Thursday, 31 December 2015

Talking to Rilke

I am praying again, Awesome One.
You hear me again, as words
from the depths of me
rush toward you in the wind.

I am seeking to break away
From the inconsequential

To see with greater clarity
That which is of most value

I've been scattered in pieces,
torn by conflict,
mocked by laughter,
washed down in drink.

I have been caught up in many ways

I have written before
'I have proclaimed Truth's river

But have not always been able to swim in it'

In alleyway I sweep myself up
out of garbage and broken glass.
With my half-mouth I stammer you,
who are eternal in your symmetry.
I lift to you my half-hands
in wordless beseeching, that I may find again
the eyes with which I once beheld you.

But I come round eventually

It is like turning a corner
And seeing a whole new vista

I am a house gutted by fire
where only the guilty sometimes sleep
before the punishment that devours them
hounds them out into the open.

I am a house being cleared of debris
Things useless and unused disposed of

I am a city by the sea
sinking into a toxic tide
I am strange to myself, as though someone unknown
had poisoned my mother as she carried me.

I am a city lit by many lights
Able to move around freely unafraid
The many paths cleared of shards

It's here in all the pieces of my shame
that now I find myself gain.
I yearn to belong to something, to be contained
in an all-embracing mind that sees me
as a single thing.
I yearn to be held
in the great hands of your heart--
oh let them take me now.

I am all here

Pieces uniting
Uniting and presenting

What is most real to a waiting world

Into them I place these fragments, my life,
and you, God -- spend them however you want.

To the all-embracing Mind

Who has always seen me as a single thing
I give You thanks for Your wonderous beholding

Text in italics from Rilke's Book of Hours, translated by Joanna Macy

To Shakespeare as the storms ends

Revels ending now ...

I am melted into the so thin air
The baseless fabric of this inherited vision
Dissolving in my hands ...

As each day passes
I lose a little or a lot
No matter ...

The insubstantial pageant of all of this
Is fading like a dream on waking
My friend ...

A rounded life
Or a half life
Ends in sleep ...

After tempest
Turns to calm
Becomes eternal rest ...

And now
It just remains
To blow the dust away

Listen to the speech


Captivated by that which is not lovely nor good nor right
What on this wide earth could uncover the entrance you stepped through?
Entertainment is a drawn curtain
And you are wrapped within
A stranger to yourself and this waiting world that has closed you in
Here nothing happens
Nothing changes with the ticking of the clock
And you, sad child, are rocked to sleep every night
No dreams flicker as you watch unblinking the outer screen
The flame of your life smouldering
What breathe could blow and enliven that which is almost gone?
And it is almost gone
You are extinguishing yourself
While all the while the birds are chirping 'don't go, don't go'
Before they fly away, my love, turn down the sound
What is it that you cannot hear in the birdsong?

Love all the while lies in wait outside your closed door

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Hiding Place

Hiding Place - a lovely song

Love has hid
In nail prints
A tomb
A bloodied body
Within a cloud
White light
In the eye of the storm
And the calm thereafter
Love revealed
Where sight
Is no longer possible
In heartbeat's darkness

Thursday, 26 November 2015

We sit ...

We sit and wait and wait and sit then stand and walk and sometimes run
But always return

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

My father said we are going on a picnic

My father said we are going on a picnic
To a place across the sea
There were tears behind his eyes
And a tremor in his voice
But he smiled as he lifted me onto his knee
And said he loved me ...

My father said we are going on a picnic
But that countless others were coming too
It is such a faraway magical place where no bombs fall
And instead of rubble to play in
There will be a beach and fine golden sand
Where we can laugh and sing our traditional songs in peace ...

My father said we are going on a picnic
Bags packed and huddled in a flimsy boat
He told me not to look into the dark waters
To hold tight his hand
Tears were falling from his eyes
And the tremor in his voice was now a violent shaking ...

My father said we are going on a picnic
His face turned towards the distant horizon
I leaned on him - my strong tree
I heard him speak into the gloom as we set sail
His hands now clutching his knees
'How my heart is aching - God go with us - please' ...

Saturday, 18 July 2015

I love to sit in this courtyard

I love to sit in this courtyard
At a certain time before closing
Gulls squall for the briefest of moments
But we are so far from the sea
So far from home

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Book of Hours

Start again the Book
Start again
To gaze
Pass the glass
Open eyes
To Time
Falling like sand
Through tired fingers
[Hourglass it is filling]
Slip away
My Love
[Before it is too late]
Behold Aloneness
In the mirror
And see
[The image of God]

I dreamt it was possible to lose you

I dreamt it was possible to live empty handed
And to have no hold
Never to behold
No one to fold into myself to become whole

I dreamt I saw Love's ghost last night
Wandering across Heart's vast plane

I listened but there were no words
Just the sweeping of longing in the aching wind

Monday, 25 May 2015


colours faded
carpets worn
threadbare emotions
hang like curtains
no longer able
to keep out the cold

markers bob
on the deep sea
the break water
the island
the sailing boats
and naval ships

birds dart
the headland beckons
the horizon calls
and the sun keeps
breaking through
the chill of the clouds

Two strong swimmers
in tandem
cut through
the dark waters
and return shimmering
to the shore

Photo that inspired the poem by John Larkin

Friday, 17 April 2015

the sound ...

of emptiness within the sound of sirens, the wind stirred trees, the creaking of the house and the heart therein
the sound ...
of silence within each worded moment - let it bring you to the verge of ...

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

They sent me away

They sent me away, they did, smiling and waving, few provisions in my sack, no compass, save the flickering stars

And what a night it was, howling moaning wind whispering through every part of my poor aching body

Speaking softly and slowly a prayer from an ancient book: Help me, O LORD my God: O save me according to thy mercy* …

And there it was, just the fact of a sole figure moving into darkness and the vastness of space

*Psalm 109:26