The cord snaps

We stood around the bed,
some listening,
some full of thought.
Another entered.
Greetings filled the space.

Procedures were uppermost
in people’s minds,
or at least that was
what was spoken.
I wanted to honour the moment

of a passing;
but all I could hear
was the sound of ties
snapping, the clicks
of an era ending.

It was as if
the fruit that had fallen to earth
now broke apart
allowing the seeds to find
their fate alone.


The gift in death

The gift in death
is one of ultimate clarity.
All that obsesses us
in our humdrum lives abruptly
and permanently
reduced to extreme simplicity.

We are here, now,
alive, forever united in death –
that crystaline moment
when flesh & spirit separate:
each discrete path
released from its earthly mold.

The physical, visible:
the meta-physical seen only by
the inner eye.
The path that was trodden in life at last
made manifest:
earth-bound or sky-borne in destination.

A time of uniquely
valuable focus, an aquifer
feeding our well-spring,
tears arising from long-dry ducts,
burning to light
deep-buried truth of hopes and fears.

the bleakness is honouring the dead –
each special feeling
bringing us contact with our own truth.
Every heartbeat
proof that the dead are always with us –

birth & death
just marks on an eternal cycle,
weaving together
the seen & unseen worlds, each as
close to other
as blood to its surrounding tissue.


My mother waits in the great ante-chamber

When I kissed my mother for the last time, she was no longer there.
Her hands still waved, as if seeking to drink,
but her mind had already passed over the great river
and was safe on the other side, beyond the power of hurt.

As she has lain, falling slowly towards death, this year
I have found in her the mother I could not find in life.
All that jammed our mutual radar fell away,
and I could experience the love she always meant, but which,
somehow, got so jangled in transmission.

Towards the end we met on equal terms, she
no longer feeling that ancient need to stand her ground,
her insecurities always on display around me;
and I no longer needing to attack, for now she was beyond
anywhere where I could, at last, have made her hear me.

So, finally, we were together.
Just … together, nothing more.
She told me what she wanted at her funeral – had saved,
not pills, but a stash of service-sheets against her end.
And so, finally, I knew her – as she had always known me. Two angels
unable to recognise each other throu their mortal clothing.

In fact my mother was admitted to the sky a couple of hours more or less as I was writing this.

Quaker Meeting

Here in this space I am made welcome.
There is something which allows me
to enter within some greater mind.

It is here that I first learnt –
to detach my consciousness
and trust others to anchor my soul –

to see the ego’s identity
merely as gatekeeper, aggrandising
its role by masking my inner being.

There is something unique about
this goal-less space, where all contribute
yet which no one person leads.

It is a constant affirmation:
that there exists within the human
spirit a profound capacity

for wholeness: that where there is
goodwill there is spontaneous healing
for all the griefs of humankind –

a world made new and green as spring,
suddenly perfect, like virgin snow,
where all is soft & trembling with love.

This is the route to the maze’s heart,
the secret path that avoids dead ends
synchronising death and birth.

It is an everyday miracle,
an always-to-be-discovered oasis
that cannot be made yet which always is.


Intunity, or 'what makes the heart sing' (?)

Like many artists, I am searching for a universal language, a form of expression which may be instinctively perceived by people from a differing cultural background. My consciousness (the author of these words) is engaged as a translator in negotiating meanings between two clients: my inner reality & the outer (poly-cultural) world we all now inhabit. All art is simply the result of how each individual negotiates this maze.

Part of the issue for me, as for anyone, is first to define myself to myself. Few of us are as sure-footed as Mozart! Ive tried many different styles of clothing, both sartorial & musical, but none has exactly met my inner ideal; tho people have responding by finding some more in tune with the image they have of me than others. For me, the synthesis I achieved in Sonnets to Orpheus expressed everything I wanted, but the result apparently spoke to noonelse(!)

