Posts Tagged ‘pen and ink’



open window.
now and then:
sighing cars
roll by.

gutters muttering
in light summer

time caught
on cobwebs,
lost in cloud.

sedge grasses flower,
green trees

Li Po hums
and sketches

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We slide spiraling
Ferociously nonchalant
Eyes on fire, laughing.

The tumble of sun on sun
The silk whisper, pale moonlight
Equations piled up,
The footprints marking time,
Precise dancers through space.

A knot upon hillsides,
A marching shadow in the valley.
Enchained to the motion,
Slave of raw power, sudden beauty.

This is our sign.
That we dance the dance
Between dusk and dawn
According to the paths before us.

spirit dancers text1

A continuation of my sporadic project to re-introduce Iron Age Celtic imagery and world-view into the world art vocabulary and other grandiose schemes…..

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The air is cool and still
Unmoved by the threaded rain,
Weighed straight and fast.

A roar upon the roof,
Laughter in the gutters:
A gurgled drunk descent,
Spun down to dark earth.

A balance of letting go,
A balance of remaining.
A slow exhalation.


Leaf fall
Thought fall
Heart fall.
Red, bruised,
Lip curled.
But to seek
The peace beneath joy,
The peace beneath sorrow.
This cold, empty sky.
This wordless depth.



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The constellations of stars have the lustre of the blazing deadly fire,
But they have the mudras of bestowing boons
And freedom from fear in their hands…….

Here is the thing:
We seem, we define,
We come to terms with the world,
Plan our exits,
all with strong threads
Of memory.

Yet nowhere,
(Despite the most fervent wishes,
Despite the sharp snick of scalpels,
The dull drum of scans, the following
And cataloguing of nerve and fireburst),
one memory
Ever been found,
in the skull’s bone world.


In the chamber of lapis lazuli,
The rivers have icy chill waters.
The waters in the lakes have sparkling lustre
Free from dust.
The lakes are adorned with cranes, swans
And lotuses,…

The tragic analogies: library,
Telephone exchange, computer,
Holographic image, desperately
Conjured, falter and fail.

We are, it seems,

(This cold wind through dry leaves,
This long cry on a starless black night).

Though perhaps,
Firstly, we should consider
The heart, the bones,
The muscles –
Closer, dearer to us
Than this
Chattering doubter,
This artiste,
This hogger of limelights.

A matter of attention,
These thoughts:
Caged, wheeling
Through sawdust,
Pink-toed, sharp-eyed.
Listen more deeply
To the language
Of spleen and liver,
Of knee and tarsus.
The rippled tides
Of our borrowed waters,
Fountains, rivers,
Estuaries of blood and lymph.


To follow every signpost must lead to endless confusion.
To know a destination
Or to never care.

(Cool winds rock the hedgerows,
Piling in from the north:
A bank of fast cloud.)

There is one, some say a goddess, some a shepherdess, or, I say, a mouth of greenest laughter, who gives a taste of other memories, other lives ( a bouquet of burning skulls, a posy, a displaced, replaced mirror).

to locate comfort.
(Rain slaps across windows
Bright now with sunrise).

He should then meditate upon his own soul and the form of the deity, without distinction between the two. He should sit in the padmasana posture facing the east. He shall sit steadily without thinking of anything else….

Endless are the conversations of sages,
the warring of equations,
the battle for the ending of knowledge,
the prize of certainty.
The sage spouts endless words
commentating on the nature of silence,
Each scratch a mudra,
Each splutter, mantra.

(Silent ground turns sunwise,
Sparrows leap the bare branches,
Knowing just one thing,
And are happy.)

He shall take the eight groups of letters in the navel, in the heart, and the throat, at the root of the heart, and on the head….he shall place the letters on the surface of the Earth in the same order…

If the head is void of memory,
if the heart has forgotten all
but the rhythm of continuance,
if the blood does not shudder
and sing the times past in molecular waves,
in electric sighs, remember, remember,
reconstruct, reconstrue, imbibe,
fill the empty spaces, the vestibules,
the ventricles, the wind chambers,
the echoing vaults,
where shall we place the shining, golden letters,
the sounds of,
footprints of,
evidence for continuity?


These fragments, shattered mirror,
A thousand views
Of a world unimagined.
(We, perhaps, that mirror,
Erroneously supposing corporeality,
Intuiting infinite distance, profound volumes
Where all is simple reflecting surface from elsewhere.
We, unrippled, unmoved, medium, ether, field).
Here, though, that grand error:
Not being something does not equate
With being nothing.
A simple matter of perspective
Resolving paradox.

But how great a thing is this, even the possibility!
That memory resides elsewhere.
Not locked in brain, not stored, not filed,
Not embedded.
Worlds turned inside out,
Talking back, we belonging again,
To the beyond, to the weather,

The movement of birds in the firmament is not observed distinct from the sky. The movement of aquatic beings in water is not discerned distinct from water. Similarly the great conduct of noble-souled ones is not distinct from their environment.



