(Dust for the Human DustBeen)

The photographer has discovered
to change the Present into the Past
just as fast
as he can.

So that his facsimiles can replace
the Present of the next man’s

Both the photographer
and the next man
waste the treasure
of the absence of time,
by trying to rush backwards
to the Past
in search of the vanished Present
where they had been marked
as Absent,
and then race forward
into the thought-created Future
for some more.



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In St Peter’s graveyard
the bones have labels.

The labels are incised in marble or slate.
The coming together of the bones is recorded.
(God breathed on those bones.)
The dislocation of the bones is recorded.
(God stopped breathing.)
The length of time in between
is calculated to the nearest year.
(This is called the age of “someone”.)

It is suggested that,
in many cases,
“someone” has been buried
with his bones.
(And that his label liveth for evermore.)

is a kind of caretaker
(or bonekeeper.)



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God sees with the same eye
you see with, says Meister Eckhart.

Do you live your life,
Or does Life live through you?

Do you breathe
to stay alive,
or does the Life-breath
breathe you?

Life lives and blossoms
through Nature
and thus Nature can heal itself.

Man tries to live his life
and opens wounds
that even Nature
struggles to heal.

Who lives man’s life
and is it any more than
what we have come to call the Ego?

Is Ego any more than a bundle
of thoughts and feelings
spawned by an insatiable quest for more?

A pinpoint of Desire,
smaller than a globule of blood,
that has flooded into an ocean
of craving and passion,
which parches the tongues
of those who drink from it.

When you say “my life”,
who is I and what is this life?
Is “I and my life” any more
than an intruder
that slipped in between the sheets?

A tapeworm fitting snugly
between your food and you?

When I ask you how you are,
your tapeworm answers,

He has been answering on your behalf
for so long that you take him for
your true abiding Self.

See him for the interloper that he is.
Let him slide out
as long ago
his proglottid of eggs slid in,
unnoticed and unremarked.

The ego slides in
between your divine eye and what you see
like the rose-tinted lens
between your fleshy eye
and your world.



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There’s a lot to be said for a balanced world
stable and well-fenced-in,
that plays early that prays late
and industriously fills the within.

This world’s a strange place to find one another
with alien flesh labelled father and mother.
Flesh is just dust
in a clearing of air.

And air?
A flicker of light-waves out there.
Yet the masses still form
and the movements take place.
Two faces stare blankly back from the glass,
that of a mind and that of a mask.

So let us watch shapes,
shapes and their lovers,
praise them and give them their due
and beg them, discreetly, to let us in too.

There is no molecule but strives to be the  whole
(or if it can’t encompass that, a soul).
They slide together each to each
like spider crabs to scavenge a whole beach
and sucking each its tremor from the rest
contrive to make their own illusion best;
so each to each binds close behind their targes.

Swa priketh hem nature in hir corages.


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Which tree?
Which dragon?

A coffin is a dismembered, sawn up tree,
undoubtedly dead.
The dragon inside could be you or me
a winding sheet from heel to head.
Buried alive, unable to get out,
I can’t think we’d have much to sing about.

Merlin was trapped within
a druidic oak by Vivien
and is there still.
Yet there’s no evidence
that he’s a dragon or that he sings.
Though Vivien both danced and sang
in a triumphant frenzy
at the surrender of his will.

dragons lived in mountain caves
with their spoils;
breathing fire
at would-be despoilers.

In India we meet
the dragon of Kundalini
with eyes,
a metaphorical conceit
for the powerfully wise,
gnostic visionaries who realise
that, ‘I am ME!’

Third eye opened to Eternal SEE.
(But still, within the Sangsara,
not completely free).

Timor mortis conturbat me.

Not grasping after the Four.
Relinquishing the Five.
Whether for half an hour,
while still alive,
or, giving it all back free
for all the rest of vast eternity;
– the silent singing is still heard,
a living language that does not need a word.



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Spirit is the substance of Happiness.
It cannot be perceived by Mind or Body.
It infuses them
when there are no fences facing.


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Their leaves of grass* emerge and fade;
with windblown rustling tongues converse.
The grove has grown throughout the universe,
spreads everywhere its pleasant living shade;
creating north south east and west
(the fierce, unending struggle to be best);
relentlessly growing.
The variety is unimaginable,
the sameness unknowing
and unknowable.

The grove is all its roots and culms and leaves,
yet every leaf contains the whole,
every living thing that breathes
and all its universes, as well.
All things are perfect
in their subatomic details
and reach out blindly to direct
networks of rhyzomes and roots 
carrying new, all different, identical shoots
to every part of infinite space
until the chain of being fails.

And every leaf has a human face,
and every culm is a human heart.

At the end of a kalpa,
the grove gathers its energy
in an explosion of mass flowering;
an outward showering
of fruit and seed.
The clones wither and die,
the culms dry
and disintegrate
and crumble into food
to fulfil the eternal need
as a new regeneration germinates
and the whole grove reincarnates.

* Bamboos are part of the Poaceae, The Grass Family.

(from BAMBOO LEAVESPoetry in Thailand)


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