As a classical musician, literacy gives access to all the emotional worlds encoded within the historical record of the last 500 years' music. For instance, I adore the heart-felt simplicity of William Byrd. Each musical epoch has a special quality which encodes the 3-dimensional emotional reality of those who actually lived the music. I enjoy equally: entering the claustrophobic paranoia of Shostakovich: the unihibited joie de vivre of Little Richard: the libertas in carcieri (freedom within restraint) of Bach.

Yet now, for the first time in history, all options are open in our polyvalent polycultural world. Yet there is not total freedom, in the sense that the music has to be paid for in one currency or another, and that currency is provided by listener/s. In essence this proposition isn't different from magic or stand-up comedy - both mean little without an audience. They are a unique concordat between actor & engaged observer/s, wherein it is the 'plausibility' of the actor's vibration that initiates the process.

All of us imagine that communication from heart to heart is incredibly simple. And it is when those hearts are attuned. But anyone has only to think of hir own sexual history to be reminded that success is merely the tip of a fairly large iceberg! Evn tho it's magic when it works.

So what attunes hearts? There are many levels at which communication can occur, from the superficial style-tribes of the emerging personalities to the quiet certainties of the resolved heart. And in between, the cash-rich desert of morally-torpid consumerism. Each attracts a different 'elective affinity' based on the consonance or consanguinity of any given actor's heart vibration. This accords with the saying "beware of what you wish for in youth, for in middle age you may well achieve it."

This energy is, if you like, a god energy. In polytheistic cultures you align yourself with a god who expresses /symbolises the energy you desire. Now we are aware that this power is a heart power latent in each of us, and it therefore matters tremendously (tremendsouly!) that we honour this power by 'offering it back' to the dynamic life-force which defines our life trajectory. (See para Each birth is the firing of an arrow) By so doing we align ourselves with our authentic, un-consciously-knowable soul purpose in incarnating. The problem we face today is that the word God has been completely devalued by unmindful usage. The volcanic reality the first Jews were so terrified of conjuring that they refused to utter the name by which they cognised it, JHVH - I AM, has degenerated into a plaster figurine. No wonder people don't put faith in anything like that which they see, quite accurately, as a projection.

However, the reality that concept embodies, defines all that gives us humans our greatest life-force. I therefore think it more useful to discuss the idea of a 'heart matrix' since everyone knows they have a heart, even if they don't think they have a soul, a god, or a life-purpose! The image I have of the heart-matrix is of a bank of heart-buttons which illuminate when pressed signalling the gamut of software connections within our consciousness. Different buttons /lights all wired to different aspects of our psyche: some to positive (wanted) emotions, some to unconscious shadow-realities arousing negative emotions, some to ambition & the outward journey, some to otherness & the inner journey, some to biological needs, some to in/security.

Thus what we respond to in others is their capacity to press our buttons, for better or worse. There seems to be a mechanism in life like 'Indian' Poker (a variant where 4 cards are dealt in common on the table while the 5th card is held by each player in front of hir head, so that everyone knows what everyonelse's card is but not their own!) where we see all the more clearly in others what we fail to see in ourselves!

My observation of life suggests that the more of other people's positive buttons we press the fuller the life we enjoy; perhaps because the heart mechanism makes it hard to reach our own(?) - thus like herd animals we have to stimulate reciprocal behaviour in others to get what we in fact want ourselves. In other words, the most fulfilled people are those with the largest social networks.

So it doesn't take a vast leap of imagination to see that those who are ablest at pressing other people's buttons are likely to be the most illuminated themselves. And what else is intunity but the multivalent synchrony of hearts?

What feedback does that then give me about the music I should write? Well, I've recently been spending a lot of time organising Nadder Music CafĂ© – & for me the payoff that justifies all the hassle is to see a crowd of happy faces. I think the role of musician & magician are essentially synonymous – & therefore in order to 'do' magic you have to find out what (musical) buttons connect other people's shining heart-lights in exactly the same way that you have to find which keys to press as a pianist to generate the music which is the vehicle for that magic.