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every morning i wake, i wake
surprised. that life appears
again with each
opening of these eyes.
that eyes arise
with opening of each day.
that when both close, all i’s
fall away.

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a Christmas passing

 

driving

 

a Christmas passing

travelling home on Christmas Day
full hearts and bellies straining
bush teeming on either side
of this glistening snake of humanity
from the front seat a few sighs
and then the benevolent curtain of rain parts
to let Great Uncle Tommy pass
through

 

 

*On Christmas Day last year my great Uncle Tommy passed away whilst driving home after a day spent celebrating with family and friends. This poem was first published on Justin Lowe’s excellent site, Bluepepper.

 

 

 

Flowers

flowers2
I  have had a new poem, Flowers, published in Deep Water Literary Journal. You can read it below, or go to Deep Water and enjoy some of their truly wonderful poetry, fiction, and art.

The journal publishes “works which engage with the psychological and physical aspects of the darker side of the human condition.”

Please take a look, and perhaps consider submitting something yourself.

 

Flowers

Flowers, swaddled
like the babies you keep
losing, are a meagre offering to place upon
the altar of your abysmal grief;

their dilated eyes
and flaring heads
are sucked
into that cruel void.

I can feel
your pain’s gravity distorting
everything I dare approach with.

The hospital a monolith
to suffering, our suffering —
but how could a mere building
contain such suffering?
What kind of feeble bastion
against the unbearable black seed
that grows inside is this?

Standing, bereft, in the stark car park,
hungry for a shred of grace to ease my heart,
the only suggestion of God I find:
a flickering light; the aroma
of rain; electricity
quickening the air.

Rapture

walking-in-rain-gray
I have had a new poem, Rapture, published in Deep Water Literary Journal.

This fabulous new journal seeks to "become a haven for those who write about 
and produce artworks interpreting Darkness, whatever that may mean to the 
creator of the work". 

Their first issue for the year is themed 'Loss' - it contains some 
fantastic artwork, fiction, and poems. You can read mine below, or at 
Deep Water here.

Rapture

Looking through clear eyes
of imminent death, time
is a ponderous fruit,
hanging heavy and swollen
with possibility
in her pendulous swinging basket.

Globular and over-ripe
she blooms with all the days
you will not see,
a still life of
fecundity squandered,
without witness, unconsumed.

God, to take just one more
bite, and this time really savour
the sweet juices running
down the face
and the fingers sticky
and tingling with
the messiness of it all –

would be a rapture.
But, no matter:
we must carry on without her,

disentwining from this world
despite the drive to cling and cling and
aching from the amputated
limb of our projections, we are roused
by wise compulsion to accept
life has been spent,
and we must move on, relentlessly

on, without choice leaving
all those little things unsaid,
and undone,
without choice shedding
the slithery skin that houses us,
but locks us in, and further
our very sense of selves
must fall in cascades of disguise,
unravelling us for – the chill surprise!
of running naked, out into the rain.

Pray

birds1

Birds of prey
fly their victims
live into the eye-blue sky

with intent

to drop them, split them, kill them
and then feed upon them.

I long
to be that prey;
desire
to be sundered –

(like the sacrificial lamb, the turtle and the russet crab).

I
want my heart
to crack and scatter
its gems on the hard grey stone.

I
want my guts
to burst and spread
their filth on the grassy slopes.

I
want my brain
to splinter and pierce
you with its obsidian shards.

For
I
pray
to be a feast
of truth you will devour.

Was T. S. Eliot a Buddhist? by Michele Seminara

My essay, ‘Was T. S. Eliot a Buddhist?’ has been re-published in the wonderful Blue Hour Magazine. Please take a look, and while you’re there consider submitting something yourself – the editors, Susie and Moriah, are the loveliest around.

The Blue Hour

And the end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time.

T. S. Eliot – Four Quartets

Several years ago I taught a Buddhist class on the profound subject of emptiness, and I used this quote to illustrate what I felt was our true goal in life  – to consciously return home.

Not home in the sense of an external place, but as an internal place of perfect inner peace and connectedness – a state which Buddhists enticingly call the union of bliss and emptiness.

Bliss refers to our most subtle and clear-seeing level of mind, an intoxicating place existing deep down beneath the turbulence of our conceptions.

Emptiness is a little trickier. Essentially it is the theory of how things don’t exist – that is, they are empty of existing independently, either from all other phenomena, or from the minds that…

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