Thursday, September 25, 2014

three seasons

what did we start?
a fire blown up
fierce and bright
it burned through the world
left it smouldering
with a buried heat

it was then light as clouds
in a yellow sky
after summer rain has passed
sweet as
the promise of blossoms
rich as the pomegranate
on Menoikeus' tomb

now it is firm as bone
tough as sinew
as elemental
as earth
as old
as time
as simple and certain
as death

each a season of love

from the great fire
are new sprouts
three, growing fast
to young new trees

the rich harvest
and endless bounty
of artless frivolity

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

tuggas girl

she doesn't need
the needle in her hand

an accent
is what shoots up her nose
like a snort of ammonia

cold bus interchange
then walk the citywalk

the skidding black curly haired
translucent ectomorph
with one heel broken off

but on poor shoes
she learnt to balance
long ago

care is
tossed away
like paper on christmas day

tourniquet tinsel
tighten to eat and shit

a husband
of hers
he has well disciplined
(defensive) hands

a fluorescent
yellow jacket
opening a fridge door
in the beer store

untie the knots
left over
after the jackhammer

down the coast
lazily casting lines
hooks and reels in a storm

wash onto the beach
in dying drifts

each one opens
its tiny mouth
as if to sing

walking down the sandy mile
she collects soap bubbles
into a bucket for him

"wuchit thay sting"
she says tenderly

ocean born and delivered
from the string

the purple patterns
every inch
of exposed skin

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

not even ironic

The Ἅγονος of Ἰωάννης (The Agony of John
or, Lines Rediscovered in a Mind Ploughed Cellar)
A lily on papyrus blooms
such as these
 lines in a mind-ploughed cellar

the lie undiscovered
by fools who brush quickly
past a text

we here make almost decipherable
the description of an ancient stillborn:



The first cause : an argument begins
The first division : and the argument is with God
Ergo, the Trinity: and the argument is about God.

there is no gas
 to fame

no odour
 to ardour

like to a drunken bird
flying seems absurd
although its built for it
the wing and air don't fit
now the baby has the pencil
and is endorsing it with dribble
I hope she does not get a splinter
though my hands are full of them; it's winter

when I lived in Venice
I never used my penis
though I heard others use ‘em
when I wasn't sleeping
this in the evening
when into a boat stealing
I lapped the night air ringing
with the maiden's si-si-singing
and lonely contemplating
but *never* masturbating

All things through Him emerged and Eternity is made fertile:
and from this springs Matter, and the Division, and so the Path.

The wild and lonely road
is sometimes skipped, sometimes tiptoed
and though I was a long time on it
my head was always stuck under the bonnet
not picking the fruity trees passed by
as so few ladies held my desperate eye
but there was one, more enterprising
at a youth hostel in Saarbrücken rising
a breakfast, fruit and pumpernickel
was enough to get us amicable
we had a passion on the spot
a nice change from my lonesome grot
and though she later tried to get away
I followed her back home to stay
alas the magic of the breakfast table
despite my hunger was unrepeatable
so back to Saarbrucken swam I
and came upon a Kṛṣṇa swami

(this after a long diversion
when I was a barrista in London
 and later was a tramp or bum
which was a sort of perversion
and somehow got arrested and deported
for sleeping rough without passaporte)

but anyway the Kṛṣṇa man
was from a distant Kṛṣṇa clan
and through him fate directed me
to travel off to Hungary
the road was crazy never straight
and sleeping in a field one night with snakes
I found the answer to my dreams
in balmy moonlit cloud triremes
all floating there in heavns bower
experienced a lifetime in an hour
this was at a place near lake Balaton
and when my food ran out I moved on
the Kṛṣṇas, innocent and wise
yet cleverly operate a disguise
a rural idyll simple on the surface
has more erudite a purpose
the devotee is the good folk there
it is the gurus that bleed despair
I think that any faithful hierarchy
decays soon into oligarchy
for faith cannot be tested really
this is the perpetual query
and as its nice on top pretend
that all is for some higher end
- but let me hop forward to
the next bit as I'm boring you


morning glory
awake and sore

the far flung
folded flannel
 falls over the floor

God and subject contemplate each other as human life emerges
Each appears to the other as beauty, to light the darkness

So where will I now take up the story
my next adventures were in Italy (that's easy)
but what was my purpose in all of this
of course it was Nirvana - Sat Chit Ananda - bliss
but though I had this singleminded aim
I had to get on in the world the same
what challenges face one in this questa?
seeking Nirvana but discovering Siesta
so here we go again in pentameter time
at least as long as I can make it rhyme
my rule is truth but in those last few inches
I was a bit unkind toward the Kṛṣṇas
I turned the earth of that sweet Krisna Völgy
all that summer, took prasad and ghee
a mataji and prabhuji young in love are talking
and me on the muck heap with Gábor forking
or on a cart pulled by two white oxen
and leafing through the Srimad Bagavatan
sitting in the sunflowers, fantasising yonis
smoking wild hemp, eating poppies
I watched the big wild storms build on the lake
then roll over us casting destruction's wake
we bathed the gods in milk, sang and clashed
like eleusinian mysteries the Christians trashed
not that different fundamentally
although fundamentalists would disagree
something lives on in deep memory -
as the love still shown to icons Jesu, Mary
represented so finely in a figurine
Psyche still works her magic doctrine
like one day when explaining to a devotee
I cast a magic spell, a stick got hooked on a tree
hot honey milk and sun illusioned skin
and beans and blinking I was on the road again

