birth

frail, lovely body.
born to hold and be held.
to roam like water, out across
a landscape, so large.

to find that spacious, breathing place.
to melt and merge into that soft, quiet, receptive patch of earth
beneath your blistered feet.
to sit still, dreaming, in the sweet, fertile soil.

at last, to set your heart on fire.
to give birth to all your pain.
to give birth to all your love.

2018

the dreaming

I sigh, and plead with hoped-for allies,
for tools, knowledge, skills,
for wit, charm, poise;

for passion;

for some unique quality and confidence and persuasiveness
of voice or regard or movement or thought or turn of phrase;

for humility;

all this to honour the deep-felt call
to channel the surging waters of the dreaming
out across the overworld,
out into all life, the still and the moving,
out into the hearts and minds of the vast hive of humanity
with such a clear voice
that they might see me…
… for my dreams are the deepest me I’ve found;

and that, in seeing me,
they might also see something new
of their own depth,
of a shared story…
… for I know that the dreaming is more than a perplexing self-portrait,
I know that the collective births the individual – not the opposite –
and that the dreaming is its voice;

however, though I clamber for these things…

in my clearer moments,
often when exhaustion, like an ocean,
has smoothed the shards of broken self
and I am a humming truce of all the perfect, warring elements;

I cease to believe
that what I seek is what I need,
that what I need can be sought;

I see that the dreaming needs,
and will allow,
no translation;

I see that my task is only to release my grip
and allow the dreaming to burn wild within me,
in the movement of the day,
as it does in the stillness of the night,
and to speak for itself.

2018

the network

the network denies one’s need for darkness.

for closed eyes.

for the guidance of other senses.

or for simply handing oneself over to the swelling current.

2019

sometimes

sometimes
you deserve more
than pithy observations and optimistic poeticisms from prize-winning authors or mental health warriors.
more than the everyday tropes about stigma
about wilful ignorance
about big pharma and natural remedies
about the evils of the social order
about how to sleep and eat and breathe and move and be grateful.

sometimes
you deserve acknowledgement
that your suffering is, right now, invulnerable to all that.
that your suffering is seen for the tragedy that it is.
that I see you there, on your knees, burning
subsumed by an infinite desert, collapsing in around you
shrinking to a solid point in the middle of you
and swelling into a vicious inner Cosmos
black and cold and timeless, invisible to the outside world
an infinite plane of impossibility
a wicked, wicked place
unreceptive to persuasion, deaf to poetry, blind to beauty, numb to love.

sometimes
you deserve to know
that your struggle is not yet another thing you are wrong about.
that you resist your pain for exactly the reason that any animal withdraws from a knife blade held against its neck.
that you have to contend with the tormenting awareness that this unavoidable recoiling might well embolden the forces that constrain you.
and while shame and self-blame sweeps across you for this
you deserve to know
that I do not blame you for one second
and I will never ask you to believe that while I hide behind pretty aphorisms that suggest the opposite.
and you deserve to know that when I do so, inadvertently, I am wrong, and you have every right to call me out.

sometimes
you deserve to know
that the average person, wise and lyrical as they may be
does not think twice about drugging a headache
or bandaging a wound
or applying ointment to a rash
or moaning about their terrible flu
or caffeinating their way into the day
or swearing at a loved one over a petty indiscretion.
they have no right ever to shame your attempts at finding healing from without.

you are trapped in one of nature’s most sadistic games.
it is not your fault.
I have been somewhere similar, I might be there right now.
I can paint a vague picture with my words, but I do not know Your pain.
I do not have a solution.
my heart bleeds for you.

sometimes
you deserve to know
that you are allowed to hate the Universe.
that when I see the outline of your pain, through the frosted glass of duality,
I hate the Universe
and I love you.

(A note to the poets: I do not intend for a moment to shame your work. It is beautiful and powerful and you deserve to feel proud of it. I am simply trying to approach compassion and awareness in a way that I feel receives too little airtime. I believe the audience for whom this piece will be meaningful are in more pressing need of a depth of validation than the audience whose ideas or feelings may be challenged by it.)

2019

a love that lets go

I want to be a viscous liquid, golden honey. I want to be poured from jug to jug, one galaxy to the next, to shed my cocoon for another, then another.

Life’s not about being unshielded, infinitely unencumbered. It’s about having a choice of cocoon, of wise elder. Being wrapped up tight in a love that will let you go when you are ready to move on.

2018

the edge

I don’t know
if flames are rising anew
or if the dark furnace
has only been uprooted
to an unfamiliar corner of my desire.

I don’t know
if my eyes are open
or if the musculature of my face
only casts new shadows
with age.

I don’t know
if I am becoming the raw edge between the river and the rocks
or if I remain stuck in the drama of one or the other
flowing too little
or too much.

circa 2017

circles

flat universe.
you run circles around self.
you etch my names in the deep soil,
where I am.
without you,
without the firey shadows you cast in my language,
and the clock I cannot ignore:
only then,
would we be truly lost.

Peru, 2015

beacon

mountains golden green cast out
and breathe their wordless song
into a once eternal silence.

humble beacon
to all ground yet to raise
its breathless voice
to the dark, its timeless cry,
to the dark, its sacred heart,
to the dark.

listen. listen.

Peru, 2015

held

tips of bruised fingers
sink like trees
deep and harsh
into the strange, heavy earth
of temples cracked and bleeding
towards the Sun.

Peru, 2015

gentle

the gentle hand
needs nothing
but rest
and rest
it will find
in private
Never-touched
waters.

Peru, 2015