Entangled Clouds

Hubble Image of NGC 3324

Hubble Image of NGC 3324 - NASA

Authored by A. S. Kline © Copyright 2007 All Rights Reserved.

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Where did the love in us come from?

out of the animal mind,

out of the silent grasslands,

out of the curving shorelines.

Earth the given, sacred,

out of the singing woodlands,

from the bend of the river,

the half-light and the trees.

Where did the love in us come from,

the love that we refined?

From the first denial of violence,

from the nurturing, from being.

And all things were the circle,

within, the truth and meaning,

circuit of stars around us,

ocean of light inside us.


All things cry the one thing, cry themselves,

call out their being, their eternal voices,

their presence in the Now, their wild un-sameness,

of each the like, unlike.

All things inward show their outward form,

call out unique un-saying, private meaning,

disclose, give, spend themselves, go naked

to the fire of revelation, and the I.

All creatures show the one thing, show themselves,

burn in their transience, flare in their senses,

as Earth flares, lovely now, in incandescence,

as Moon flares, trembling, through water’s essence,

all things the same, where nothing is the same.


I am the hawthorn tree that sings

the voice of starlight over grass.

I am the alder, red I pass

root-wet in the gathering streams.

I am the rowan leaf that gleams,

by woodland-edge where silence grows,

I am the moonlit hedge-dark rose:

tremor of daylight and the night,

I am the purest mask of light.

I am the alphabet of trees,

garden-grace, comfort of bees,

I am Earth, bringer of breeze.


I wake from silence, among stars.

Where are you? Time is dream,

the frost-white dawn, cold pines

that grasp the mountain, stream

that foams in sleep. Enmeshment

with the world: these things arise

together: mind, not-mind, time, not-time.

The smell of frozen bark: rock smokes,

Orion fades through thorn’s split timber,

flowers weighed down, the dying heart

the resurrected mind, ‘world changes,

but this world’s the world within.’

Where are you, child of light? Whom Shelley

saw, sliding down the moonlight

of the mind, what Coleridge said (Within!)

Waking in shadow, winds, cloud, peaks,

my place among the constellations,

‘Worlds pass, but this goes on.’

Things slip away, dust, night-snow, cliffs,

grass bowed, bent in dew, eternity there.

Far west, empty fields where no religions

came, where we began, our painted walls,

our hearths, our sticks, our stones, all

time is dream, the dream, where are you?

Free of All

All lives converge, what is it that we bring

to this last moment, which is every moment?

What do you bring here, and what do I?

Without love; sensitivity; mind: nothing.

Without truth, nothing: beauty, nothing.

What is it, here, to this Now we bring,

to the fiery ages, dark between starlight,

to dawn’s exhausted presence? Ourselves,

free of all assumptions, ghosts of time.


Locked in the tree’s core, time,

as now the small trunks burn,

millennial light, five hundred springs,

five hundred summers. Stir the sparks

with a ten-year branch, galaxies, nations.

Four thousand years, so little care for truth,

but now, but here, this last,

this godless universe, intention-less,

so sweet now in its beauty, un-deflected

moving sphere of chance and form.

Grass of a day we insects climb,

our ladder of imperfection, scuttle

through shade, still again in light,

we thousand springs and autumns

of the spirit, stirring the fire,

burning now with the universe.


Woods go; forests slide, beauty’s destroyed.

Do you know what you do? Each interference

is a failure, to see, not see, this last betrayal.

Reclaim the sacred, the intention-less world,

the given-beyond-us, fragile place of yearning,

our prison in the stars the mind walks through.

Do you see what you do? Each interference

is a pang, a failure, a denial of the sacred.

Night Air

You and I in this eternity,

flesh to flesh was mine

but mind to mind

thrills both.

We two, in the darkened city

and the beauty,

sweats and strains,

at the long river’s


Night air on cooling flesh

in this eternity,

naked you sleep

who walked beneath your clothes

through spring and autumn,

everything there,

cold anger, shame and pain,

love, accusation,

tenderness, joy, craving.

Mars, Venus, Jupiter

so near,

a glittering triangle,

this night.


Dark clay, from the ground

this pot climbs

to surface –

hands made it, Earth.