But they are unable to touch each other - yet the darkness was not overcome

What was I doing? if only I could find it
not this, not this - I must resolve alone to sit
I was always looking for my mountain
ah, that bliss of looking, it was a fountain
instead I found a nice inviting cave
on hills above the Adriatic - the waves
deep below on that surface wandered
also my thoughts I sat and pondered
the limestone grew hot as time swam about me
shaded by an oak tree life remained a mystery
with just a bowl spoon blanket and my diary
in a cave I wrote verse blank and dreary
spent two weeks in there, read Lear
(had no better friend back then than S'pere)
observed life without colluding in it
counted all the heartbeats in a minute
condensed the mind into a speck of gold
but all to soon eternity felt old
I took to walking on the hills above Trieste
in forest I came upon a ruined terrace
stairs and chambers weedy broken down
the remains of some long abandoned town
then taking up my bag I caught the train
and sailed across the lagoon to Venice came
and there well I have already related one
amusement contemplated not done
and never had two coins to supervise
but just one card to maximise
(money such a satisfying thing
it maintains illusions of fitting in
I'd never doubt myself if I had cash
but all of that might vanish in a flash)
What is the point of all this rhyme?
I wish I could amuse you - one last time

A voice speaks: I, Iohanes am witness to that light (but I am not the light)

dive in, dive in
the illumination might begin
before I turn away
who can say
   or should I leave it?
the air is in the room now - breathe it

The devils are created (though He made the world...)

The depths of loneliness are deep
but friends inhabited my sleep
and Self becomes the greatest friend of all
the comforter the tutor and the call
so ever deeper we must go
till Self becomes the only friend we know
this is no literary trope
there is no literature, I hope
that touches on the Self
as wind that touches smoke..
in Perugia (much later) in a garden
I met a wallflower from Brixton
and that evening on the rooftop bower
she told me that her aunty had been Lennon's lover
and gave a little beetle to prove the lay
so I knew Lennon too in that particular way
but I didn't know what else to say
so it always is with me right to this day

the boat left the harbour with me not on it
alone on the shore oh getonwithit
loneliness stands a moment in the door
then goes inside, is heard from, nevermore

Through the doubts and ignorance of humans, the world does not know him

So in the Academia I went to see
the image of the great St Antony
in a cave like mine he endured an agony
but was adored and had obtained a degree
of enlightenment or whatever it was calling
though now his actions seem to us appalling
inspired I sought perfection it was only that -
oh but for a cup of tea and a cat!
no no perfection was the only thing!
and then I found a boat to sleep in
remember I was tipped out of that dreamin'
by the infanta's nearby screamin'
next day to Rome - there I met my family
and watched a lady touch herself intimately
in the room below ours though a gauze
and quietly clapped my own applause


All the angels are created, except for the children

Summer was now in bloom in me
and everything was nearing acme
but due to some miscalculation
I missed a tenuous bus connection
and again found just a scrubby bed
a patch of earth to lay my head
on a clay hill above the station
(they never rest who seek salvation)
the long evening gown she hauls
a starry smock for out of doors
out of their dark clustered wells
are disinterred galaxies, milk and jewels
gazing upward all that night eclipses
a thousand fiery apocalypses
each inferno flung outward bound
and by a gulf in time unwound
the trinities, dualities
like fruit, or tiny fireflies
but why there is no mystery Hera
was all explained - in India
explained so as to be unfathomable
knowledge is a guess; faith abominable
Justice: prudence, Truth unconscionable
the Creator: clearly unaccountable
so at Arunachala so; just so
where it began 9 moons ago
the course was set  - released the fire
burnt up all the karma - the pyre
on the mountainside was lit
but I have not told you of that yet
the famousesest story of all
was written in a Vedic hall
that culture against adversity
founded a magnificent university
it was the dawn and glory came
or wisdom in another name
the 'universe' she seeds these things
those arts of the awakened beings
the magical library of the sages
collected seeds from many ages
planted for all time the Bodhi tree
and sitting in the shade was me
that juice - that nectar - that I found
in India it rises from the ground
my journey there was stupid; simple
I was as old as my first pimple
and walking by the mountain Stupa
emerged from too irrational a pupa
into a world made contradictory
- and so began my ditchling journey

Children are born through our hopes and dreams, and they know nothing of the blood and desire from which they sprung

Matera where I finally caught that bus
was waiting all laid out for us
just like a dream and as expected rare
as some drunk town planner's dare
and Escher angles taught the streets
the stairs descend in cool heartbeats
blank holes where people used to dwell
carved by thousands into the hill
My plan - to find a cave and, well,
just burn my eyes into the wall
but dusk was drawing - dogs were barking
and getting lost a hostel waiting
I found a friendly bunk and fellows
help to ease the curse of sorrows
an accent not too unfamiliar
heyu ahlle am frum Virginia
bleu perple pink green owrege
on my bunk peeping off the edge
I spy a girl adulterated - real
from where people really talk and feel
and cannot say about the truth
that it might be lacking proof
but dive in plain and rude as breath
unbounded life is merely death
so in the morn I found my cave
(the limestone one, not what I craved
at every step of my adventure
trying to hide a moral dementia)
it was a room above a stair
everything I'd need was there
a place for me to sit
a wall at which to stare
enlightenment would certainly
happen to me there!
ah if only I'd known the irony
with which I'd recount this later
- I soon knew what I was staring at.

And so by a childlike faith, we still believe that we are saved by God's will alone.

later I walked up to the church above the town
and watched a procession in which a huge
cross was borne into the street. Children everywhere.
I had bought some olives and bread and watched
the embrace of an old ritual, their fine clothes, black
in the South Italian sun burning on icons, monks.
Finding the shade of a lone eucalypt I remembered
the familiar hills far away, and told myself
I had just a little left, just a little wine, and a little time.
It will get me all the same, the same end I sought
today is always there. There is no difference if I delay.
It is always today today -
(but what a foolish facile thing to say)