to multiply into manysidedness?

Do you want to evolve?

Do you?

Coloured information

My eyes drink deep, drunk on coloured information.

Grass green gifts me its verdant freshness -
unless I swim, I shall drown in this ocean of matter.

Sky blue radiates skyness through and through
and when our planet turns away from the sun,
darkness envelops, save for the sequin stars,
which send their stellar rays down into my being.

Roses red scatter precious petals promiscuously
around the garden,
alighting on paths various surrounding the bed.

We lie, luxuriously, on this, our mattressed temple,
carnal divinity vibrates with the ecstasy of friction.

The fragrances of multiplicity waft waywardly past
and my senses are overwhelmed.

Temptation

Temptation is a look - come hither......leave caution with your friends - the path can only be walked by you.

It's the promise of riches - the call of dreams to risk all.

Temptation is reading other books - stepping into another culture. More sensous. Warmer. Looser.

It's the illusions which lead you away from reality, into fantastic constructions.

Temptation is a beautiful witch - a multicoloured siren who celebrates existence.

It's a nature spirit asking you to follow it down the rabbit hole.

Temptation is a doorway to the treadmill of desire, which could rotate forever.

It's a seemingly infinite succession of longings, spiraling through time.

Temptation is a pattern, which if you agree, tattoos itself in an endless repetition on your body.

It's a road which goes nowhere but always arouses your curiosity that it might deliver some reward.

Temptation is the glamour of madness which will enliven your world and bypass responsibility.

It's the colour red - heels, lip-stick, fire, passion.

Temptation is a pill with a graphic of an apple on it which promises freedom.

It's the call of the wild to run with wolves.

Temptation is the distraction, the side-show, the escape, the intoxicating flower.

It's the pillow to sleep on which smothers you and the face which greets you when you fade into dreams.

Temptation is the music of chaos which initially sounds intoxicating but gradually degenerates into noise.

It's the wrong kind of smile which leads to a casting aside of sense.

The rule of the Vulcan

A vulcanized society makes progress through technology.

Efficiency, choice, logic!

Emotions are a distraction and to be overcome by the ruthless application of rationality.

Apply here all who want to be vulcanized!

You must be willing to undergo a transformation that will shed your consciousness of myth and superstition and sentimentality.

We will produce a newer, bettter, happier, more sensible breed of human being.

Today, a technocratic society on earth. Tomorrow the universe. We will send out envoys of Vulcans to vulcanise space.

English is too unpredictable a language. German is infinitely preferable.

The mechanical worldview assigns everything its place and purpose - every individual harnessed to the will of the Reason.

No gods here - just a penetrating wisdom that clarifies and cleanses our perspective of all error.

We value tautness, precision, factuality, consideration, reliability and consistency.

Vulcans of the world unite - you have nothing to lose but your feelings (and we all know what a handicap they are for getting on). 

Cycling with one leg

A fellow I know spends his days cycling with one leg.

He has one eye and stares intently at the goings on of the world.

He lost his other eye in a game of football. He tripped over and another player smashed their boot into his face. Goodbye right eye.

But he has both legs. So far.

After the accident a curious thing happened. Clearly not just his eyesight was affected but he stopped using the whole of the right side of his body.

He eats with one hand. Smells with one nostril. Hears with one ear (curious rhyme). And cycles with one leg.

Life has become considerably harder work since the accident but it is not because he is bloody minded that he proceeds this way, but he is just following a certain logic that the damage to his brain dictates.

I think he's hopping mad. But we have a drink every now and then, getting legless together in the pub, and my gaze fixes on his beady left eye, widened by the booze, bursting with love, and I forgive him his eccentricity.

Free

Whatcha mean? Ya wanna be free? Free to do what? Or freedom from.....

From?

From....the bogey monster? The shadows in your mind?
From the bullies at school? Free from you?
From the government? Freedom from bad habits for the duration of Lent?
Free from ya folks who hold you back?
Freedom from your last partner who says you're no good in the sack?
Free from your image in the mirror which disappoints you too often.
Free from the sap of sentimentality which makes your dick soften.
Free from the advertising man who wants your precious bucks.
Free from lecherous people who want a quick fuck.

