WHERE ARE YOU NOW?

It was different in the past.
Especially in the village.

Before you could read
Before there were newspapers
Before there was radio
Before there were telephones
Before there were films
Before there was TV
Before there were computers
Before there were smartphones
Before there was the endless whispering
of global gossip,

You lived mostly where you were:
on the street
in the room
at the market
in the church
in the inn
in the fields.

You lived mostly where you were,
suffered face to face with yourself
and your neighbours.

As you grew older, your Past lengthened
and you began to live in it
with that diminishing group of friends
who lived there too.

Things are different today.
No matter where, untidily,
you park your body
or put it on auto-walk
auto-eat, auto-read, auto-talk,
auto-computer, auto-TV,
you are usually meandering
the surfaces of the earth
or plundering
the mists of cyber-space
and the mysteries
of Imagination’s Daughters,
Past, Present and Future.

Your suffering enshrouds you like the veil
in a premature womb-tomb;
and any way you look at this you fail!

“Hey, hey, hey! Mrs Robinson?
Hey, hey, hey!”

 hey, hey!”

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RIGHT VIEW

In the Jungle of the World
and the Tangle of the Senses
we build us huts of mud and heartache
and make (and mend) our fragile fences.

‘This is me! That is mine!’
is the burden of our song.
We cannot see, still less define
that pain and sorrow prove us wrong.

This is not mine, this is not me,
is the beginning of our sanity.
Letting go of what does not concern us
leaves that alone which, meddled with, will burn us.

The Law is mirror-like in its precision
and its simplicity needs no revision;
that Good breeds Good
and Evil has its price;
that Virtue is its own reward.
And so is Vice.

That all things pass away,
from butterflies to stars,
and though the World’s a prison
it’s the Mind that makes the bars.

.

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FORK IN THE ROAD

When you throw yourself
down from the top of high mountains,
the Earth does not take you
into her arms
and comfort you.

When you kneel
and kiss the ground,
the Earth does not praise
your humility.

It is for this reason
that she is called
‘The Great Mother’.

Every moment
is a fork in the road.
And every fork is always the same:
the choice between right and wrong.

The wrong is always
arrogating to oneself
things which do not belong
to oneself.

The right is always
following the Light

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ASHRAM MELODY

The best way of enough is all gone,
for that there is no argument upon.

While there is still something in the dish
there is, in Mind, propensity to wish.

Wishing is a film that spreads itself like jam
and turns the dullest pebble to a fragment of “I AM”.

.

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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.

.

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CHRIST SAID

Christ said:“Give it all away
and follow Me.”
They even say
that’s what he said
and praise it,
get their children spiritually fed
(and then erase it.)

“If the spirit calls you, Go!”
they say,
and, as you’re on your way,
“Hey!
It’s only a metaphor you know!
Come back!
Let’s talk some more.
You’ll have to pack.
But come back.
And shut the door.”

The door, yes, door,
any door on any floor
in any city anywhere.
Go out now.
It doesn’t matter how you look.
Go now.
Put down the book
slip quickly out.
Ignore the shout,
don’t look back.

Still there.

.

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LISTEN

What is that sound?
Like the trailing of a fan
through a silent anteroom?

It is the murmur of air
ruffling leaves.

It is the herald of the whirlwind
which will strip those leaves from their trees
and wrench the trees from the hillside
and blast the soil from the rocks beneath,
leaving the skeleton of the earth
to bleach and crumble.

And what is that sound?
Like a cascade of pearls
on a silver salver?

It is the rushing of the waterfall
in the Italian garden.
It presages the tempest and the raging ocean
which smashes earth’s boundaries
and drives the rivers back up to their sources,
drowning and destroying everything that lives on air.

And what is that sound?
Like the crackle of dry twigs
under the heavy boots of soldiers?
It is the fire in the hearth,
logs spitting, blue and yellow flame dancing
under the granite lintel.

It is the messenger of the Sun
which will rage and burn the planet
to a cloud of incandescent interstellar dust
for the winds of space to disperse forever.

And what is that sound?
High and plaintive
behind the polished nursery door?

It is the crying of a two-day-old baby.
It tells of the heavy tramp of armies
across the continents of the world
marching to the rhythms
of dark gods
bringing the destruction of cities
and the extinguishing of civilisations.

It is the sound of an empty skull
there in the desert,
abandoned by dog and raven,
dry and bleached and splitting along its seams,
home to gusts of wind
and the occasional locust.

These are the sounds
of the end of human endeavour,
the end pages of books,
the silence which silences the symphony.

When the gums shrivel and decay,
the teeth are cracked and broken
and there is to be found no place where the smile
or its shadow has ever been;
no echo of long ago laughter.

This is the sound of eternity.

.

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