Posts Tagged ‘medieval iconography’


And now, at last, these geometries fade and waver,
Shimmer and dissolve. They pale into dream by the minute,
Their patterns particular, their patterns platonic, eidetic,
Now smudge and stumble, arching poetry drowned
As crystalline mechanics impose precisions of direction.
Here revolve the greater means, the spheres of motion.
More primal their causes, more abstract and faceless
In their godwards ascending.

Spera nona – spera motus octave spera que fit motus eius de septentrione ad meridiem et e converso ( ninth sphere, which moves the eighth sphere and causes it to travel from north to south and vice versa)

We spin and drift
Caught in a mighty flow of will,
Ninth and tenth now are these spheres,
Mighty, faceless,
A slow measuring out
Of purpose,
A swing of footsteps,
A steady scythe, left to right.
A fall of stars,
A winnowing light.

Spera decima – spera suprema qua fit motus de occidente ad orientem et est pricipium motus (tenth sphere – highest sphere in which takes place the movement from west to east and which is the principal of all movement).

Fold up and slew the horizons.
The palaces of motion,
Hollow vowels, time evolving
Revolving through centuries
Turning one way, turning another,
A dance, stately and preposterous.

Natura pricipium corporis (Nature as the principal of bodies)

The four spheres of the soul:
Anima vegetabilis
Anima animalis
Anima rationabilis
Anima celestis

Folded between the transcendent, fierce certainty
Of angels, and sullen dust,
(The grinding orbs of time and space),
Float four soul worlds,
Unhinged, awaiting injection,
Awaiting ejection:
A breathed upon word to vivify
And consecrate voiceless earth.


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Spera octava – spera stellata

The circle of stars, a silvered scum, a foam, a detritus,
A flotsam of teleologies, nub-ends of endless parties,
A whispered recital from dust-gnawed cities.
Shall we savour their strangeness, the fruit of centuries?
A wish
The tomb
The roof
The old man.

The tent
Al Tard, the end.
The apes
The south gate
A pillar
The old folks.

The raven’s neck
The falling cross
The long sandbank
The wolf.

Al Kaid, the eggshells
The embracer
The green hill
The changer.

Kakkab Mulu-izi, the star-man of fire.
The magician
The golden well
The spectre’s head
The first frog.

Al baluh, the city.
The azure dragon
Crown of the forehead
The southern sea
Announcer of invasion on the border.

Narrow cloudy train of female stars
Golden cluck hen and her five sisters.

Temennu, the foundation stone
Al wasat, the central one
Saptar shayar, the seven anchorites
The white of the poplar tree.

San Tsze, three instructors
Antasurra, the upper sphere
Drag-blod, the fire tail.
Pivot of the planets
The nail
The bright one
The defenceless
The virgin’s girdle
The lady of heaven

And so we fly past the whispering lights,
souls and stories,
wished-for and longings,
The indicators of time and movement,
a slightest of lost taste,
A melting of bright ice.
Silence returns.


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Here are the next few sections of what has been written so far…..


Spera mercurii, mercurius

Quick as murder,
Bursting breeches, this lad
Gobby, too smart
Full of street tricks,
Alley cat, sly and sleek.
He will flicker in the shadows,
Stealing pennies, stealing favours,
Stealing wisdom from the faded.
An eye for the back door, pimp of lawyers
And all knot makers. A shiny solution,
A quicksilver poison.


Spera veneris, venus

Mother of all beauty
(Some will say all sin)
Herself herself washed ashore.
What can we say?
She is the summit of air,
The hills of love,
The valleys of lust,
The sign before day
And the star before darkness.
Her form is whatever you desire.
Her desire is to be encompassed.
All fruit she offers, never ceasing.
As the sea’s waves
She laps and drowns,
Roars and lulls.
We are swept sway
On honey breath,
A five-fold star,
A pulse.


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I have been looking at this work now and then for a while. Like the soul, (should it exist), this is a work in progress. It takes its ideas from medieval cosmography, where there is a concentric hierarchy of planes and beings extending down from, and up to, the Godhead. A mythic universe, populated with the history of thought and dreaming


Or do we descend,
Pulled by the centre?
Or split, (not knowing)
Each way seeming the
One, right way,
Or reorientated, lost
Or on the road home,
(Something, something here
Is familiar..)

Centrum mundi

The centre of horizon’s cross,
Hung saviour seeing
All things,
Constrained, speared

Corpus corruptibilis quod est
Quatuor elementa,

This corruptible body
Consisting of four elements.
Corruptible, corrupt, corrupting,
Spinning away ( or towards)
Perfection. Untrustworthy,
Fickle mud rising
Yearning for perfect emptiness.

