2008/11/20

When is a poem?

If a circle is not closed, what is it?
What is roundness when it is irregular?

There is always a gap between what we see and what we can describe.

Composing is wrestling what I hear onto paper –
with a similar gap. And into it flood my demons,
the voices that tell me I'm no good:
that the attempt to communicate is hopeless:
that what I write is, in any case, irrelevant.
In essence, that I'm a nowhere man,
making nowhere songs for nobody.

My creative powers are thus like a millimetric sperm
swimming on the world's egg, looking for an opening –
both aware that for fertilisation a loss of self-possession is required.
The intimacy of the process matched only by its impersonality.

My mission, which I chose to accept before I had any idea how hard it was to be,
to bring a certain vibration of spirit into the world,
a spiritual hum /om if you like – whose defining quality
lies in its unique apropriety to its environment and time.

Each room has a sympathetic resonant frequency.
Sounding the space requires that we identify it
and then glory cascades from the ceiling,
the walls disappear and we are in faery land.
So it is with humanity.
On hearing the right note we become our true selves,
and the barriers to all our possibilities disappear.
(Oh dear, how much the Judaeo-Christian concept of sin has to answer for!)

The challenge in each moment to Be Here Now –
when we would rather be anywherelse:
the past: the future: with someonelse:
anywhere but Here. Now.
And into this solitary unaloness we cram
the radio. the ipod, the committee meeting,
shopping – you name it.
Anything to be a busy body.
It's like living next to a spring
but drinking only bottled water.

The only thing that makes sense of life's chaos
is if we allow its spiritual harmonic to emerge
and attune to that note, realising its chord in our lives.
To find the sweet spot where everything makes sense,
and all our possible dreams come true in living reality
we need to study exactly where we are now.
The freeze frame - one 25th of a second.
There! That's it. Now I am truly present.

The challenge: can we unfreeze that frame
and live in the present 1500 times a minute,
90,000 times an hour?
Of course not. It doesnt work like that:
we have to take the dynamic of motion for granted,
allowing key frames to inform us
and trusting the bits in between.

Yet as an orchestra must tune to a common A,
so we must find our note by listening both
to human and spirit beings, detecting
the common note with sharpness of ear
if we are to play our single gong stroke
right in the world's gamelan.

Intunity is the perpetual now.
Now is a perpetual intunity.

And this, this circularity, is it a poem?
If it is not, what is it?

2008/11/06

Freedom

Everywherelse I express myself conditionally, tailoring my utterances to the consciousness of my audience. Here alone I can express the fullness of my heart, my wild love of the being whose reality we tame with the word God. If there are gifts [charisma] then this is the greatest gift of all. This is the pearl without price. I am always looking for ways to bring this feeling into the world, and my recent sense of frustration is that my efforts seem to have borne so little fruit.

In my own mind a perfect harmony exists between the concept of a divine parent and the birth of hir child into time & space to be a catalyst within the art-work that is created matter. And moreover that then s/he would leave behind a constant echo, a wavelength suspended like mist in a valley, to whose vibration people could then attune. That seems to me such a beautiful & precious idea.

I see no conflict between the grace offered by this Christian concept of the supreme creator's engagement with hir creation, and the vedantic idea of the archetypes of religious experience lying on a spectrum between Vishnu, the imaginative perception of an ethical spirituality, and Shiva, the appetite-driven celebration of the cyclical life-force discernible throuout nature. These seem to me an accurate metaphor for the territory.

In all of this I see the activities of a loving parent who watches from a distance at hir children's maturation, and who know that true adulthood can only emerge if they have the freedom to make their own mistakes. I discern someone who longs to say 'please ask me – involve me in your life – call on my experience to guide you.'

This gives me confidence in my own humble offerings. My job, as I see it, is simply to set down what my inner consciousness shows me. It pleases me when people find personal meaning in what I create, and therein I feel a privilege to be part Christ's constant rebirth in the world – offering people spiritualy context, a way of orienting their lives, recalibrating their psychic gyroscopes.

As a young person I had the scarring experience of finding that composing what came naturally to me was meaningless to those around me. I was thus given an aversion-therapy where the more I produced my own music, the less it meant to anyonelse. I therefore retreated into producing what was guaranteed acceptance – for to me freedom meant a black hole of emptiness.

But part of my journey since 1991 has been to find how to reconcile the inner bleakness of autonomous creativity with the richness I experience spiritually. As to what is forming within me, I know little until it appears.

2008/11/05

Song: Forgive & Forget


When you first start to walk the road, when you first start to roam,
you have no destination and no way home;
but as time and chance occur to each man,
so soon you develop some kind of a plan.
And as you grow wiser, and as you grow old,
you find time's a great healer, and so as you live
tho you cannot forget you may learn to forgive.

The hedges in autumn have a russety glow,
and the hedges in spring can be covered in snow;
but the hedges in summer are buried in rime,
for that is the season of rosemary & thyme –
and so make your hay in the good summertime,
for time's a great healer, and so as you live
tho you cannot forget you may learn to forgive.

So come you my dauters and take you good note,
you'll ne'er tell a man by the cut of his coat.
You must try them and test them, sure nothing's too hard,
for it's only by that means you see past their fa├žade.
And maybe you'll love them, and maybe you won't;
but time's a great healer, and so as you live
tho you cannot forget you may learn to forgive.

2008/11/03

Angels

I make it hard for you, don’t I?
Headstrong, impetuous, ego-led!
How can you wrap your loving
wings are such as me?

And yet it is from you that I
crave protection from
my folly, crave to know
the beings who inform you.

I do not welcome crises –
save for one reason only –
the times of greatest stress
are times of greatest grace.

Just as birds delight us
in the physical world –
so your tribes and types surround us
metaphysically –

each with its natural song.
Instead of flashing wings of
iridescent colour,
we are visited by sudden acts of kindness,

moments of dazzling love,
synchronicity,
cooperation – soul-food
abundant everywhere.

”But fear closes the windows
of the heart throu which
we enter to delight you,
even in troubling times.

“Breathe in and affirm:
‘Every change I welcome
makes me more the being
my birth prepared me for.’”

Holy, loving, wholly-
loving emanations
of the cosmic psyche,
tell us the age-old message

again in modern terms.
Visit our mortal weakness
with your angel-song of
constancy and service.

Let its bubbling melody
open and lift our ears
to the plane of simple truth,
the natural evolution

where we become who we
truly are, spirit-born
offspring of a knowing,
known, unknowable parent.

Bidden or unbidden,
recognise your angels’
wing beat, accept protection
for your openness.