The Presence of Light

Light Beam, Cavern

Light Beam, Cavern - Public Domain Images

Authored by A. S. Kline © Copyright 2003 All Rights Reserved.

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in the light,

years do not count,


the creature,

your origin,


say the spell,

you know it.



heart’s beauty,



of her going,


the given

not made.

You take

her life,

the lives,


in those eyes,


the mind


No sanction,

no god,

your choice.

Say the star


to light,

say it.

Say nature,

from the incoming fall

of time

to the slightest

nothing more,

say her.

All one ridge,

one line

of comfort,

one intimate


one mind

many forms,



in the great bowl,

dark space,

place alone.



in the light,

not made,


say the spell

you know,



The repeated

hammer of bone

in the air


The rage

of the body

then silence


The flow

as though

it were mine


The listening

the say

the word of the hour


The child now,

it too, I too



The sun

the grey



This real


sent onwards


The eye

dark as a leaf



The hollow

built, given, spoken

taken now


The opening,

closing, eaten

sweated name


The rose

of lipped petals

swallowed time


The merciless echo

of every sound

in the spirit


The crystal tree

of immaculate growth

its clusters


The windblown night

the perilous lisp

of touch


All things

grief can see,

all things joy,


The repeated plant

of us

deep in the earth




eliminated like suns.



Power of the inflow

echoed, reflected

until when.

Involved fire

speaking in sperm, spasm

the ghost-words


Names shattered

broken like suns.

Spewed out ash


the stair we climb

other lives


open our tongues

live in our shadows

drive us

to mountains of fall.

Nature and Form


being here

being dead.




Be as

you are

become as.

A star,

the now



Nature and

Form our


All past

the dead flare

the said.

The leaf,




For the tongue, the lips, the mouth,

the throat.


For the shadow in time’s courts, the face,

the bright one.


For the stone, the stem, the stream,

the branch.


For the wound. For the blood of the wound,

for the eye.


For the bone, the fall the white



For you. Silence. For time. Silence.

It burns.


Came from the air in a flash of fire – the true

came from the mouth in a gasp of air – feeling

came from your hands – kindness

from the speech of your eye.

Sensitive – the ghetto of names

the tabernacle of thought

it calls together the mind,

names it – empathy.

Knows, it knows,

enters, it enters,

is one, lives there.

Gentle – the wing the light as the dance

dancer, the nurturing arms, the tip

milked the door entered,

calls it, calls it, kindness.

Give, it gives,

share, it shares,

creates, makes there.

True – the hand, the outstretched hand,

the armed, the far one

standing over the stars

honour it, truth.

Holds, it holds.


Waits. Is there.

Came from the spirit clear the eye – the true

came from the soul in a breath of pity – feeling

came from the hand, your hands – kindness

came from the hand, soul, spirit – mind.


Beyond the natural

nothing sang.

There was the Moment,

all time, Energy’s space,

the Self, there were others.

Beyond the real

nothing sang.

Beyond the creature

nothing felt.

There was the sensitive mask,

the nurturing spine, courage.

Beyond the creature

nothing felt.

Beyond the form

nothing shone

there was integrity’s line,

harmony’s detail, luminous.

Beyond the form

nothing shone.

Beyond the living

nothing grew.

There was the leaf, eye,

there was the wing.

Beyond the living,

nothing grew.


It is what expresses itself

in the curve of your hands.

It is.

It is what expresses

the beyond-human in terms

of this place.

It is image, the hole in the lamplight,

a mouth that a mouth occludes,

and discards what does not flow,

pour, from the night

to the white pole

inside you.

It is illumined skin’s

eternal blemish, cherished,

and the core

of the heart

called mind.

Freeing the word.

My mouth opens the petals’

depths like a bee

with the tongue’s stamen

until you accept this speech

a wordless


It is

what shows itself

in the shape of your eyes

in the curve

of your



The harmonies of a kiss

reverberate in the bone-speech.

An ear against this

cathedral hears the

angels of process.

Between the wired borders

a frosted no-man’s-land,

between poles an equator.

The burial fields throw up

stone rows clothed in soil,

disinter faces and limbs

all a shadow becoming

hover half-seen.

The cells contain time’s prisoners.

This falls from the sieve.

Near to a scream, the eyes flicker

organs of non-seeing.

The head can hear itself.

Its sources shine over and under

the surface of roofs,

there are seas and moans.

