Posts Tagged reflection
When your parents die
the movie ends.
Now you’re not playing a part.
You can sit back in your chair,
the one with your name on it,
and watch the action played back.
See the part you played.
Sit uncomfortable beside others,
self-conscious as your playing is reviewed.
And the silence closes in about you
as you see your failings
and the quiet of those around falls away
into the distance,
and your life and the stuff that is you
comes into focus.
A real tearjerker is this.
Who wrote this script?
How could, who would, did I?
They were just people.
Life’s timeline compresses.
Your streaming curve cuts across theirs
And streams away to curve back.
You with your guns firing.
Your stupid guns.
We should have talked more.
Because now I don’t see you
By way of a mirror.
Now I can look straight at you.
And I have to hang my head
So what am I really?
Now I’m in the mirror.
You stayed for a while.
I felt you and I heard your thoughts.
Now it’s quieter.
But one day I may
Have to have that talk.
About how we all made mistakes.
Mine feel so much greater
And I wonder where I’ll sit
Between you and my sons.
Warm air rang chilled,
hammer on an anvil.
Church steeple still
in pleasant landscape
stopped to look
at small life given.
Sleepy world glancing
his way for once
and simmering summer
sultry birdsong sang
So little england carried on
and one who came to pass
and had lived their way
no longer had a choice.
The sad thing is that
the only people I’ve harmed
have been those I loved.
It’s all too complicated. I’m tired of complicated.
I want to get up in the morning, attend to those things I need to do in order to exist, with respectful regard to whatever it is that provides those means, and then to go to sleep again.
I want space and time within this simple process that allows me to reflect on its beauty or its ugliness, and to express my responses to those in words and images. To have my quiet say.
And I want to know my place amongst others, and the world around me, and not to have to worry about whether I deserve that place or whether I understand it.
I want my process of existence to contribute to my context simply by virtue of its being.
For my love not to be considered but naturally emergent, and for other’s love to be naturally received, without thinking.
I want to be, and to understand naturally, so that I may move on with greater understanding.
Sitting in bath warm water,
waves lapping up my thighs,
leaning on one hand on the yielding sand,
watching the moon sink into the sea.
The natural world is all that’s real.
The rest is construct and hubris.
Watching that sinking moon
over the turning world,
and the whirling cosmos of a trillion lights,
all ticking step by step in time.
And then it came to be known
amongst all sentience
that the Original Source is me,
and we are the Original Source.
I wear my tears like
a Warrior who weary,
has become gentle.
Humanity has to find a way of massively reducing its per capita use of resources – be that energy, minerals or land – or we actually do face a potential reality of the collapse of modern civilisation. This isn’t hysteria, or the imaginings of a treehugger. It’s simple reality. We have to find a way of living with less impact. And career politicians are not going to achieve this. They can’t, however well intentioned, because our voting systems would not allow them to do what is required. So its down to each of us, across a world of 7.3 billion people, most of whom live in abject poverty. It’s quite a challenge. But the first step has to be for everyone to start to open their eyes and read, and let go of pre conceptions, and political assumptions. The way we live now isn’t the only way. It wouldn’t actually take much to make the adjustments required. More local – work, travel, food etc. – would probably do it.
With proper attention and investment into developing country cities to provide clean energy and vertical farms.
It can be done, but we really need to move now, and even then, it may be too late if certain greenhouse gas release mechanisms have kicked off as a result of existing warming. We can’t tell yet. But we have to assume that there’s still a chance, whilst there might be one.
So many of our great cities are surrounded or permeated by squalid poverty – tin shacks and people shitting in the street where children play. Humans are more than this. What we regard as the lowest forms of mammalian life don’t live like that. Rats.
How have we allowed this to happen thus far? A revolution is required, in people’s aspirations and expectations. And in how we interact. And how our societies, given that hierarchies will emerge, are structured (and they’re not God given things; we make them) to ensure that all of us are at least warm and fed. The rest is frippery and excess luxury. Fine if it isnt made available at the cost of the squalor of others.
This is a poem.
I can say whatever I like.
Poetic licence and all that.
I can say without fear of ridicule
that I am lonely and mystified by life.
The whirlpools of logic and illogic
and unfathomable stupidities.
And the wonders and astonishing things.
Aspects of grand realities
that seem distant and huge.
And I’m allowed to confess that I cry,
often and loudly,
because I’m a two sided coin.
And other things too.
The sense of smallness
that makes me gently humble as I look around.
That sense of contiguity with all that is
that occurs occasionally.
My smallness and my scope.
My all encompassing modest place.
Watching wise if I’m lucky,
defined by my context,
laughing and crying without doing either.
A happy soul is one
that’s learned to let go.
Like a seed from a dandelion head
in a sunny breeze,
that let go
of its anchor point
and turned to face the breeze
and the skimming land below.
