On A Distant Planet
Blue Skies on Pluto - NASA
Authored by A. S. Kline © Copyright 2016 All Rights Reserved.
This work may be freely reproduced, stored and transmitted, electronically or otherwise, for any non-commercial purpose. Conditions and Exceptions apply.
- Primal Light
- Red-Crowned Crane (Grus japonensis)
- White Mountain Songs
- On A Distant Planet
- Still Being Born
- Why Not Other?
- No Mind Before This Mind
- Under A Silver Moon
- Not To Serve You
- Nothing Teaches, Nothing Learns
- Vision Comes And Goes
- The Empty House
- Getting Simpler
- Where The Gold Grass Grows
- Bound Together
- Releasing The Pain Of The World
- Fern Valley
- A Treatise On Coolness
- The Hawthorn Tree
- Al Cor Gentil
- In Lieu of A Manifesto
- Out There
- Nonsense For The Wise
- Who Are You?
- In All That Dark
- Distant Suns
- When All’s Said
- Cautious Hidden Eyes
- Strange Lives
- Deep Forgotten
- We Shine
- Beyond Question
- A Moon In The Flowing Stream
- No Tree Moves
- A Sliver Of Pine
- What Do The Birds Cry?
- Not All Like Yours
- Artificers Of Confusion
- Falling Through Being
- Why? Said The Child
- Elegy In A Country Churchyard.
- The Trace, The Trail
- And Kindness Too
- Summoning Trees And Creatures
- All That May Care
- New Day, New Tools
- Not Yet
- Difficult Departures
- Alien Dark
- The Nonsense Of The Eye
- In Place Of Idyll
- Prosper’s Library
- To Learn The Self
- Whispers Of Everyday
- Planetary Future
- What Merit?
- Little Letter To A Friend
- Life Outlives
- Full Fathom Five
- New Found Land
- That Gleam
- Space Beautiful
- The Planet He Saw Into
- Galactic Heart
- The Dark Ditches
- The Only
- The Illusion Less
- What They Find There
- Least Of All
- A Sheet Of Light
- Green Moon
- A Falsehood In Stone
- Figure And Shoreline
- The Eye Beholds
- Not Yet Enough
- The Bridge
- End Of Harvest
- Breathe It Away
- Leave Us Something
- Better Still None
- The Name Rose
- No Use Peering Back
- The People
- A Trace
- The Two Of Them
- The Unexpected
- A Message To The Immortals
- The Fragments
- Soliloquy Of The Auto-Pilot
- Bluish Limestone
- On The Dark Rock
- Between The Poles
- What Might Be Told Of Us
- A Peaceful View
- The Real River Run
- Desert At Twilight
- Little Walking Poem
- Seeding The Stars
- Beyond The Wall
- There Sing I
- It Will Take
- Silent As the Grass
- Beyond All This
- No Seductive Darkness
- Now We Are Leaving
- Inhuman Beauty
- In The Contrast
- The Caves
- To The Reader
- Slow Hills
- Nameless Fall
- Stone Age
- A Little Courage
- What Means For a Plant
- After The Crossing
- Why Care?
- Alien And Alien
- The People
- Weep And Be Silent
- Only One Story Left
- By The Fire
- The Wildflower And The Wild Hare
- Sibylline Leaves
- Unsafe waters
- What We Keep
- Snow On Hills
- Below The How
- The Charge
- If You Don’t See
- The Difficulty
- At Last
- Cattle And Sheep
- Riding The Falling Wave
- Memory And Dream
- Between The Rivers
- After The Dream
- No Redemption
- The Mountain Sang
- Sweet In The Tree
- Preparing For The Journey
- Out Of The Noise
- The Unicorn
- Dances Of The Hare
- Chasing The Nightingale
- Nothing Else At All
- Green Hollow
- Our Place
- The Quiet House
- The Silence Of A Planet
- Index Of First Lines
We must go,
back to the primal light
of the poem)
beneath the light
of our star,
to the first
We must go back
to the dust
in the dust,
of the heart.
All the being
We must go
under harvest moons,
no one goes,
on the way.
Red-Crowned Crane (Grus japonensis)
A dance from which to make
a civilisation. The dance of the bird
of its black-fringed
the line of beauty,
the S of a neck
a bowing, fluting,
against the crimson sun.
The eye is lost in such grace,
the passion still inside us
our first cry
at the dark of stars
to the emptiness,
this is all we are,
this fragile nerve
into the sky’s deep,
into the mind-deep,
Here the elegant bird,
its feathery fingers
the black and white
waking a memory
of a tiny moth,
I, with a careless eye
fixed on its wing-tips’ white,
mistook for a butterfly.
White Mountain Songs
White mountain songs,
holding snow flowers,
the dark peaks shine,
it is as it is.
Cloud in a mountain stream,
pure sky filled with rain,
down the high cliff we go,
Here in the tangled light,
singing white mountain songs,
holding flowers of snow,
where dark peaks shine.
On A Distant Planet
Between the dream of order
and chaos we were born.
We learnt too much intent,
became the unintended.
In the grasslands, savannahs,
by the blue lakes of silence,
we drew ourselves in sand,
opened light-filled mouths.
And on the dark cave walls
our trembling lamp’s gleam,
illuminating ochre, threw
the eland-object’s flickering.
We set those smouldering fires.
We marked the shifts of stars.
We showed our true intent
towards our universe.
Still Being Born
After years of practice
no closer to knowing
how to be.
Making the whole world
vanish is not
the free, intentionless,
the mute, ungraspable,
Harder to be an accident,
to sit in the dust, there,
and be purified,
undisturbed, ordinary –
the world un-vanished,
the mind still.
Why Not Other?
It is the ridiculous
existence of the all
makes me smile
and shake my head.
It is the astoundingly
white cloud moving
the deep green grass.
It is the glittering stars
the tremor of singularity,
the whiteness of nothing
It is the crazy efficacy
of our equations
the how it is and is not
other, makes me smile,
But the snow on hills,
the darkness of the sea,
the earthlight falls
makes me anxious
makes me dream.
No Mind Before This Mind
What came to mind
was not in the universe.
None of our values,
none of our feelings.
Those are the creatures’
gifts to the given.
the substance of it, empty.
Without a mind, no mind
fills the void.
No feeling for form.
No core of affection.
Without a mind, no mind
is inherent in being.
What came to mind
was not in the universe,
the gleaming emptiness
here, that we love.
Under A Silver Moon
Under a silver moon
on a distant planet
they dream of pity
to save their world.
In front of their star
on a distant planet,
they ask what they are.
Probing the mindless
universe they go,
around the orbit
of their distant star,
under a silver moon
They are the dwellers
on a distant planet,
dreaming of ways
to save their world.
Not To Serve You
Those individual birds,
each with the names
we gave them,
Design without designer,
the species each alone,
in a richness of being
will not possess.
This, the grace of our world:
that whenever we despair
of our own
the alien opens our eyes
until we see.
Nothing Teaches, Nothing Learns
Mist over black bamboo
mind in the green water
nothing is sweeter
nothing is owned.
Stars on the liquid sky
mind in the bright cup
nothing is permanent
nothing is deeper.
Wind on the dark pass,
mind in its heavens,
nothing beside this
nothing to know.
Vision Comes And Goes
In a house of humming pine,
I heard the child
in a house of humming pine
in evening shade.
In the bamboo, cicadas chirred
I saw a child
in bamboo cicadas chirred
on slopes of evening.
In mountains white this year
I heard a child
in mountains white this year
at evening’s edge.
The Empty House
Here in the empty house
on a distant planet
hear the voices.
Cold but beautiful,
of far affections,
gifts of grace.
Hand in the clear creek
on this distant planet
hear the voices.
Starlit strangely bright
the outer orbits
dust that glows.
This empty house is cool
the wind blows through
on a distant planet.
Loosed now and free
the mind is easy
dark is light.
It is bright, is what it is,
anonymous and mute,
on the far side of the pines.
It sees, without my eyes,
I cannot see with these
on the far side of the pines.
White cloud comes and goes,
bamboos creak and sway,
all night’s mindless flowers.
It is bright, is what it is,
is past our names and mute,
on the far side of the pines.
Where The Gold Grass Grows
We were closer to the light
on those prairies,
by those caves,
where the gold grass grows.
To feel deeper is to see just how
the balance worked,
what the whole thing is,
the mechanics hardly matters.
We are not what we seem, we
balk at reason,
nothing that we know
will make us wise.
The mind is the void, the void
is being, the being
is inside us
our insides all around,
in the shining empty house
in naked light
all the values here
are ours, we are the values.
Giving all of this away,
moving closer to the light,
walking in our ancient silence,
make the gold grass grow.
Saying less is saying more.
The real work has no value.
Earth’s a nameless flower.
Nothing here we know.
The void is inexhaustible.
Out of it falls every thing.
Inside everything inheres.
To it everything will go.
Saying less is saying more.
Deer-tracks, bird-trails, air,
snow, wind, mist, and silence.
Nothing here makes sense.
No merit in this no mind.
World need not be like this.
Studying names and forms
never lets us through the gate.
Being less is being more.
Unplanned process flows
un-designed the flickering mind.
Sun and moon from nothingness.
Affection, appreciation, awe.
How did we create these things?
These things were uncreated.
Bamboos moving in the wind.
Light, light as fluttering leaves.
Bright, bright as falling streams,
you and I, my distant friend, so
bound together by nothingness.
Releasing The Pain Of The World
The hole in your head with the darkness inside
is created by thinking
from the primal world
which is golden.
The mountain paths are ridiculous trails, light
in the April mountains,
who can walk there,
free of the concepts
The hole in your mind with your feelings inside
is created by darkness
from the first unmeaning
the intricate wild.
The forest trails are riddled with light, on pass
after pass on the summits
who can live there
free of the world
easing its pain?
Fern valley lies deep
in intimate heat,
dark of evening.
Fern valley sleeps
un-living can be
said to sleep,
free of mind
in its being.
Fern valley is where
and sense some far star
in the depth
of its gleaming.
A Treatise On Coolness
in winter wind.
The Hawthorn Tree
Landscape is light
and the life of
the non-human world.
Here I go, walking
out of my mind.
Cranesbill is blue
of an eye, is a
salve to the thought.
The sun, and the moon, go free,
and the dark of
the hawthorn tree.
Al Cor Gentil
The gentle heart
heals the moments,
each one someone’s pain.
There is no virtue
like the gentle heart,
the shape of it,
the good intent.
Grace and kindness
of the gentle heart,
are the shared increase
from which love flows.
There is no meaning
like the gentle heart,
the perfect tremor of it
and the sweetness.
Silent, let the planet speak,
let human words lose
presence in the ear.
Seeing in the sky no
human form, may
paradise be always here,
in sweetness of the heart
that drowns our art,
a universe, free of fear;
what the dead can’t know
the tangs of light
shine through you, clear.
Silent, let your being speak,
let human voices
vanish in the ear.
In Lieu of A Manifesto
Not founding cities in time,
but standing free in the light,
in silence, in the grasslands,
in the cool air of midnight,
two eyes a mouth our guide;
these the lights in darkness,
the knowledge of slow beauty,
a trembling in the gloom;
no dreams of gods or demons;
tight hold on good intention;
in uncut forests moving
and with untwisted minds;
marking out no temples;
for no impersonal profit;
but freeing self from fear,
to have delight endure.
They look at their moons rising.
Is there bamboo,
the cool sound of its swaying,
is there affection?
They rip their world apart
for energy too.
They bathe in dying
starlight as we do.
In dark woods in the mountains
do they gather snow
or watch the white clouds
Are they the guardians
of mind, of values,
beyond all violence
past all interference?
Are their green grasses
more and less than grasses?
Do their hearts tremble too,
dumb with eternity?
Nonsense For The Wise
Where inside your mind,
that distant planet shines,
its clouds are pearls of light,
its fields are vision.
Where outside your mind,
a distant planet turns
is further than the end
of every space.
Nothing is what it seems,
nor is otherwise –
see all through yourself
you quietly vanish,
neither into or outside the mind,
that distant planet
where we wander
mindless among trees.
Who Are You?
You must say what you believe,
there is no arbiter
Nor unless you choose
is there a conflict,
my values are still mine.
There they watch ascending moons
and under different stars
I say love, truth, beauty still exist there
and who are you
to tell me otherwise?
In All That Dark
All these animals were people.
Minds like persons,
before we began.
Bright dancing in the bush,
sparks of light
from elder branches.
If you are longing to return
to the wilds of mind,
there are the people,
the first persons, in the night,
All those creatures
just like us,
all those subjects of feeling,
all that intent from non-intent,
in our darkness.
There they live in peace, and dream,
under silver suns,
in purple grasslands,
at singing dawn
beyond the books.
There they are free, relationship
is to them a sharing
that unbinds, a space
for friendship, love
There their day and night
is always half-light,
their shores are borders,
thoughts are tentative
Their longings never tire,
in each other
hold eternal, their eyes
dazed by every form
they embrace the ordinary,
so hard to do,
stare at galaxies
reap their harvests.
On their world
through cloudless skies,
and burn the heart,
they too estranged
or lonely, angered
or sad, too large
too small, too
vulnerable to being.
In place, and free of time
they drift and waver,
inside the selfless self
by perfect rivers.
Their tiny creatures
are sacrosanct: spiders,
not quite like ours
but equally beautiful.
They chase the gleam
of their ideas,
they see them clearly,
in the pale mist there
that softly rises.
Gentle inside, they muse
and are open
to the interests
of the spirit,
to its delicacy of motion.
Their lives are marked
by the flight of birds,
they never reconcile
themselves to silence,
they never name the stars.
They understand the need
to experience alone
in one’s own self
all the mystery
and all the suffering.
They see the texture
of their universe
as also light,
full but empty.
There they do not follow,
do not own, have
no faith in what they possess,
connect their lives
sing a midnight song,
dance with children,
dream what they see
in its entirety
in its completion.
What they keep
they carry in their minds,
the meaning and the care,
the silver light
of distant suns.
When All’s Said
To stop describing and to look,
to see, to forget the names
watch the world’s existence:
dark birds flicker on the blue,
red rowan gleams, what is true
is inside and outside the mind.
In the heart’s where we un-possess
ourselves of belief and ownership,
go naked through the dusty world.
The sunlight clings to shadow peaks,
bright sky falls through clear water,
imagination shivers in the balance.
To emit the whole of self in words,
empty the heart, does that not leave
world itself still past the power to see?
Cautious Hidden Eyes
On the mountain top
sky glows, wind moves,
hangs in the distance,
I am myself again
beyond the stars.
Planet glistens in the black,
one blue ball always spinning
bouncing on nothing
cautious, hidden eyes
they watch me pass.
Milk light of night, the light
still travelling out
from that first hydrogen fog,
from those first stars
that glowing ate the fog
till time shone clear.
Milk light among black pines,
faint hiss of galaxies
the banded cloud silent
hillsides dumb with dark,
the first stars shine
too far for thought.
We shine, you and I, in our
moment in and out
of time, we shine
in darkening universe
whose infinite ends
are its beginnings.
No stories now, poetry
is not the story,
poetry is this
of the un-replicable
the distant planet
of the mind
we chart each day,
the far communing,
that shines for us
its brief uniqueness.
All these strange lives
on our shared planet,
their trails in grass,
their gangs in flight,
slow quick wandering
ways, their depredations
and their patient waiting,
their gaze at us
All these strange worlds
within, what they feel,
how they think,
the pain, the pleasure,
and pine-filled valleys
above, below our road,
the sun-dark meadows
on the fringe of woods
the river margins.
As good as us, the lives
that equal ours,
the first, the greater presences,
we loved and feared,
and carved on walls,
and sought to placate,
and tamed, and used,
and narrowed down
in the narrowing
that defines us.