Then, in their spheres of crystal motion
Each in their turning, each lord of spirits,
Masters of music, ordainers of action,
Gatekeepers, judge and jailors.


Spera lunae, luna

Chimes she does and roars,
Moon scything time.
Each mother’s mirror,
Queen of slow oceans
Queen of indigo night.
Ever thirsting, drawing moisture,
A mist of dream, a catalogue
Of sorrows whispered in midnight,
A chariot of ice tears, her starry train.

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These are some more pieces from my ongoing project, “Death and the Maiden (A romance)”, which developed from a couple of images from the V and A I have posted earlier. At the moment I have a series of layered images, becoming dreamy abstracts. These I may add text or calligraphic elements to. The verse imagery parallels and complements the pictures, I hope. Love, sex and death – how very…


Peel back the curious eye,
A dancing touch to your innards,
Let it pierce the mysteries
Of your fleshly mechanics….

Your cool fingertips, smooth as pearl,
Slip down roads to sudden roundness,
A blessing of seed…..

Swimming where oceans clash,
The liquid crush, wave on wave.
Our very ground throbs feathered…

Pouring souls into circles
Achieving the fruit of life,
Its juice drips warm to sleep….

Your face, a half moon
In the sky of my desiring….

The most perfect words
Slip between the cracks of sleep…


Cradled in bone
Time rocks to and fro.
We trespass not so far
Then flow smooth and fast
Into luminescence,
Penetrating softnesses,
Following sages, burning letters
Flying before us.
An unprecedented rivalry of substance,
A cloud of element and vapour.
Demure, then ferociously hungry
We exchange bodies for heat and flame
And roaring liquids.
Pouring vessels.
Spout of hard bliss.


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west rose


A metaphysical machine,
A gravity well compacting creation
Into one stone shell.
Languages gathered ( towering to heaven)
Light, memory, word, life.
A clustering, intergalactic map,
Star chart, journey of the soul
Through all the spheres:
Thrones, Dominions, Seraphim.
The dangerous beauty, the thin line.
Transubstantiation – stone to forest,
Light to liquid, tears to glass,
Memory to porphyry, the world
Shadowed, brilliant boat of heaven,
Ark beached, upturned, inhabited.
Dust motes dancing –
The souls delighted, the souls
Coming to the Mother Ocean,
Blanketed in soil.

woemwood spirits boss

Hell Harrowed

Souls soiled sold solid some soft some scattered bitter bitter better to wake with wormwood wake to winter watch wanting play pray ring sing bright light.

a tree of three blessed branch cut curtailed cast down descending halls fallings hallowed allowed three keys harrow plough and sow bonds broken lost loosed let fly rising praising winged trumped welcomed home.

roof bosses2

dark foliate1

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ARCHED (part3)

The bardo of entrances.
Intermediate transitions,
One spliced into the other,
Time and space elapsing.

A slow cool outbreath of stone.
It requires a recalibration,
A rearrangement of the senses.

Time is tamped down
In dusty layers,

An inhalation
Of fractured light,
Absorbed, solidified.

Entering the cave of God:
His ribs, grey skin tight,
Desiccated, stretched out.
Pinned, hammered, sheltered.

We are slowly digested,
( the enzymes of faith),
Becoming less, and more,
Of ourselves-
Becoming one of the waiting.

Slow and turning
From cave
To cave,
( the frozen forests whispering
Chiseled curve and keel ),
A reconstruction of gravity.

Tree roots sky conjoined,
Arched, steepled.
Leaves, gold,
Fruits rotten,
Drift weightless, upwards,
Food for avaricious

An embroidery of whispers
An evolution of sorrow,
A still heaven
Waiting for a new

looking west

pierced light3

pierced light5

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I do not know exactly when I took these photographs, certainly a few years ago now. It is not so easy to capture low light distant images without a tripod. Many were so underexposed so as to be completely black. Quite an interesting process to reveal the hidden images, grainy and so resembling the garish contrast of night-vision goggles. The revealing of distant mysteries. Creatures of the Abyss. Phosphorescent trails. The cave, plant sight lit. Eyes open or shut?



First Commandments.

The first descent
From Sinai
Tutmoses made,
(said these tongues of stone,
Buried in the vaults of space,
Uprised, upraised, given voice
By faith and silent yearning),
He turned Lord Asar, Green Osiris,
Bursting green fire, plant enthused,
Vegetal, spilt his seed,
Red pomegranate lips,
Entwined his heart and loins
With lust of God,
Forgot himself,
Became unmanageable –
Lightning and cloud –
Unintelligible, a roaring message
No one dared listen to,
So they laughed and kept dancing,
Keeping warm by firesides,
The complaints of camels
And obedient women.


pomegranate carving2

green man2

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