To arrive where what is.
All we can see of ourselves,
that tells our tale,
is our hands.
Smooth and then
suddenly not so.
This process of
the compression of one’s life
cannot be seen
by seeing yourself.
That would be to try
to describe your face
without a mirror.
But you can see
the hands that lie there
looking back at you,
and they tell no lies.
Wrinkled a little now,
they represent your life.
Its good and bad
and ultimately tired understanding.
Through that one small window pane
Looking out onto a black garden
On the darkest of nights,
I saw so many children
Running in the sunshine
Made sparkling by hosepipe rain.
And dogs and barbeques.
And the oak tree leaning over
To whisper smiling praise
For the children’s snowman.
And that battered and sun faded deckchair
That never got put away.
And the rose bush that ran wild.
And the garden shed that came to sag sadly.
And that forgotten glass in the flowerbed
That grew pale green with time.
And the memory of you.
Clear as daylight. Sitting there.
And that crumbling vision of a life
That drained away into the earth,
As though it had never been.
I weep for that now,
Seeing it through my mean window pane.
I weep for that in the eternal now.
You achingly dark spangled depth.
How does my mysterious sparking
Of elemental syntheses
Mirror your endless
The qualitative universal components
That make my observations what they are.
So small are my thoughts.
Like splashing drops in an ocean wave
Crashing upon a shore,
Unrelenting in its logic.
I know I’m not supposed to admit this.
It’s neither dignified nor manly.
Because men only think about one thing.
And they’re not allowed to cry.
Pillars of society,
We joyfully join the scrum.
Pretending indifference to the quiet voice.
We have to scorn the quiet voice.
That’s what it is to be a man.
Quiet voice that in quiet moments
Allows us to wonder at the unfurling clouds
And the emerging beauty of spring.
That oh so gentle curve from neck to shoulder
That might simply be beautiful rather than just sexual.
Even that small voice of a child.
Any intuitive interaction
That might be seen to be too gentle
To be masculine.
Women’s preconceptions preclude these sensitivities.
I know. I’ve seen how the bastards always win.
Taunted by thigh and tit and scorned for responding
Unless we’re fancied or are able to be ruthless enough
To ignore another’s value. Like bastards.
However good you are in bed,
Or how large your heart may actually be,
The bastards always win.
And seem welcomed for this.
Even as they pretend to wail,
I scorn those crying women.
Moonlight sonata strokes my soul and makes me weep.
It reduces me to my basics.
I’m left vulnerable and open to the world.
And to the unthinking ways of people.
If you want to break me,
Then do so whilst Beethoven’s
Heart breaks also.
It’ll be easier for you.
If you wonder why you exist,
It’s because life is a fundamental component
Of an inevitably evolving universe.
As fundamental as hydrogen or carbon atoms.
A reflection not of bits but of process.
Of how these and others interact.
And of the evolution of these interactions.
And as this interaction evolves,
It acquires ever evolving conciousness.
If you want to know how to be happy,
Understand this fact.
One life everywhere
So look skyward and see
That one day we’ll blend.
And at that point
The discreet existences we all know
Will come to an end.
As entropy finally converts all matter
To nothing more than understanding
And everything finally stops.
Because there’ll be nothing more to know.
When I look from my window
At people passing by
I wonder how the thing i am is.
I wonder at the things that made me,
That make me sad.
Life is like watching a river pass
And wishing that the bit that passed a while ago,
That I’m sure had more fish in it,
Would pass again.
It’s a river.
That bit has passed.
Now be happy.
Amongst the Autumn tawny leaved trees
With the oily, boiling Danube coursing by each side,
I came across the ruins of a Franciscan church.
Placing my hand on a stone embedded in one ancient wall,
My mind’s eye saw what the monk who built it saw.
Autumn tawny leaves with the Danube boiling by.
Things of real value don’t change.
The rest is ephemeral distraction.
Once I was part of something flat
That lapped upon a shore that resisted.
Then I found myself lifted up
And up and soaring
Over a golden beach and curving trees,
And then I fell forward too fast
And the beach disintegrated across my face.
And now I simply go with the flow,
Up and down this unredeemable beach.
I see you wondering
With eyes fixed on a distant view,
Some place in your own mind.
Seeking a space that makes sense.
I do it too.
Sometimes it seems we think too much.
But there’s more to life than the trivial.
To know this is to be truly human.
So it’s good that you wonder why.
I do it too.
And even if it makes you cry,
Feel yourself growing wise.
One day you’ll gain strength from knowing
That you tried
And found a true perspective inside.
It was always there.
Discovering it was the point of your life.
I choose to wonder why I am.
Seeking some value in me, relative
To the sweeping misted air that wafts
Over gentle hills
Whilst the birds and the other animals
Continue their dispassionate chat,
Being what they are.
But something in the way that I am
Makes this process too complicated.