All those shadowy minds
at the edge of vision,
fearing our values
or our lack of them
in our manifestations,
ready to fill
the spaces of our absence
when we fail,
meet Earth half-way.
All those spirits
still inside us,
those dark silhouettes
that keep the far horizon,
the lightning flickers,
or hiding deep
under our passing,
graceless and graceful,
wondrous and complete.
There are the distant moments,
the far movers,
like those too-early dead
who like these others
once gone are as
though they never lived,
names only, shapes,
torn fragments of the heart.
There are the errors, also
best turned to faceless
statues, blank masks,
a voiceless opera
best left unsung
and silent in the dark
Through the white mist of stars
we shine, to the white mist of stars,
mind, to the dark slopes of the universe.
You, to my eyes, shine, among the stars,
we shine, through the white space of stars,
mind, to the dark slopes of distant time.
Through the white field of furthest stars
we shine, to the white field of stars,
you to my eyes, mind to distant mind.
Over the golden fields
to the valley of shining limestone,
to the sanctuary where, as trees
return from the bright translucency
leaf by leaf, our secrets glimmer
that can be burden, can be freedom,
the freedom from or the freedom to.
Over the golden fields
of paradise that is in the human mind,
solely, and its grassy gate delight,
the three paths there of affection,
being, beauty, these sensations
of existing, the emotions
that are always our response to time.
Over the golden fields
to the river-margin, where the self
is the ghost in a glass that buzzes,
where sharp wings of the glossy divers
ripple the pure strangeness out of being
outwards, into the air, on into the deep
into the coigns of silence, no less ours.
Over the golden fields,
the drift through late summer air, this is no
savage hollowness, this waste is wild,
its feathery seed-heads nod and bow,
nature is everything that moves and sways
beyond the uncertainty within, beyond
the why this is, beyond the questioning.
A Moon In The Flowing Stream
The body is phantom flesh,
the mind an empty space.
the green bamboo sways,
the silvery breeze blows.
This body is ice and snow,
this mind is flickering fire,
flakes melt there on the glass,
while thoughts just come and go.
Body and mind do not compete,
and that is your inner nature.
Down the quiet of the English lane
the being of leaves, the existence
The root of being is nothingness,
the inexhaustible nothing of space
void of time.
Over the silence of the English fields
the traverse of wind and light, fire
Look there is a flower, a wall, a sun
they flicker for a moment in the dark,
sure and easeful.
Deep in the stillness of the English night
the lineaments of the human for a while,
No Tree Moves
Blue, is the spring flower.
Higher, the bird calls.
Cool of an autumn moon.
Siftings of snow.
Grass, a shack, in the mist.
Rain in the steel drum.
A slow smoke rises.
No tree moves.
Their fragile civilisation holds its breath.
A dark wind blows there from their universe.
Rising from nowhere they stumble here,
try with mind to grasp the mind inherited.
In their passion they rise towards the stars.
In their emotions they express endurance.
Tragedy is the space of their limitations.
Comedy the time of their sudden freedom.
They dig the soils, they ride the atmosphere,
They burn their fuels, slide over their seas.
Their world perilously won is paper-thin.
Their yellow sun crinkles its pale surface.
At heart, they are afraid of the great silence.
Behind the walls, warm themselves with words.
They have no power except against themselves.
They only command the instance of their values.
Shrouded in fog, there, are their evanescent lives.
Lost in the darkness where they catch their breath.
A Sliver Of Pine
Snow falls, Being falls.
Light bends the bamboo
By blades of ice,
Why all this Being?
For Mind there is
Between moon and wind
no true relation.
Only the eye,
Snow clings to solitary pine,
words clothe the lonely mind,
snow falls, and bamboo shines.
I send you a sliver of pine,
etched on it the shift of time,
around the heart.
What Do The Birds Cry?
What is it you love beside the world,
and the woman in the world?
What except the summer’s sweetness,
and the winter’s shrewdness?
What is it you want from the dark
except this flow of light?
What is the purpose of the waterfalls?
What is it you came upon in the grass,
or found bright in the air?
What except the coming of springtime,
the cold autumn death?
What is that so deep longing at the core
beside the gold of light?
What is the meaning of all that appals?
What will you find within the depths of night,
in form, or image, there?
More than the stir of what she is, the breath,
a bodiless presence bared?
What does it ask of you beyond acceptance,
embrace so hard to bear?
And what do the birds cry in their primal calls?
Their space that was not exactly happiness,
nor yet quite sadness was the place
It was the clarity of the bird on the wall,
at the edge of the wood, head cocked,
its eye on the field.
It was Venus low in the West, a crystal
glint and shine, in neutral orbit of departure
It was chaos churning about to discover form,
or form dissolving through the edge of chaos,
in space between.
It was incomplete emotion, bare gusts of feeling,
relation, but of what to what uncertain, mind
suffused with air.
It was the shape of self moving on depths of self
over a universe un-selved, in front of galaxies
holed at the heart;
the stir of matter, the escalating fall to the primal
crush at the centre of the singularity beyond time,
the forbidden core.
It was the wake of life parting behind the keel,
regret on the darkness, such primeval longing,
It was passing cold through the greying half-light,
dumb with the trees and stone, hearing the bird
Not All Like Yours
Reverence for the creatures, have reverence
for the creatures, you are one.
Not by number, but by individual lives,
don’t trade being, each one has
an equal right to its existence, every blade
of grass has weight, the last one
on the road to extinction weighs no more
than the grain in the multitude.
We must learn to step back from our control
into powerlessness, perhaps
become a little more inhuman, a little less
the flawed keepers of the seal.
Humility is endless. And we the gardeners
who destroyed the garden.
Knowledge is guilt, our values tear us apart,
yet still: have reverence.
Respect the lives, respect the many lives,
not all like yours.
Artificers Of Confusion
Here the order of the trees is made a chaos,
and a wind blows in the chaos of the heart.
Here things fall and are swept to the silence,
borne with the dissolving structure’s roar.
What is this order, a chaos its opposite?
Or is the chaos a deepest order; that light
no randomness, that displays a rule of law,
that shapes itself in bravura of coherence,
as order out of chaos, not maker’s order,
neither rage of the sea or rage of tongues,
but breastbone of the buzzard and the kestrel,
the pattern of cloud, delineation of shadow.
Is the heap of sand order and the desert chaos?
Or is this storm of emotion we possess a form
that brings words to the lip, shapes to the eye,
for Poetry is possession. The maculate order
of shining leaves falls to the immaculate order,
bare branches and open sky are autumn shown.
Blind chaos itself is an intricacy of meaning,
in the non-linear, feeding on itself, self-sown.
What we impose on the dark glittering ocean
is not the body of being, and yet it is, the lines
of some regulating tremor, fine transient wake,
sharp edge to the bay, or a midnight quivering,
a gasp of light, clear sign of mind’s endeavour
to make a form of the maker beyond the maker,
out of this roar of the chaos alive within us, or
of the chaos at the core of the order beyond us,
the blind stir of the waves, or that lighter kiss
of cascading spume on some Odyssean shore.
Falling Through Being
The sky reveals the Dharma, shows the Tao.
We see more of the small things in the grass
by the way of eternity, with the flight of birds
like thought in the glow between evening trees.
We walk watching barren planets, silent stars,
still wondering the possibilities of intellect,
of complex creatures from the mineral turmoil,
of complex mind out of some complex creature,
gauging the possibility of a yet different being,
and the perfect solitude of our own uniqueness.
Here’s the spider on the leaf alive for a moment,
out of nothing to this existence, back to nothing.
Eye shows things that move, things that don’t,
in our restless desire for motion like the cloud,
the ever-rootless from de-creation to creation,
not to be centred, not to be formed, nor still,
wanting to be the same un-same river flow,
never to cease, never to freeze into identity,
yet still be one, while earth and moon pass by,
into the cottonwood leaves, under the willows,
catching the light, in place and out of place,
the intense irreal, where mind meets universe,
no longer human. Oh, we long to be the aliens
in the world, no more a dimension of the garden
but the change within, the deeper transformation,
that lies beyond the equations, in the darkness,
the impermanence that stirs us, and escapes us,
though we are that transience, a wing’s flight,
a shiver of waterfall on the mountain, a shake
of rain from the slender branch of the ash-tree.
We see more, look closer, the nearer we close
on eternity, watch the tilt of the heron, the slow
pollen-drenched crawl of the bee on the flower,
chasing each thought through mind, dissolving
in a continuous disintegration but still not that
unseen tremor, below the vanishing, that beat
and tick of the world’s inwardness, unmindful,
that falling through presence into present-ness.
Why? Said The Child
Why a universe rather than nothing?
Why what is, rather than otherwise?
Why transience and not pure permanence?
Why the thinkable and not beyond the mind?
Why the creatures and not a lifeless silence?
Why our species and not some other species?
Why this one planet out of all the others?
Why not a life of hill-slopes and savannahs?
Why the dark realm of thought and values?
Why the deepest pain of our moral choices?
Why the lure of truth and of bright affection?
Why the sensitivity to all this, why the beauty?
Elegy In A Country Churchyard.
Dry leaves in winter air, a mind-like dance of birds.
Life only has time for form and for affection, time
passed otherwise is wasted, lost, is time abandoned.
There is a frame in which the past is real, metaphor
positioned, is the person, the place and the event;
life lived, the act of our having-been there, forever.
Time is a measure, time is not dimension, time is
a counter of this changing present, as distance is
of space, the amount of change between memories.
And the infinite stretches outward from the moment,
eternity a string of infinities, and Nature this universe
without intent, beyond itself, of no mind’s purpose.
We two are there in the past as we were, in the mind,
the ever-having-been, at best a flow of atoms in sheer
existence, in the deeper part of that nature we destroy.
And you too, my shadow-brother, who never cleared
the underworld, dark fore-runner meaning left behind,
I celebrate you in this perfect rustling of dry leaves,
of a peace and freedom easy to understand, yet hard to
know. This stone a stone made of what once was living,
in gone seas. We are miming in the dark, as Ovid said.
The Trace, The Trail
Some love the trace, the trail,
to leave their trace behind
to carve a trail, is surely
all that the mind desires?
Sculptor, painter, poet,
all music that replays,
carving the wave gone by,
leaving its wake behind?
All the past is the same
distance away from us,
behind a wall of fog:
here is the trace, the trail.
World must be self-taught,
self-made, and self-so,
it is itself the trail,
is the wake of its own flow.
But I love the vanishing track,
I love the hidden life,
the taste of the unseen spring,
the shape of the uncarved block.
And Kindness Too
Form, fact and affection, freedom
and peace. To make a paradise
of mind’s intent, a paradise
tenable only in the mind,
is to see your beauty shine.
To free the mind from oppression
in release, from all the past,
from all experience, and simply
be, not travel after knowledge
is to envisage you in eternity.
To follow the slow beauty,
if we can feel that longing
of the heart and still be free,
what the dead cannot know,
is to find joy in your reality.
To enter the sacred space
the mind creates, where
no one is for sale, where
what we love kills fear
and takes its place, in you.
Such is the paradise that we
can make, and let things shine
in their transcendent being,
light as thought, and find
equity and grace, and kindness too.
Summoning Trees And Creatures
In the wild reaches of the furthest places
at last we see ourselves, the mirror clear.
The curious corners of the wing-filled grass,
are where the whispers of our being glimmer.
Though there’s no way back to Eurydice
the lyre still hums, the near leaves darken.
Though she is lost, slipped back to primal
stillness, into the real, there is still a music.
Though Orpheus pines, the wind is quick,
the wake of light travels above the water.
The voiceless corners of the angled mind
are where we hear the whispers in the grass.
In the heart’s reaches, in the darkest places
the light is shining, and the mind is clear.
All That May Care
Those who love the landscape without people
are not necessarily void of all human empathy.
And those who embrace the crowd in the light
are not immune to a stillness flecked with stars.
The rain on the roof beats out all sorts of minds,
in wind-squalls that bend trees, creak branches
full of the voices of the living and the dead,
that collect inside us while we laugh and cry.
Those who search out solitudes free of faces,
are not the loneliest nor the sole world-losers.
Those who seek out themselves in others seem
the lonelier still, and are doomed to be defeated.
If landscapes without people seize the heart
which is a mode of mind but deeper, conscious
of how lightly all crowds engage the real self,
that mover-in-darkness flecked with agile stars,
that sinks itself in water, burrows below stones
where the tiny transparent creatures stir sand
and a finest gravel; if my thoughts turn slow
in that minute whirlpool, that universal pulse
of abandoned energy which, somewhere between,
marks aimless infinities and eternities beyond
the visible fabric, the human still hides in that,
in the space non-human, all that may care for us.
New Day, New Tools
No we’re not programmed for eternity.
The culture flexes, the language shifts.
Mind is a set of processes as any other,
where the meaning of the world inheres.
There is a human nature, and there isn’t.
The culture grew more complex, so we.
The sense of every word is in the context.
The context of a word is all its meanings.
What is our context, singers of the future,
for whom mind is no longer simply flesh?
In the deep brain a million concepts flourish.
In the new language new threads tug ideas,
unravelling meaning, in the pure unforeseen.
Under the painting’s surface old lines hide.
As for the perfect calm, the silence is ‘not yet’.
Deep enough, this water would fill the stream.
The world has nothing to hide, is as it is.
All that’s beneath the depth is on its surface.
One with the scent of flowers, and the moon
in our hands, we know the meaning is not yet.
The world is a glitter of light and a flake of bone,
a blade of an antler under an untouched meadow,
or the dance of baryons in the quantum silence,
and the intergalactic million-fuelled brightness.
Though we come and go the species is not yet.
As for the perfect calm, that is still beyond us,
beyond sad violence, and all that separates us.
The mountain flowers glitter, in gold brocade.
The mountain waters fill the brimming mind.
We can almost touch the beauty, but not yet.
Nothing is alone in the universe.
Everything a part of the process.
We can as well abandon the process
as we can free self from humankind.
Mind disappears but not the protons.
We circulate endlessly as energy.
We can as well leave the universe
as we can transcend humankind.
Only deep in the mind we seem alone,
and what we love, sacred and distant.
It takes a hand to reach, a word to cry,
a memory to stir, the strength to see.
The clouds and water, they are not alone,
moving without thought and outside time.
They can as well leave this world of ours
as we can leave the thing we were behind.
There is the older, ancient, deeper England,
below the walls and gates, under the fields.
So there’s a deeper planet, wind and cloud
cloud without name, blowing from the sun.
Under the wintry grass, on high green hills
sloping west, with the eastern moon behind
as huge in the stillness, this lost England:
doyen of light, ridges and shoals of being.
Laid down in shapes of bone, their blades
beside them, coins, helm, or buried stone,
laid under mounds, but no longer waiting.
Person-less precincts, tremor-less groves,
it is that alien space that we need to see,
that place that is not human, where we
might rise again to breathe life of the void,
and chafe at the littleness, and feel the fire
blown from the galaxies, watch silver
grass glitter in the grass-green breeze,
bent but not broken by the blind power
of process stirring inward, innermost.
Not our past, but ever alien futures
grappling the mind, the flickerings
of a possibility waving in the clouds,
are what we dream, though lost time
grips the heart, on lonely shoulders
of the western hills, as if its shadow
stood by a barrow, grass and stone
made whole, fronting the alien dark.
The Nonsense Of The Eye
Truly this is nothing,
the skein of forms
lifted in the dark
a one quick passing.
What is fundamental
is not what we are,
is the world itself,
the alien glimmer.
If there’s no mirror,
and no dust to settle,
this is what we have,
is still our being,
being of the flowers,
for whom no deeper
than the flare of form.
What does not exist
is what exists, its sense
the nonsense of the eye.
In Place Of Idyll
Blue grass to willows and the wood’s edge.