It can hold itself in its hand,

it can stoop and travel.

Night and day cover it.

Under the slow permitted paths

other quick ways shiver,

poured into it, being,

taken from it, itself.


Pick it up between fingers,

the formless.

Hear the inaudible. There

is nothing to see.

Touch its skin with your eyes

sweet vision, the evanescent.

Taste the pure undemanding.

There is nothing to know.

It will come to you without

asking. It will wait.

You can hold it, or put it down.

It evades your intent.

It’s the flower that may

have no scent at all

where you bury your face.

There is everything to be.


It builds a corner for body inside

in which it sits.

It is time processing space.

Filled with scythes it winnows

the moon-words of stars.

The dead fields emerge.

Through it the railroads of termini pass

the cuttings and tunnels.

Past becomes Future.

Under it senses tie the net of knots,

cast for invisible fish.

The waters quiver.

It grasps at roots in its own soil, uncovers

iron and gold, bones, ashes and rocks.

They shimmer and fade.

It contains all creatures it fails

to recognise. It feeds

on naked truth, a lance of steel.

In its depths empathy, loyalty, loving

float. Over it hangs violence,

selfishness, others turned into things.

No Less

We are no more alone than we ever were.

We are no more transient than we ever were,

gods and eternities never were.

We travel towards the bowl of the stars,

the forever opening cup of the flower.

We are no more separate than we ever were.

We are no more human than we ever were.

We move towards the sensitive

loving truth, the half-recognised

not yet clarified ethical form we created.

We are the creatures no less,

when will we make them sacred?

We are nature no less,

when will we make it sacred?

We are empathy, nurturing peace, no less,

when will we make them sacred?

The Temple

Nothing is dead

that we resurrect

only changed

slowly changed.

How time dies out

through us

and is


That which was once

considered the god,

or the angel, now

takes place in us.

Here where we build

the temple



One Flower

Blue speedwell, chamandra,


out of the heart of the ditch.

Blue constellation.

As though

a fragment of galaxy

caught by the lens,


You too are time,

captured far back,

projected here.


blue speedwell,



flower of the ditch.


Mind, that split us from the creatures,

returns us again,

the long arc falls back into Nature.

See us in them.

Rooted in earth, as we run for the stars,

no immaculate birth,

just this birth of ours, being.


So deep, your empathy,

a sensitive tendril

that clings

to the heart of pity.

This was where we began.

So rich your nurturing,

a flood of creation,

that flows

to the heart of knowing.

This was where we began.

So pure your courage, honesty,

loyalty to love,

that burns

from the heart of being.

This was where we began.



What leapt out at us,

startling integrity,

uniquely become.


Complex, the detail, humming

the relatedness hive,

ah, organised seeing.

It shines.

Luminescence. The deep,

the human, implied,

marvellous mind.


We were the light of the creature.

We were.

It shone inside us,

inviolable star.

A circle in which we sat, a ring

of true being.

We were the sacred heart of the creature,

we knew.

Part of the one continuous ocean,

the one sea of fire.

Cascade, thinning down, sieved down

to the given not made.

Till this remained, a whole history

changed into spirit.


Inside, a naked creature,

awkward mind,

used to this womb,

needing its comfort.

The surface worlds defined,

signs and symbols,

the world of denizens,

the world of sheep.

Nakedness in the unclothed world

is nothing special,

dumb flesh un-excites,

the primitive adorns.

And this can be made to flow

or hide or show,

this companion of space,

that covers the mind, time.

Inside a naked creature,

inside mind,

softly, carefully,

revealing its presence.

Not What You Think

What I write is not what I am,

that is private.

The saddest, the sweetest songs

are made in joy.

The happiest singing

from intolerable grief.

Writing’s the deceit

mind hides behind.

Just when you thought you were closer,

I found myself receding.

Every confession

magically invents its story.

And our own lives are tales

we tell ourselves.


Not where we thought

but from curious asides.

A tree fell wrongly

but exposed the roots.

Forgetting, learning, starting again

to see with a clear eye,

always beginning.

The surprise is only so

if we cling to superstition,

to institutions

we follow, believe in, join.

Our unique solitariness,

that we are self-created,

a gift of nature’s confusion,

is nothing unusual.

When the mind is free

the body is accepted.

When the world is known,

we are ready to start again,

with the sacred given

that should bring us joy,

and the core of our being,

that should being us love.


You are the eye of my silence.

You are the lake of my stillness.

