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Posts Tagged ‘Philosophy’

CRAZY OLD MAN

We will not know

how great or small

our gods are

until we have searched

through all the rooms

of this house, uncovering

all the angels and monsters

that live there.

What we are,

in silence,

in the bright darkness

of the eternal starry night.

Whether nothing

or everything,

a spark or a whirlwind

or a bitter flaming tree.

They have left ripples

carved in rock.

They have put up

gateways of stone.

They have veered the hills

around the sunrise.

They have left songs

in the soil

that shepherded

the seeds there.

Dreaming, dreamer, dream:

a dream of awakening

does not bring any

dawn closer.

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On Philosophy and Meaning

When the crazy juggled balls
fall into a pattern then
meaning holds a steady form.
Like those wagon wheels
in cowboy movies
that inexplicably
stand still
then go backwards.
An illusion caused
by an accident of timing.
Consciousness flickering,
the world holds certain and steady,
at least for a moment or two.

We can be sure of reality.
We can be real, surely?
Of what can we be really sure?

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A truth that believes

A truth that believes
it is the whole of the truth
Is a poison.

There are ghosts
In the dark, draughty attics
Believe themselves
Kings
Who are owed.

But it is not so.

A point of view
Draped
Over a few seconds
Is not, for sure,
To be relied upon
To define an aeon
Nor a purpose
Nor a good yarn.

All philosophy
Summed up and sundered:
The raven, sharp-eyed
And hungry
From his cliff nest
At break of day.

Expectant
Of
Nothing.

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A PARTICULAR DEVICE

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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THE ART OF SILENCE

folded breath
a volume of murmurs
that is all

an understanding
discarding options
so as to mimic peace

to sleep, dream or wake.
to turn away from friction –
a wishful free flow

to harmonise, to disappear.
the River of Milk,
our mother’s beneficence

for this dream
the old man, the prince,
the returning journeyman,
rise quietly in the night
to gaze at the moon

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Scribbled reminders.

A big mistake it is
To hold that life belongs
Within the certain bounds
Of ones that begin and end,
Live and die, generated, disintegrated.
That outside the skins of being
Are voids of senselessness.
Look bravely beyond the borders,
Yet fail to recognise reflections in mirrors:
Self is an organ
Not an organism,
A way of catching the light,
Ice floes on oceans,
A difference of density.

No matter how pink
The clouds of dawn:
The blackthorn blossom remains
White as snow.

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Mirror words
(As are
All words)
Reflection
Of movement
Within silence.
Feeling shapes
Mimicked
By mouth
Borne
Outward
On breath.
Soft
(or hard)
Explosion
Into
Meaning
Within
Other minds.
Spontaneous
Blossoming
Of pictures,
Coalescing
Inner light.
Their fruit:
Other words,
Other pictures.

Like light
(perhaps)
From the outside
All appears
Bright and colour,
Whilst residing
Inside is
Darkness
And silence.
Where edge
Meets edge
(the silvered
Surface)
All appears
Perfect, clear-
Though it is a
Reversed world
One that can never
Be seen
Except
In reflection.

When is a
Mirror
Empty?
When it is not
A mirror.

Silent gesture
Shrug
Distant thunder.
In the forest
Falling tree
Mimics
The way
Of Heaven.

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ONE WISH, ONE BLESSING

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,
Radiant
With all emotion.
Tasted, consumed,
A banquet
Sharp and honey-sweet.
Poised,
Skilled,
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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MAHARATRI – Great Night

Continuing my exploration of the Mahavidyas, this piece tracks and picks out words, phrases and ideas from Danielou’s work. I don’t know how it will stand by itself for those not familiar with any of the imagery or symbolism, but for me it is acting as a trigger and an introduction to how both visuals and text might develop in the future.

Object of transcendence. Maha Ratri 1

1
Eternity, ten nights long
Five for the god,
Five for the goddess.
The power of Siva –
To know it, one word,
No other word were needed.

Ten objects:
The divine night, destiny mapped,
Destruction mirrored,
Fear revealed.
The power of time,
The last manacle of sky iron,
Melted, irrelevant in the bliss
Of our supreme nonexistence.

2
The state of deep sleep,
Our little dream, ocean’s drop
Of perfect quiescence,
Nothing remaining,
Not time acting on,
But time itself:
Absolute night.