The softest breeze stirs the golden feathers,
the feathery seed-heads, the dream of us
moving between us in the hidden spaces.
Blue grass to the blue water, palms of leaves
wave in the rainless air, after the rainfall
stirring the blue water, after the patterns
of light that spelled us, after the tremor.
Grass by the dry-stone walls, willow grass,
at the wood’s edge, lay down our heads
in the wildflower fragrance, in the beauty
of what from our hands was not created.
Green grass glittering on the long slopes,
fields of grass, blades where our strange
communion glimmers, where we rise,
mind-ghosts in the soundless afternoon.
Blue to the willows, and the wild ochres
of time’s un-miracled godless sacrament,
its hush of our hearts, bright predicament,
on to the wood’s edge in the softest breeze.
In his green cave of light
the word is dark.
the outer darkness,
it has leaves.
Though there is
nothing left to know
in the future’s glass
or of time past,
he still gazes,
his eyes consider
brushes his lips,
almost a kiss
of the vanished spirit,
that echoes deeper
in the empty glass
He is what he has been,
and now is nothing.
must not speak,
must not teach the night
or how it gathers,
or how the glimmerings
of starlight spell.
It is as it is.
The play is over,
the serious matter
of ocean can begin,
the taking soundings,
an island of the mirror,
that renders only self;
and there’s no hope
that what will fall
from the sky is light.
The night is deeper.
The children have gone on
into their own book,
now, their own joy,
written in blood.
The green night glows
with firefly pageants,
while waves whisper
over primal deeps,
The mask of grace
is the shape of self
its cave its darkness
the furthest shadow
in the glass.
The library of silence
Being its natural
tongue, of stones and trees,
a babble of nothing
or that emptiness, quiet,
in which the fire glows,
the wind speaks
Traveller in the womb of night,
twisting fibres of delight,
in your mercy, speak to me
of the heart’s eternity.
What we choose is what we are,
what we love is what will be
left to us, our legacy
in turn, to turn below the star,
the one that shines before it dies
to rise again in other skies,
showering fires of delight
travelling in the womb of night.
Peace you are, and are to me
brave freedom of the godless sea,
of universe, intentionless,
that cannot pity, love, or bless,
except we gift it what we are,
the leavings of a fiery star,
our immortal legacy,
I spoke to you, you spoke to me.
It is in a solitude of ice and fields
that bold sun comes,
shaft and stalk of impenetrable cold
flung from its head,
quenching our fears,
altering the bad to good,
It is in the palm of the hand, the edge
of the eye, the lips it comes,
crying that nothing is frozen, this is light,
the night a semblance,
time a phantom, truth
this symbolic moment,
where mind can live, beauty
enough, love enough.
Over my green village it moves bright
tongues, but not in metaphor,
defies a savagery, hums in eternity,
demands we choose
our values, creates now,
as some poor reflex of the baffled
heart, a deficiency, a lack;
flexes spacetime and digs us deep,
to circle the booming
hollow void of winter, heads in the wind,
and there redeem
whatever we have done
or could not do,
as if, though not in itself a god
to the godless, sufficient, risen.
To Learn The Self
‘To learn the self is to forget
the self’ said Dogen.
This is hard.
Not learning the void is not
knowing the way.
That is easy.
Having learnt the self, the void,
returning to emptiness
it smells of green leaves and pine,
tastes of stone,
painless mystery, like love
of that formless other,
Having learnt the self we laugh
at the last dark fear.
That is hard.
The movement of the world
is all around
the light inside.
Whispers Of Everyday
Whispers of every day, tremors of meaning
be as you say to me, form in its seeming,
telling the traveller all is forgiven, all
this strange misery made of our dreaming.
Texture of things that are calm the dark mind,
in visions of un-vision, eyes for the blind.
Nothing is permanent, this is the dance,
not as we thought it was, nor as we find.
Whispers of distance, planets gone turning
round pity’s foolish star’s elegant burning,
your touch is all I need, air that confirms
the gasp of delight, ache of our yearning.
Shelter our unbelief, what we believe in
the voice of the senses, tremors of meaning,
bringing the voyager quietly to rest, there
in the far firmament, silent, bare, gleaming.
A world of power moves to its monoculture.
The species (no purpose set beyond survival)
clings to a savaged planet, embeds itself
in alien forms to advance the restless mind.
Nature (everything outside mind’s irreality)
shimmering in every grass blade, sliding
slow and soft-mouthed through the mud,
goes on being Nature, only robbed of that
dignity mind gave it. Undignified strength
never made inner beauty, the beauty came
like kindness and freedom from within,
to dignify strength with momentary light.
A world part-consumed simmers gently,
survives the restless species and its cries,
in the dark pine, in submerged creature,
subterranean insect, night-moth on wing.
No way closer to that. The species will
accept its heritage, the ever moving-on,
the gleaming ships, the far-off galaxies,
not into the new, but into the unexplored.
‘No merit at all’, said Bodhidharma.
Why build, moon, snow and flower?
The cool sky flows in all directions.
No direction’s best. Melt fills rivers.
Down the slopes of pine, eye and mind
go dancing on the needles in delight.
The significance of power is nothing.
It takes us nowhere. Has no purpose.
Purposeless leaf swirling in the stream,
or outward through the air, rejoices mind.
Don’t blame the others: to be ourselves,
the nebulous shift of memory and light,
that asks why build, driven by the forces
of being what we are for no good reason.
Little Letter To A Friend
The child hugs everything to its heart,
finds something in the dust, laughs
at falling down a slope of grass, or
leaping in the space between stones.
I smile in the night to think of all those
generations making children, writing
nonsense, trying to outguess their time.
I see their harsh, their softening faces.
Either we take the universe too seriously
or not seriously enough, living here
in the ruins of a culture, seeking friends,
hugging everything clear to our hearts.
I take you too seriously, but not enough,
and the garden, and the garden’s night
whose stars shine through me. I take
cognisance, though never to be known.
A death in art is not the true death,
mere performance. The pain is never
the pain. Lear is a tedious old man,
Othello a fool, the winter’s tale a tale.
The abuse of self, the self-indulgence
of art is not truth. Expression is never
being. Dante climbed a hill but not
the self; myth is myth, Ovid knew.
That exploitation of our own death
or pain in art is no profound depth
of meaning. Life is the deeper song,
its tenderness, a refusal of darkness,
the turning away from terror, despair.
Macbeth is a murderer, Hamlet a dupe
confusing his own mind with reality,
which is forever irreal. Homer was
right, the meanest life alive is worth
more than dead Achilles, though we,
deceived, imagine otherwise. Crime
is no beauty, nor aesthetic mayhem.
This is the age of the instantaneous,
where shock and the metaphor are
all, and the symbols are no symbols
but at best a game of futile imagery,
passing, enticing and exciting, then,
once gone, devoid of lasting meaning.
I read the poem but every single line
is smoke and mirrors, is coruscation.
Byron liked horses, women, that tiger
more than the fierce merciless claws
of literature. Not politic, but no lie!
Rimbaud abjured. Life outlives us.
Full Fathom Five
Beneath the waves, pure silver shoals
dance to bright predators, they flare
caught in the filtered sunlight where
a right whale contemplates the Pole,
the makings of its heart laid bare
in bones beyond which breakers roll.
Those fathoms of wild sea declare
deep origins of sense, and scroll
white waters on the burning air,
brave oceans where the embryo
swims the source to learn the goal,
bathed by a far star’s circling glare.
New Found Land
Below bright galaxies you move,
their furious light is in your hair,
this universe your beauty proves,
and mine the sigh that cuts the air,
for all those arabesques of doves,
whatever lives and dies and loves.
You are the wilder pulse of time,
my beating heart is in your hand,
your loveliness your only crime,
here in the darkness where we mime,
where others fail to understand
the mystery of this new found land.
A line of five planets before dawn
in a sweet chill night
and the voice of poetry concentrates;
what use without
that is nothing of the social,
everything of the dark
its rare alignments.
I mutter the names of those five
planets there might be
beyond this system too,
sweeping incessantly about
a star, blue-white or red,
out there, of randomness,
earth, water, fire.
It’s not that the robots once there
will supersede us,
the greater mind,
but what they might miss
of this, what they might
yearn for, unknowingly,
our rootedness in our biology,
our long history, at heart,
our great attempts that failed.
It’s not that on their far stars they
must hanker for home,
or mistrust Mozart;
home is where the mind is,
and this, only the one blue
place of our strange begetting:
they might like dogs and insects,
the magic of old gone cultures,
our laughable demons, gods.
It’s more that they won’t be us,
and may not need
our kind of love, aesthetic,
owning their own,
aliens not so alien, like us
but queerer, colder, purer,
hard to take, if you’re obsolete,
like Romans to a wordless tribe,
powerless ever to articulate,
the sense of loss, of vanishing,
an unimagined people
of the dust faced with a new
even if your efforts made them
indirectly, if your ancestors
laboured to breed their
forms, which are not ours.
It’s that odd gleam they have.
Tired of post-something-or-other ironic laughter,
I like the grass.
Its greenness is our bass note,
not the blues of the sky, nor
the yellow-white sun, nor
the red metallic spilling of blood,
the carmine tide, rather the green
of rain-wet leaves, dripping
their paint, its glitter in fields,
its way of being split by walls,
framed by stone,
climbing cliffs, or tingeing
those seas of childhood,
the green over sand.
Tired of the cleverness of similes and metaphors,
I like the stalks
of a pale, a withered green winter gasp
of light and subtle sound, the call
to whatever it is deeper in us
that knew the grasslands, knew
the signposts of ancient trees,
the needles on snow-black branches
poking through to our present.
I like the water over the dam green,
the wind green, the green depth
of our love, the never mine
the always shared, the green
fire of your being.
The little triangular patch of wooded ground
where someone has been planting
saplings with translucent sun-red leaves,
and others with green stems (what are they?)
absorbs the heart,
which is itself small, sequestered,
but enough to define the Human,
against this Nature, which is disused
quarries, smooth limestone hills
themselves not wild, tamed
over centuries, almost,
like the heart.
The bare trees satisfy, the enclosing walls,
(drystone, fieldstone, old clearances
of land) the leaf-fall twigged turf floor
of the wood, all that eases the eye,
quiets the thought,
calms that contrast between things born
of the long genetic drift, the sea
of forms, rocks out of fossils, plants,
birds, clumps of ash-boles, briars,
and the inner processes in time
that are our being, the unseen
This is where the bounded fact of a thing,
the life of a dark three-sided slice of earth
threaded by tree-roots, rain, moles, worms
below, light above, meets the aesthetic
(why so beautiful?
its answer there still teases and eludes)
and an affection, like a sacredness,
not to be cut, touched, violated,
hurt, this free, this peaceful artefact
carved of pure nature, reconciling
mind with its planet, time
with space beautiful.
The Planet He Saw Into
What he encapsulated was hers too, yet not hers.
She (the personified Nature) must be the place,
of sheer necessity, that all he was must exist in.
Yet what he knew and felt was simply his own,
as the planet inside him, the planet he saw into,
all he had without speech and his sole speaking.
He could not be told his fate, and only by being
his fate could he tell what his being might be
divorced of its movement, bereft and reunited.
He drew the light of the stars around his mind,
he dispersed his mind among the whirl of stars,
She was the moon too, blank and personified.
He was an image of the moon, and yet himself.
He could only be a movement of what he was,
and not what he was, and hers was not to be his.
Hers was the cry of the kestrel, and not merely
the kestrel, the cry it could not retrieve, the call
it could utter but not be: she could, and was all.
She was the matter that crushed, the light that
burned, the ache in the heart, and the heart too,
but the perception, the delicacy, the perception,
the seeing, and seeing the seeing, the staring on
into the self, and the sky outside self, the black
ground of the galaxies, grasped and un-grasped.
What he sought to know could not be known
by knowing, could not be separated from self,
was Hers in her greedy entirety, hers in no self.
In the silence of sleep he heard the wind blow,
but not the wind that was blowing, the screech
of the hawk but a hawk of the infinite, crying
in Her and another in him, and both in delight,
the sleeper a world, and the world of the sleeper
going on deep in the frame of the dark unknown.
With this of his being he loved her, She ever-true,
whose loveliness language like music, the dance,
or the colours of vowels, pure perfumes, the taste,
touching the flesh-mind, then always transforms.
Not thinking of Her, he was still thinking of her,
until at the end of thinking he might become her
inner forgiveness, no longer found stealing a form
not hearing the kestrel, but being one with the bird
beneath its own cry, one with the cry then unheard,
that only the bird heard, only She heard, the crying;
and what is more real, the call unheard or the heard,
the movement of air of a cry, or the cry of meaning?
Instead of a darkness without existence, a silence
without being, an unimaginable emptiness,
there was this presence, this light.
Instead of the wordless, a space without words,
there was this speech
of nature, all the flickering tongues of universe.
Instead of the touch of the moment on the flesh
there might have been stillness free of sense, or sight,
or, beneath perception, those microcosmic fabrics.
Instead of change and space, so time and distance,
there might have been timelessness, singularity,
what it is for there to be no movement, no event.
Instead of the intentionless bonfire of energies here,
there might have been neither intent nor un-intention,
neither the music nor its absence, no possibility.
Instead of mind there might have been not even
matter, not even the invisible fields, nor even
the mindlessness that penetrates us, surrounds,
and is so a part of us we can never leave, so
deep it is of our essence, our irreal essential
form, the self we cannot know, the unseen,
wound into world as world is wound in us,
so that while we are we must be, must rise
with the winter sun, must set with the stars,
beyond disbelief, or belief, part of the true
unmade, that cannot conceive un-being yet
will un-be, to be un-mind in the un-darkness.
How beautifully at night you prove,
(inside the confines of the dream,
that space where my galactic heart
drowns in the silent starry stream)
how lovers in the dark must move
to find in each the unmoving gleam.
No moment heals the grieved-for leaf
sere autumn takes; it grips the mind,
falls sealed in blindness, yet beneath
the earth unmade unmakes our grief
by being that which, hand in hand,
we must resurrect to understand.
How beautifully at night you show
the un-purposed formless how to flow
from ledge to ledge, and dark to dark,
as wind-swept leaves in fading light,
or wind-blown clouds the ever-bright
they reflect your absent presence so.
The Dark Ditches
Slow clouds that move in tune with my slow thought.
All poetry is elegy: in the quiet
of the woods I make my peace with life,
by field-edge or wall, in the dark ditches.
In reality, reality for me
was only ever a distraction from poetry
from slow thought, the silence and the beauty
of a blue sky of plain white clouds, the play
of light, and life a serious matter.
An ancient landscape this: it anchors me,
like the history of intellect, thoughts
drifting independently through time
almost without mind, and yet always mind,
in the long quiet where feeling becomes
sentiment, in the calm between events,
where history makes itself, undeclared
in slightest actions, in the depths and not
the glitter of surfaces. We must trace
the evolution of love. There can be
no greater love than now, or deeper beauty.
The how of the universe that brings us
no intent or value, will never satisfy
us more, nor thought move more slowly,
down the dark ditches swallowing the sky.
Red sunlight at evening on far glass
over the valley, glitters.
Violence is the only evil, violence
of the body or the mind.
Let a silence without voices speak,
of unheard voices.
The creatures here, are they the only
ones mindful of the universe?
From a world without intent come
from this universe where the only
values are human.
Is our species ending another
beginning, or is mind
only complete in the flesh, in passion,
the sexual, desire for purpose?
I sing the poetry of mind,
like water under the ice,
we, lest we find no mirror in the stars,
the naked singularity of Earth.
The Illusion Less
There is no trace of Adonais there,
in those veils of stars,
no Lycidas, in that whelming tide
of galaxies, no shore
of souls, no paradise
that which is in the deep mind only.
