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Posts Tagged ‘psychology’

I take my instruction from rivers,

My constancy from the weather.

I endlessly catalogue shadows by their song

And tremble before cracked mirrors.

It seems I fear endings more that anything else,

And the golden dust of victory’s wings.

This debris I accumulate for oracles,

And read meaning into what has gone.

The light of life is an unbearable weight,

Longing so long for irresponsibility.

Silence ye your ghosts

So that you might hear a simpler melody.

You are a moment’s dust gathered

Around each slow breath.

Savour stillness.

There is no war other than this.

Stretched between joy and sorrow

Is where you grow strong.

Attaining emptiness

The world can fill and empty

And fill again.

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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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Out from the Red Book (The Book of Voices)

Out from the forbidden book,
the hidden, the book bound
in oxen skin, bound in blood,
written in blood, as ever ( perhaps).
All gods (perhaps) begin in imitation
of the gods before.
Infected by the ticks that suck so greedy for meaning.
They begin (perhaps) as commentators, as compilers of concordance, as hagiographers, innocent and pious. Warming to their subject, become polemical, become critics. Constructing their own palaces they forget they are not dwelling within them, and so they become populated at first with (perhaps) the inanimate objects of remembrance –
a bowl,
a key,
a shrugged-off coat.
But soon the mirrors appear, innocent and deep as pools to windowless walls, become themselves windows, become doors, become landscapes, become the weight of antediluvia, become reason enough, become cared for, become owned, become obligated.
Demons are a different species entire.
Not content with philosophical dream
( who is who and what is real,
really real, that is divinely speaking, that is).
Demons cut the crap,
they want results, statistics, measurements, tangible, manipulatible (viz.)
Demons are out to make real change
in a world they disown and disavow.
A world they have spontaneously generated into,
demons deny evolution and chance.
They are here to correct all the clumsy mistakes, all the errors of judgement, all the delusion, all the fantasy. Demons are not here for the ride. They do not acquiesce. Intellect and cunning are their survival skills. To make a difference.

Wait. Wait.
A rolled mist
Blurring edges
Is sitting on the mountain.
Late summer air is still.
It may or may not rain.
Assiduous sheep are tugging
At the grasses,
Or seated, stare off unfocused:
Repetition of mantra
One continuance of chewed whisper.
Listen now. The air remembers rain.
Small leaves dance.
An incense of warm earth.
It becomes cooler
and the dreams return.

It begins with a slight inflection, a singular infection,
a voice that is or is not familiar. A stream, a trickle of thought.
A seed putting out simple translucent root, a fine idea, a resulting pleasing symmetry of leafed cotyledon. A simple isness, A here it is clear and sharp. Before long it, how you say, ramifies, manifestly bifurcates, adheres to Fibonacci's mad acceleration. Where there was one voice, now a fractalised howl of mob and counter-mob, simultaneous equations where x equals why not.
And so the poor dreamer,
and you, poor dear reader, face the chime of choice
which voice it is to follow and where to jump off ( this careering madness),
and when to argue back and when to say no I am lost
in a construction site for a palace I gave no permission for, on land I may once have said was temporarily mine own, or borrowed, or coveted, or squatted upon in a long evening of rest and so fell into dream and slept and melted into the earth, and dreamt of centuries cascading and so thusly, thusly,
the branched words
create and dissipate
and melt.

And what then of the nature of the soul? (Another voice, this one, fighting back up for its moment of enunciation. God or demon, I cannot tell). An eternal this, unchanging as rock. Perhaps once it was so. Before Pre-Cambrian, before the Ice's oceanic weight bore down, grooved and dragged, split and scarred. Crushed and ground down in green darkness, ejected into sunlight as sand. This beach, your soul eternal: the gulls angelic and the gulls demonic pattering for worms buried in your upturned, dreaming face ( as it were).

A radical change of direction, a root radial, circumstantial, circumspect, returning to the red. The red book of Carl Gustav, the Red Book of Hergest, The little red, the red rag, the red flag ( who was raised first by slaves in peasant revolt and by the Welsh Valley miners in the Merthyr Riots long before the bolsheviks begun to get bolshy at the Bolshoi).
The red palace,
the red hall,
the red encampment.
Our mitochondrial mothers chanting in darkness,
sweat and iron and honey.
Beyond gods' dreams or demons' politicking. Beyond history of flesh, before and after reason. A drumbeat trance, a passion ululating. A long house divided into rooms, fires and pools of water, a vestibule, an entrance way, a tunnel, a choice of doors, a basket of grain, a purging void, a suspension of all but breath. Before the gods wrote psalms ( such bitter pious violence), before the demons copied them in glorious, golden satire, before the bifurcation of left and right and wrong, before our bilateral superiority, our redundant symmetrical mirroring, before the cultivation of the tree – thought-topped, guilt-rooted. A simple red ark holding all, a grain. Carp, pericarp, stamen, a seed neither plant nor worm nor fish nor fondness. A hearth of mothers. All things, they say, have been your mother. Birthed by all. Nurtured by all. Loved by all. A golden thread of goodness, stitching, stitching. A darn, a repair, a suture.

The cloud has lifted,
Tentative sunlight.
Mountain's crown domes up
Into a temporary sky.
All the flock is rested now,
Stilled and free from hunger
( though a crow still hops between them
Pecking for worms in the grass).

One tide voice recedes. One dream takes the advantage. The red book pulses, veined an endless circuit. It disappears into green hedgerows and down to the valley wood. If the worth is not here, it does not lie elsewhere. The word's sound in another's head. Demon or god, I cannot say. That is all. That is an ending, or a beginning.