Free to fly to the moon and live off lunar cheese.
Free to leave the country and do as you please.
Free to kiss who you choose without guilt in your mind.
Free to stick up two fingers at those who're unkind.
Free to sing hallelujah at a humanist meeting.
Free to admit to your mates you like Ronan Keating.
Free to go jogging at night and sleep in the day.
Free to say you don't work but do much creative play.
Free to eat what you like according to your whims.
Free to hit the dance-floor and flail around your limbs.

Whatdaya mean by freedom? Is this a goal you have to pursue?
An abstract concept which lives in a philosophical zoo.
Is this a state of immaculate isolation?
Or a quality divorced from practicality, but enjoyed in your imagination?
Do you need a written constitution to do what you want to do?
Do you need to enact a revolution to be true?
Do you need a course of therapy to be straight in your communications?
Do you need Eastern philosophy for your spiritual elevation?

Is a desire to be free perhaps the thing that keeps you trapped?
The bars are purely mental and the prison a conceptual map.

The wind has no beginning and freedom has no end.
We always start in the middle and try to fix things which need no mend.

The poise of freedom is a precious just-so with an infinite amount of saboteurs.
The wily nature of the world has its traps and its lures.
But freedom is a jealous god and holds true to its own bliss.
Action without attachment, hand without fist.
Wisdom without diktat, precision without miss.

You are

You're the singer and the song
You're the hammer and the gong

You're the thinker and the thought
You're the seeker and the sought

You're the eye and the vision
You're the blood and the incision

You're the memory and the event
You're the nose and the scent

You're the feeling and the expression
You're the guilt and the confession

You're the trauma and the tear
You're the trembling and the fear

You're the perspective and the perception
You're the answer and the question

You're the particle and the wave
You're the master and the slave

You're the moon and the tide
You're the hair and the hide

You're the sun and its beams
You're the sleep and the dreams

You're the hunger and the satiety
You're the bounded and the care-free

You're the tension and the release
You're the conflict and the peace

You're the vulnerable and the strong
You're the legs and the sarong

You're the compression and the explosion
You're the expansion and the implosion

You're the monkey and the angel
You're the water and the deep well

You're the hunter and the prey
You're the curd and the whey

You're the fingers and the keyboard
You're the music and the score

You're the arousal and the kiss
You're the candle and the wish

You're the babe and the cradle
You're the fact and the fable

You're the road and the yellow bricks
You're the carrots and the sticks

You're the water droplets and the clouds
You're the forbidden and the allowed

You're the photons and the quarks
You're the electrons and the sparks

You're the network and the node
You're the current and the cathode

You're the cosmos and everything
You're the beginning and the ending

So when you feel constriction
and a spiraling downwards,
know that you're the force
that makes things happen.

The weaver, the sculptor,
the web, the sculpture.
Your view is unique
but the fabric is common.

The Shadow people

In the Shadowlands, live Shadow people who live shadow lives, doing shadow jobs, speaking shadow words and thinking shadow thoughts.

They always turn away from the light, and trample on fires to keep the temperature cold.

They don't believe in dreams, having forgotten theirs, long ago.

It wasn't always so.

No-one is born a shadow self, but it is something one becomes, having chosen shady ways of doing things.

People get hurt, and tired and cynical. People read too many books which make them think they are clever by thinking dismal thoughts. People turn into themselves and harden to keep the pain locked in a safe place, where they can't feel it.

Shadow people are like the puppets of grey clouds, and conspire to keep the consensus dreary and dull.

They have a whole industry keeping their agenda afloat and build schools and hospitals to make it so.

Shadow schools have only black-boards but no chalk to educate the kids. They want their pupils to stare into the black hole for long enough that any fighting spirit is given up.

Shadow hospitals have only one prognosis and that is despair. Mental health is about accepting the depression of life. Pain is a dangerous call to attention, so a bleak numbness is their panacea - submission, defeat.

The Sun is a myth for the Shadow people, who are sceptical to the nth degree about the warmth of its rays.

They sneer at people who sing eulogies about its life-giving beams and feel themselves superior to rise above such infantile superstition.