Occasionally I dip into Rupert Sheldrake’s “The Science Delusion” as a remedy for the bitter excesses of Big Science. Though the processes and structures that lay down memory are somewhat identified, all attempts to locate memories in the brain have so far failed. The concept of molecular memory ‘stored’ seems deeply flawed. The idea of a filing system requires another layer of memory to remember how to locate the memory, and so on ad infinitum….. It can, of course, hardly be countenanced that ‘we’ might exist beyond our physical bodies, one dogma too far for the tortuous illogics of materialist science.. But if it were found to be so……!!!!

The quoted sections are from the Brahmanda Purana, the section on meditation on the letters and mantras of the Goddess, Lalita. The Puranas, like all Vedic texts, always seem to me to be precise mathematical and cosmological equations in the form of complex symbolic mythological imagery…

The art is a wittering reflection of memory, action, and suspended process, going somewhere unmapped….

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Scratched on the eyeball of heaven:
Cloud scripts, lines of vowels winged.
Healed in rain to fall as blue,
Sweet, bitter, sour, salt.
The salt tears, the sweet winds
Rolled and formed, a new language,
A new tongue……

A syllable, mists between the hills.
A spiral seed caught, blessed
And released.
Eye pillow, this white page.
A dream of golden script, a song
On the nature of infinite silence…….


A drum of skin,
Voice of thunder,
Time and space syncopate.
Truth, a fugue…..

A dancing pattern
Of starlings’ feet
In the snow.
Dakini laughter.
So wonderfully free
Now we no longer exist…..

This language as fabric, satin,
Silk, a filigree, an equation, a map.
Tomorrow’s moments transfixed, melted
Moulded and spoken.
A lace of nerve endings,
Bobbin molecules, probability
Folds of protein.
An unlikely smile,
A figure in the distance
Becoming unreadable.<



Carved in fumes:
A rainbow science,
A bitter construction.
This breath
Echoes its form.
A terma of space
On the tip of my tongue,
Tasting of juniper…..

The footprints of a wandering mind,
Showing where it has been.
Memory, an exhalation,
A ceaseless blink.
This sullen, steadfast belief
In surfaces.
Extinguished the mystery,
Now it is weighed…….

Seed death with the dawn.
Of many forms, inculcated, remorseless,
Inescapable consonants……

A fascination
With the tuned
Eloquence of moments……

Heart stutters,
Breaks open:
Light revealed,
And a pattern of stars……

Flaming shimmer.
The shape of flowers,
Incense, offerings…..

Sun and moon:





There are moments moving through time.
There are moments floating in space.
There is a rushing in of seasons.

There is the pressure of words
Forming deep and golden,
Blind, squirming, seeking a voice,
The warmth of meaning.

Clouds of words,
An utterance, a glory of sound,
A liberation, a going forth,
A compression, a forming……

It settles as snow,
Silver drifting
Dissolving down.

As flakes
Caught on fingertip,
A change of state,
An elemental thing,

The repository of time
Is called


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CONVERSATIONS with invisible friends 7


Defining our sense of edge:
where we withdraw, pull back.
Where we push through, straining to feel more.
Explorers, pioneers,
saboteurs, idiots, meddlars.
Subversive, perhaps,
because it is or is not art,
is or is not significant.
Itself. Ourself.
The interior of the earth.
Ignited cognition.
Will-o-the-wisp, ignis fatuus,
holy spirit, holy fart.
Tat tvam asi.



Mind is saturation soup,
one seed crystal: emergent song.
Forked paths tuning.
Tallis motets up spiralling chimneys.
Drowning out, diving down,
profanity, cacophany, epiphany.
But, but, but,
to do it all unplugged….!



Camouflaged as no-nonsense,
the words pile up,
identified,catalogued, measured.
You look behind, simply to check the heap,
to review.
There is a horrible vacuity.
There is a revealing.
There is a snigger.
There is a challenge.
A virus, innocent,
infecting imagination.
Something placed that cannot now be removed.
A word that the deluded only employ.
Chased lines decorating mind, clothing real and unreal, weighing souls with feathers…..


Admiral Psyche and the Wave Harvesters

His Admirable Psyche, Shades of Hades

The Admirable Admiral and His Frayed Hausers

The Fleet of Whales and The Ship of Fools

Kit and Kaboodle Cross the Equator

A Compass Never Lies

The Shaman’s Electric Fire

Return of thr Comedy Kraken

Shades of Misspent Chemicals

The Forked Tongue of Sunlight

Newton’s Little Secret

One Prism Too Far

An Elegance of Frozen Photons

That Insistent Voice.



I, standing, upright,
against a gale
Of word,
Buffeted- the squalls
Of intent,
The flay
Of image on
Somehow comforted,
Peeled open,
By the existence
Of another’s breath.



Your mind:
A city of flowers,
Drifting petals.



Bone remembered
Rock,mud, mulch.
Lung filled skies
Cloud shade
Blood song.
Step by…
Step by…
Adopted, mapped,



Barb and barbel,
soft down
these weighed words,
noted, masked,
a slow cooled river,
our estuary minds.



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