Notes: this tribe of voices arose after reading a couple of pages from C.G.Jung's 'Red Book'. The text was a dialogue between two entities, one of whom suggested to the other that it was real but nonetheless a fantasy. This being the case, many more possibilities were able to be conceived. Being real, and being fixed, and being limited. Jung has been assiduously avoided for a century now. More subversive he is than Marx ( who of course modernly eschewed all things spiritual as a hoax). The voices I was entertaining could have been those of the sub-cellular. I have met them before. They have impeccable logic, and are deadly to the pompous ruler of the personality.
How the voices are represented by the red flag of peasant revolt is a clever twist ( just noticed). The cellular majority rising against the oppression of the elite. But also the red rag of forbidden blood. The mysterious female contract with creation, and so the women's huts, and so the Neolithic floor plans of squatting goddess form, and so the subdivided longhouses that remind one of the mitochondria, those indwelling stowaways in every cell – the female genetic line from primeval bacterial beings….

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But ‘we’ is not circled.
We have no edge ( though we think otherwise)
(though we think we think).
We think beginnings and endings,
we think words, breath, silence, breath,
intake the other, exhale the other.
cannot remember any moment beyond
a circumscribed horizon, cannot, even, the dreams,
nor the memories, for sure (was it, was, was it so, was it not?)

There are, of course, clues.
Vagrants, with a certain mildewed smell,
mutter slewed directions, their demon-bright eyes.
(but those we shun, as shadows,
as churchyards at night, as the insisting amoral voices in the mist,
peripheral, shuffled, ambiguous).

The long halls, the rooms, the chambers.
My dear Giordano, such equations, such equators.
So few and tired are the moronic habitual paths,
so broad the primrose paths
to Hell untrod, unstudied.
A rumour of damnation, like a roll of distant thunder,
a storm coming. Well, certainly, there is a storm coming.
From the edges to the centre, from the centre to the edges..
An ending ( of sorts).
And then it echoes around another’s skull.
Seed syllables.
The end of worlds.
The beginning of worlds.

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DECADENT LINGERIE (dream stream)

Perhaps it was
the early sun,
The night sun,
Or the slim,
low dark moon.

But the halls
and chambers within,
The tales
and stuttered songs,
Were filled with dark
And strange, literate beings.

Wild, bohemian,
relics and collectors
Of the mythic
and the mundane.
A dream full
of forbidden rooms,
Reckless draperies,
swathed velvets,
Lascivious elegance,
experimental liaisons.

Good to see
the corridors of my mind
Disreputable and inhabited,
The forgotten,
the unfashionable,
Breeding experiences
Like there were no
Tomorrow.

Sculpting options,
Reviewing gestures,
Collecting ephemera.

Busy before the moral,
Busybody day curtailed
And manacled these lush
And poisonous flowers,
Slain by opprobrium…..

A very lush dream sequence. Dream buildings always carry a strong atmosphere. They are, after all, the dreamers represention of ‘self’ in some way. My own tend to self-construct around one of a few core architectures, based on real structures, elaborated or morphed together.
One is based on the classic Edinburgh tenamant. A stony, cavernous dimly lit open stone staircase leading up an unholy number of steps, on each landing, two doorways facing each other. The majority are 19th century constructions, so have an inner hall ( in my dream architecture this tends to be a large, square space with a confusing number of closed doors) leading to a variety of high-ceiling rooms with plaster mouldings….
Crossing the Meadows
Frosty autumn morning
Smell of barley and hops:
The brewery down
West End way.
Pale sunlight,
Pale water.
The loom of
Castle Rock.

More often, I construct a space cobbled together from my first flat in Birmingham. A solitary, disreputable maze of a building, again Victorian in construction, in a once elegant, turned seedy, part of town. Split into a bewildering Gormenghast of flats and bedsits inhabited by borderline lunatics, outcasts and keep-themselves-to-themselvers, in my dream constructions it sprouts an unlikely number of split levels, long, thin rooms, rusty balconies that overhang dark, deserted gardens. It breeds a nest of dark, vaguely familiar roads around it….
There is a place of
Poetry there,
Dark,
Colour of dust
And dried blood.
A place of confusions,
Lost directions,
Relict.

Most often, those inner spaces are based on Bridge Street Studios, an inner city canal warehouse complex ( probably now developed into expensive waterside penthouse flats), but when I was there many of the floors, abandoned by East Asian fabric manufacturing companies, had been taken over as the largest and cheapest (hottest, coldest, leakiest) artists’ studios in Birmingham. Divided up by partitions, often ghost towns of creativity, large open floors, huge windows, minimal electricity, always the risk of calamitous waterpipe bursts in cold winters. Again, a multitude of floors, a welter of staircases..
A place of exhibition
A place of seeking out
A hideout, a stakeout
A gathering of unlike minds
A flock of outliers
Dust,perfume,turpentine,
Dead leaves
Blown in,
Collected,
Collected.

Then there is the occassional tasteful Jungian set. A church or cathedral, often with internal growths of trees or other plant forms.. Which brings to mind a particular windswept . island dream, saint’s relics, boats leaving ( always leaving).

A fascination:
How,
From nowhere
Memory of an old dream
Jumps in,
Flavours with mood
Then scinters away
Drawing no conclusions…

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Photographs are from Chichester Cathedral, Ranga Hotel Iceland, traditional Japanese house, Yamanashi, Japan

Not sure if “scinters” was a word, but it is now! ( meaning: fragments, disintegrates, dissolves, flakes off, splinters, etc.)

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