It was a sweet dream and the laurels,
brittle, the berries, dark,
all merited, it was the pastorale
the spaced ships glide
beyond, docking there
with stranger worlds, and harsher.
But the nightingale, oh the night bird
of the species, continues.
It transits curious glades and verdure
singing in bell-like
notes of complex hills,
and silver planets orbiting their star.
And though the artefacts are never
the same, the silences
are like, the unheard voices, pining
to be beyond time,
though they know
the dancers on the vases are unreal.
What They Find There
For in that burning glass
they see such visions pass…
There is the music of that silvery-grey
(are the notes ending or beginning, do
the fingers rest or flicker into life?)
There is civilisation and the pastorale.
There is man who ends and woman who
creates, there are far hills, deep greens,
a misted stillness, the subtle silence
poised between mutations, tricks of light.
The grasses are alive (in the right hand
corner) there is flesh, clothes, clouded
hair, intimate faces, mind embodied,
the feelings, dare we say the thoughts
of the bird as it flies. Not only there
does the nightingale survive, the species,
but the pure idea of the nightingale.
We must order our world into meaning
as they do, as they assert their values.
We must make meaning, there is no other
source, while there is of order (outer), no
other source for value, we must be mind.
We have had truth, and we have had love,
now we have beauty on this sunlit slope
though the faces are shadowed and over
the distant sea that stormy light suggests
the anxiety of nature.
Least Of All
Who knows what I am least of all myself.
Who knows who you are not your name.
Not sacred holy everything is sacred wholly.
There is this vastness, there is this tininess.
Something in every pebble, every dust-speck
something in every flicker of mind, Being.
The moment is never a space of time you are in,
but movement of space, the space in your process.
Inside the nothingness of no intent, there tremble
the mountain and the flower, a cold moon rising.
Who knows what you are not your name.
Who knows who I am least of all myself.
A Sheet Of Light
The multitudinous life of wild nature,
is the world intentionless, therefore free.
Here is the freedom of our longing, this
pollen we leave behind to leave no trail.
There is more than the one life we might
have lived (being of the species) but only
one life we shall: irreality is our medium,
and we neither self nor universe, but both.
Samsara, nirvana is void and multitude.
Though we know the desire, the inability
to return to our origins, to womb, to nature,
we own the great vision of the spontaneous,
the cradle of form, intentionless space-time,
and though it destroy the garden, only mind
is the maker of value, the maker. No love or
pity there among the stars, no truth or beauty
unless mind dreams it so. There are no ghosts.
Nothing of us returns though we might dream
the nightingale’s imagined permanence true,
an eternal dance, eternal notes, eternal lines,
though we might wish the individual heart,
and not the species were enduring, yet still
transience is beauty, passing life; not death
which is pure absence, nurturer of nothing.
Shadows, sfumato, the tower looming there
against a sheet of light, in imminent change,
posit the lasting fires, the fluidities of time,
in us the little more lasting than the flowers,
less than the crinkled hills. Point at the stream,
the ice-cold mountain flow, mind is water,
and yet the thoughts of my mind burn clear
in yours, and the idea outlasts my vanishing.
So much is in the heart, every
tree alive, every run of stream,
the whole thing moves,
and grasses move, tinkling
in the light.
So much is more than us, deep
pockets of shadow, tiny
creatures, fragile as glass
dancing on leaf-stems
Ice-ages, a hundred peaks, the flow
of whole hillsides in the air
sifting to pine-dust, seeds,
waves of pure rock
So much cradles the heart, nurses
its wildness, helps us remember
to be in our senses again,
in the strange country
of sweet landscape.
Millions of years getting to be
human, a few to lose it,
a moment to regain, fire
in the stones, green moon
in the branches.
A Falsehood In Stone
Even far out the lie is heavy, the truth
is light. This world is lacking in intent,
is weightless: it brings our freedom.
So don’t tell me what poetry should do.
Speak the truth, and not the accepted lie,
though the real is delicate, as the false
is touched with the dubious majesty
of rhetoric like those spires that quiver.
The universe is void of purpose, lovely
in emptiness, is not like the cut stones
of Chartres, hollow now at the centre,
though there is beauty in their ascent,
and beauty is truth, in a sense, as Keats’
ode says, is the shining fact in the eye,
beauty for us, though a beauty of myth,
of the resonance of values, not of faith
that echoes in the window’s circling rose,
its time and space a Hindu or a Buddhist
wheel of being, the Dharma, Siva dancing,
all religion’s bounds that insight questions.
Since for us the challenge is not in rules
or laws (they only serve to move societies)
but in values, the ethics of the grieving mind
and heart, our unclear choices of deliberation.
And the universe is not some afterlife, some
formula deduced from our bitter dreaming,
but that which presents free of authority,
makes no demand, exists beyond possession,
while, bound through its history only, its genetics,
the human self is free, free as those wanderers
who once walked the plains, our other selves,
on a planet centuries, light-years far from this,
buried in memory and the unyielding ground.
Refuse the lie, however beautiful, its leaden
darkness, its long intellectual cowardice.
The lie is not love, or ultimately beauty,
which wants clarity, integrity, consonance
of a creative (underpinned by never a power;
of mind that made religions and undid them)
where ethics form, where values take their life.
Even far out, the lie is heavy, the truth
is light. The universe passes through us,
we through it. We are the givers of graces,
fragile though we are, and brief and slight.
Figure And Shoreline
The sea-green wind shivers her masque of water.
Silent she stands on the glitter of the wave-forms.
Spring in her Florida is neither wild nor budding,
but a bayou permanence of indigo and viridians,
from which she dyes the sunsets and the shore,
with which the rainbow clothes her nakedness.
And what the mind lacks as it sweeps the night,
is her insouciance, her undreamed-of futures.
The Eye Beholds
The weary body as such, that somehow weaves
against the light of the universe, floats
and falls to emptiness, yet still finds
depths in the image of the flowing stream
from which it takes each day its inspiration,
hangs on the precipice of time, so falters,
retrieves itself, a semblance then of poise,
teeters on the tightrope, Nietzsche’s dancer,
or is it Klee’s, gathers itself in the winged
or finned, or furred, and flies miraculously
somehow anyhow into the whirlwind’s eye.
The heart fatigued by all this monstrous show
somehow delicately binds mind to the friend
flesh to the lover, substance to the dream, lives
in what kills, and dies into all that engenders
further being, knows neither light nor fire
but breathes through both, burns at the centre,
cherishes those values powered by the self,
subtle as self, that cannot make consistency
from the inconsistent, blind chance, force,
the wind that roars in the mountain pines,
but is the body’s eye, and the eye beholds.
Not Yet Enough
Compassion is unbounded.
What shall we do
with a heart that feels pity
even for insects, trees,
the small bird in the dark,
the thrush’s child?
What shall we do, empathy,
with all this monster,
violence, the evil
of the world never condemned
enough, allowed to gather
at the living heart?
Down with your causes,
and your interests:
the future of the human race
is ethics, deeper value
than we now exhibit,
an end to politics,
to power, except in the name
of our humanity
which the frustrated mind
finds in its gentleness:
look to another planet
there beyond the stars.
That soft bright blue under the bridge,
that more than reflected sky:
there we two drown,
or sigh a summer’s beauty.
It is an arched brow (twin thoughtful
eyes gaze down to silence
or into the discreet
rippling murmur of light passing)
the bridge between us or the one
over which you pass and I
in strange enchantment
to another side of the universe.
Look closer, and its stones shine,
stars glitter at the surface,
shadowy planes beneath.
What does it gaze at?
Some deeper aspect of ourselves,
some brighter flow?
What could be deeper
than those fresh willows,
hazels, those grassed banks
of curving time,
that see too much and leave
us here, their emblem?
End Of Harvest
No longer incarnate in the flesh,
or not quite,
though it took a long time
in every sense,
we watch the blue-green skies,
the crimson seas,
rotating far too quickly
round a star
and to what purpose?
No longer slaves of our biology
tell me the things
you see, with your new sensors,
tell me what we may be
beyond the pale.
Here, in a distant part,
it is the galaxy itself
we now call home,
past Earth, one city now
and much like Rome,
power and religion both
the remnants of the order
science and mind
brought, to leave behind.
Tell me the human future,
not our fate rather
the unseen, un-prophesiable
texture of the journey,
and find me values there
greater than love, truth, beauty,
on which to found
the real creation, ours;
Mind a star singing
in the farthest field.
Breathe It Away
In the green mountain light
that falls across your skin
that agitates my mind
I know your Self within,
the silent, stranger self
the one that occupies
the sweet, uncanny flesh,
that mitigates the lies.
We never knew the minutiae,
the flat pale days
or how the voiceless eye
returns a gaze
from the recess of familiarity,
we have eschewed
the paraphernalia of a life,
things, that intrude,
haunted the undescribed,
consuming the furniture
of being, chose desire,
mountains that are not mountains
and then are
the topmost peaks of mountains;
chose their light,
the imaginary folds of space,
the coils of time,
whatever warms heart
and mind, the inward rhyme,
or this green depth and setting
of the moonlit plain
over which stars unset
and we, again,
become the duskier music
that will stay,
outlast this universe,
breathe it away.
Leave Us Something
Here where the twin suns shine we are still the same,
still the mind wild, the recalcitrant heart
seeking its vindication, a hare in the moon,
a moonlit skein of stars on silvered leaves.
This the simplicity, truth, of distant Earth:
it is not the persistencies, the light, defines us,
but the forms in the shadows the shifting forms,
the shapeless swirls, the lines and darts of thought,
the seascapes inward under the dim lids glistening,
the crashing folds of waves, the far blind falls,
that ape our perplexities, seem our dumb mirrors,
simpler than truth in their mastery of occasion.
Here too the meadow gleams, there are flowers
in the flare of fields, the eyes look to the inner
secret places, refusing the noon endorsement,
that past is future and in the future, meaning.
Nothing is like your mind. This is the same
planet from which you left, here arriving,
despite its magenta skies, its umber hills,
never quite defined by its trajectories,
mind, that is, never quite hemmed in by time,
never the slave quite of its own construction,
free in the unseen open-ended, how we
should keep it, determinate coruscation,
not looked at here too closely like the leaf
whose veins of being glitter and retreat
far from the gaze into the fractal depths
which are unknown even if knowable.
Leave us our secret, that outer offers no
resolution equal to our nakedness,
that the body vanishes inside itself,
that the eye projects the eye, then finds
perception in the soundings of the scene,
the ear predicts its sense and mystifies
the listener with the heart’s interpretation,
a more than singing, an inhuman singing.
Leave us the privacy of all this pleasure,
the bound aesthetic, the unified delight
of a single thrust of a concerted dream,
the flavour after flavour after flavour,
of the unique unlooked-for arabesque,
a recapturing of fire, a ridge of form
extending under snow, but a strange snow,
bright with desire, savage with prescience.
Better Still None
You walk where the ancient people walked,
below pueblos carved in the limestone cliff,
see millions of years of water cutting away,
or thousands of years of tribal consequence.
You go out of yourself and vanish there,
you throw yourself away, no more return,
disappear through the gates of sighing grass,
never looking back. You enter into nature.
If we must invent gods, let them be gods
of trees, and stones, anything un-minded,
anything non-human, beyond our laws,
wild in the wild, pure under the moon.
If we must have such nonsense, let it be
the madness of seeds and tendrils, leaves
and skeins of leaves, a crazed redemption
from our impossible moralities, our pain,
from the divisive choice, conflicted right,
intransigent wrong and inner weakness.
Let us have back those faceless stones,
those splintered logs in ash-wet glades,
pretending to own power, facile power
of our alien fears, our dark imagination.
Better still none. Keep walking, friend,
scatter the pollen, speak with the birds.
Vanish softly through the gates of grass,
with never a look behind, cross the way,
a moment gone, into the mindful mindless.
Take me with you, where silent people trod.
The Name Rose
The moon rose,
a thing of truth and silence,
and not the sigh of substance
whose name evokes the space light
by which we are dissected,
so far from Earth and fragile.
The wind blew,
protesting its innocence and honour,
blew clouds above a seascape,
so far from Earth and sighing
but not the sigh of substance,
the wind blew,
in mind there,
where forms encode their meaning,
not dust and rock and glimmer
of alien suns, not substance
but moons of those millennia,
bright moons, bright with inner tremor
of the engendering seasons,
star-watching years, the slowly
drifting years of patience
while winds rose,
while time blew over landscapes,
while streams ran in the canyons,
ran crying for
the thing of light and silence.
No Use Peering Back
The bright-eyed creature on the wall,
watched me. It flickered across
the drying path. A bird in the pine
stuttered in pure alarm, the air
was half warm with spring, part
filled with that chill of winter
that’s cool on the eye and mind.
The wind in the hollow churned a leaf,
the bright-eyed creature, long and lithe
rippled its tawny fur a little, gazed
at the something strange, the alien eye,
slipped behind stone, and vanished.
No use peering after what’s left behind
and irrecoverable, the lost relationship
or one that never could find a meaning
being so much other. We cannot find
a correlative for mind, except in mind
gone past and beyond that bright face,
except in an individual, specific mind,
my mind, your mind, no longer natural
but born of the artefact, a high old culture.
No bright-eyed creature will linger to peer
at its obscure future, there’s death or nurture
hanging on its stride, its marvellous grace.
They too have lived in a mist but there’s
no fulfilment there.
They too have confused identity, proved
uncertain of their vagueness,
almost felt a nostalgia round an absence
for a fog of dying stars.
They too have long seen through the deceit
of speech and symbols,
words found being never their author,
and never the audience.
They too have wished to vanish into silence,
into the haze of their desire.
They too are neither reality nor illusion,
but the irreal mingling of the two.
They too are best in the moment, in the sweet
time of forgetfulness,
stunned by the beauty, bared by truth,
or scorched it seems by love.
I’ll leave you a trace: to be
is not to be realisable,
the self of my self is not
what it did but what it knew.
I’ll leave you a thought,
which is not unless you
can re-think it: who we
are not is who we were.
I’ll wish you a peace
of no one’s making,
it’s face to face alone
with whatever happens,
clothed or unclothed
it doesn’t matter, only
don’t assume where
you come from and go.
I’ll leave you to imagine
several different futures
in none of which you exist
but all your own.
The Two Of Them
They spent many centuries
staring at the sea and sky,
then many centuries gazing
at the ideas in their minds,
till their mountains and rivers
became neither, became other,
since they could never return
to simply sea, and simply sky.
They had to learn to be neither,
not the gazed on nor the gazer,
they had to learn to be process,
whose content is its outcome,
whose meaning is its passing,
they had to be mind and suffer
convinced that a world exists,
convinced they are in world,
and the world inside the mind
and both like lovers in love
unable to find themselves
except by finding the other.
They thought they had achieved
something, by all this existing.
Certainly it’s more complex,
whatever we think we’re doing,
but perhaps are simply caught
between living without intent,
and breathing with excess purpose
between the child and the god,
if that’s what you think a god is,
a figment of ultimate movement
towards an inscrutable outcome,
or perhaps your god is a child.
Living the way they learned to
seemed to deny them meaning,
caught between pain and joy
and the tedium of belonging:
it’s a question where it leads to,
if it goes anywhere at all.
They certainly carved forms
gave names and tempted fate.
They certainly travelled space
to find their ghost selves again,
under stars that are always-on
they certainly saw no sunsets.
Let us think of them as sighing
in the green winds of morning
confessing time’s an aesthetic
and the transience an eternal,
in the morning in the mind,
despite the contradictions.
Let us think of ourselves
as them, still the unexpected.
A Message To The Immortals
Don’t seize the day now, Postumus, Postumus,
it’s not what you thought it,
the moment is not
both the thing you can live
and the thing you can see.
