Posts Tagged ‘clarity’



Our art is not about sanity.
You, who have learned neither name nor edge,
Who insist there is one word, one view, one meaning.
You can know nothing of this glory, this defeat, this wonder.
Whose life must be pleasant above all things,
despite death and all its monsters, despite the shadows, the whispers.
Trained neither to remember nor forget, muddling through.
Oh the mirrors are sharp and they are fine, but they lie.
That is never your face that looks out -just a trick we
Have become accustomed to, knowing no better.
Staring into dark pools hypnotised, dissassociated, becoming
Numb, drained of decisions, drained of moments,
the buzzing of summer flies, the click of electrical circuits.

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He sits by the window letting the landscape go.
A little incense will stretch and curl in the moving airs.
There is welcome rain on pale, misted hills:
The meadows and their trees will green.

The shoals will flicker beneath thin surfaces,
And there is skill in waiting and skill in catching up the glimmer.
Sometimes it is enough to hold one wriggling thing.
Sometimes a light touch will tease a line,
A bright twist into this world, a hopeful humming reel.

There is the holding and the letting go.
A whisper wish to Gwyn ap Nydd
Who hunts these lost ghosts and churns them upwards.

To mark a path only, or to push down into it,
Or to be pulled willynilly in mad rush and see,
See where it leads, traipsing forgetful, curious.
Or but to float above serene and light as hawk bones,
To not become distracted by maybes,
To contain all, to exclude nothing, to lose track of no slither,
To allow a subtle sedimentation – to be that patient,
To become equanimity, geological.

It will be the touch of madness that marks it out,
The touch of madness they shall not forget.
The discomfort of impossible resurrection:
Light that is not there, a bubbling up of echoed sounds,
A mystery of conjured voices, a song of ghosts.

This, the slow and certain engraving of our vanishing lives
Upon your smoothed and cooling brows; etched, hatched and nested within
Your twigged and tumbledown minds.
A thimble of the past to dull each ache of uncertain stitch.
That impossible race to reach each sunsetting horizon.

Between the moment and the madness
Is where the bright shoals swim.

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When we look so close at life inside us,
it simply becomes a tree of madness
where ghosts host and catcall,
swapping bodies and their nightmare mysteries
( from which we have never, ever, recovered).
Such strange animals. So many hands.
So many dances. So many attributes.
A collective deity ( or a pan Demonium).
There is a clue in it all somewhere,
a clue, a clew, a thread, a maze,
a spider, a monster, an eater of the charming ones,
a hungry axis, a deliverer,
a coin on his eyes and on his tongue.
The rite of the Opening of the Mouth,
escaping gravity through the small angled shaft,
homing on the singular, most singular star.
Dust to dust. An assay of hearts
before the animal-headed ones.
We are Jongleur, kindly admit us.
Remove our head. Give us the bliss of love and asses.
Return us whole to the world without end.
And let us cease to burn.
Let our mouths be filled with the cool waters.
Seven rivers from the Garden.
A lascivious sprouting of leaves, a splayed, secret hand of fig.


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Book of Voices ( This Sky: part 2)

Each cell voicing its own obituary,
Each mitochondrial Neanderthal fire-watching,
Knapped sound, flint words, held, tapped,
A feel for languid, mushroomed word
( so much glory hidden tangled beneath a milk stream
Of holiness, food, fingered, fluvial through substrate,
A healthy holy rot).
All with voice, all with dawning chorus of song.
An evacuation, a cacophany profane, blessed,
A golden urgent urination ( just so),
A mineral-rich, arcing satisfaction, an urge,
Urgent, unguent, a chrism (even), an eventide
And morning of the first day.
Smudged, succumbed, scumbled, it solidifies
And whispers itself out.
Such clarity cannot hold, a boiled ferment bakes dry,
Returns to sleep, mist rises in the valley,
Stars become acceptibly few, named, blink in and out.
The voices turn to their own dreams involuted,
A cochleal murmur suspended,
Slow revolving wrapped sleeping in spider-webbed tranquillity.
Sleep whilst you can, sleep in unity, in slow breathing
Revolved planetary orbits. Sleep pretty and woven.
Eyes lidded now, eyes lidded.
(Words, fragile as insects, scurry iridescent
Into darkness.)


