Posts tagged poet

Love is Life – Leo Tolstoy

“Love is life.

All, everything that I understand,

I understand only because I love.

Everything is, everything exists,

only because I love.

Everything is united by it alone.

Love is God, and to die means that I,

a particle of love, shall return to the general

and eternal source.”

Leo Tolstoy

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Short Order Grilling

Feral freight boxes on the midnight boundary;
Bugles and epaulets sink like sugar in the rain,
Heart beast flutters, roads signs and bullet holes
Pass the time.

Honey is love and the city a concrete hive,
Worker bees low and not humble
But words burn deeper than the Stanley knife tease,
When mixed with vim, a cocktail of forces
In the maverick rows of green bottled minds.

Creations heals a miden of scar tissues and knotted intentions,
Something amiss breeds hope unrequited and delectable;
Acid rain erodes the detritus and coaxes the
Grotesques asphalt to appease the soles.

Honoured ghosts you are beatific in the marble forest creeks,
Speak now for our virtues are brackish and needy,
Our Gods left us diseased on the short order grill
Where all immigrant flesh is broiled
And desensitized and tranquilized.

We are presented as a cripple
Beneath the flashing bulbs of bucolic banality.

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All Tomorrow’s Parties

I
Give me a thick coat to keep out the howling winds;
From those eyes, blood drained hate, mortal rust never
Sleeps alone.

Melancholia knew a boy blindsided,
I’d never seen the needle of death coming,
Skipped misery as a flaw.

How strange that happy words won’t turn the
Dissolving soul.

Young dreams now darker in the corner, bodies revolving
Towards the earth and heavens.

II
The way I remember your bed, may it never change.
In that morning light when I was not grey or tinned.
Potential, in skins; in the darkest blue of night
(the ecstatic fizz)
I still find you shining and fraying, twisted at the summit,
Drowned in concoctions of beauty and sacral liquid.

Step out with me on the feathered roads,
Spreading like nerves endings into the flesh of continents,
Where the winds map our backs and whip our necks into shape;
Dancing hair and minds invoke true love games tied in writhing knots.

Weave blankets over sinning dark rivers of doubt that flush the belly
Of freedom and potential; a familiar seasick feeling en masse.
Driftwood, our damned and splintered edges,
Finds soft lake lands beneath zero, shores of smoothed vermillion stones,
Wear this weariness like fur, easing away to hibernation.

The open road is no place for a closed book.

III
How long has this ghost lived here?
The heroes overseas with their own abstract endings to burden,
Hang on the free-winged as the horizon erupts like angry volcanoes.
The road is dug shallow, we reach for real but feelings soon fade
And muddy.

Excuses for religions blot ages and revolutions topple paper idols
Whilst the culprits lie low with serpentine illness;
Smoking balls of wool, laps lined with golden tweed
And seditious cocktails of hatred.

Never found a hometown, never settle down,
Never laid down rocks or rules, never cared for those odds;

The silhouetted condor picks at stars, tears through constellations,
Across the railroad track and I’m one way headed, no back ward steps.

Toothpicks and broken glass by the lazy stones not expecting
To find a penny in the mire or hands to hold.

IV
Back in our bed, I lay with your wholeness, wrapped up against icy climes;
36 and still young, just tender. Dreaming up names on the crumbling walls
Where rats raid our sleep.

Still nothing done, no words remain, no meaning-less
Than before, no scam that elegant, no ruse unique.
Alcohol still makes me burn and ruminate.

I hear the rain lashing down, renewing Turkish soil and the roses of the garden,
Tearing the dead leaves from the gutters, falling on the wolves of the forest,
Etching natural mandalas across the wilderness plains.

Show it to me again in dawn’s first blush, perfection breaks the hallowed canopies
Of the smoking village elders.

V
Maybe I’ll start wearing hats, take a vow of some sort;
Turn the grist in the internal grind, draw the white line engrained
Too far in timelessness;
Trace these migratory routes over rolls of red tape and wire fences,
To surely witness the making of an angel without crimson needles,
Dripping mania.

You can’t read about Picasso, take one snowflake at a time.

VI
When it’s your time you won’t feel the pain and your father will fall
Silently on one knee. Freedom falls beyond deaths shadows,
Where young hearts forever roam imperious.

Old sun, richer; sweet morning quality of being,
I’m drifting still in melted mind puddle.
No thoughts in my cave, buried alive by mundanity,
This material mutiny must be crushed.

Pictures behind closed eyes tell me more,
First real talk with my inner child, first time I loved there.
There’s fighting to be done, a war at our door,
No peace to be found until the last doubt fades
And the oak groves reclaim this island paradise;

A green revival trickles steady, drawn from the truth seams,
Scrawled jagged, ancestral, blackened minerals of fossilised wisdom.

For upstairs, wild mountain; in all tomorrows parties freedom comes,
In perfumed silence over purple heather clutches,
No one can live right steeped in senses.

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Rips in Something Greater

The Hourglass

A kind of truth daubed and clung, full mind eclipse,
Rips in something greater.

Exotic glimpses into raging symmetry,
A fully conscious blink.

Emptied of immensity and feeling,
Invisible numbers inhabit boundless desires.

