THIS YEAR

This year
mixes spring and summer here,
a sharp wind chasing baking heat.
Hawthorn hangs like snow in clusters
with gorse and last year’s bracken at its feet,
turning the whole cliff into an in-between season.

Beyond the hills
lie great fields of daffodils
balancing organic gold against a leaden sky.
These the farmers grow
instead of food.
This they are paid to do
to keep abundance low
and prices high.

Below the cliff at Tregantle
another kind of fruit appears at low tide;
mines sown half a century ago,
relics of an earlier generation’s
resistance to invasion.
Someone has been blowing them up
with great enthusiasm.
At each explosion,
the gulls and jackdaws scream and fret
(and, having screamed, forget).

But I remember.

These bombs were planted
in your father’s time and mine,
as they struggled to survive
a rising tide which, win or lose,
derailed their lives
and shadowed ours
with clouds that have retreated
to a new horizon (but will not go away).

.

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SERPENTS

The Serpents dance hypnotically
filling the Void with Thought.
And in their game of wish-fulfilment
the Sons of Man are caught.

Slaves to the Dream Creations,
enflamed by its Hot Desires,
craving ever-new sensations,
singed by the Ancient Fires,
they sink
from brightness into embers
from cinders into dust,
with which they fashion ever new surrenders
for their never cooling Lust.

In their high empyrean mansions,
the Masters watch
and pass down from Perfect Peace –
living, trans-sangsaric ladders
for the burning souls’ release.

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DO AS YOU WOULD BE DONE

Ethics is the highest science,
concerning itself with survival,
not merely knowall.

A man without Ethics,
ever thinking
never seeing,
is already drowning;
ever sinking
ever lower
in his diminishing 
sea of being.

.

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APRIL

April was hot and dry.
The red earth responded
by blowing as dust in the wind.
The green earth responded
by smothering itself with flowers of a thousand colours.

The Water Board responded
by banning hosepipes
and promising to charge more
for redistributing the rain
(if it comes).

Butterflies appeared early.
A full moon hung above the ocean like a portent.
A comet lit up the north-western skies for two weeks.

And
in truth
absolutely nothing
happened.

Shadows
slid across
the shining screen.

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SQUARING THE CIRCLE

How glad I am
that I am here
and not somewhere else.

(If I were
somewhere else,
I’d be here.)

No escape, then!

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SUNSET

Over and over, you and I
sift the contents of our mind
and try to find
the people we think we might have been.

Try as we will, behind
the painted curtain,
one thing is certain;
Nothing is ever seen.

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THE PAINTED VEIL

Millions of bubbles; bubbles, bubbles. Bubbles.
Who could have thought
so small
would be curse of all,
and source of all
our troubles?

Microscopic seeds
encasing nuclei of fire.

Each germinates and breeds
subtle filaments of desire.
Desire slides in and overpowers,
making our best intentions fail.

It weaves the painted veil
which shrouds this world,
this world, which is not ours.

Lift it?
It proliferates with every minute.

See it?
Our eyes are trapped within it.

The world?
The world’s a vast and empty machine.
Thunders on.
Blunders on.
Silent and unseen.

(from GNOMONIC VERSES)

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