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Book of Voices (This Sky: part 1)

Let us say: this sky, as pink certainly as warmed skin.
This, an indefinite and infinite blue, as those eyes.
And as close,and as distant, as God.
Let us say: there will be again,as ever,one voice that begins,
A clarion clear and moon-bright,
One stirring uttered echoing on the valley flank
Or deep on the sacred golden wood,
Cloutie-hung with shredded prayers,
(Shellac shined black ink careful lines on white silk,
Vehement, scratched curses on lead, tight folded,
Hidden in crack and crevice, utterance to vengeful ones
To do it, do it for me).
A shower of seasons tattered reasons,
Shattered, smattered, sculpted, howled to mothers
( hungry and cold in the dark, glint of light
And voice whispered behind the holy door).
Like this, almost exactly: one clear star
Glinted, marked out, a definite oneness,
A line, a shaft, a rope to upness and downness,
Dimensional isness, a road to stick to.
But as eye accustoms to deeper delved
And shrinking edge of silence:
One more there, and another, and so another
Until the sky is dark with inescapable stars
Vying for eye and patterning the mind with yes
And yes, a plan, a map, a purpose, a chorus
Of foamed ejaculate, a tide ripped and roaring in
Upturning pebble feather flotsam bone and tattered weed
( a flap of iodine, a wriggle).
Let us say, this close to madness
Is this close to revelation.


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Surely it cannot be sustained,
This comfort resting on the back of lies.

Etiolated, we stretch tall and wan,
Straining to leave behind every root, even.

Hungry for withered light,
This forced flicker of cloud vapours, this promise of better,
This regurgitated psychology.

Every home in each mausoleum city:
A crowded tomb where the living stumble mummified,
Salivating new updates.

All the small gods gone,
Growing potatoes and beans in hidden valleys, forgotten,
Resigned to wait.

Only the blustering bullies remain, the greedy,
Insistent on their protocols, their visions for growth.

A short experiment. Forced fruits. Temptation
Of full ripeness turning to ash, turning to dust.

Make way. Make way. We study the death of stars,
Anaesthetised, unaware of irony.

Remove from us our craft
And we shall all become beggars, lost, drowning sorrow
In rainbow-stained pools, slow and viscous folds.

They stretch tall and limp, loud, enabled.
Their magic: monotony and ennervation.
Their ropes, their chains: the promise for better times.

Inertia, the slow, wearing away, the blocking of roads,
The pinching, the slighting.

We retreat from day, back to our tombs.
Too tired, even, for our own dreams, we collapse into parody.

Etiolated, we stretch thin and will soon wither.

Somewhere near,
The small gods dig rocky soil and wait.

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Such things (percepts, perceptions) often flow by us unnoticed. Our primary influences, the objects that create us into a subject….

It still happens regularly.
Listening now to an old song I knew then, the words, so familiar, intergrown as barbed wire into a tree, unpeel in clarity and reveal completely new words, new meanings. Of course that is what the lyrics are, clear, logical, making sense, making story. So why the mishearing for so long? We mis-hear more , much more than we mis-see. We misconceive more than each of these-(the bending of light to catch the whole within the goldfish bowl of brain).

Words never were single things but woven strings of shining diaphenous vapours. Put sound to lined squiggle, equations of broken down breath, equally spaced, segregated, punctuated, coralled, from left to right, or right to left, or down, or up. Do that and will ambiguity cease?

The brain knows the undercurrents within its own tides, knows it bitter contradictions, straitjacketed by moral aughts and whips of coulds. Knows that what it chooses for the tongue is equivocal, mean, one flavour in a banquet ( food fight) of possible stances. The wardrobe is endless, the dresses magnificent, the masks tempting, the shoes to walk in, the boots, the sandals of this and that. What pose to strike, what cajoling, what convincing? How shall it be constrained to a point of view, a consistency?

So, and so, we read, consider. But they are others’ words in our own familiar voice. We doubt their simple surfaces, look for fissures to rip apart the art, to find the puppeteer, the hypnotic svengali, the foundations, the gold down in the creaking shafts of tunnelled darkness. Kobolds, nockins, gnomes. And they are truly there, those monsters. It is their world of excavations and spiralling, dark distances. Intracellular, interspecies, interstellar, wormholes of digested matter shaped to uphold its own existence. In that land it is we are the monsters: the pale, limp-wristed aliens, senseless interogators of the obvious, denying the purity of paradox, the meat of merged matter.

It was the plants that first learned to talk. Chemical drifts on the wind. Songs of molecules calling and exchanging. They then taught what they knew, o my beloved, to the threaded fungi who fed and serviced the needs of root and sun-eating leaf. Those bright, sympathetic neurones of soil-brain, why, they, of course, my child, spoke to us as we possessed them, they becoming our tongues as we digested their matter, their material, their meaning. The verse of the world, we, the hired orchestra at the banquet of life, and the jugglers, fools and jesters, too ( polite ripple of leaves, green, amused applause for their ingenuous progeny).