Vision unparalleled through the mystic lens,
All wrapped up snugly in the gifts of a cosmic mentor.

Dying Star

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Shelter from the Storm

Rose Valley, Cappadocia, Turkey, 15/11/14

Rose Valley, Cappadocia, Turkey, 15/11/14

My heart is sung out,
But to where does honesty carry
The buoyant caste.

Metallic clouds ring the sky
With grey,
Circle my stilling mind
With a heavy halo.

Lightning strikes the village pond;
Lashing black striation
Of awesome calm and power,
Baby frogs take cover
Beneath the blades of quivering grass.

The fields sway in controlled ways,
The well rehearsed bird song unfolds;
The reason we are reaching out
Only to return to centre.

All things that flip and flow
Off centre,
Balance redressed when gaze
Turns back;
To the source of heart and soul,
The primal clicking of some things
Unseen; some more,
Without cause or measure.

Where once we rested
Naked in the dark,
Small bells tied to our ankles
In a cascading melody of calm.

Drops of storm rain cleanse
The silver mirror,
Slipping on over surfaces; snagged on
Rougher edges,
Lost in the engravings of the
Ceremonial plate.

Cappadocia, Turkey 15/11/14

Cappadocia, Turkey 15/11/14

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‘In the brief dust and light’ – P.B. Shelley

“Man is of soul and body, formed for deeds Of high resolve;

on fancy’s boldest wings.”

“If winter comes, can spring be far behind?”

Here is a very small excerpt taken from the lyrical drama ‘Hellas’ by Shelley, which he dedicated to the Prince Alexander Mavrocordato of Wallachia. This drama is rich in historic imagery, taking influence from a fascinating period in humanities great adventure; when God kings waged wars, blood, wine and romance were thick on the ground; Greek, Persian, Arab and Oriental imagery and characters all merge and mingle on the page.

Shelley is certainly a western seer, a sage with fabulous gifts of insight into the mystic and most of all, a brilliant story teller, renegade poet, political thinker and bizarrely, devout atheist (or someone who opposed organised religion and its norms at the time). Shelley died at the tender age of 29, he led what you could call ‘a full life’ (which seems a distinct underestimation).  He was outrageously talented and fearless, a true free spirit who embraced the burgeoning ‘free love’ movement (which only seemed to influence a handful of poets and artists at the time!)  Shelley attacked monarchy, war, commercial practices and religion whilst championing republicanism, vegetarianism, free love and atheism.

“Rise like Lions after slumber

In unvanquishable number – 

Shake your chains to earth like dew

Which in sleep had fallen on you – 

Ye are many – they are few.”

Every poet of the romantic persuasion should have a bit of Shelley in them.  Its the part that wishes to stay up all night long, lamenting the open, pale moon, sipping wine with Dionysus and making love with Sirens and Faeries.  The hopeless (and ever hopeful) romantic.  We all need a little genuine, joy based debauchery, carefree expressions of exuberance, if in word and image alone.  As Shelley once said ‘the poet is both a Creator and a Destroyer’ surely insinuating that the poet rides the waves of spontaneous creation which rise and fall of their own accord.  This poet wishes only to be with that which speaks through them in formless, uninhibited and timeless love.  Poets feel an unspeakable obligation to transmit the ethereal, the otherwordly, the unimagined beauty of existence via ball point, quill or keyboard.  Like divine spokespeople, they have an essential role in any civilised society and Shelley’s words speak as vibrantly and as intensely as they did all those years ago. He creates great vistas in our minds which cannot be washed away; conjures unknown emotions, challenges and soothes with tenderness and guile.  Shelley wished to be remembered in such a way:

Drive my dead thoughts over the universe

Like withered leaves to quicken a new birth!….

Scatter, as from an unextinguished hearth

Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind!……

Here is a flavour of Hellas, one of the choruses that inspired this post:

Worlds on worlds are rolling ever

From creation to decay,

Like the bubbles of a river,

Sparkling, bursting, borne away.

But they are still immortal

Who, thought birth’s orient 

Portal,

And death’s dark chasm hurrying to

and fro,

Clothe their unceasing flight

In the brief dust and light

Gathered around their chariots as

They go;

New shapes they still may

Weave,

New gods, new laws receive,

Bright or dim are they, as the robes

They last

On Death’s bare ribs had cast. 

This is an incredible passage and is a succinct description of what some would call a very ‘spiritual’ description or insight into our conscious state of being.  There seems some esoteric understanding being exhibited here and it is fascinating to think of what influenced Shelley or his reactions to such reflections.  A form of fertile inspiration and eloquence which is awe inspiring!  They certainly don’t make atheist like they used to!!!!

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Last Words – Theodore Roethke

Sunrise, Thar Desert, India - 26/1/14

Sunrise, Thar Desert, India – 26/1/14

Solace of kisses and cookies and cabbage,
That fine fuming stink of particular kettles,
Muttony tears falling on figured linoleum,
Frigidaires snoring the sleep of plenty,
The psyche writhing and squirming in heavy woolen,
O worm of duty! O spiral knowledge!

Kiss me, kiss me quick, mistress of lost wisdom,
Come out of a cloud, angel with several faces,
Bring me my hat, my umbrella and rubbers,
Enshroud me with Light! O Whirling! O Terrible Love!

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