Take care of yourself, and take care
of your future, plan
and consider, be the voyeur
of whatever you dream of,
so be here and be there.
It’s true that the darkness and Lethe are waiting,
though we live as immortals
each moment we die,
in the pain of each memory,
the hurt of each love lost,
not hurts of the body but pains of the mind.
Sensation, dear Postumus,
cheats and deceives us,
though thought’s not much better
it’s yours and its mine.
So don’t seize the day, make light of your purpose,
give the poor universe values and names,
your being is free despite its conception,
your mind is your universe
strange as it seems.
They conceive of themselves
as objects on a floor,
the self is the collective,
a skittering of perceptions.
They talk to themselves
as though they were one
among many of themselves
(it’s where you place the comma)
and each casts a shadow
of itself into the abyss,
which as we know is filled
with little energies vibrating
or some such mode of being.
They think of themselves
as in love with themselves,
translating every tongue every instant,
creating worlds unlike themselves
as maybe, though all of them are
someone remarkably like them,
and none are independently real.
They communicate in mental whispers,
so discreet each one has a colour
and a flavour (the senses interchange)
they communicate their longing,
to be one, though disunited, not as
a shattered semblance of the music
but as a single phrase, so transcendent
it will no longer matter who they are.
Soliloquy Of The Auto-Pilot
Out of the many selves time forges one,
the self we never saw, the one rushed past
in gazing from the train, or speaking softly
to someone else there that we never knew.
Out of the many selves we thought we saw,
one is our (fractured) image of ourselves,
which shifts according to the time of the day,
the mood, the company, the inner language.
Out of the many purposes inherited, the one
we forge is the one we never dreamed of,
the one we never saw in the dark mirror
lit like a pursuer, but always far ahead.
The stars we aim towards are not the ones
we found in the telescopes. They remain
the illusions, never to be orbited, as we
should never go back to the place we lost,
simply because it is. This is our planet,
the mind in its glittering whirlpool bare
of atmosphere, showing us its unknown
contours rarely, should we forget ourselves.
Ambiguity is of poetry’s essence. Not
only those ambiguities of language
but those complexities of our response
to things, where we are never wholly
right or wrong however pure our values.
Love compromises: it compromised us.
Where the wildflowers are beginning,
as soon as we enter, paradise is lost.
We trail the ghosts of ourselves behind us.
Depth is in surface, surface is the essence.
What are the thoughts of wild creatures
in their own language? Self-perpetuating,
now, sagebrush, bared bluish moonlit
limestone, austere and gently glowing,
eludes our interference, this the unplanned
order, deeper, grander, freed from time.
Every green stalk, stem, pebble equals us
in Being, equals our individual existence.
We sense that truth internally, we feel
the extreme presence of the naked world.
On The Dark Rock
Here is nature in the silence
waiting for us to pass.
A sweet diversity, the ant
crawls by, the leopard yawns.
And our guilt too meaningless
when we have gone.
The blue sky blue,
still, the green hills quiet.
A fantasy of purpose is not
the immense world of the sea
thrashing its sand and stone
and bones, its fishy dead.
We were at best mediocre
as a species, there were better,
the small wrens for example,
with their delicate music.
And yet the golden sun, my
moon at midnight’s raven-cry
or the river that flashed silver,
and the intricacies of our being,
they were something. It was
something, all the spectacular.
There a simplicity, a loveliness
we might vanish into, not this.
Between The Poles
Why should the sun’s anger
be your own.
Why should you take upon
Humanity for all its cleverness
in the dark of its own making
the self-born sadness.
In the pure change nothing changes:
identity alters, true,
but the wave breaks
through a barrel-glare greenness
and the slow foam hisses raw
bubbling and sweet
along the shore,
to melt across our thoughts.
The high hawk sinks
but the mountain waits,
beyond your anger
beyond your pain.
Our pride and our humility
are both the lances
of the spirit, whether
envying stone or star.
Why should the moon’s
quiet not be your own?
Why should you not
out-distance the unborn?
What Might Be Told Of Us
No one was witness to our drowning,
only our soft wake, rippling, sounding,
telling where we had found the night
beating metallic stars to silvered light,
found in the green depths our meaning.
Civilisation is what survives our culture,
it is the return towards the primal nurture,
the rill in the mind that drives on thought,
what we have learned not what was taught,
fires of the past reborn in vulcanic futures.
No one was witness to your beauty, not
in the sense of the inward, subtle, caught
for a moment, poised as flesh and dream,
beyond the bitter glissade of the stream,
where against the beating tide we fought.
No one could see us, as we slipped away,
undone by life’s music or its after-play.
Diving to pale stone on the wavering bed,
touching the fickle gleam above the head,
what might be told of us no one could say.
A Peaceful View
Only your values matter, not the rest,
out of which flow your actions,
whether a deep respect for wilderness,
or a devotion to the quiet but free,
concealed behind the outer system.
Only what forms the mind is you alone,
everything outer is how you choose
to expose yourself to a burning other,
allow the night to enter and the sun,
endure a drowning and a resurrection.
Only our values matter, not the rest,
not the planets we knew, the galaxies,
the poisoned stars, the paradisial few,
the molten seas shining on lava shores,
the cloudless, the clouded and the blue.
Only our values matter, yours and mine
they involve a deeper nature, of the true
silence without the human, and again,
praise the gentleness within humanity,
the untrammelled life, a peaceful view.
The Real River Run
Nothing in nature lies between us,
plunge your hand in the deep surface,
glimmer of light is glimmer of mind.
Translucent creatures shimmer there,
or float in the air, or dance on leaves,
and we are nothing higher or greater.
Don’t be deceived by shining words,
by sweet seducers straining at spirit.
There is only one, true illumination.
Nothing exceeds the being here, no
otherworld where the body wavers,
or brains without an eye perceive.
Nothing in Nature hides you from me,
or I from you: now ripple the surface,
watch the real refute all concealment.
Green weeds like glass, bold fish run
through an icy water under our hands,
and where we end is where we began.
Nothing in Nature now between us,
the creature and its Earth complete,
and our sole paradise under our feet.
Desert At Twilight
After the catastrophe, with Earth gone
we were adrift on the infinite darkness.
Like the dark pike we swam in shadow
filled with distance, like craft in the sky
relinquished visible trails, far from home,
so visitors, therefore exiles, hardly guests.
There were quiet landings, empty deserts.
It was good to repeat the wilderness again,
without the error, and no indigenous tribes,
never environmentally hostile ever again.
We pined for the creatures. We were life,
the sole life, the water merely pure crystal,
the rock all kinds of sorry igneous torment.
We would have given anything for a tree,
and not the ones we brought, but wild groves
below limestone crags, sweetened with birds.
After the catastrophe, past the violence, there
was a reckoning, the too-late comprehension.
Yes, we were gloriously free in our chains,
bringers of civilisation to the glowing void.
Yet language, habit, drew from us nostalgia,
for that mad planet, for its gone imaginings,
which now were ours. The infinite beckoned,
beautiful with light. A tenderness burgeoned
towards all the un-redeeming, pitiful universe
beyond the glass, for all of its inability to bear.
What would we not give now for the flowers?
Little Walking Poem
I took a path that climbed and climbed,
following the light beyond my head,
to reach a summit of shale and rock,
high over the valley that shone below.
I took the path, and gathered a breath,
gazing at cloud, and grass, and blue
distances where things might be true,
or not as false as the mind would have.
I took the trail no one else would see,
the trail that was there for myself alone,
no pre-determined route through a map,
but determined within me nevertheless.
I took the trail that can never run back,
I took a path up there towards the sun,
higher perhaps than I might have gone,
and found and lost myself there at last.
Seeding The Stars
Sharing the guilt for the innocents,
we must learn that. None of us pure,
all part of the cowardly collective,
and its desire to hold, to gain, to be.
Guilt of the whole society, the species,
but not an individual guilt of the self:
it walks in paradise and is un-darkened,
following the deeper ways in silence.
We must separate self from the Earth.
I am not responsible for every other,
nor is there primal sin, though evil still
exists in dark flaws of mind and body.
There is my pure self, Blake saw, rising,
though to a godless heaven, and then
there’s my persona, my involvement
wished and unwished for in the world.
We can neither boast of innocence, nor
condemn ourselves for love and truth
and beauty. Ours is the middle way,
the compromised, seeding the stars.
Beyond The Wall
Deep down the real the red fox goes,
dark thought in the blood, a tremor
in leaves, while the far owl deceives
with one dark hoot’s uncertainties.
They are the denizens of night, and I
no more in the light than an alien
passer-by, for whom nature’s sealed,
a distant dream; I in another scheme.
No you can’t tear belonging from life,
though you can pretend, with subtlety,
that Nature and you interpenetrate,
as if description and word were being,
and not the music that Orpheus plays,
for one that follows and must turn back,
though he sings otherwise, and dreams
of trailing the light, those dying streams.
Soft shadow of owl from a gasp of trees,
sighs over the ground of my existence,
pounces on something dark and small,
some fragment of tissue, nerve and bone.
The cry of the night is never our cry,
the human never the non-human call.
Nature is beauty beyond the wall.
We are the midnight ghosts that pass.
There Sing I
Don’t be precious in your speech,
we are not some greater beings
or let your gods in by the back door
unable to declare their presence,
or reconcile their non-existence.
Don’t let the gold light sift and settle
over the substance of your thought,
exercise all you learned or taught,
grasp the golden branch’s metal,
plough the dead under as you ought.
Don’t seek for fame, an audience,
they are not the leaves of laurel
Petrarch wound about his Laura,
though he thought so, rather be
time’s secret lover in eternity.
Don’t look for burial with the dead,
whose words are cut along the stone,
be ash with Earth, be ghost of bone,
go back to where the species played
in darker depths of grass-green blade.
Don’t compromise, don’t speak the lie,
look life and death square in the eye,
with the moons and starlight blown
make the unspeaking dark your own,
cry those black spaces – there sing I.
It Will Take
It will take
a mountain, desert, sea
to love you,
a space of light,
a magnitude of time.
It will take
a planet, and a star
to love you,
a tract of ground
to enter in and find.
It will take
a sigh of winds, a roar,
to love you,
a hurricane of leaves
an arc of pines.
It will take
volcanic flame, far fire,
to love you,
the smoke of twilight
in our lost domain.
It will take
the rivers and the streams
to love you,
the rippling shadows
and the nascent gleam.
It will take,
all Earth, a universe
to love you,
universe to say your name.
Silent As the Grass
It dances on the eye of light the mind.
That wintry heaviness is no destiny.
The depth that seems is not the mystery,
All being is a surface, beauty gleams.
Spontaneous the nameless indistinct,
intentionless so void the solid emptiness.
At our weakest, life invades the veins,
and thought in the abyss still transcends.
Each moment is where time begins and ends.
The mirror that reflects but does not keep,
in the simplicity of leaves, the cry of air:
truth clothes us with the light that strips us bare.
Portentousness is not the mountain’s right,
possessing no more being than the light,
free as the breeze, and silent as the grass.
On their planet, the mind turned inside-out,
their thoughts are visible externally,
with colours and display, anguish, joy
may be inspected with their memories.
Communication is no more a problem
than perception, individuality is etched
in black, troubling but always capable
of re-direction. There is no turning back.
To Earth long gone, they pay tribute,
though find it astounding that minds
hugged the dark. Theirs are apparent,
each meaning and emotion has its corner,
its surface presentation: like minds see
themselves reflected in eternity, why
seek a vision that no one can share,
rather they cherish the revealed, aware.
The emerald water, purple waves, move
in arcs and tremblings of agitation,
alone in the darknesses mind-fish swim
devoid of the human, passing to and fro
flickerings of endless motion, the tide
carrying its flotsam to a shoreless shore
which is itself an uncertainty of place,
where there is sound, but no word said,
where there is flow but scarcely feeling,
yet permanence still, sheer continuation,
like pulsing stars that iterate on station,
unaware of the language of their being.
The shadows of the mind-fish in the glass
of our present universe glide by with fins;
silent the eyes that watch. They look deep
and puzzle at weeds, tug at stones asleep.
It is so delicate the sense of self in precession
around the core of memories and meanings,
the inner network of abstruse connection
sifting the outer networks of perception.
It is fragile in its beauty and as yet innocent
of action, it is the intricate ghost assaying
the golden light and every moment weighing
its options, forming every moment, eyeing
what it is to be. And then it is, in a world
beyond its creation, self-sown, self-ordered;
there, is compromised, and yet still shines
outside that world, where our humanity goes
in slow orbit round a forgiving sun, a star
that has no concept of our values, no desire
to punish or forgive, but whose heat blesses
more than spurious mercies of false religion.
The self is void, is always the process passing,
its purposes figments of perilous imagination,
in a world without intent, therefore emptiness,
yet is all we have, and are, and must return to.
Entangled wave-forms pass and flow,
collapse to correlation so, instantaneously.
Faster than light, yet causally, on every
planet under its sun, uncertainty is done,
and certainty, elusive, the long-lost prize
emerges, throws its star-dust in our eyes.
Uncertainty is sweeter, as I’m aware,
never in one place, always here and there.
Beyond All This
Long slopes of idle grasses.
Silently I roam the mountain.
Things here go about their business.
White clouds linger here and blow.
What are these things we long for?
Why is the dumb heart anxious?
Beyond all this, wind and light stir.
The grasses whisper, mind slows.
You can look in yourself for your Self,
but the self in yourself is process, dark
shift of the patterns tied in the neurons,
the effecting of thought, and no object.
When I look in myself, the Self is gone,
there only a vagueness of imageless light,
and the green ticking clocks of sensation.
‘Show me this Mind then’ the master said.
It is nowhere, like world, deep in the irreal,
like a dancer realised only through dancing,
like the poem, a statement, where the idea
coalesces, beyond the imagery it conjures.
Look deep in yourself, in the ordinary mind
and the human goes past you, boldly escaping
into a freedom past all the genetics, past all
of the learning and all of the turnings of life,
into our values, our meaning. In being we reside,
nowhere else, in the outcomes, not the software
or hardware. The Self is where this moment runs,
off away with the windblown heart and the head.
No Seductive Darkness
Why should I lie down with the violence
of creatures, the violence I cannot accept?
Am I one with the hawk or the mountain
lion, with the rending and tearing of flesh?
There is nothing humane at the heart, no
purpose at all at the centre of things, no
meaning in being, free of intent, unless we
set it there. We are the values, the kindness.
We are the brimming pool of compassion,
that we learnt from the nurturing fullness,
that we find strangely echoed in herbs, in
the herds, in the tufts of wild blue grasses,
in the small loyalties, in the stillness, far
from all power and desire, in the beauties,
which are there, true, in the line the form
of the predator, but not in its violence.
The spirit it is that shines, the secular mind
that has learnt its sacredness at the well
of the bright particular, and if not cased
in dense plastic, the concrete and the steel,
further back then in the landscape of stone,
in the sea, in the grass where we stumbled
deep millennia, in the pastures of patience,
the paths through the mountains, the trees.
The spirit it is that shines, and so questions
the origins as then all the outcome, denies
the genetics, and the rightness of violence
once gone beyond the need, not to claim,
that is, any innocence, yet still to refrain.
This is the gentlest of landscapes where I
reflect, its intensity is its moonlit calling
of inner dimensions. There is no return
to blind tooth and claw. For them there’s
no guilt, the dream-walkers by instinct,
the leopard, the vulture, the timber wolf.
Guilt is for those who foresee, innocence
for those who forbear. In the killing we
share and our stained. In the kindness too
we share and are blessed and redeemed,
but not by empty religion, only in these
paths of the galaxies, ways of the axons
that join mind to mind, and the gift we
give to the darkness, a slow cultivation
of fields where lives may forever be free
since even the human may be outgrown,
though those to come under curious skies
with their subtler thought may remember
beauty was human too, though they exceed.