'What is true is darkness - why can't people accept the truth and live with it, as we do. That is the only way to come to terms with life.' They call it shadow realism.

Shadow people once lived in shadow caves, but never emerged, and relied on the efforts of others to do their gathering and hunting. They entertained themselves by watching the shadows cast on the walls by shards of light from outside, and became so absorbed in the shadow-play that they became utterly mad.

Now nothing will awaken them from the shadow slumber of the Shadow people who wander across continents and traverse oceans, denying that anything exists, apart from the dark apparitions of their shadow imagination.

The Shadow people live in the cold outer reaches and stomp on the sparks of those who glimpse something more. If someone becomes ablaze, they do their best to lock her up and label her, with clever-sounding terms, so she won't be listened to. The Shadow people inhabit a dark cloak of cynicism that surrounds the world.

They travel in hearses and wear burqas to the beach. Painting pictures of blackness and reciting monosyllabic drone poems, they call it a revolution in art.

Shadow people work in a black economy under a shadow government, in places like photographic dark-rooms or coal-mines.

The Shadow people look forward to death, when their imaginations will finally be engulfed by the darkness that they believe in so much.

Shadow philosophy teaches the way to give up and lose. 'Better collapse now, whilst it is of your own choice.'

The Shadow people conspire in dark alley-ways. They have been lurking in the underworld but now is the time when they have come to claim their dues. The smoke of the world is sucking at the health of the earth and Shadow people will defend to death their right to go that way.

Smog is their doing; cigarettes, concrete and oil, their trade; and tarmac-ing the world, their goal.

Grimaces and heavy sighs all round. The Shadow people want to take over.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Me and my demons

Some see their demons in the mirror,
and some see them in the clouds.

Some take their demons out for a walk,
and some talk to them aloud.

Some meet their demons at the local bar,
and some at the gambling house.

I feed my demons cherry drops,
and read them excerpts from Faust.

Some cast their demons out through exorcism,
and some paint them onto canvas.

Some describe their demons to the parish priest
and some hand them over at Mass.

Some count their demons when falling asleep
and some meet them in their dreams.

I tuck my demons up with me at night
and we discuss what wholeness means.

Some see their demons when they get mad
and some keep them well out of sight.

Some conjure demons in a haze of smoke
and some offer them up to the Light.

Some run away from demons their whole lives
and some don't believe in them at all.

I view my demons as part of the package
and so redeem myself from the Fall.

Steps

With each step, the previous stone disappears and if I try to step back, an entirely new, though in some ways, familiar stone appears.

Perpetually in an ever-changing 'middle', extremes no longer make any sense, except as reference points.

As if a single colour could be endured for long. A sense of proportion is a key to sanity. The pendulum swings, sometimes gently, sometimes more violently, but stasis is a myth - movement is the inescapable nature of life.

Metaphors are multiple - the tyranny of single-mindedness has been overthrown - combinations and exchanges are the currency of our experience now.

Strip back the masks of assumption and cliche - a more varied, unpredictable and coloured territory is revealed.

Footprints in the soil, leave a manufactured impression on the wild earthy ground - mixing sediments, layers of histories long forgotten, cast aside by the leviathans of remembered significance, before learning shifts as the age changes, and different aspects become prominent.

Seeing the possible future steps of someone approaching, I step into that stream of experience where we will meet.

Each person is an unfolding story of many pages, whose future is unwritten and past largely a matter of perspective. We may catch a few words or even several chapters, though only partial renditions of these, and no-one is ever known in their entirety.

Faces are not fixed, yet carry signifiers of past experience or future hope. Information plays subtlety on the surface to offer hints of each impossible, particular expression of infinity's incandescence.

Interpretation is everything - as 'facts', incompletely, come in and out of awareness, to be sifted through, and those that sound a chime of truthfulness survive the furnace (though what is perceived to be true is open to revision), along with those that compliment our expectations, prejudices and desires. How this accumulated and partial knowledge is applied, depends on the individual and the values and beliefs that he or she carries.

Clouds care for the parched earth; sun beams long to caress the faces of humanity; winds are in love with scent and joyously carry olfactory delights around the lands; the ground is a community of chthonic magicians pulling flowery surprises out of its terrestial hats. All elements conspire and combine, in a fertile mix of matter.