You are the stone of my remembrance.

You are the shore of my delight.

You are the morning and the evening,

and the sweetness of beginning.

You are the meaning of fulfilment,

You are the mind’s deeper sight.

From this lake-shore, from this silence,

from this solitude of evening,

from remembering and being,

I will raise you to the light.

Earth, A Bird

Earth, a bird

asking nothing,

not a symbol,


Earth, a dove,

a blue feather.

Moon, a bird,

giving nothing,

white abyss

of the senses.

Moon, a mouth,

a pale singer.

Earth, Moon


in night’s

last forest.

The Presence of Light

For the presence of light

for its place in your life

for love, gratitude,

in the name of the word,

say to me all of it,

all of the pain that comes

if I speak to you

in the name of the word.

In the time, in the truth,

in the spaces of light

for courage, for pity,

the name of the word.

For the power that flows,

for the moment that dies,

to become the new moment,

the name of the word.

Loving is loving, and kind

is kind, no violence, no

object, but you,

in the name of the word.

For the beauty of light

for its place in your life

for pure empathy’s flight,

in the name of the word.


Vanish slowly behind

the events of your life

don’t become them.

There is a silence of freedom.

There is inviolable mind

in the space of the dark.

Cast a veil, and obscure the root.

You are not what you were,

move on beyond.

Bodies do not define us,

the shell of the earth,

we are the fire.

Move away silent

behind the face of your life.

Secretly become.

Clear Ground

No more half-thoughts, ah,

a space of becoming,

so much of the error destroyed,

the trails clear, the air.

And Nature returns, pure

and glowing, sweet and indifferent

a form full of our eyes,

the given not made.

No more half-minds:

into the Moment, the flow,

the Individual place,

the space where Energy passes.

Look for us deep in the core of the creature,

look for us over and under your feet,

look for the true, sensitive, kind

in the nurturing heart of the creature.

Let us have detail and light,

empathy’s deep luminescence,

the movement of process and time,

no more half-life.

Stones, Flowers, Light Stones, Flowers, Light

Your hands, stones, flowers,

light, your hands

beyond us


the night,

so I helped you


to the source

to the lost


always present

with hands

that see.

In front of our night,

repetitive peace,

the sound, alone,

of the sweep

of a world


into yesterday,

we found

our way,

looked there

with hands,

your hands, stones, flowers, light.

Listener To Winds

Alder, the secret name,

guard, mask, conceal.

Blackness of night-suns,

cold of the star-prison.

By the willows of Helicon,

enter my silence.

Ninth is the hazel,

wisdom in sweetness.

Almond the bitter, dark

tree-core’s messenger.

The flight of the heron,

is the kite’s high quivering.

And the hare in the furrow

slips softly through light.

Smoke-glitter of silence.

Listener to Winds.


We are each other’s death,

we are each other’s life.

It shines, eternity,

void of meaning.

There are the words,

that we climb to,

grope through,

to where is brightness.

Through fern’s green,

air’s fire, the lake’s

dawn-light, clouds,

pain of the wound.

We are each other’s death,

we are each other’s life.

Void of meaning,

it shines, eternity.


I was the silence of the nettle in the hedge.

I was the stillness of the butterfly’s stone.

Through me the glittering waters ran.

In me the bright star, moon, shone out.

I was the charger of ditches, the mid-field flower,

wheat ear, black ridge, wood of memories.

I was before time, after love, I was

between the leaf and the stone.

I was the soil of desire and design,

glade’s sound, birch-tree’s beauty,

heart’s counter-pulse, earth’s language.


Dig yourself into the darkness of gorse,

there is nothing to be.

A stammering blue fills with uninhabited

stars: they are downwards, ringing.

You double the note of the flute in the pine,

you go swimming over the stone.

We have woven a fabric of our affections,

the silence forgives.

Time is the nothing we hear, this slice

of light, this pole that blossoms.

In ourselves guard the secret: dig

in the darkness of gorse, circle the core.


You make a sound for me out of the stillness.

Your light is blessed.

This universe slides over my eyelids,

the blue of your seas.

It is done, eternity, the transient

life of the double realm.

A shard of the stone, and a root

of the tree: destroy or deliver.

You, in the dark moor, the star fall, the eye

of the wind, your light is sacred.

If I could reach to you, not be here,

dip down to the silence of hours.

From One

When the form is done

find the new.