From its dead language

now translate,

‘clean, rinse, cool,



Dark clay

unknown fingers

beauty’s detail,

time changed

to space, dark object,

climbing through

the centuries, to the eye,

warming the spirit,

now – re-born.


Fearful of distant things,

good for the near and tender,

the mind-made slowly-grown.

Against the complex structures,

power, the dependent, free

only in self-creation, clear

in solitude, for grass, trees, soil,

and direct touching. Born

for love’s, beauty’s, truth’s

triumvirate, and here

and now, and not ideal.


All here by the beauty of blind chance,

here by form’s wild intricacies,

here by the random code’s sweet permanence,

the sieve of Earth, by time and circumstance,

the one true miracle.

All here under Deneb, Altair,

deep in the inner silence,

four million years in spirit,

grass, wind’s breath

and our reality.

All here in the fossil trail,

in the folded rock,

in the galaxy’s

cool wave of light,

and lake of darkness,

all here, in us, blind chance.


Lost in time

I love eternity.

Pale stillness of the light,

dark skies, the clouds between,

not understanding time,

here lost in time.

It flickers in the silence,

in the calyx of the rose,

through summer-lightening,

sound-less after sound,

the sound itself,

world moving on.

Present falls to past

within this present,

future, the blind chance,

its subtle pattern.

The night, beyond.

I love eternity.

Lost in time.


In the blue Pacific,

off Hawaii, whales plunge

under the oceans,

the great singers flow,

in coils and toils

of trembling light,

giants breathing

in ancestral patterns,

these mammals that

returned to the sea.

All the wealth of ancient being

to make this poverty,

this beauty,

this remnant we destroy:

those billion years.

And if we vanish

only mind is lost,

and there are others?

Are there other whales?

In the blue Pacific’s

far north-east, whales turn,

as we destroy:

their distant constellations

grouping, re-grouping,

the unpredicted, as we

were unpredicted,

flowing through moving starlight,

through the infinite waters,

in oceans of the night.


The brush follows the line,

the line is implicit,

the line is in the mind.

The life follows the act,

the act is implicit,

the act is in the mind.

After many lines,

the brush becomes the line,

the mind becomes the life.


Kingfisher flares

in the glitter of water,

and in shadowy depths

of trees darkness flickers,

over the stones,

mind flickers, deep

in the reaches

of spirit’s ancestry

thought’s journey.

Nature flares,

perfect in detail,

self of so many selves dispersal,

sieve of things mortal,

flares, subsides

to flow downstream,

to cry this marrying

of form and beauty,

we now exercise.

Mind, the Maker

All of the centuries

fed only fantasies.

The heart of the human

was in the creature,

Earth our blue vessel

sailing infinities,

Love, truth and beauty

that made us, we made.

All of the centuries

dispelled the Mysteries,

the Temple’s within,

Nature is sacred,

Mind the maker

of deeper realities,

our only creator,

to ruin, or save.


Dance my heart with transience,

Mind is process, world is flow,

all we are is passing, so,

dance my heart with transience.

Dance, Mind, with Nature’s essence,

all we are is Nature’s flow,

part of all the winds that blow,

dance, Mind, with Nature’s essence.

Dance, heart, in mind and sense,

dance with beauty’s transience,

Mind is process, world is flow,

through eternity we go.



Star-glittering silence,

the lone boatman

casts his line

towards heaven.


Shiver of stars,

the night-wind

moves in silence

through the mind.


Sea of silence,

glitter of stars,

this universe

without a cause.

Wild Blue

The blackbird and the wild flower’s

resonance. Nothing’s here,

no mind, no thought,

one nature, vanishing

in sweetness.

Cutting the leaves and stalks,

feeling the touch of breeze,

the stirring of the trees,

everything gets done,

is simplification.

The earth grows lighter,

the stars nearer,

as mind grows older,

heart clearer,

in love with this

vanishing world.


It is the heart

(aspect of mind)

talking to itself.

It is a void

at the centre

of ordinary being.

It is a ditch

of light, filled

with bright rain.

It is a giving

and receiving

from within.

It is a silence


the text’s silence.

It is the earth’s



The Value

Through no-nature like a dream

these feelings, all this being,

pass without stirring the grass.