London synthetic orchestra

The London Synthetic Orchestra play plastic instruments to an audience of showroom dummies.

The conductor trained as an engineer - and co-ordinates the collective with the precision of a laboratory scientist, measuring dust.

Not since play-school, have I seen so many brightly-coloured trumpets and keyboards and drums.

This is the sound of 'The Future' - a future where plastic-men rule the world.

Space-travelers bend backwards in time - to revisit their childhood sense of fun - where music was chaotic and cacophonous, and parents heaped praise on any old drivel.

'It's all a matter of perspective' - the men who have regressed to their second childhood remind me.

Yeah, right. I think. It just so happens that my perspective trumps yours - but I'll let you have your fun. Just don't think I'm going to start a subscription to this particular channel.

The batteries are running out on the players of the London Synthetic Orchestra and the drummer pathetically bangs his drum slower and slower until he freezes in mid-beat.

A plastic horn starts to melt, under the glaring neon light.

It's time for me to go. I can hear violas calling. And these ones are hand-made. See ya!

Bright stars

Bright stars fill the sky - the sky is nothing but sequined colour but is she blue or is she black? If I make a gift, will she give it back?

Words exist suspended in mental space by a string of associations.

Every person walks with cables tied to different friends, beliefs and destinies.

Fate favours the felicitous. And the daring - so dare to be, dare to be all you can become.

Coming downstream, I see, amongst the driftwood, a parcel of bright-stars, wrapped in baroque wrapping paper and glistening in the morning light.

'What does the current bring?' I ask.

Stars that contain a nucleus of creative energy - poised to burst forth onto a half-suspecting but still slumbering world.

Bright stars that need no explanation. Bright stars that need no name. Bright stars whose face you remember, not because you have seen it before, but because the energy behind them is universal and its particularity, a call to reconnect.

They tumble into my lap, like puppies, overcome with excitement, and announce, over and over, their possibilities, and we are blinded by visions of what will come to pass.

Tasty

Her eyes gush unfathomable promise, like black olives, glistening in their natural oil.

Her hair, spaghetti locks, long and curled, a golden brown mess.

Her mouth, open, like a de-stoned avocado, ready to pour in a balsamic mix.

Her tongue, wet whispery remembered, like artichoke leaves, teasing out the fruit.

Her neck, half-exposed, with her hair swept to one side, like an aubergine's elegant curves.

Her breasts, ripe and pert, like succulent pears, not yet fallen from the tree.

Her belly, smooth and punctuated by the button, like a fish's eye, winking to my gaze.

Her hips, holding the presence between two poles, of pumpkin proportions, her middle width.

Her bottom, smooth and rounded, like a pair of melons, side by side.

Her presence, an invitation, like an oyster, slippery and fleshy.

Her legs, see magical limbs supporting, asparagus twin towers, carry her forth.

Her feet, like skate, spread out flat, sinking her weight into the ground.

Together, a tasty body of delicious dishes - so good I could eat. In fact, I will do exactly that.

Aquaserene

We are the ocean
and it don't belong to no-one.

So don't go telling me about the status quo -
'cos that's just dreams in the minds of greedy men.

Every private stream must meet the common seas,
eventually.

Since if it don't,
it will dry up
and rise to the skies
or go underground.

Every wave has its day in the sun,
playing on the shore,
'til it's pulled back into the family of water.

Every son and daughter of the living waters,
oughta know its place,
its shared links with all things.

Some waves imagine they are distinct from the rest,
and try to control the ocean,
bottling up water into little packages to sell and tax,
or go on a separate journey, 'away'.

Some water flies up into the greater glory of celestial clouds.

Whilst other water freezes in frigid contraction,
afraid to flow with life.

When a droplet falls, when a snow-flake descends,
hold out your hand for it's a fallen angel,
come to taste the earth's bittersweet fruits again.

Everything knows, everything flows,
cycles of water,
the motion of the ocean's tides,
moved by and lit by the moon,
reflector of our solar generator -
let praise circulate around the system.

