OLD WOUNDS

The landscape itself
is cracked and pitted.
Quarries gouged out of the rock face.
Concrete jungles
where forests grew.
A million species drowned
by hydro-electric schemes.
Roman grain bowls
becoming the Sahara desert.

And the figures
that pass through this landscape,
four-footed, two, or none
with scar of tooth and claw
of virus, germ and epidemic.
With facsimiles of torture, rape and death
stored in a kaleidoscopic heap
beneath the not-entirely-undisturbed
surface of the mind.

Forgive and forget, says Prospero.
“Vengeance is Mine,” saith the Lord,
“I will repay.”
“Shantih, shantih, shantih,”
sings the Upanishad.
“There is this one way…”
begins the Blessed One.

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UP TO DATE AND READY TO GO

It may not be the bearded man
who smiles at you and explodes.
It may not be the errant tyre
that slides on the icy roads.
It may not be the scaffolding plank
that bounces on your head.
It may not be pneumonia
that smothers you in bed.
It may not be the fever
that creeps through blood and vein.
Or the quiet worm in the sole of your foot
that climbs up to your brain.

It may be that the breath leaks out
in a mist of expiring pain
and nothing can make it turn about
and slide back in again.

Ready?

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ORPHEUS IN EXTREMIS

He turned his back on the graveyard
and with the sad songs
he had taken down
into the stiff clay of the underworld
like root-fingers
still singing in his ears,
walked towards the future.

Before him floated
her death mask,
warmed by the pale fire
of yesterday’s desire.

Fire cools
and the image
faded to a fine gauze.
The gauze dissolved into sunlight
and was gone.

The fountain of his music
dried up
into silence.

He saw nothingness before him.
He heard echoes
of empty space
all around him.
He could not sing his songs alone.

He doubted
and, at the great iron gates
of the Villa Rosa,
stopped
and turned.

Instantly,
the shadow behind him
was swallowed up
in the haze.

The weight
and burden of his body
struggled with the weight
and burden of his mind
as he stared back into the evening.
Then, his purpose lost, he meandered
back along a stream of being
towards that quiet
and uncommunicative grave.

Beyond the Villa gates,
by the fountain, in the garden of Proserpine,
the late afternoon shadows
touched the girl.
She stretched her sun-warmed limbs
and woke from her reverie,
the fragments falling from her
as she reached out to restrain them
with the fingers of her mind.

She looked around
and, finding herself alone,
sighed,
and, with a smile of forgetfulness,
rose and walked
with quickening steps
towards the sounds of evening
beckoning
from the town.

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PUBLIC NOTICE

YOU ARE NOW ENTERING SILOM ROAD
THE POLLUTION LEVEL IS VERY HIGH

The terracotta pavement is lined
with pradhu trees,
the symbol of the Navy,
hung with orchids (wooden bananas).

Outside a shop called “Modern Optical”
with its reflecting rows
of à la mode spectacles
is a line of large Chinese fish bowls
in which live (and will die)
three-foot high pudtan trees.

On these pots, sit five of the very poor,
hunching together as penguins do,
to keep the outside out.
One is grey with age,
two play old wooden instruments discordantly,
a girl sings;
the harmony is in the poverty.
Each has a tin labelled “Donations”.
No eyes are visible in half open sockets.
For they are blind.
They touch to make a living human chain
so that the fragile world they share
does not disintegrate.
A sharp-eyed woman,
with eyes for all five,
assists (or exploits)
their helplessness.

When the owner of Modern Optical
comes out to speak
and wave his hands,
she leads them away
to the market to find a new pitch.
Each holds onto the one in front
like a medieval European dance
of Dies Irae.

“What were they playing?”

The music of human misery.

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PARABLE OF THE TALENTS

What are these talents?
Nuggets of consciousness.

How to make good use of them?
Bring consciousness to where you are.

Allow yourself to be a vehicle
for Divine Consciousness.
Allow the Divine to see through you.
Give it your eyes
to see its creation
at work and play.

Thus do you acknowledge and accept
and become its eyes
and, if needed, give it your mouth
and your hands
to illumine the darkness of those
who live in unconsciousness.

He who buried his nugget in the earth
embalmed his consciousness
within this mortal frame
and called it
“my body”;
called the shard of consciousness
“my mind”.

When the time of reckoning came,
this man’s talent went back to its source
and “own body” returned to the dust.

Those who invested the gift
of Divine Consciousness
in its own creation
became one with Divine Consciousness.

They did not look back at their bodies
returning to feed
the Terrestrial Compost Heap
in voluntary dissolution.

For unto every one that hath shall be given,
and he shall have abundance:
but from him that hath not
shall be taken away even that which he hath.

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GETTYSBURG REVISITED

Abraham Lincoln,
may his name be blessed,
has risen from his place of rest
fearing that America is sinking
beneath the weight of Third World Debt
and the moral obligation to prevent the precious oil
from falling into the hands of the Ungodly.

“Fellow AMERICANS!
Hear the Word of the Lord!
Eleven score and seventeen years ago,
our fathers brought forth
upon this continent a new nation:
conceived in liberty, and dedicated
to the proposition
that all men are created equal.

Do not allow the world
to interfere with your electoral campaigns
when you come to elect a new President.
But be fair!
Do not interfere with the their electoral campaigns
when they come to elect their Leaders
in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria.
Respect cultural differences.

If you would have your elections respected,
then you must show respect.
They should respect your casting of votes
and your ballot box.

Lead by example.

You must respect their casting of bombs.
Remember!
Of the people
by the people
for the people!

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DREAM THEATRE

This world is a theatre
of broken dreams.
Everything IS
but is not
what it seems.

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PARADISE LOST (AND REGAINED?)

In the Beginning.
God walked with Adam in the cool of the day.
Despite hearing the Truth from God’s own mouth,
Adam did not heed Him.

Later,
God sent prophets to be his tongues.
Despite hearing the Truth from God’s own prophets,
Adam’s descendants did not heed them.
They imprisoned, stoned or ignored many.

Now,
in this New Age,
God has chosen living men
to be His eyes and ears and not His tongue.
Their task is to perceive,
accurately and without prejudice,
all that happens,
Here.

What they see is transmitted
to God’s Control Room,
which is beyond our understanding.

Reward and Punishment
is now swift and unerring.

Now,
what we see and experience
Here,
in our world,
is entirely appropriate
to what
we are doing
Here,
in our world,
and deserve.

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FREEDOM TO OR FREEDOM FROM?

Power aims
at Freedom To;
finds itself
on a collision course
with all the other Freedoms To
that inhabit gods and men and beast;
storm and drought and pestilence;
sickness, old age and death.

Wisdom aims
for Freedom From
discovers that all the competing Freedom To’s
struggle within the stadium of life
and win and lose and win and lose
and lose at last at the gates
of old age and death.
Discovers that he who enters not
the arena of the breath
suffers no loss and dies no death.

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GENGHIS KHAN

Often the excessively
meek and mild
are those who tried aggressively
to conquer the known world
and failed.

They are now preparing
for the replay
by posing as underdogs.

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