TREE OF KNOWLEDGE

EGO’s been on his perch
in the old Knowledge Tree
for more than a million years
and, through the power of its corrupted fruit,
has eased its way into millions of human minds,
filling them and their bodies
and everything else
with millions and millions
of tears.

After this long and fruitless search
for something that doesn’t exist
push him off his perch.

Deprived of the drunken separatism,
that keeps him in his place,
he simply evaporates.

Is it good to discover and feel
old Ego has never
been for real?

My task
(and yours)
is
(and always has been)
to get rid of you and me
to get rid of us and them
to get rid of was and will be
to get rid of should and should not
to get rid of might and might not
is
(and always has been)
to wake up
from the dream of our identities
and find ourselves
Here
where we are always seen
Now
where we have always been.

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TWIGHLIGHT OF THE GODS

The Gods are interlopers all.
They collect like a crust
on the cooling radiance
of the Centre.

Their time being up, they fall
as fall they must,
evaporating in the shining radiance
of the Centre.

The Gods are historical figures.
Outside of History,
they have no existence.

First there was Being,
then Becoming for Becoming’s sake.

Becoming was a bit of a mistake!

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TEMPUS MUTAT

People differ in awareness of Time.
Brazilian Indians have no word for tomorrow.

Time is the measure of things
moving through space.
Where there is nothing moving,
not even thoughts,
there is no awareness of Time.

When a dog sees you after a gap of years,
he does not remember you.
He re-cognises you immediately.

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TRAVEL LIGHT

The Mouse
that scuttles down the bank
across the bricks
and back again,
carries no wallet
and all its baggage
is in the simplicity
of its brain.

The Bird that slides
across the wind
has left its briefcase
in a former life,
together with its house
its mortgage
(and its wife).

The Beetle with antlers like a stag’s
needs no loan,
pays no tax
and lives inside its bone.

Only Man
has spread his thought
far and wide;
is caught in its pulsating web,
and, grasping every thread,
is trapped inside.

.

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JUDGE NOT, THAT YE BE NOT JUDGED

Long Wig up on his High Chair
stares at Long Hair standing there
below him in the dock.
‘I cannot deviate from the Law,’
he says, glancing at the clock.
‘This is my decision.
Six months without remission.
Oh, and yes, with hard labour.’

‘Decision’ ‘Remission’ ‘Hard Labour’
rang the echoes round the court
as each man turned to scrutinise his neighbour.

The Judge retired.
To dinners with people of the better sort.
To bottles and bottles of vintage port.
To a Knighthood and, well, to cut it short,
to the Daily Telegraph.
On a day when, to his great surprise,
he saw his own obituary spread out before his eyes.
‘Someone,’ he said, ‘has done this for a laugh!’
intending to berate the Daily Telegraph.

The phone he found he could not lift
Arms and legs he could not shift.
Eyes stayed fixed within their sockets.
Hands were clenched within his pockets.

The world went spinning through empty space
as Long Wig sank to a dark, dark place.

Yama, enormous, long-haired and grim
turned his all-seeing eye on him.
‘I cannot deviate from the Law.
This is my decision.
Six hundred years without remission.
Oh, and yes, with hard labour.’

.

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HOW MANY ANGELS CAN STAND ON THE POINT OF A PIN

Although the Two Worlds
are so intimately linked,
how is it that they are
completely distinct?

See!
A ten-ton elephant
and a thousand soldiers
reflected in a single mirror!

Why doesn’t the glass shatter
under the weight of such an elephant?
Why does not the frame splinter
beneath the boots of such an army?

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TREMATON CASTLE

The great Bailey wall
keeps the outside out.

Inside, the silence settles
like sediment in a pool.

But there are sounds
that do not disturb the dust
and images
that bend no light waves.
A timeless, parallel world
littered with the jetsam of Time.

In the Keep
upon its mound,
orphans of Nothing
can be found
in its empty, castellated,
stonework crown.

In the Gatehouse, it is 1363.
The Black Prince
stares into the Court Room fire
remembering Poitiers and Jean de France.

Below, through the portcullis,
white doves wheel silently,
watched by two buzzards
in the ilex tree.

Among crumbling walls and doorways
and archers’ windows,
broken images of a millennium
jostle and tumble;
a pack of cards from Alice in Wonderland,
blown and jumbled
like autumn leaves
in clashing winds.

The dogs chase, tirelessly,
ever renewed and changing scents
of badger, fox, vole and rat;
then stop and quiver.
There, by the dark shadows of the Sally Gate,
Sir Richard Grenville meets his fate.
And a housemaid hangs herself
for allowing new life to take root in her.

Who is it all for,
this agitation of mind and hand,
this accumulation of stones
and dismemberment of the works of man?
Who are the inheritors
that stand as witnesses to all this?

One old man.
And two dogs.

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IF WE ARE ONE

If my heart and your heart are one and the same
then my smiling at you will make you smile,
and love will breed love, and anger tame,
and all will be peaceful in a short while.

If we are one, there can be no hate,
no jealousy, accusations or blame.
Gone and forgotten all negative states,
if my heart and your heart are one and the same.

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STOPPING THE MIND

If stopping were easy,
a thought beam
properly directed
would thread silently
through atom after atom
and bring the entire universe
to a standstill.
An empty mirror
reflected in itself.

If stopping were difficult,
the spider mind would jumble on,
piling thought on thought,
trapped in its own web;
the threads spreading out in all directions,
the atoms like so many jostling beads
dancing and tangling in ever clashing patterns,
keeping the entire universe
in eternally pulsating chaos.
A many-headed monster
glaring at its own reflections.

Not easy.
Not difficult.
A judicious response
to the Problem of Pain.
A letting go
of all phenomena.

Again.

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NO EXIT

Journeying from the beginning
(of which there is no beginning),
travelling for millions of years
(which cannot be measured in millions or years),
I have come,
and go on.
No stopping.
Just the onward movement
into the illimitable.
For ever.

No need to blame the wicked,
their shadows are at their heels.
No need to fear for the good,
haloes of light enclose them in splendour.
No need to talk of escape.
Escape from this prison
is a doorway into the prison yard
and back again.

This prison is moving
and all-encompassing.
There is nothing outside it
to be escaped into.
There is no escape from.
There is only stopping.
Where there is stopping, how can there be movement?
If there is no movement, how could there be a prison?

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