False gods are fixed by the river-side

Every earnest truth-seeker needs to beware of stopping to build a shrine and worshiping at the temple of beautiful lies, built on a foundation of good intentions, unworkable ideas, seductive fantasy and wishful thinking.

Many weary of carrying on the difficult journey towards the ocean of truth and are caught up on the banks of false gods, whether religious, economic or literary. Partial accounts can seem correct to those who haven't felt the overwhelming tide of revelation.

If you want to know the nature of freedom, look at the sun, standing radiant, giving itself endlessly to its planetary/lunar children and in a chain of relations with other suns.

Beauty has many shades, phases, moods and configurations. Forever renewing itself with the subtle dexterity of a chameleon, kaleidoscopically shifting through the jungle's rainbow terrain.

Material wealth makes magnificent but ephemeral adornments - constructing and dissipating with the rise and fall of moments, seasons, centuries, cosmic cycles.

A constant recycling of nature's bounty passing through possession from person to person, knowing no law except coherence to natural ways, equally happy in the context of despotism or communism.

The lighter you are, the faster the movement, the less fixed the property, the more free the spirit.

The ocean respects no boundaries and only knows an ever-shifting landscape.

Triangle/circle

I am triangle - you are circle

The shapes we make inspire poets to study geometry
and our angles make even the most fiercesome angels
pick up their stride and think again.

I am three, always, but with infinite variations, whereas you, my lover, are both zero, one and infinity, simultaneously.

Whence we come from, is best not to speak of, but here we are, standing apart and in relation, different but similar.

My angular triangle communicates degrees of intimacy, proportions of severity, to your homogenous, curvaceous circle.

The space within us is the same, but the wrapping looks different.

Some say the triangle is better than the circle, and others that the circle is better than the triangle, but we like one another, and what's good for us is all that matters.

Betwixt two trees

We live by the tree of life and are offered fruits from the tree of knowledge.

Each morning we awake in the Garden of Eden and by our thoughts and words and actions, stay in that blessed realm or deviate into the world of false ideas, tyrannical powers and deceitful promises - adverts that sell us our own being, for hard cash, but only if we step into their shop-floor, thereby forgetting who we are, and then we join the tread-mill of keeping up payments to obtain what we already had in abundance.

We fallen from pristine being, into fragmented fascimiles of our true glory, every bite we move further and further away.

This sea of illusion is full of chimerical sharks - an ocean laced with teeth, whose name is curiosity and whose veil of maya will keep us in endless cycles if we so choose.

Many spend their lives, their many lives, churning through the series of impressions that are woven together in threads of false consciousness.

All the time the sun beats.....rays reaching down, into the ocean, where artists trace patterns on the sandy sea-bed in a hopeless attempt to capture transience itself.

An angel whispers in my ear - 'You, who come from Eden but find yourself in the intoxicating world of vision, do not renounce what you don't want to give up, but hold the two states in janus-like duplicity. Enjoy the fruits but keep your heart in the garden. Don't expect anything more from the fruits but pleasant taste and hold your hunger in moderation, lest you fall into endless ravinity. Beware those who tell you the fruits will do more than titillate. Don't buy what comes freely. Never let the sun be a commodity. Don't chain the wind.'

Behind and around me a host of creatures lift up in many-coloured exultation. The rhizome of divinity chains us sweetly to a network of associations.

This world we are sold is only one dimension. There is more. Don't believe the dismal natural philosophers. We are more than Muggle-minds might say.

A dragon descends from a mountain of flames to offer me a gaze into his bejeweled eyes. 'The West cast me as Satan; The East as something nobler'. The truth is nothing is fixed and whilst in mythology Lucifer fell, that story has many chapters and you guys are about to write the next part of the sequence. Every soul has fallen into a world of illusion and has been caught up, in varying degrees, in pride and idol worship. You have all sensed that part of yourself which is utterly corrupt and also your better instincts. Now is the time to awaken. Your possibility is manifold and what is broken within you will be your greatest asset as you gather up your vision into a path forward, back into the garden with your pickings from the world. Every traveler has a different tale and the prize is experience transformed into the best story to tell!'

I reel back from his fiery presence and start to prepare for the long walk home.