All is inside us

when we wake

we see the line

try and feel it

find the new.

Life and death,

birth and pity,

are inside us,

Nature outside.

We could make

eternal worlds

of what we know,

find the new.

From one mind

all is recovered,

from many,

luminescent detail,

look outwards

through the universe,

set courage, love there,

find the new.


Pours through heart’s energy

into mind’s cradle

the power of the root.

We are beginning.

History’s not ended,

only illusion.

The gods, not us, are dead,

and the angel inside.

Say Nature, say it,

see there, the values,

wholly within.

From the dark pan

the light,

choose, choose

the true, sensitive, kind.

Pours through time’s energy

into mind’s cradle.

We are beginning.

An Age

This was our form

half-light and assonance,

rhythm not rhyme,

and the inner music.

Ah but you have to

be listening closely

to hear the hiss

of the stars.

This was our shape,

chaos then meaning,

tremor of feeling,

distant music.

We walked over

the footsteps of giants,

to find the first creatures,

and were what we were.

Here was the origin,

clarity, light,

luminous harmony.

This was our form.


We came out of time

and became a voice,

and earth a tongue

water and trees

sun and creatures,

deep in the rock,

high in the sky

of light and air

of time and space,

a voice.

We came out of space

and became a mind

and stars a mind

stones and leaves

moon and birds

deep in the sea

high in the night

of truth and love

of beauty and care,

a mind.

We became space and time.

We became voice and mind.

It Will

You became

part of life and thought,

part of sky over us,

soft, quirky,

earth-loving one,

children uncurl

in your eyes,

white stars fall

from your house


Jupiter and Saturn.

You became

part of what I know,

you became

part of streams and tides,

the glimmering flower

of human spaces,

values no right mind


wrong minds will go,

peace triumph,


and what’s between.

The Goddess Who

There is this poetry

of the earth we have to say.

Oh, you would like it

different maybe, other.

But there is this cadence

we need, so our children

will remember,

that despite it all, we did see.

There is this mystery,

when the goddess who

does not exist

comes walking

and rests her eyes on us,

not a hand on a shoulder,

but ironic, quizzical challenge.

She comes from inside

which is also above,

don’t be confused

by directions.

In her hands, earthenware, clay.

There is this something

about the earth

we have to say.


I would like your music.

It feels like mine, my music,

which is more a flute note,

more a slap of wave on rock

in a motionless bay,

more star-fall, seed-fall,

stem through crumbling earth,

more, a more evanescent,

vague troubling intelligent music.

I would like your music.

It sounds like mine, my music,

which is more grass,

leaves, shifting in quiet spaces,

more earth-fall, day-fall,

bird cry through miraculous light,

more, a more mindless

mindful, soft, private music.

I would like your music.

Mind Will Be

Sing of the space of fire,

complex discreet desire,

all the white sound of rain

in the heart free of pain.

Nothing created us,

sing of sublime chaos,

beautiful randomness,

no meaning or regret.

Sing the real infinite,

what will release us yet,

from earthbound littleness,

love will deliver us.

Mortal, and free to be

part of eternity.

Mind is where we will see

all this transcended.

Once And Always

Say it again. Say

what I lose to you is

a word, freedom,

say how I bind myself

into the shadowy net.

What we trawl for is time,

blue-black, glittering,

to see our process

uncurl in Nature,

strange as a wasp’s eye,

to see it reveal us.

We fuse: we turn

towards the spaces of kindness.

I enter you

the cells of life

and close the doors.

No reason why, us,

but us, forever.

This, I

Sunlight on turf, night water

brimming the pools,

the intimate leaf

turns on a current of air,

dances, shows now,

flickers, retreats,

green solitude.

Beauty of solitary mind,

it shines, ah, intellect,

you can’t break it,

love still informs it,

warms the cool

touch of truth, sweet

self and universe.

Earth, so old, young,

cold-fire, melt of stone,

all the blown stars.

Sun gyre. Spiral

on the ecliptic,

this, I,

nothing between.


Pellucid, inviolable light,

you reached down.

Both of our, all of our

fire-thoughts trembled

as mind trembles,

it was the sigh

song of you in the air

sound of the night above,

over the dark stone

the pale wave,

the seminal sea.

And your hands

that followed you

into the dark

of your fingers,

sinking to deeps.

That I am there

is not myth, is light,

is fire, falling from eyes

hands, blind hands

of light, that thrust us

into the earth, into its flow.