The heart is not this senseless mass

of all our making, not in this world’s

owning, light, we pass.

Within is value, in the spirit, meaning,

civilisation is this, to make beauty

where there’s no beauty, attend where there is.

Your Mind

Each accident of your mind is beautiful.

This is the music played when mind is freed.

Like the subtle movement of the seed,

Nature’s billion trails of circumstance.

Form at the core, but not our form,

chance, there, but not our chance.

The mystery is like your mind.

Its beauties too are happenstance.

After This

One day, after this age,

after the error,

mind will become the mirror.

Sinking into it (without reflection)

all things will be reflected,

in the light of non-action.

Not-mind will vanish, or become its image,

a symbol of the silence, and the void,

spontaneous un-doing.

One day, new as ever, Earth, our lover,

after the error

of this age, wild will flower.


Now the world is coiled in fire,

white fire, moon in the cloud-leaves,

writing universe and mind

through slight living mysteries.

Now the heart is wreathed in fire,

white fire of the stars’ leaving,

a meteor of depth and time,

wrapped in bone and flesh’s being.

Now the dead are clothed in fire,

white fire, seething memory,

sealing spirit, body blind,

in yearning, this intensity.

The Photograph, the Hand

My father there in the quiet distance,

caught in your passive, kindly patience,

part of the now-betrayed ideal,

how shall I know your world, reveal,

except by my fresh imitation,

the copybook of generation?

Watching the earth turn, far away

from the passions of your yesterday,

humility, your warmth of heart,

still penetrate my present art,

your thought not mine, yet your spirit,

nevertheless I here inherit.

Now and Here

Who knows what depths of time we plough?

Yet where we meet is always Now.

The light reflected from your face

brings me a past-in-present space.

We cannot grasp its core as such

but here’s existence where we touch.

The bird flies through a sky that is,

while there I see a sky not his.

Words alone wrap mind in sense.

They pass between us, worlds immense.

Bring your depths of time to me.

We shall create eternity.

At our backs the universe,

womb and cradle, bed and hearse.

Turn us to its living fires,

Now and Here all our desires.

Little Sun Song

This sun, this star,

this one, far out,

all ways, un-hanging,

held by all,

no place to fall,

since all makes space,

and space makes all.

This yellow seethe,

its wave of light,

thrown out to planets

not through night,

since night is only

what we call

reaches with no suns at all.

Our sun, our star,

the un-possessed,

the strangely given,

and so blessed,

without whose radiance

your nor I

ever would have seen the sky.

The Passage

Children and birds swim through,

fish swim through, in the night

whales, tigers, eland swim through,

women in labour, women in orgasm,

naked men, swim through, eyes,

limbs, words, thoughts swim through,

shadows of leaves, stars, rocks, grasses

swim through, in the net of dreams

minds swim through, love swims through,

kindness, courage, trust, swim through,

light swims through, in the silence,

space swims through, time swims through,

being and knowing swim through,

birth, death, swim through,

leaving it all


Entangled Clouds

White through jagged peaks

smoke-arms stretch out, touch above deep valleys,

cliffs of light, spires of darkness, rock,

entangled clouds.

‘Always reach out for me’, I said,

‘to always find me’. Tenderness

curls soft against black granite, shards

of ebony schist.

Day’s-heat gone, rains fade,

brushstrokes black off summits.

Like cold snow, the touching

clouds pass through.

Chance Meeting

Your gipsy sense,

roaming, untidy presence,

free of civilisation, its longings,

poverty, blind will, old emptiness,

deathly limitation,

free of quests,

quartering mountains

watching cave-creatures

in bear-country, birds, deer,

crossing high snow-filled passes,

grass-deep sun-rich meadows,

drinking rain,

drying out in shacks, lean-tos,

seeing, imperfect, Nature’s perfection,

her individual, detailed,

spare, specked and marred.

Your hobo’s mind,

your grand refusal,

walking it alone, waking alone

embracing creation, self-created,

non-action, spontaneous, incomplete,

on a shelf of stone,

by a cleft of stream

free of ties, laws, codes,


nature, affection, peace,

lovely habit.