As the world happens around me,
I ask too many questions.
There are two worlds.
The real and the human.
I think in one
And I exist in the other.
When I die,
I want to understand the difference
Between the roles I played
Within these two domains
And their respective values.
So I finally get to know where I fit.
In the mirror there’s an echo
Of light and of insight.
Something I might become
If I don’t try harder.
Always try harder.
With half an eye
To that place over there
Where you lie in a hammock,
Being fed grapes
By that girl you fell in love with
And never knew.
A man still learning,
And the wiser he becomes
The harder it is to live.
I wanted to see,
And a writer said just be.
But what does that mean?
In my glass bubble
I lie curled watching the world,
Sure I must be safe.
As the swirling whirling world
Flew by my eye
Caught sight of a frozen moment.
Hanging there still in streaming blur,
Eyes wide watching me and asking why.
So I lied and I told him a story.
One that I came to believe.
And now I stand here looking out
Across the windblown moor.
Knowing what went wrong.
So slow life seemed then.
But as life’s integers pass,
Each becomes smaller.
That transformation from potential
To manifest form isn’t easy.
And as life progresses
You’ll know the same experience
Again and again
As you rise and fall and rise again,
Only to be blown to pieces
When you least expect it.
But there is a circularity
That you’re permitted to rely upon.
When you rise, then you will fall.
So when you fall
Then you will rise.
Become wise at
The uppermost point in this sine wave.
Grab the moment and start again.
It’s not about luck or knowledge.
It’s about timing.
Why’s it weak to weep?
To know the reason to laugh.
To round the circle.
I knew a life once that rang true I think.
I know a life now that rings true I think.
I will know a life that’s true when
I know a view that advises me well.
I know a life that’s passing me by
Like a river carrying blossom
That I’ll never see again.
You’re sitting on the shore
Of a glassy lake at dawn,
Surrounded by mountains
With tops hidden in cloud.
Behind you is the house,
With warm orange lights.
Your life glowing mellow
Against the blue dark.
Then a fog sweeps in over cold water,
Silent and ghostly.
And gentle and beguiling.
The sounds of the house fade away
And everything is smothered
In milky uniformity.
You sit alone in a space that has no echoes.
That offers no view.
That offers no perspective.
That’s silent as the grave.
What do you see?
What do you hear?
What do you sense?
You know nothing of where
Or when you are
Bar your memories
And your preconceptions.
So be careful what you hold to be true.
Because when eventually you face
The dispassionate silence,
You will need to know yourself better than you do.
I’m listening to Bach. There are two ways I can listen… one is in a thoughtful way, where I assess the music and consider how it’s affecting me and ponder its complexity.
The other way involves shutting down any form of analysis and stopping thinking all together. Then the music washes over me as though I were lying on a beach, letting waves break over my body. Now the music is an occurrence that blends me with the world and the universe around me. Now the boundary between my skin and everything else becomes less significant. As the vibrations of the music pass through the air and into me, I become part of the same contiguity. Part of the vibrating air. Part of the world around me that’s vibrating with these sounds that evoke in my consciousness, emotional responses and deeper perceptions.
How can a mere vibration through air induce me to tears? There’s something happening that is profound and revealing. Something that hints at the true nature of what I am. I am contiguous with everything else, if I let myself be so. I am capable of becoming part of something so much greater them the self contained package that part of me sees me as.
There is an underlying intelligence in all that is, and I am part of that. This material manifestation that I find myself in is wonderful, but it’s a temporary thing. A necessary lesson. Required in order to understand the vastness of the underlying power. To experience the material is to understand the transcendent that powers it. We live in order to make sense of what is. There are always two aspects to everything. The transcendent cannot be without its material opposite. And to know the transcendent, we need to experience the opposite, the material manifestation. And that is why we are alive.
I’m going to stop wondering.
Stop chasing myself in circles,
After my own tail and coming too near
To disappearing up my own arse.
I’ll never figure it out.
Best just to lay still
And let the storm rage round me,
Hoping to be able to comprehend
When it’s gone quiet.
In a cold chill wind one night,
I wondered what it would be like
To be somewhere balmy,
On a warm wind evening
Where cicadas sang,
And golden leaves gave up the ghost
And finally moved on to drift down
To a swirling river passing by.
An ill considered thing so far,
Once viewed from on high.
Swift river of life that moving on,
Carries our golden souls round
In vortice after vortice.
They still seek direction as they sink
Beneath the cloudy water,
Listening to the noise of a million
Sibilant conversations everywhere,
And permeating everything,
As humanity gossips its last throes
Instead of watching.
I’m disappointed by humanity.
If a power had evolved with the intelligence to see,
And saw something wrong and became confused,
I could understand.
But it saw and just carried on,
Leaving me and all those who see,
Bemused by its stupidity.
Work hard and weep wondering
What their value is.