Open Secret

The truth was there

all the time,


to sensitive touch,

quickly closed,

the quiet,

the loving eye,

saw it,

clear, of this world.

It was not above,

greater, beyond

or darker, just deep

and quiet as the rock,

as the rose, silvered

and silent.

Mind saw it,

a light, and named it

a part of this world.


It goes on. The night-hour

of Nature’s silence,

the sacred, the given not made,

it goes on.

A ring and a light

and a fire in the leaf

of true energy surrounds you,

and courage becomes.

As still as the breathing sigh

of a star over cloud,

the branch-boat

floats on the stream.

It goes on. The empathy

of arousal, the nurturing

eye, unhurried,

the knowledge of love.

Shines. That harmony shines.

No more. You are no more object,

violent indifference, selfish untruth.

It goes on. The long,

barely-dispelled half-taken breath

that breathes out of mind.

It goes on.


But what I saw in you

was Mind,

ah yes, all the other,

true, the beauty,

but above all,

what I saw

was Mind.

And what’s gone

matters only

as the depth

of what goes on,

is what the word


all those years.

All those slopes

grasses, seas,

all this earth,

if in silence

you see it.

I, seeing you,

your mind.


Days when we touch it,

that so complex

turn and twist

of the pattern,

eyes of

the stilled tongue

still opening,

moon-orbs, fire-flies,

reach down

into the arcane depths

of the revealed earth

and lift the stone

the bone.

Truth has no dates,

no names, evades

our attempted lies,


our language,

to say it again

in water and cloud.

You know

those inexpressible


when we

touch it,

almost touch.


Glistening, gleaming,

the air above the palm

of your hand, is the stream

flowing down green valleys

round the green hill

cool with shadows.

Shining, the tenderness

the sensitive tremor

of your dark and bright eye

is the light flowing

from the edge of mute cloud

the wide rim of landscape.

Glowing your speech,

and the brave kindness

of your word’s deep trust,

is the water flowing,

down rock-grey channels

through curving valleys

filled with sweet leaves.


The dark fields are violence

the dead words are violence

not seeing the beauty

in empathy is violence.

Aggression is violence,

destruction is violence,

indifference, the making

of objects from minds

from people, is violence.

The tower of pain is violence,

of hunger, of suffering is violence,

blindness to the given, the sacred

non-human, is violence.

But clarity, harmony, peace

are not violence.

Beauty, integrity, depth

are not violence.

Creation, nurturing pity,

they are not violence.

Love is not violence.


Open the edge of light,

between hedgerows,

into my silence. Grant me

the right to walk in your valley

over the green slope,

morning and midnight,

till I reach the ring of stones,

and the well

of heart’s memory.

There the stack and the turf,

ruined chimneys, the tower,

and a landscape of air

will grant me your key

to the shattered black reefs

to the emerald sea

to the fork of the cliff

to the high slope above

morning and midnight.

I’ll root in the bright earth.

I’ll watch from the cliffs of light.

In Time

After the denial of values,

the assertion of values.

After the wasteland, the earth.

After the selfish, made and paid for,

the given, the shared, the free.

After the darkness, the sea.

After the last repetition,

the true creation, after

the depths, the clear air.

After the deaths, the hatreds,

the foolish beliefs, the voices,

after the tower, the silence.

After the denial of values,

the assertion of values.

After the wasteland, the earth.



the sweet laurel,

in its closed valley,

a green flow

from under a cliff edge,

the breeze, gold,

the light, form.

The dark silhouette

as chaste as the depths

of the glowing rose,

arrows of light that

enter the flesh.

Love, Death,

intricate dance,

through the green bitter

evergreen fire

of the turning year,

pain of that storm

where a shattered boat

clings to the shore.

A slight figure

a pointer, a sign

on the path,

not an end.

Strange Clearing

The deer-prints, the owl cry,

the fox-tracks through snow,

the heart’s ache to see

those far blues of intricate

never-trodden false horizons,

cloaked hedgerows, and lost roads.

Animal silence is beyond us,

we make names, we hunger,

can’t sleep by cold creeks,

or savour time, its caustic,

or deal with no possessions,

un-possessed, can’t be free.

But crusted leaf-edge

bright with ice, night, star,

concentrates soft fir words,

wraps the warmth round us,

in un-walked, white alleys,

in strange clearings.

There the wild heart gathers.

We make names, a language.

Index Of First Lines