Posts Tagged ‘wisdom’

Old Men


remaining silent:
no one knows
whether we are becoming wise,
or more foolish.
watching the endless river.


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Neb kyn noc ef nyt aeth idi –
Y’r gadwyn tromlas kywirwas ketwi

It is a soughing, is a sighing lament
a lament of oarstrokes, of labour
against a tidal fate, the rip-tides of honour,
of pride, of battle, of world’s collapsing.
It sings so with a heavy heart
the cracked glass of memory saying
all was lost, save us, and we returned lost:
the dark roads, the impenetrable fortresses,
the keening wind, the scent of snow and blood.

‘How many saints are there in the void?

May I not endure this sadness…’

And the roaring waves turning back
Drawn tight against the ripped sky
Banded, wheeled, armoured rings
And the horror of it is not even that darkness.
Inside these fortress rocks the lost echoed songs of the forever lost,
Transformed aching nothing twisted to silence
The thousands lost just trying, just looking,
The hinged doors screaming, the invisible worlds
Shuddering and refusing us their air, their shade.

Save seven, none came back.

Their air is not our air, their life and death not ours
To grasp at feathers and find fingers shredded to bone,
To look into eyes that look beyond days and nights.
And the ghosts of thought growing bold, and the doubts
That our good is not good, our right, a trespass unforgivable.
There was terrible beauty that cared nothing for us,
That would not let us rest or pass, terrible is such truth.

Unutterably shifted between worlds, gone, never returned.
Chaff words and book learning all shallow things
Now our eyes have been seared with countless strangenesses.

May I not endure this sadness.

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The woman who would dance on treetops;
who would walk with trees,
Tell me:
What is the shape and form and extent of the tree?
What is its roots, and what its height?
How can its girth be encompassed?
How can its wisdom be translated?
There is, you see, no merit in finding answers.
Answers are not how this, or any other, universe functions.
Multiply the questions.
Each a branch, each a root.
Questions. Spreading, holding,
Illuminating, transducing.
The word for tree
Is the word for truth,
And it is not one thing
Nor many.
To wrap it around an ankle,
A web around a bone, around skin
Around a scent, around a movement.
To wear a tree. To be worn,
Within and without.
Smiled upon, an ocean waved and rippled.
To be cast out upon a twig,
Without a name,
In a bag with no name,
In a basket with no name.
To forget one name, a touch of light,
A trembling on starlight,
A passage between attractors.
Begin and continue:
That is a tree.
An umbrella to worlds
A clamour of tongues
Green and cymbal-sharp,
Their little edges are questions.
To find an image
One must not seek an image,
(we need no other backwards mirror things),
To scribble and allow the dust
To coagulate, drip and remember
That all the waters of the world
Are one river.
The slightest, remotest puddle,
Slowly drawn upward, freedom
Within gravity to become cloud,
The tiniest thing, the thing most free,
Falling with accumulation,
Flowing with urgent weight,
Becoming all else by need.
A fountain of water held upright
By the will of the sun.
An urge to delve darkness,
To send out messengers,
To converse with all the syllables of scent.
This becomes another tree, so you see.
A one, a self, a many, a one.
Passionately, she wishes to become inscribed,
Pictured, illuminated, to become aligned,
Limned, re-limbed.
Chosen, loosed, re-booted,
A future unveiled, woven around.
The past taken up, enthroned
And unfolded. Truth made real
In arching bough, the only dance there is,
A bounce up and out from ground
And a certain, graceful, impossibly slow


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Owl-headed, lithe, folded,
Shock thundered voice:
Scythe words,
Harrow words,
Fine-limbed spells.
Fingertipped, a weaving sined spin,
A cast out dance.

Sunlit surge in blue, fat sky.
A thousand green tongues
Treasures rain,
Brushed light on lips.

Arched span a wing across.
Star chased, a trembled cascade.
Breathed dust, the burst
Before thought, bubbled,
Swirled, bowed.

Lean in, lean close.
A criss-crossed hum,
A bee jewelled drone
Truth stitched.

Skull bowl brain meal.
Glistening viscera
Steam slithered open.
All, all revealed.

My voice, a lute, a cuckoo.
A call distanced
By the fathoms of spring.


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There is no wisdom here
Or if there is
It is likely lost leaves caught spinning
In a roar of water tumult
Hardly caught sight of
There and gone
Swept down, swept down
To sink and settle
In oceanic darkness
The weight of it
Firing the engine:
The slow grind of tectonics,
Subsumed, subducted,
Ground down, incorporated,
Incorporate, a whisper lost,
Composted dust.

If there is light
It holds to the edges:
Irredeemable grey plateaux
Bitter the mica dust,
Bitter the cold distance.

If there are roads
They have been deserted
Too often followed
Lame, looted, lost
Abandoned the distinct
And destinations dismissed
Hollowed out, hungered.

If there were cause
All has been strangled thin
Worn out with wanting
With too much with not enough
With wasted words
Washed veinless worthless words
Given up, blown away,
Blown away.

If there were wisdom
It would sit down and weep.

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Blossoms of the Dakini.

“Aspiring to the levels of realisation and liberation
Means deviating from bodhi;
Aspiring to obtain happiness
Is the great suffering;
Aspiring to attain the state beyond thought
Is another thought.
If you understand this,
Seek no further.”

(Princess Gomadevi)



I neither believe
Nor disbelieve
The thoughts that arise in me.

They are a mellifluous river,
A breeze in a high place;
Sounds and sensations
That arise and disperse,
Flowers that open and fade,
Stars revealed and obscured by cloud.

I move, the road stays still.
I stay still, the road moves on.

Following the paths of my ancestors
I return to their dwelling place.

Following my own path
I become lost in dream.

Staying still,
I listen to the forest;
Sun and moon dance before me.
The road disappears,
The need disappears.

One feather, one petal
Comes to rest.
Movement dissolves.




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