Friday, December 19, 2014

POEMS ~ The Half Hearing of Small Voices

Another retreat, another set of poems. This time from my recent retreat The Gods Will Offer You Chances, led by Paramananda & Mandarava at Rivendell.  I tend to write one every day, pretty much off the top of my head. Sometimes these poems indicate the effect a retreat is having upon me, sometimes they seem to come from somewhere, half heard and mistranslated. So here they are seven poems from a seven day retreat.


Tiny specks of diamonds
glittering pin pricks, perched
on the tips of grass shards
in a winter lawn, lit up
by unearthly powers
fired by lightening, solar flares
or elfin LED.


is thrown up
comes down
at some point

Probes and rockets
investigate space
data falling
in a digital rain.

Heartfelt aspirations
when they drop to earth
form impact crators
where else is the hurt?

Our pain is ours
and can't be discarded
like a boomerang
it keeps coming back.


The sun broke behind the church
over an hour ago
now its carousing
with the crowns of trees
and cloud tufts
each its own breaking beauty
that is let go of,
to make space
for the next
whilst I am still as
drowsy and grumpy now
as I was earlier.


All the days
rolling into one another
with the consistency
of pastry
roughly compacted
in a ball, or
pressed, stretched and eased out
like a glutenous dishcloth
some might say
these people look like
they're bored with life
they're indulging in childish whims
of being meaningful
of spiritual playacting
there are times
when it is all of these things
jumbled up and wrongheaded
despite appearences
everyday life is like this too
this is just a time
and the space
where the soul gets
a bit of tlc.


Here is an unlived face
eyes that function
but do not perceive
a mind operating
but does not reflect
the body is
an empty vessel
with utilitarian uses
yet his actions
are unoccupied
as though walking has lost
all sense of direction
other than foot steps

Its a face unoccupied
by terrors, by joys, by loves
by interests, by engagement
it looks out on the world
and receives nothing
via the mirror
a face not even distressed
by its predicament
too passive
to feel indifferent
all expression
is conserved, is
unredeemed by calling
this blandness
the result of hard years
of spiritual practice

This is a face
that has misconceived
the whole purpose of life.


The heart
as a muscle
flutters and flinches
its fist
when the shadow
of its metaphorical twin
is shaken into life
by the pulse of mystical blood
alchemy is snatched
as though a current of electric
zapped through and
stars expanded their spectrum
pouring down
a new colour
a shape shifting medicine
into the arteries and veins
and the heart purred
like a bedraggled familiar
being offered
pure white milk.


In the room
of the shrine
I was to
just sit with myself
listening, quietly
preparing the senses
to be more
all encompassing
in the opening and closing
opening and closing
opening and closing
of the door
half hearing a small voice
singing the opening phrase
of an unrecollected song
moarnfully mordant
think Morrissey, sung by Cohen
incanted over and over
as if the repetition
would serve up
the rest of it
this moment though
was left unresolved
when close by, a mobile vibrating
muffled beneath layers
of clothing or blankets
sounded as though
young calves
calls for their mother
were being
left unanswered

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