Your vagrant spirit,

clearer than mine,

free of death-wish, self-wish,

futile yearning,

senseless craving,

shunning the ways that lead

to exhausted mind,

seeking old tracks,

by lakes and hills,

along dark cliffs,

through the white cloud

blown by all winds,

by joyous feelings,

climbing the high ridge,


names of trees, peaks, trails,

drifting north-west,

grasping nothing.


No personal history,

all the voices,

the bell-note void, pure, ringing,

beyond the names and forms,

all there - expression

in the simply given,

the thousand spaces

of one being, art,

alive, the naked form,

free of all intention now,


this gesture of no-hand,

this tongue-less word.

Dead Echoes

Echo in us, the dead,

we make them stand before us,

and cannot contemplate

our summoning,

they closed in ourselves,

in nothingness,

we, open to all feeling.

Not called unless we call,

their cessation

of desire is never ours,

ours intensified by their absence,

or become pure un-possession.

They have no will,

are not, as the gods are not,

are our illusion,

echoing endlessly.

True Being Sings

We are not strangers to the world,

there is no mirror,

there is no other place,


is mind’s consequence,

and not our nature,

no introspection

brings us home, we cannot

think our way to joy,

true being



Mountain stream,

its glassy curves,

clear volumes there,

on solid rock,

its running fall,

the Second Law,

Time’s arrow,

and the mind before

the poems and the galaxies,

one pure universe

no more,

slips onward, inward,

world a fire

of beauty, things,

excess, desire,

constraint and entropy,

granite, slate,

and water flows

Time’s concentrate,

washes the scree,

bathes boulders, runs

towards the billion setting suns.

Sun in Trees

Senses in star-bright air,

mind in the dream,

‘this is the poem, form,

a planet in its orbit’

Star through the big pine

lights dark boughs,

in its space-night

makes day in ours.

Oh, little star on a far limb,

whirlpool-core in native dance,

bright among bushels,

star-seed, senses’ lance.


So that in the end

the love is within

and can belong

to others, to the world,

species’ anonymous


under whatever name,

and emblem

of our presence.

Always beyond, always

the stepping beyond

into oblivion,

the utterance

always intense

more intense

until it is ripe, enclosed,

a call, a shout,

of pain and purity.

Civilisation, Lovely

Civilisation, lovely,

Altamira, Ajanta,

anonymous beauty,

deeper than the named.

The great caves singing

with lightning, with colour,

freed from their religions,

silent now beyond them.

And the cherry by the eaves,

in the Zen garden

is an arrow fired,

suspended in the sky.

Civilisation, tender,

the deer, and the bison,

those calm golden faces,

the depths of our being.

Lovely, and anonymous

the given, and not made.

Through the Glass

When Alice stepped through the glass

she stepped into this world,

the logic on her side

does not apply on this.

Here the irrational is queen,

and king, and all the laws

of space and time are illusory,

her chessmen give us pause.

Here there’s no allegory,

here she sees what is,

a mad earth, turned inside-out –

and where’s the pool of tears?

When Alice stepped through the glass

she alone spoke with flowers,

all meaning on her side,

all foolishness on ours.


Burn like the child you were and are,

be mirror to the furthest star,

the something-in-you’s deepest gleam,

alight on the galactic stream.

There are no gods.

We are the dream.

Trip Stops

Natives (does that mean rooted, deeper?)

tilled the dry ash soil in all these canyons,

built walls, ran herds, wove cultures.

Now dark-skinned girls in soiled slips,

men’s hats, sell goods by dusty highways,

mind’s potency deep-buried in their eyes.

Why visit other lives, dissatisfied

with ours, we pillagers, like buzzing wasps

that narrow-sighted feed on honeyed plants?

Who will come to view us, trade our smiles,

film our pain, disturb and dislocate us,

what jaded, future-wise, resigned off-worlders?

How Long?

Bamboo shadow leaves on white pages.

How long will they last – these books?

Fierce sunlight then the cool at night.

Show me – how your body burns.

Electric rain on shutters, blue glass.

How long will our culture last?

Wild stars then the breeze at dawn.

Show me – where all feelings are.


Pigeon flies down, eats seed.

Pigeon’s world is placid.

Pigeon’s creed

is wait, watch, hope, a meal

may be likelier than we know.