Let even the skeleton like a tiny lizard
In a caul of dried grass, the gold fur
the dark liquid eyes.
Every creature should find its peace
to die in.
Under the fern, or in the dark hedges
by root or stone.
Like a harvest-mouse on a dandelion-head
deep in white seed
let life endearingly endure:
thank bi-faced Nature, the cruel and sheltering.
A two-faced goddess hides in the green leaves,
where nothing’s divine,
the wheat-fields are nodding goldenly quiet,
but in salt-marsh, wetlands
too the small balls of light and life survive
mocking our edifices,
everyone eats them, stoats, foxes, blackbirds
toads, food for eternity.
When we softly go down ashes under the trees,
are protons gone back
to the stars, pure dust under predatory feet,
or a plaything for moons,
let us be as golden; yet, here now, in breath
in the unprecedented
unrepeatable time now, admire
the clear burnished skeleton bright in the gold of the air.
Now We Are Leaving
Now we are leaving, the planet seems
the contours clearer, the light fresher,
a world more tender
of moonlit stone.
In the vast scene where we are small,
in the tremor of nature
we too feel the tremor of things
now Actaeon re-sees
the goddess yet she,
it is, dies. Where we are going,
out to the reaches
of dark where the pulse of life’s
rare, we may value
the stillness and sparseness,
leave fossil prints in dry earth,
the sea and the rock.
If we were the spoilers wherever
we entered, now we
might be the wiser.
The creatures too run in their sleep
and imagine their lives,
they too know the dreamtime of spirit,
the shy and the quiet
the peaceful like deer.
Now we are slowly departing
we too must dream:
it is never the world that exhausts
us, rather we
that exhaust the world.
I went walking in the dandelion fields at dawn.
An enviable quietness, like the tranquil sea.
The beauty is fragile as we are, the things exist
but the beauty is only in mind, and only in all
the creatures of mind, which therefore includes us,
as love survives after the end, but in memory only.
I went walking on paths on the limestone dome,
its hills like calm waves slow in the early light,
progressing quietly, waves from the shining east,
in which the slight dead lie and the slighter living.
Clarity and intensity, without violence, I love.
Another play out there, acted, the one without us,
far in the deep field behind the gestures of stars,
soft behind veils, the stones, shoals of that sea.
I went walking, in the dandelion fields at dawn.
And the bright flowers went through my mind,
in that green basin of earthlight and the morning,
as if a humane beauty glistened out of the world.
In The Contrast
In the contrast is the beauty:
between the clearly formed
and what seems formless,
between the great tree
and the eroded stone,
between the one white
cloud and the blue sky.
In the contrast is the beauty:
between the present
and the only imagined,
the path here of turf
and the hill-meadows,
the walls and woods
far off, I’ll never visit.
The delight is in the contrast:
between the sunlight
and the mayfly’s wing,
the apparent chaos
and the sense of order,
the unknown and the known,
your mind and mine.
The delight is in the contrast:
between the darkness
and the stars,
between the breakers
and the shore,
between the void
and the loom of being.
No I don’t need to know what they were doing
in their caves, the soft shy peoples, whatever
magic, religion, they thought they were making,
or identity they were seeking, so also finding,
whether they sang with those shining surfaces,
or screeched with the creatures’ calls, or gazed
at the silence imagining new flowers, or traced
their prints on time, and felt and created beauty,
whether dreaming they etched the dreamtime,
or mapped the features: springs, and the solitary
trees, the lines of a ridge, or the watercourses.
But I hope they were happy, that they laughed
more deeply than us, had more sensitive eyes,
that they saw the future of power, and cunning,
and were sad for us, more secure in their being,
that they nursed their children, carved in bone,
planted and nurtured, were kind in their giving,
coped with the pain, were dazzled by moonlight,
less racked by the need for a why, for a purpose,
less intense in their questioning the intentionless;
I hope they rang true, rare, complex as the birds,
the fish, the insects, were clear-eyed, undeceived.
I too like the revelations of where we came from,
but, as for their myths, let us leave all that, refrain,
not ask about the bison, the figures that could be
shamans, the reason for loops and dots and lines
of graceful runners, dancers, leapers: a little peace
for the dead, a little quietness here, just stand, look
at that impossible beauty of lines untouched by art,
their spontaneous delight in the conjuring or desire,
that seamless flow between rock and hand and eye,
that sigh of the ocean of being that we were born to,
and have traduced, without meaning to, you and I.
To The Reader
And ask of poetry what you ask of life,
a fragment of beauty, a little harmony.
Don’t ask what was asked of the Master
returning, one Dogen, back from China:
‘What did you learn there? What did you
bring us?’ – (Ask for peace and not things;
so he replied) ‘I return with empty hands.
And I learned? – Only a little tenderness.’
The ancient people lie down in their graves
under these fields, so silent down in the soil,
though not beneath tumuli or stone circles,
not by the dolmens and barrows. They left
their prints in raw earth, in layers of ground,
ash or bone with their pottery shards, traces
of fire on the rock, pulses of light in the dust.
They lie in their graves all over these hills,
under the glittering bending fields of grass,
under the sigh of cool air in the early sun,
below the barns and walls and green roads,
the tribes without written tongue. Gathered
together the many lie hidden, free of their
magic at last, of their gods and their codes.
Effort not power made this landscape. Pain
and lightness, a labour of love. How gently
they went down into the nothing beyond!
And with the cry at the last, or with a sigh,
the bitterness of unfulfilled joy, or the ache
of their tenderness, no matter, now neither
sleep nor un-sleep, nor restlessness or rest.
It is heard by the diver bird and the wren,
that crash of water. It is glass on a stone.
The cliffs go up to the tall sky, the air
is iced with spray, small minds are clear.
At night splintering cliffs rattle and roar
in the valley’s throat, and creatures hear,
but no one else. Humanity is elsewhere,
considering or wrecking: the only intent
here, that of survival, nurture and iteration,
songs of a million years, in untiring purity.
Sometimes you cannot feel yourself,
but here you can, here you can sense
a lifetime, or the dark after a lifetime,
in the drift of the wind and cloud.
Limestone is bedrock here, fingers
have lifted and carved, if you love
stone you can feel its light glimmer,
here, the heart in you burn with life.
Long edges, valleys, trees, above all
trees, that allow long slopes to relent,
and the specific starry configurations,
and the flare of wildflowers, planets.
Sometimes you pass by the places we
spoil, ones that harbour associations.
Here there is no desire to ever pass by,
you can even be foolish call it Eden.
The waves here are breakers of grass.
The ocean has long gone, but left us
these frozen tendrils, cusps of shells,
on which, in the stone, Deneb shines.
This a graceful, a gentle country, no
ghosts linger, not even of ancient
dead who raised rocks, piled earth
to declare the madness of presence.
Often you’ll look and feel nothing,
but here with skylarks and swallows
high up or swooping low you can be
the adult child, cloud light and water.
You can touch pure Self in the mind,
the strange sway of the world, its fire
and delicate ice, the something in us
that refutes death by everything alive.
Here you can be what you love, know
what was born from the brain beyond
any intention, the self-made self-sown
order of Earth, and its deep acceptance.
I imagine them passing through the long grasses,
alive over hills, the rare amongst all of the many,
in ones or twos, or in small groups of all genders,
the silent peoples, surrounded by starry creatures,
by whose complexity of person they were amazed,
shocked by wild beauty, else how could they have
drawn the outlines of light on the billowing walls
of the caves, in the rock-shelters? Or under the stars
how else could they have raised up a standing stone?
I imagine them, perhaps falsely, in their tenderness,
as if nurture was the ancient invention not violence,
gazing down at the long slopes, or gathering there
(tell me the dale!) where the wild-garlic flows down
in foam of white flowers in a green wave of the sea,
to startle, where the stony ravens croak on the cliffs,
where wildflowers (orchis, cowslip, or water avens)
border the paths above the bare stream, those clouds
moving too quietly for me, in May, on a radiant blue.
They were no less clever than us, so no less awake
if we are awake, nor do they dream of what we are
as we dream of them. The wanderers without aim,
whose sense was survival, careless of destination,
as long as it brought them where might be content,
listening to great waves, or lying down under hills
etched on the dark, with those high crowns of stars.
Why long to go back? It’s a madness. Here we are
with our civilisation protecting us from the flames.
Why long for the cleansing to sweep away the most
of what we have done? Why envy the primitive?
Gauguin was no less unhappy, Rimbaud, in the end,
all value for us being within, deep in the human heart
and not in the circumstances of our being. And yet,
there’s that beauty, that quiet of long sweet spaces
of echoing night sky, the range of feelings all there
in those ghostly faces that intimate we will never
go further than they did in friendship or tenderness.
A Little Courage
You must understand the bravery of art
to live it. It’s an easy courage
requires no great sacrifice, rather
it’s a conquest of difficulty, reticence.
The making is all in the acceptance
of truth, is in the creation
not of feeling which is easy, rather
the consequence of feeling which is not.
The thinking through is what demands
the unordinary. What moves
us all is deep in the cells, and not
the truth which is hard to cling to.
Still, let us be brave, in the face
of our loneliness, our fears.
To those who cease to invent ghosts,
or demons, a lack of gods will be kind.
The ocean stirs with a blinding brightness,
great breakers breathe foam, like volcanoes
spiralling mist in the air, ozone over stones,
shatter, and take with them half of the shore,
churn, smooth the pebbles, scouring the sand,
purify, as the dark river its sculpted cataracts,
wash the granite with salt, defying gravity
so embracing it, bring shell litter, carapace,
bone of the cuttlefish, shape life with death.
The shoulders of headlands shrug off the dawn.
Bleak islands, reef and rock sing like the wires,
howl with direction, a wind in the roads makes
light of the wave-fronts, piles up our memories.
Something under our civilisation rears awhile,
pays homage without mind, laughs in our face.
But the jetties survive and the cliff-wet houses,
and the boats ride over, their anchors holding,
while the ocean’s purity is no better than mine.
We will not be saved by the ancient Earth, we
can only cast off into that ocean of star-ways,
into the seas between galaxies, into the dark,
where our fears are magnified, our securities
less than our skeletons under the high waters.
It will need a greater scouring than this our
planet, it will need our absence, the brine
and dirt of neglect, the grinding down of our
detritus, the freedom of spiny creatures, dark
insects, violent predators, the desperate herds.
Then with the cities gone, the grass and trees
grown over the sills and shimmers, the wild,
in its deep unpleasantness, as well as for us
its non-human beauty, reclaiming our space
and without possession, held without power
or authority, might return to its beginning,
in some few million years. The valueless
glimmer of landscape churning in sun-fire.
Far out we will be singing of other worlds,
and our lost home, with daring sentiment.
We will be colonising the impure universe,
with impure thoughts of conquest, disguise.
So let me go down again to the sea-caves,
clear for a moment of all but nature’s spoil,
to watch the great waves collapse in spume,
the granite quiver, the sea-birds cry, Earth
roll with its Moon, and disabuse my mind.
What Means For a Plant
A heron beats down-river, sharp keel in the air.
The night so calm the water makes tiny sounds
and small glimmers, small thoughts in the eye,
which does indeed think before we do, forms
flare in its shadows, the heron’s wings creak,
while fireflies over the surface dart and flicker.
Across a dying sun the black shapes of birds
carve flight with a flash of light, are mirrors
that absorb and cannot reflect. The tremors
lap gently at the shore, reeds in this hush
are blind, vegetable nature is simply blind
but senses in subtle ways, non-consciously,
so that, in our projection of meaning, perhaps
we are not alone, that even night, water, air
means for a plant, while a whole cosmos
moves through the stillnesses for a heron,
and makes our intelligence a lesser thing,
an equal thing, with the dumbest life-forms.
There are things we are taught not to say,
(not overtly, by implication) concerning how
inadequate our performance, limited our gifts,
so it’s good to be honest with the heron, with
the reeds, below a moon ever more beautiful,
confess the longing, the reaching-out, the pain.
After The Crossing
We treasure those who are like us but unlike us.
We consider their ways and try to comprehend.
That lightness where we are heavy, that desire
for what never interested the lonelier intellect,
their meadow whilst we build a tower, their fine
sliver of light on the shore where we are darkness.
We may forget them, once over the Styx, but then
we’ll forget ourselves also, and what will be there,
in that fragment of spirit without a sense of knowing,
the innocence of a child or some blankness of stare,
(pure fancy this) among the black lakes and trees,
where the swallows fly and ribbons hang, where
the shades flicker and the waters are time and fate?
More likely we will flare with light of recognition.
The same likeness unlike will cause the like flow
of affection for the arabesques of pure difference.
We will find the same amusement in grim Charon,
trail hands in the night-dark flow, but never be sure
if the one we see who is other is part of ourselves,
or something alien perhaps, our self in antithesis,
yet uncannily similar like particle and anti-particle,
some things reversed, not all, and obvious in a way,
(pure fancy this) but our eyes will weep when we
see them, that is certainly in the nature of things,
and the charge between us will be greater than all
the cries of nature, its beauty, the vast non-human.
Why care so much whether we survive or no,
(because we are human?) if the limestone cliff
endures with its clumps of grass and flowers,
not knowing of the tumuli over the crest there,
if the river continues to flow, or becomes lake,
or vanishes and is raised towards the starlight?
Why concentrate so hard on conserving those
vistas and slopes that we love (because they
carry our beauty, or the vision we conceived?)
if the world beyond the human gleams, shines,
flickers in insect life that can survive fission,
or sways and gasps in the salt-water oceans?
Why weep if the billions vanish in quake or
storm, if a virus sweeps through the mass of us,
if war, or famine wash the dark cities away,
why cry (because we are something more than
intent, intensity, more than possession, joy?)
if the white breakers still caress the islands,
the layers of stone laid down as life began,
and the turtles and crabs crawl over sand,
and the tiny shrimps and anemones wave
tendrils in the tide-pool’s brine and pebbles.
So long as the primroses flame in spring air,
and the windhovers call, and the curlews.
There is nothing to disappoint, and yet we
are fearful of forever disappointing ourselves.
There are no secrets, all the depth is surface,
yet we look for a mystery in the stars, stones.
Why should we care if Earth flares a moment
in silence, and then falls achingly into the sun?
If the galaxies survive, if on a distant planet
other forms than ours achieve our thinking
where other cliffs, inhuman cliffs, rise grey
over sunlit ocean, and the wild bay flowers,
not quite as ours, but near enough to savour
its reflective green, as it mirrors other dawns.
Alien And Alien
If the angel was the extreme of everything
then it would possess senses so sensitive
it could do nothing all day but scream.
There are no angels on the planets here.
The stars out there which form different
constellations to yours control no lives.
If the angel was the human perfected, then
it would communicate silently like night,
and be drowned in every other’s thought.
There are no angels here, we commune
fitfully, like you, and preserve the Self
in a web of process much like your own.
If the angel was the sublime love and beauty,
somehow incarnate, yet bodiless, seeing
through the universe transparently, as we
would like to see, then it would see darkness,
compassionate but powerless to intervene,
like us, and so be nothing more than we are,
an idea of the good, struggling with action,
a flare of identity, compromised by being,
a shadow, as you are shadows of ourselves.
See how they went soft through the grasses.
Yes I believe them more beautiful than I.
Their quick intelligence in earth or starlight
keener, their knowledge of all this closer.
See how they carried the child, how they
warmed the caves with tenderness and life.
Who cares what gods or power they thought
spread the sky, and lit the moon, and roared
at night from the passes in the mountains,
and inspired the creatures, their green eyes?
See how they moved silently in the morning,
like a breeze in the dust, a pattern in the air.
See how they move inside us, almost are us,
except we have to delve deeper to find them.
Dancing down the fields of light they passed.
