Archives for posts with tag: poetry

What truth will raise you
above bigots, beyond hate;
apart and superior
to all with a different take?

Might you find it in a sacred book,
or some mystic’s secret locker;
your own personal dragon slayer
and conversation stopper?

Or

imagine rights and justice,
deliverence for the poor,
and imagine others never stood
on a pedestal as sure?

Or

join the righteous and enlightened,
freed from superstition.
Deify science, misrepresent it
and fight all opposition?

And

blind to your arrogance;
oblivious to your prejudice;
jump to condemn
the truth quest in others.

Start a truth collection.
Grasp and shape your prize.
Gaze at its reflection;
watch the ugliness rise.

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Beach Walk

Grieving for a father
who was never there.
Missing a man
who couldn’t share
himself in moments
as (I hear) other fathers did.

Already gone before he’s dead
All that we should have said
We cannot now, nor ever.
Dementia snapped the only thread
of a link that never ripened.
He could not do father, nor I son;
both of us too frightened.

I stand and gaze at winter waves,
their foamy sunlit diamonds,
and wonder why I feel such loss.
He was never destined
to stay and care and nurture me;
the child man dad who left me.

I wondered what it was he loved
all those years ago.
Can a son ever know
things a father cannot show?
I walked away and knew it wasn’t me.
Perhaps he wanted to be free.

Beyond the grief; behind the frown;
the hurt and shame,
pushed so deep down,
has long since ceased to matter.
You once were dad and I was son.
All else is only chatter.

Gazing at Buddha

A small Buddha

sitting calmly

in the morning gloom;

taking shape in early light.


The black resin idol,

composed and serene,

stares past me

to where I cannot see

and cannot go.


Sitting impervious,

untouchable, inanimate.

Its atoms no more or less exceptional

than the miracles dancing

in my bones.

We share that at least.

I look through Christian eyes

and see in you nothing to recoil from.

You are not the risen Christ

but you point me to him.

I think of people you inspire

and warm to them;

if not brothers and sisters; my friends.

A model of contentment.

Untouched, transcendent,

you exist in harmony with all things

just as I do not.

You don’t manipulate, obligate,

retaliate, pontificate or desecrate.

You simply are;

take you or leave you.



Many kinds of Hell

Tell and retell

the tired tales that serve us well.

Grievance, grief, remorse, regret.

The mind recasts, renews

pasts more wisely left;

that stunt and choke a soul.

Private little hells,

factory fitted,

home delivered.

Deep thought pits

with vertical walls

and slippery bits.

Everyday hells;

returned to habitually,

invoked mindlessly.

Repeated insanity,

drifting endlessly,

clung to hopelessly.

No images from Dante;

mostly less heroic;

not the least bit romantic.

Hells up close and personal.

Tawdry, tragic, ordinary

hells right here and now.

Many kinds of hell

in the stories we tell.

Real, imagined,

accepted, denied.

Each resonating

with the shriek of a shackled soul.


(Inside the Thousand Buddha Cave, near Luang Prabang, Laos)

 

Where are thoughts we no longer think?

Forgotten fragments of an earlier us

who breathed

and knew differently.

Links to an earlier self;

tumbled in memory, frayed, misplaced,

saved by random connection

of an unexpected smell, or taste.

Is there a place where old thoughts go?

A graveyard somewhere out of mind?

Is there an archive for them,

uncatalogued, unsigned?

Do past thoughts persist?

Where do they stay

when they’re unremembered;

with passing days?

Off the radar and out of mind,

unsummoned, bypassed,

do they wither and die

like cut flowers on glass?

Those ghostly constructs

that earlier selves spun,

elude us and withdraw,

leaving the question:

Just who are we after all?

 
I am not you.
 
I see what you see,
but I see differently.
 
Let me be.
 
 
(A Garden in the Alhambra Palace, Granada)
 
 
I do not need
to think like you,
but I might need to hear
what you have to say.
 
 
Don’t exclude me
or demonise me.
My heart beats as yours does
and I breathe as you breathe.
 
 
We touch the same air
and live in the same streets,
but you look ascance at me.
You question my sincerity and motives,
as you preen in the righteousness of your own.
 
(The anger of zealots expressed on a church wall in Granada, Spain)
 
 
You float through life in a bubble
self referencing,
self affirming,
convinced of your moral superiority.
 
 
I believe
as sincerely as you do
but hold a different truth
in my heart.
Mine is as precious to me
as yours is to you.
 
 
We flatter ourselves
that we own the truth.
Maybe if our truths have no room for each other
there is no room for either of them?
 
If what I value makes me unworthy;
If how I see things excludes me
from your regard;
then so be it.
 
I will let you be.
 
 
(Embossed door of the Sagria Familia Cathedral in Barcelona)
 
 
Inside the Red Fort at Agra, India
A good place for reflecting.
 
 
The End of Me
 
Arms folded,
wrinkled chin,
I watch the world
bump and spin.
 
If only they'd listen . . .
except they don't.
They won't.
 
Smug, safe
in a careful paradigm,
I tune out opinions
that threaten mine.
 
In an echo chamber
my of my own ideas
I beam
when I'm validated.
 
Could it be
I've begun
to worship myself?
 
. . . . . .
 
Maybe the end of me
is the beginning of us?
 
 
 
 
 
Madness swells and seeps under doors.
The darkness in each of us seeks out its own.
We are like blind mice
feeling for the exit
in a warehouse stalked by cats.
 
 
A thousand stolen childhoods rise up in anger,
shaming hypocrisy and demolishing excuses.
Childhood sexual abuse:
The perfume of privilege turns to the stink
of yesterday's household garbage.
Stripped naked of all pretension,
emptied of respectability,
the gatekeepers only now
turn around in confusion and sorrow.
 
 
Transitioned into care,
yesterday's people outlive their usefulness.
The boundaries of independence
tightened in stages to a choke hold.
Those who might otherwise have loved them
steal their dignity;
legal sensible, faux compassion.
Unspoken sadness for their children
who consigned them there;
who plan
and confirm their own decline
in turn and in time.
 
 
A termination
on the strength of a prenatal scan.
Imperfect parents will try another time
for a perfect child.
This one flawed;
airbrushed out of a family's history.
Binned as biological waste;
the child spared at least,
the obscenity of having parents
like these.
 
 
Fragments of a hundred butchered innocents
lie on a hot black road;
litter left by soldiers of Allah.
An unfinished jigsaw of heads and limbs
sorted and ripped by beaks and talons
like the hands of bargain shoppers at a Christmas sale.
Forget love and kindness.
Cruelty and violence are the price
of entry to paradise.
Who'd have thought?
 
 
Somewhere,
love is not set aside for the greater good,
explained away by self interest,
dishonoured through selfishness,
or perverted by a pustulant ideology.
 
 
Love that is not obedient or predictable,
but wild and radical,
risky and frightening;
waits to lead the way
out of darkness
into the light.