Fenris wolf bound with a thread of whisper. That which is not, finally constraining the bluster and sharp teeth, snapping jaws of what is. This nonsense I would carve on a cliff-face to last millenia of sun and frost. This effusion I would slow and temper with gold leaf and lapis lazuli, carefully ground,carefully apportioned. A crushed ink of beetles, oak gall and vinegar, black and holy, to flow from a feather – the required spell to make a flow, a light touch, winged words. There, then, a clear delight of hand and mind, set down, illuminated. Inhabited script. Inhabited scrolls. Vegetative, rampant, loving itself, emergent mind.


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If there were one wish offered
Then it would be this,
And if the power I had
To bless were certain,
This would it be also:
To die happy.

A simple thing,
A strange reminding
Of ends and farewells,
But think:

A happy death.
No fear nor overshadowing,
Free from uncertain doubt,
No buried regret, no guilt,
No aching yearning,
Nothing unresolved,
Nothing left undone.
Complete, completed, content.
Relaxed, ready, rested
To stay or move on.

A simple thing
So few have found.
It cannot be taught,
It cannot be contrived,
It cannot be hesitant.
One moment
Never to be missed.
Inevitable, certain,
Nothing more owned,
That fracturing of thought,
That clarity so long put off,
End of all tomorrows.

I would wish you
A happy death.
May we all be blessed
A happy death.

A life filled
And glorious,
With all emotion.
Tasted, consumed,
A banquet
Sharp and honey-sweet.
Generous and gentle.
Worn well
But lightly,
Not hoarded nor wasted.

Loved, lived, left.
Nothing else
Would so suit
A perfect world,
As this is,
But to do so.
A wish.
A blessing.
Die happy.


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Distant forest
Wakes and roars.
Oncoming storm.


Savouring every leaf
Delighting in every edge:
Sunlit autumn breeze.


The only vaccine
For prejudice
Is clarity:

As ephemeral fragment,
A wonder of wonders,
A blossom
Of unique possibility,
To be repeated –
Melody in a dream
On waking.


The universe is not interested in perfection.
Perfection is a dead end,
An eternal equilibrium of boredom,
Of self-congratulation
(the faint whiff of decay).
The religion of bigots,
The philosophy of the small-minded.
Perfection is cessation,
Utter self-containment,
A view too large to begin to encompass,
A beginning before a beginning,
An ending after an ending.


Serene cloud worlds, unconcerned,
Grow and dissipate.
A dance of vapours: light and water
Built high in air.
Foundationless, they thrive.
Rootless sky trees swept on.
It is the
Fragile violence,
Remorseless distance,
That we long for:
An existence without finality,


In Timeless Time.

In great India
By the slow,
green stream
of the goddess river

In the weight
Of sunlight:
Falling dust.

Time here
Does not pass by,
It does not vanish
Nor fly.
It cannot be wasted.

In golden layers.

Through a door
Back ten thousand years,
Back to mythic daylight.

Through another:
Forward ten thousand years
To the gold, smoking, warm night.

With time,
Drunk and full up,
The land vibrates:

Chant of cell song,
Golden chant of suns,
Whispered chant of universes.
Settling bliss,
The chant of golden light.

The outer forms:
Poverty, pain, old age, death,
The crumbling
Slow and mighty;
The smell of decay,
Green insidious damp,
Importunate smirk.

Barely able
To hold back
The bliss of light
The centuries of Time,
One on another,
Piled in corners,



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Spirit of elm
Sky- ladder
Abode of wings
Chamber of radiance

The eight winds arise from you
The seven oceans flow through you

Pibroch of intelligence
Silent teacher
Resonant tower

One tree is a forest

Traversing the three worlds
Delineator of starlight
Eloquent shaper
Invisible watcher
Guardian of memory
Lord of words
Wonderful councellor
Showerer of light

High elm
Deep noted
Fountain of stillness
Road to clarity
Discomforter of confusion
Diameter of creation

Beyond silence.

Each tree species manifests the unity of Creation in its unique energy dance, maintaining and sustaining the continual weaving of the world. They wait and offer endless paths to the contemplation and realisation of wholeness.

The Elm is particularly tuned to channelling silent clarity and wisdom. Brilliant, resonant silence overwhelms confusion and separation. Elm is an invaluable teacher and a protector of personal integrity at the deepest level.


Tao of Trees.

This world rests on trees: its dream is green.
Wherever we may be, in deserts or on oceans,
We are bathed in the consequence of forests.
We breathe because of trees, we eat through their blessing.
Their shadows fall and cool in every clime.
Their presence is a moderation of hurricanes,
A warming of winter, a shelter and a place of contemplation.

To be able to condense and hold that smooth unity
Is the purpose of Tree Spirit Healing.
It is an empty hand and a quiet voice.

It is hardly anything and yet,
It can make all the difference
Between suffering and joy,
Collapse and integration.


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