Pigeon’s clumsy poet’s walk

turns beautiful in flight.

Pigeon sails the light

and hides at night,

when darkness flows.

Pigeon knows

what it knows.


An image opening, pinwheel galaxy,

blue beauty some place, unknown to me,

in space, inside time, a wheel,

light flowing, energy (motion, mass)

moving into the eye, I see

galactic beauty, learn, a moment only,

for this one moment, truth, humility.

Without a Word

The aimlessness,

that’s hard to believe,

all the creatures,

clear, enduring, aware,

all the lives and processes,

no pointing, not a sign,

nameless and complete.

In clouds the mountain stream,

pine needles fall, wind blows,

world-waves, inner silence,

Nature without a word.

The mindlessness

that’s hard to accept,

a universe of itself,

vast, pure, activity,

all the leaves free of your purpose,

all the grasses, seeds and skies,

your vivid glimpses of the Earth.

In clouds the cliffs going nowhere,

slow turning with the planet.

You know another eternity?

That’s hard to believe.

Nothing Else

Comes from nowhere, it goes nowhere.

Not lasting, but everlasting.

Always moving, never moving,

just this single manifold.

Try to catch it, stop it, it’s gone.

Try to run, escape it,

it’s still here.

This self, what self, where?

All those lives

don’t even sway the grass.

All those lives,

don’t even stir the water.

Show me the future

and the past!

It’s simply – this,

and nothing else.

Sitting Foolish

Heads full of customs, rites and fictions,

minds full of madness, of religions,

don’t think they’re closer to the Earth,

by sitting foolish in the dust.

But Nature and Being, understood

the intention-less complexity,

through that path relinquish all paths,

sitting foolish in the grass.


This is not it,

this civilisation.

This is not it,

the facelessness, the wars.

This is not it,

the way we came,

the movement, flawed.

In some other

century perhaps.

In some other

place and time,

the sound of laughter

from the heart,

not the laughter

of the mind.

Within you,

keep the flame.

Within you,

keep it light.

Learn to love,

Forget to fight.


Your heart

and my heart

are one heart

in two minds.

Your eye

and my eye

make two eyes

and one sight.

Your hand

and my hand

touch one Earth

with both hearts.

Your spirit,

my spirit,

one Nature,

no other.


Feel Earth shift,

the ages move,

mind’s clear drift,

the sea of love.

The sun will rise

another day,

we’ll exercise

our species’ way.

Dawn’s cool light,

the Earth, a ball,

blue on darkness,

cannot fall.

We spin again

about our star,

around the core

of what we are.


Other ways of life

almost gone, faded,

other spaces of the heart,

not to be imitated.

We try to capture

what we cannot be,

the inner life organic,

inimitable mystery.

Puma in the dark cave,

Kite, deer in the wood,

Miraculous worlds,

Moth’s spectacled hood.

What have we to give

to the beauty, to the song

of this universe? Love?

To love it, and belong?

Now when the other ways

of life are almost fading,

gone. Lay down our power,

join the living things?

On High Cliffs

This rock, granite, slates,

flows slowly,

our foolish religions,

myths of the ruling races,

go past swiftly,

like weather,

greed and fear.

This rock, ten million

years old, cools us,

in the dark shadows,

burns us, in the light,

our hold ephemeral,

our culture slight,

our way is grasping.

The Form Within

Nature is this, the small bug

on the leaf, fish, bird, mite,

all the galaxy, all matter,

mineral, sludge, fire, sea,

rock, lightning, all

this process.

Mind thinking it knows

what Nature is, is part

of Nature, knows which

is greater, all this flow,

the starry universe,

its voids, its powers.

The insect on the leaf,

the form within.


Inside culture all is seamless,

one perception, one direction,

from outside, it’s artifice.

Inside faiths, and ways of being,

all is truth and obvious,

from outside, all’s fallacy.

Inside all relationship,

time is ours, and powerless,

outside it, we exist.


On this worn slope,

the honeyed day, idle away.

Valley of the heart

and mind, may our loyalty be blind.

Heat and silence,

fill the hours, make them ours.

Light and shadow, quiet

flow, through us, below.

On this worn slope,

by day, let every starlight play.

Index Of First Lines