Beyond the beyond,
Sleeper withdrawing
Into the power of time,
Itself.
Immensity,
A diadem of illusion:
Licks of lightning
Flickering
At the corners of the sea,
Surface, iridescent, unmoved.

This absolute night,
The night of destruction,
When things
That are not things,
When the objects
Of our philosophies,
When even the bare bones
Of is and now,
Slide and smudge
Decorating no longer
The resounding passageways
Of thought,
The geometries
Of measured edge.

For there is now one thing
That is the only thing,
A no thing,
A perfect surface
Curving to infinity,
Our lady
Of the spheres,
Resplendent emptiness.
The little light
That does nothing but divide,
Distend, distort,
And shatter into matter
Finally engulfed,
By the Giver.

Returning in the evening
All the birds nest in happiness,
All nestle to the welcome night,
Enfolded by calm.
All, all come to rest
Upon her lap-
Mother of Happiness,
Mother of Night.

( I shall step into the still,
mild darkness,
the rush of silent air,
fragrant after a day of rain.
Feel my purpose dissolve,
my need and reasons waver,
words and names becoming uncertain,
then soon submerged.
Passing clouds,
passing clouds).

3
Time
That tears asunder
All things,
Destroyer of worlds,
She herself
Is your dance.

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SKY RIVER

Three days now the sky
Has been a rushing river of airs.
Caught in its roar
The bright moon day by day dissolves.
Now a thin cold lip,
An edge of ice fast melting.

Here’s a line, here’s an image,
Bold and clear, easy to recall,
Easy to frame.
But gone and shattered,
A leaping fish, up and shining;
A crystal hung in the sun
Never the same patterns of spinning colour;
A stream, a burble of tumbling,
One melody caught but then lost,
A fugue of endless forgettings.

So, the points, the main points,
Quickly before they slide, again, away.
What and where is the wind when it is not blowing?
What and how is a river when it is not flowing?
What and why is the mind when it is not full of words?
How can we say anything is certain
When we fail even to remember
Our passionate dreams from the fading dark of dawn?

Nothing seems fixed in the buffeting swirl of mind’s river.
I am the possessor of the sight
Of a juggler with knives and doves
Enraptured, disbelieving, horrified.
But I is an eye
In a peacock’s tail,
A ripple and splash
Over a river’s wide shore.
My certainty, no more than that cloud,
Breathing and gone as it races southwards,
Seawards, forgotten on the horizon, no longer itself,
Melted, merged, a long sigh.

Hold here, hold here, anchored.
That is, perhaps,
To miss the point.
Consider this elegant and judicious thought!
Consider this cloud, this sparkle of light,
This aeolian harp. This sound
That comes and that goes
( in the forest is there even a roaring
With no ear to hear it?).
There is something,
But it seems nothing when held.
There seems something,
But it is only a dreaming of numbers and probabilities.
The wise having spoken,
The rabble clamour and grab those chiselled phrases
(lacking any memories of their own).

The wisdom of mankind:
A moon melting away into shade,
A wind rocking the rafters,
Shaking the valleyed woods,
Inchoate, a chord.
Hold, and it is lost, dismembered, forgotten.

The colours of the dawn: a sequence of shifts, no moments,
No savoured fragments. Only as the blink
Of an eye, an inability to keep
Attention,
A distraction of impressions.
Mind, a movement of itself
Outward into itself,
A brash Mozart
Of improvised narcissism.
If you are not now looking at me
Then what am I?
Give me worth
Or I am less
Than dust
On the tongue.

Dissect and sever
Dream from sleep,
Sleep from waking,
Sense from feeling,
Real from fantasy.
Dam the air, dam the stream,
Divide the slow curves,
Tree shaded,
From the racing weir,
Rock shouting and white.

This moment of perfect sky,
Three woodpigeons buoyed and floating
Down to the small green field.
A rip of blue.
Two gulls distantly weaving.
Cloud shifting from grey to pink,
Teased out,
Carded fine and white
Through the teeth of the fast cold.

Recording moments:
A needle stuck
Repeating the same few bars, the
Same few, the same.
Or a rabble of squabbling voices,
A heckling audience,
Swaying faces in the dark.
A consensus of insanity
Taken to be, of course, sanity.

The sky is pearl and golden.
Three day’s wind
Has smoothed out the light,
Has rubbed the hills green and smooth,
Has dissolved the moon.
That is all.

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