We have lost what they carefully left behind.
Not the practice: the dreaming, the respect.
The sense of the fineness of inhuman nature,
the sense of the inter-penetration of things
of into one another out of a self-same root.
There’s irony. The animalistic religions,
the anthropomorphic, drew them nearer
to that truth which is ours, how there’s no
difference between it all, only the forms.
So we might see the quick mind of the hare
as of the same order of beauty as our own,
though beauty is ours, or is it wholly ours,
or is there a dynamic in beauty of out there?
I see them in dream and waking, passing by,
the flickering fires, their limited possessions,
the cries to the night skies, the compassion
for, identity with, the creatures, the knowing
the details of every life, not just their own,
and I wonder where that powerless power
has gone to, or why the image is so potent,
we ache for them, we long for what we deny.
Weep And Be Silent
This moment now never
becomes the moment gone.
The moment gone is at best
a memory, enshrined in mind,
the shadow of place, or word
or vagueness hard to recapture,
a pain or delight. This moment’s
not even this moment which is
already vanishing into the next
re-configuration of all the world.
This moment now is where you
think you are. This moment now
is not what you will remember
or exist in, though it you might
exist for. This now is not even
a moment, it is the raw universe
before which you hover naked,
if at peace far too complacent,
and if anxious, you’d be wise
to find a way to make peace.
We are involved. There is no high
moral ground. So don’t pretend.
I caught us hunting, roaring through
space, consuming, speaking ecology
or conservation, making a living.
The moment is where we are living,
that never becomes the past. The past
is what we construct from our dreams,
like my thoughts of the silent peoples, dark
on a dark horizon, and myself still asking
what is noble in killing the creatures,
while claiming to fear, respect them,
(though I love the thought of those
peoples, the ones who pass like shadows)
why should we think tenderness then
greater than tenderness now, or beauty
deeper then, when only the now is now,
and the future and past of the dead one
with their now and the silence, and what
lasts of what we loved is what we love.
Only One Story Left
Eventually I begin to see the history
as beautiful in itself, all the long way
back to our origins, and likewise all
the creatures we travelled along with,
which did not have to be themselves
but are: the serious light-spun ones
whose instincts guide them slowly
through a maze marvellous as mine.
The ages of heat and stone, of water,
the ages of grasslands, cliffs and air,
the darker ages, the starlit millennia,
beside which our time is pitiful, small.
I see now that science too was in part
a way to assuage our dread curiosity,
and, despite its errors of application,
a way for us into the beauty we saw
which is hard to understand, except,
in some Darwinian sense, as asset,
a way to reconcile mind to transience,
a way to bear this terrible evanescence,
this walking forward into the passing,
which is also joy, to be free as the air,
ungraspable like the mountain, elusive
as running stream, silent, intentionless.
Eventually (should I live long enough) I
might begin to see it as the only beauty,
the long way back, the getting to here,
the transformed Earths of our memory.
By The Fire
Sparks from the branches,
burning, for no personal profit.
The wind in the trees, turning
the leaves, for no personal profit.
Water coiled, without twisted
thought, for no personal profit.
This Earth not for sale, a star
without fear, for no personal profit.
And you here, and what we feel
here, are not for personal profit.
The Wildflower And The Wild Hare
The wildflower and the wild hare.
I wish I could see their detail better,
but was never too good at the fine points
of existence, the pale cleft and the grain.
I have seen the dance though, in the light,
over the dew, in the long soft grasses,
watching what Han Shan pondered on,
endless hills, unspoilt bare horizons.
And have loved. No more or less indeed
than the first of peoples in the first age,
before we wandered out of the light
into these delicate shadows vaguely,
but still enough to have been and know
life as a strangeness mind puzzles over
as though the question set, though there
was never a question whispered in the air.
Simply the wildflower and the wild hare.
Past the future which does not look too sure
(disrupted Earth, plagues, wars, famine, alien
process, machinery uncanny, the wild pursuit
of who knows what from curiosity, greed, so
no different than the last four thousand years,
except in scale) past that, lies the distant planet.
It has green hills, two suns, three moons, light
softer than here and kinder, but lacking maybe
the astringency, the sour-sweetnesses of home.
The population is small, the government only
ourselves, who cooperate in simple easy ways,
handing down no scriptures and following none.
It is against the laws, if we had any, to believe,
to follow, to own. Take what you need, give
what you have, science has solved the problems
of resources (energy, food, anything you desire)
though cannot do what indeed is not in its power,
and supply the meaning, its passion, or the love,
which live in minds, albeit of science’s making
(the minds I mean, not like these present minds)
In our utopias of the future we sit and dream
perversely of those same non-utopian landscapes,
where small groups just like us strayed in the grass
and tried for small content and greater knowledge.
We have given up on knowledge, though of course
we practice all the arts and crafts, do the field-work,
to keep from boredom, and still cherish laughter,
slightly defiant (the universe irritatingly pointless)
write poems, and sit in foolish meditation, there
being nothing to gain from that but long persistence.
Seagull shines through the fog, breaks into sun,
a shattering of feathers over a blackness of rock,
screams in its hatred, joy, or its inner fireworks,
shreds the damp clinging air, shoots over space,
and is an image to me of the mad mind, diving
in and out of the interstices of the brave planet,
that unafraid goes ellipsing, soaring on nothing,
or of the planet itself, a great bird un-affirming,
but by mere presence affirming Being in mind.
Seal shines on the shore as small boats creep
silently through the white glare and shadows,
then takes off, flops to the salt-ways, slithers
loosed and free now into the blue-green flow,
and is an image for me of the strong heart flung
out of the safety I love, into the unsafe waters,
that unafraid goes diving, rolling, squirming
or of those seas themselves, power unmeaning
careless of where it ends in that bare gliding.
What We Keep
We found it hard to let go
of the peace before technology
of our original being,
the spaces of seeing.
We found it hard to let go
of the flesh we inherited
and the beauty we
created, the gardens
of sweetly carved stone.
We found it hard, hard to let go
of those first lasting assumptions
ideas of external purpose
the meaning of trees
the company of creatures.
We found it hard to let go
of everything that was Earth,
bar the memories of our species,
and the remnants we kept,
the notes and the images.
Snow On Hills
The snow on hills
the beauty of the trees.
Far off the city
blinking and trailing
banners of smoky
light in the air.
The snow on pines,
the juniper fragrance.
Far off the road
The snow inside us,
the heart calmer.
Far off the dark cloud
the power lines
the unheard sounds
who know better
the snow inside them
the trees the hills
Below The How
The track I remember passed,
as it fell down from the mountain,
a bay out of the cliff,
a ripple of stone
a stand of trees
a stream of water,
the whole thing
light and dark,
shadow and substance.
Lots of creatures lie here
under the ground, or were eaten
and became the ground;
it feels a good place
to be, a quiet place,
fine for every time
and every season,
the seasons of the mind
or of the planet.
Explain then, if we were not
creatures of nature
why the naked beauty
seems to us to lie
in natural things,
those limestone reefs
poking through grass,
with an un-marred stretch of vetch
lining the trail.
These things have neither
patience nor impatience,
they are not waiting;
and what we carry
with us is just
this delicate precise
charge of the living
world, this electric fineness,
which is frail, perishable,
unique among the billions.
If You Don’t See
If you don’t feel, the images,
indeed are lifeless, flat,
trite and meaningless,
if you don’t feel, the woods,
the hills, the curious clouds,
have nothing in them,
as we as minds are nothing
with nothing in them.
But why condemn? Our species
is not the be all and end all.
The crows go to
and fro, overhead,
over the valleys of my heart
the soft curving green slopes,
over the ash and lime,
over the obvious, miraculous.
If we could be beautiful, we
would look like this, original
nature, strange like
the skin of your hand,
but flowing, singing, shining:
straight fact, Being, shared,
with its own rarity, nobility,
a darkness if you don’t see.
Then, I love these things
more than people, not
alongside people, more
than the species, not even
as one of the many species,
and there is my guilt.
Since I prefer the wind,
the wave-washed silence,
the mist-filled valley east,
the burning skyline west,
more than all cities, more
than the greatest art, more
than whatever will be next,
(but with no wish for the wild
rather wishing it untouched,
space where no one goes, no
one, and I included) prefer
the many-times cultivated
the green hills of this home,
the cared for and the tended,
where in its crevices the wild
lingers, is therefore pristine,
the single flower as pure at
the source as the wilderness.
Then I prefer the dark clear
stretches of my Self, a vision
deep as the smoking dome
of sky, fierce with the sole
dignity of this mind alone,
my fault-line there, my error.
If this is the last, then let us love on to the last,
and express the sense of things, the immanence,
without condemnation of whoever lost the way.
If this is the place we end, let it be perfect ending,
a human ending, not in the magnificence of dark
inhuman nature, or the complacency of happiness,
since in our way we are happy, happy to have seen,
to have been, to have felt the fire, and though we
could not be one of the ones who are so adjusted
they only have to breathe with the flow to conquer,
we were one with the light that struggles at dawn
to cross the grass and settle at length on the walls.
We could be stone in the flow, or reed in the water,
be something blindly poking through ice and snow,
one last leaf on the stem, a ragged bird on the briar.
And if this is the last then let us live on to the last,
be still the alien species never quite at home here,
and be content at the last, in our primal discontent.
Cattle And Sheep
Sheep and cattle
in green fields
standing or lying
stare you straight in the eye
cough and consider
old walls cold, the evening wind.
Standing in waves of grass
the old walls shelter
insects, mice, birds;
a stonechat bobs,
in the eye of the mind
the sun lowers.
Stone after stone fallen
grey limestone, millions
of years from shore,
makes pale walls
makes angled edges.
Cattle and sheep
snort and bow
to eat the grasses,
the scattered flowers,
Riding The Falling Wave
It is hard to understand, I know,
but it is the nothingness
All the electric past that clings
to the mind, temporarily
assuaged, the pain
quivering there, the sadness,
anything extraneous you
wish to shed,
that hollow ache at the centre
that never leaves you,
that alien feeling
of never having belonged
to this world, to this
Earth, that’s fine.
It is the knowledge that below
the forms, all is one,
the same flicker and flow,
like the flicker and flow of the gulls
over the fresh-mown fields.
It is the feeling that what will never
return (the exact joy or shame,
the irritation, endless, with self)
will fold itself away, become empty,
as time past is empty as time
future, you are here and now
and nowhere else. It is the feeling
that nothing can touch
the memory of the joy or of the pain.
It is the knowing we can go whenever
we choose, though deciding
not to choose, that
is freedom. Nothing of this is real,
the real is within, oscillating,
a skein of self in a swirl of process,
and the sadness matters, and the pain
but only in the freedom,
the forms we cherish
because we are of that nature, this nature,
the whole madness of intent
born to the intentionless,
which is therefore empty: the purposeless
is empty, we are full,
of the making and recalling,
a madness of chasing, longing, Odysseus
the hero, always getting back
or getting on, sleek and cunning
but not like us, trembling with doubt,
riding the falling wave,
learning to love a bright emptiness.
Earth went by
in the black light,
in our eyes
and was gone
falling among stars
into and under stars.
Earth we gave away,
too wild for us,
a planet unmeant
for us, and no design.
Earth melted blue
into the far reaches,
known the contours
vanishing, with us,
into the far spaces
Earth we lost,
Earth we cared for
so little, so much,
we found it hard
to feel the true delight,
to find the hurt, to say.
Earth the unique place
of our beginning,
forlorn, forgone, forever,
over all horizons
beyond our living sun.
And all in the mind, the light
aquamarine, sapphire blue,
wind in the mountains pure
again this year, eyes still clear
nothing has changed, world
as intentionless, oh, is solid,
or as fragile as a thought, is
beautiful as a certain thought,
that wards off doubt, or fear,
Cerinthus, every fear,
and may last our time,
and a little longer, wind
in the distant trees, soft rain,
the mountain’s voice
the quiet, singing.
The bird of being and of light
flew towards us through the night:
stirred the dark leaves moved the breeze
sighed with our uncertainties,
the universe without intent,
and bright exquisite accident.
Memory And Dream
If you come looking for me you will only
find me in solitude and silence, in a green
basin of light with its wildflower breakers.
Are we tired yet of the dark dependencies,
fit for the mindless integrities of nature,
at eye-level here, seen from the sunken lane,
wildflowers dancing in fields, yellow and white,
white and yellow, and calming the human eye,
till you’d wish to stay here in the heart forever?
In the sadness and the longing without purpose
there is peculiar beauty, neither the mind
nor the Self exist, but only their process.
Still here is the house of the interpreter,
like sea-light the waves of the ocean grasses,
never lonely in memory or in dream.
Between The Rivers
No we don’t understand the beauty
of inhuman nature, why to us
the stream is lovely, or why
light on the granite quivers
or, with the poplar leaves, shakes
a glitter at formless dark.
The beauty in us, that is, where things
are not quite things, nor words
or names, but heart’s confusion
and memories trying to be;
and a longing for lasting sweetness;
and the deep love of existence.
No we don’t know why certain places
are not places in the mind but around
the mind, as the river goes round
the island, the wind about the tree.
Here are my rivers, the Wye, the Dove:
the one cannot rest, the other answer.
After The Dream
When all this slips away it will slip
past mind and out, will easily
sift back to the fields and valleys,
just as the wide paleolithic waters
carved here and subsided, easily.
It will disappear like the meteor
leaving only its atoms, stubborn
remainders, be nothing of empire
or republic, be rather the patience
the process, and beyond the human.
The poet can only then be leaf or star:
Puck dismissed with Oberon, Titania,
into the shadows, all of the mischief
with the dream. We need it seems
to understand the richness, brevity.
Since if we understood we would
never accept the world we created,
the one that builds over the flowers
and streams, decaying, corrupting.
We would have reclaimed whatever
expressed the beauty we feel in mind,
(denied the monster), realised that we
were its sole source, ours the freedom
to deny reality, create the real, flow
backwards, forwards through the mass,
until it breathes fire, leavened by fire,
all violence done with, compassion here,
that has no equivalent in inhuman nature,
but is the creature’s home and excellence,
this pity for universe, transience, ourselves.
And if the mind after death were only a dreaming,
pale mountains formed of the ghosts of living things,
like the Himalayan limestones, of shoals of creatures
and lost seas, Siva’s dance, a birth and death of stars.
All the elements, all the bits of life, out of their life
and death, the flare of stars, where Icarus silent soars
among the suns, beyond the sun finding other suns,
his father’s art. In the moment of his fall he feels free.
Too vast all this, too complex, intricate, too layered
to comprehend, all the bright climes, oceans, galaxies.
A beauty beyond beauty, this beauty of the non-human,
because our ghosts have touched here, and passed by.
For the moon blew through me,
and the wind caressed me,
and all meaning left me,
in the blue of evening.
In the wind of evening
where all meaning vanished
though the light caressed me
and the moon above me.
For the wind blew through me,
and the moon caressed me,
and I lost my heart at evening
past all hope of redemption.
Perhaps we will be more tender here,
among the stars. Quieter like the stones,
the trees, the bones of the creatures
light under their veils of earth.
There is no secret more gentle than
the flowers, the wildflowers down
their fields, rivers and stars of our
long-loved long-abandoned planet.
There is nothing more tender than
this green sanctuary. These cliffs
darkening the shrine of self,
the sweet waters of the mind.
Perhaps we can be more as we tried
to dream among the stars, bright
fragments of something beyond
the need to haunt and question.
Make peace with ourselves here,
eschew the violence once, and for
all, admire and cherish the beauty,
that comes out of us and flows on.
Perhaps we can be the flicker of light
caught in the coils of the stream,
and the animal joy again, wild
with the universal wildness.
The Mountain Sang
Let us go, on the hidden paths of quiet survival,
reverence for the quiet while the noise subsides,
let us love the wild types of randomness, muted
emotion, in the unknowable non-human regions.
There rights flow from values in the democracy
of feeling; sadness, love, not anger, at being frail
vessels among the stars. We will no longer be
lost spirits, Blake’s sprites mildewing the corn.
Yes all poetry is an elegy for life, yes the world
waits silently, without watching, as we pass by,
yes you are not mine (and let none be possessed),
but I called you so because you are here in me.
So let bright constellations rise, float and fall,
in stillness of night absorb encircling light
watch the mystery, be yourself: no matter
what world believes, the mountain sang for you.
Sweet In The Tree
Sweet in the tree and in the stones,
the secret places, like Proust’s flow
of inscrutable memories invoked
by blind fragments of existence,
until the coil of the silver stream,
the shadow of the little wood,
the walks we take, the dazzle
of the senses give us an entry,
somehow, dazed, confused
to life itself, or rather what hovers
in us between the mind and real,
partaking slightly of both,
but in itself neither, in itself
a glint, a gleam of the flower
of a face, of the human thus
the inhuman, wildly both,
and bitter too, and only sweet
not in the given but created,
alive by how much we grant
it life, and valued by how much
we award it value, in a universe
meaningless therefore to us tiny
so contained in an insect’s wing
or the puerile glitter on water,
yet sweet in its non-intent,
so sweet in a tree or stone,
in a lichen-green rib of bark,
or the brittle bed of an ocean.
Preparing For The Journey
We too in our desire for freedom and time
will fail to stem the tide that carries away
all the strange and delicate fellow creatures,
all these familiar to us, alien to alien, forms.
We too, by proxy, will set fire to the grasses,
decimate trees, foul the blue, sour the green,
carve a machine road through our existence
and in our billions decry the life outside us.
It is in the nature of the unintended to fail
to foresee the consequence of its accidence.
It is in our nature to survive and kill the light
that grants survival, to despise the darkness,
fill it with tiny lights that fail to dispel,
scar the earth and be incapable always
of regaining the heights of our own past,
whether gone ages, or drowned memories.
How could we ever imagine we might control
a reality that is so much inside and beyond us
that we cannot even see the shape of the self,
can do little except ride our feelings’ current?
How could we ever place our trust in others
too like ourselves, intellects weak as ours,
or try to direct what has only ever seemed
to drive the ages of mind, not be driven,
an out-folding of chance, cast of the crystal,
the way a cloud formed, or the sand blew,
a something ebbing and flowing, near, far,
a coming-to-being for us, a drawing-away?
We would need to have learnt a whole new
vision, far from religion, and trite morality,
a vision of living values, a way to recapture
the first of the freedoms in our early world.
Then only, we might come to that first planet
with reverence in our bodies, care in minds,
as the ship sinks down through strange gravity
to light like a dubious insect on the flower.
We might step again into the golden grasses,
by the bright lake-shore where we all began,
free at last of our gods and demons, ready
to conceive a way of being in this universe.
Out Of The Noise
Out of the noise of humankind
shift to the universe behind,
name it, it escapes your names,
like time devours itself in flames.
Here’s the city, a closing door
on wilderness we can’t endure,
though saved by silent lakes and trees,
an unknown flower, the alien seas.
See, with the heart, the burning flow,
that place we seldom dare to go,
into the movement of the real,
the vital leaf, the forms we steal,
the insect curled, the waving line,
the complex structures of the mind,
water like hair, clouds that foam,
slow cascades, a light-streaked dome,
spiralling storm or wind-blown rill,
rotating galaxies bright and still.
Nature twines and coils and sings
in great as in little things.
When we are all equal in abilities
(I mean in the age of the machines)
what price competition? Creativity,
on the other hand, will set us free,
since experience, and serendipity,
the basis of deep art, both combine
with form in the true creative mind,
and the age of replication will be
strangely the age of the individual,
while we will depute the collective,
and mechanical, to the horde process,
out of which streams the identical.
The rare in us, when all will be the best,
will be the personal, the queerly blessed,
the unicorn realised, the unique verse
nothing in us knew or could rehearse.
Dances Of The Hare
Under Orion, the Bear, Andromeda
the hare lies deep under the grass,
who used to dance and box above,
on moonlit nights, in the pure glow.
So many hares, in the refuge of stars,
under the black grass in the sweet dark,
dancing my mind away, flickering mad
leaving serpentine trails over the field.
The fragile collar bones lie there, down
under the limestone soil, out of the air,
their fallen brightness, and they are
neither content nor discontented, no
shadow of substance nor living shadow,
but pockets of what was life, ores, reefs
of the living, lives no longer stressed,
no longer hunted, keepers of the night.
And my whole mind seeps down silent
into the ground, then resurrected there,
rises again like the falcon flashing
into the quiet air, counterthrusting death.
Chasing The Nightingale
Ghosts in September air, of worlds, of seas,
of moon and meaning, mind and mystery,
are no more than ghosts of you, and I it seems
a mere echo of other selves I might have been,
that now moves substance-less as the breeze,
through the dark cadence of September trees,
round these high skies, the silhouettes of time
in which you lurk, the frame in which you mime
across the hours and years: if I think of you
I think of a friendship deeper now than love,
a love deeper than friendship, they are two
aspects of that lost brightness drowned above
in levels of grey cloud, long shafts of light
the bringers of a sweetness before the night,
where the bird sings, where the silence falls,
and something of us out of the quiet calls,
each to each. Ours is the purpose and not
this universe determines our existence
but inner fire that through us cries desire,
the universe that through us comes to be,
chasing the nightingale. We the finite,
that must forever exhaust the infinite,
that in our loving art a purpose finds.
Intention lives in mind: we are the minds.
Nothing Else At All
And then for me every moment everything was at stake,
life was at stake, as it is for the flickering creatures
only here in mind, the mind at stake and its meaning.
Like Leonardo heightening the flow, deepening shadow,
sharpening the mountains, softening the tender face,
drawing hair, and leaves, and watery tendrils brighter,
nothing was art, all life. The life embedded so darkly
in the art the two are seamless. As the creature blends
into its native background, though awkward in the light.
Or else what should we do here, simply be others?
For me the precipice was real, the void we walk on,
the substance of the bird, feather and claw was real,
and everything at stake, nothing handed down untried,
nothing unquestioned, everything un-believed, until
freedom was staked, liberty of the heart and intellect,
so that love, truth, beauty where all is at stake transcend
the living, the idea exceeds the living, vivifies the dead,
in a place where we bring ourselves, nothing else at all.
Passing by limestone wall, my shadow
darkens a green hollow,
a space in the stones, a crevice
a cleft, masking the light,
to intercept, with a movement of self,
the fall of brightness
into its carved intricate shape
which like a cave for the imagination
of a child to fill,
is solid absence, a continuity between
long-before-me, and present-after,
part of the real, and cradled here.
How real am I? Process at least, of mind,
a dark more complex still
with memories, with knowledge, and desires,
sweeter to us, true, and all to me,
yet more transient than this hole in nature,
more ghostlike still
than this stone cell that will survive me.
As I go by, its heart re-fires, light sinks
again inside, deep to its core,
the green mossed contour full of seed
and twigs, fragments of world,
outlasting my darkness passing.
I like the privacy of the expressionless
mind, inner thought, selves that never
betray their feelings, the unexaggerated
opposite of the drama, whatever keeps
its counsel, the soundless courtyard,
above it a mute glittering star-filled sky.
I like those with everything to say who
say nothing, who lack the desire to solve
a single issue, or if they have stay dumb.
I like the contemplation of a bare horizon,
the way the infinite reaches, purposeless,
out beyond mind, lacking mind, existent,
free of authority, purpose, or possession.
I like still tongues, quiet reflective faces,
the hard to read, the thoughts we cannot know.
Nostalgia for gone things is always
a vision of some paradise,
whatever it is we longed for,
lost love, lost Earth, a dream
of how it might have been to live
in another time with other aspirations.
Nostalgia always that desire for home,
where the lover waits forever
for us with all our failings,
always that ache of transience,
the craving to have the moment stay
so fierce we fail to live it as it passes.
Here is our place beyond the sun,
the orbit where sad children run,
dreaming pale Jupiter and Mars.
They are within, the billion stars,
like roses glittering on the stem,
they die in us, as we die in them.
The Quiet House
In the quiet house,
its four walls open,
to the mind inside
without you, in the silence
of intricate thought,
is itself quiet,
seems an in-expectant waiting,
that waits for nothing
more, that is, than the quiet,
of a quiet mind thinking.
In the sudden hush after
the movement of return,
the mind intensely still,
you present like an echo,
a soundless repetition
in space free of the human
the empty space of being,
existing for no purpose:
to be without someone
forever is like no other parting,
absence meeting yearning
that finds no resolution.
In the quiet house
the image of my fancy
rotates in inner brightness:
it is calm, it is lovely,
like the rose on the stem,
fusing air and sunlight,
in mirror of my seeing,
is resonance of knowing
though gone beyond all knowing,
into another silence,
out of the quiet house.
The Silence Of A Planet
The silence of a planet
that lacks our history
is never the silence
of our human places,
only its own un-aging silence.
No Orion hangs in space,
dark galaxies, gas-clouds,
in jewelled omnipresence
to end the age of iron.
Here the new dawn caught us,
fleeing through the aeons,
to this place where no
bones lie under turf
or granite, where no life was
until we grounded, here.
No gulls cry in the stillness
over these bright waters,
its treeless horizons
glitter with sleepless licence.
The silence of this planet
is the silence before life
not the sound, after dying,
of Earth, or our sighing,
under other stars.
In the eye there is no one there.
In the shadow there is no one there.
In the drop of rain and in the cloud
there is no one there.
In the lightning there is nothing there.
In the mind there is nothing there.
In the gust of wind and in the night
there is nothing there.
You can’t know that. Too many
things, you can’t know that.
Who in the future if a future
might read a line and think
you can’t know that.
Passing whatever on. You
can’t know that. And when,
in what slice of landscape,
by what light, into what
kind of eyes. You can’t know that.
Index Of First Lines
- We must go,
- A dance from which to make
- White mountain songs,
- Between the dream of order
- After years of practice
- It is the ridiculous
- What came to mind
- Under a silver moon
- Those individual birds,
- Mist over black bamboo
- In a house of humming pine,
- Here in the empty house
- It is bright, is what it is,
- We were closer to the light
- Saying less is saying more.
- The hole in your head with the darkness inside
- Fern valley lies deep
- Chill mouth
- Landscape is light
- The gentle heart
- Silent, let the planet speak,
- Not founding cities in time,
- They look at their moons rising.
- Where inside your mind,
- You must say what you believe,
- All these animals were people.
- There they live in peace, and dream,
- To stop describing and to look,
- On the mountain top
- Milk light of night, the light
- All these strange lives
- There are the distant moments,
- Through the white mist of stars
- Over the golden fields
- The body is phantom flesh,
- Down the quiet of the English lane
- Blue, is the spring flower.
- Their fragile civilisation holds its breath.
- Snow falls, Being falls.
- What is it you love beside the world,
- Their space that was not exactly happiness,
- Reverence for the creatures, have reverence
- Here the order of the trees is made a chaos,
- The sky reveals the Dharma, shows the Tao.
- Why a universe rather than nothing?
- Dry leaves in winter air, a mind-like dance of birds.
- Some love the trace, the trail,
- Form, fact and affection, freedom
- In the wild reaches of the furthest places
- Those who love the landscape without people
- No we’re not programmed for eternity.
- As for the perfect calm, the silence is ‘not yet’.
- Nothing is alone in the universe.
- There is the older, ancient, deeper England,
- Truly this is nothing,
- In his green cave of light
- Traveller in the womb of night,
- It is in a solitude of ice and fields
- ‘To learn the self is to forget
- Whispers of every day, tremors of meaning
- A world of power moves to its monoculture.
- ‘No merit at all’, said Bodhidharma.
- The child hugs everything to its heart,
- A death in art is not the true death,
- Beneath the waves, pure silver shoals
- Below bright galaxies you move,
- A line of five planets before dawn
- It’s not that the robots once there
- Tired of post-something-or-other ironic laughter,
- The little triangular patch of wooded ground
- What he encapsulated was hers too, yet not hers.
- Instead of a darkness without existence, a silence
- How beautifully at night you prove,
- Slow clouds that move in tune with my slow thought.
- Red sunlight at evening on far glass
- There is no trace of Adonais there,
- There is the music of that silvery-grey
- Who knows what I am least of all myself.
- The multitudinous life of wild nature,
- So much is in the heart, every
- Even far out the lie is heavy, the truth
- The sea-green wind shivers her masque of water.
- The weary body as such, that somehow weaves
- Compassion is unbounded.
- That soft bright blue under the bridge,
- No longer incarnate in the flesh,
- In the green mountain light
- Here where the twin suns shine we are still the same,
- You walk where the ancient people walked,
- The moon rose,
- The bright-eyed creature on the wall,
- They too have lived in a mist but there’s
- I’ll leave you a trace: to be
- They spent many centuries
- They thought they had achieved
- Don’t seize the day now, Postumus, Postumus,
- They conceive of themselves
- Out of the many selves time forges one,
- Ambiguity is of poetry’s essence. Not
- Here is nature in the silence
- Why should the sun’s anger
- No one was witness to our drowning,
- Only your values matter, not the rest,
- Nothing in nature lies between us,
- After the catastrophe, with Earth gone
- I took a path that climbed and climbed,
- Sharing the guilt for the innocents,
- Deep down the real the red fox goes,
- Don’t be precious in your speech,
- It will take
- It dances on the eye of light the mind.
- On their planet, the mind turned inside-out,
- The emerald water, purple waves, move
- It is so delicate the sense of self in precession
- Entangled wave-forms pass and flow,
- Long slopes of idle grasses.
- You can look in yourself for your Self,
- Why should I lie down with the violence
- Let even the skeleton like a tiny lizard
- Now we are leaving, the planet seems
- I went walking in the dandelion fields at dawn.
- In the contrast is the beauty:
- No I don’t need to know what they were doing
- And ask of poetry what you ask of life,
- The ancient people lie down in their graves
- It is heard by the diver bird and the wren,
- Sometimes you cannot feel yourself,
- I imagine them passing through the long grasses,
- You must understand the bravery of art
- The ocean stirs with a blinding brightness,
- A heron beats down-river, sharp keel in the air.
- We treasure those who are like us but unlike us.
- Why care so much whether we survive or no,
- If the angel was the extreme of everything
- See how they went soft through the grasses.
- This moment now never
- Eventually I begin to see the history
- Sparks from the branches,
- The wildflower and the wild hare.
- Past the future which does not look too sure
- Seagull shines through the fog, breaks into sun,
- We found it hard to let go
- The snow on hills
- The track I remember passed,
- Explain then, if we were not
- If you don’t feel, the images,
- Then, I love these things
- If this is the last, then let us love on to the last,
- Sheep and cattle
- It is hard to understand, I know,
- Earth went by
- And all in the mind, the light
- The bird of being and of light
- If you come looking for me you will only
- No we don’t understand the beauty
- When all this slips away it will slip
- And if the mind after death were only a dreaming,
- For the moon blew through me,
- Perhaps we will be more tender here,
- Let us go, on the hidden paths of quiet survival,
- Sweet in the tree and in the stones,
- We too in our desire for freedom and time
- Out of the noise of humankind
- When we are all equal in abilities
- Under Orion, the Bear, Andromeda
- Ghosts in September air, of worlds, of seas,
- And then for me every moment everything was at stake,
- Passing by limestone wall, my shadow
- I like the privacy of the expressionless
- Nostalgia for gone things is always
- Here is our place beyond the sun,
- In the quiet house,
- The silence of a planet
- In the eye there is no one there.
- You can’t know that. Too many