I decided to use my life in a way that seemed good.
I railed against injustice and the despoliation of the world.
I wondered about the world my grandchildren might inhabit
And wailed woe on their behalf.
And then I saw the bill for the electricity that I’d used
In simply being and I had to laugh.
I went to see a Silurian seabed this weekend past.
Four hundred and twenty million years old
With fossil seashells that still hadn’t opened.
And my life became a very short thing indeed.
A fragment of a whirling, exploding thing
That spins in space for a short while
And then ceases to be.
And what part did I play?
Well, I tried to make it matter.
Even if it didn’t.
But for my short span,
I needed to believe I was worth it,
However much pretence that required.
Vapid dot thing am I.
Poetry should distil perception
And describe all views simply
And without deception
But some is so wordy as to confound.
Stop trying to be beautiful
And say simply what you feel.
In as few words as is reasonable.
Say it as it is as you feel.
Not what you imagine I might be impressed by.
Cut to the cold heart of what you’re thinking.
To the still thing within and give it voice,
Succinct and with meaning,
There’s no flowery image there.
Merely grey breezeblocks
That make a rough estimate.
That’s the best you can hope for.
And good luck in having it understood.
Through a hundred metres
Of aquamarine, shimmering beauty
At sunbeams shining down
At acute angles to each other
And fading away into marine gloom.
And the flickering fish swimming
Across the view.
So small am I hanging here.
So very small.
A mere fluorescing fleck
Born by strange and vast currents.
Where I’m taken I go.
What I see, I marvel at.
Where is the art in our lives?
Where is the sensitivity
That prompts pondering and reflection?
That delicate aspect that tinges everything
With a coloured halo
That puts understanding just slightly out of reach.
Where has time gone?
Time to reflect.
Where is the room to be alive?
Where is the space to place rhythm
Between the hard facts?
Where has room to live gone?
What matters most?
Soft squeezing through fingers sensual
Or hard serrated stuff that makes you bleed?
Look in the mirror.
See the person there yesterday.
Sitting ankle deep and trying to resist
The slide downhill through
Sticky clay forming itself to my shape,
I watched muddy water race past.
Seething surface curving up and down again.
Currents that take goggle eyed flotsam,
Astonished and watching down into depths
As blue sky blurs to swirling death.
This river flowed past me so sure.
With its bulging swells and pretty whirlpools.
Sitting in mud and bent grass,
Watching the inevitability of it all.
And so I stood up and wiped the clinging mud
From my legs.
And I plunged headlong into the writhing river,
And was carried away.
Gasping and striving for the hot blue sky.
Then the green and grey cold swirl
That carried me away
Swept across my face looking upwards
And watching glassy eyed birds watch me
With blank acceptance
I washed up then on a stony shore,
Where I was able to turn aching and see
The seething thing that had spawned me,
For what it was.
A brown green heaving thing
Born of the context that fed it,
Guided by the landscape that led it.
I was a by product.
I wanted to see and to know
And after much effort climbing up slopes of
Shock absorbing snow,
I arrived breathless at a place that was cold and still.
I turned to look behind me
And saw a long trail of footprints
That curved away through rocks
To the valley below.
After all those trials
And all that striving
And all those excuses
And all of that hurt,
Both mine and other’s.
And at the end
All there was was silence.
That let my soul finally feel.
How the noise distracts us
From the purity and simplicity
Of what it is to be alive.
At a certain age and sitting
On a mouldy wooden park bench watching
Children swinging in the wind pushed
By smiling mothers in short skirts.
The old oak tree sighed as a cool breeze blew
Through my memories of being there,
Where I was watching.
And all the stages in between
Folded in on each other,
The same mistakes touching across the years
And chuckling at the irony
Of each other.
One early summer morning
I walked along a beach shrouded in fog.
Still pools of waiting water.
Strands of pustulated seaweed that lay
Comatose across corrugated sand.
Silent stones lying where they’d been
For all time it seemed.
As the foghorn boomed and echoed around,
I walked through a world of its own.
Of three metre wide immediacy.
Now I see much further.
But somehow the fog remains,
Winding its gentle, uncaring way
Between every perception,
And obscuring my poor attempts at a true view.
Grey stroking fingers of a witch who
For all my life has mocked me
With smiling eyes and lead me astray.
I walked a path
Through the heather yellow and spiked
And dripping with the dawn dew of a new day.
But one path through heather
Looks much like another.
Whether the view be of hillside
Or arid plain and gasping scrub,
The questions remain the same.
There’s the rub.
‘Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer…’
It doesn’t matter.
Do what you feel with due regard
For what makes you content.
As worlds whirl past you
In fluid current
That heaves and seethes,
Quiet at both start and end
But loud and turbulent in the moment
That demands you listen.
‘Tis nobler in the heart sometimes.
Between the dark and ominous
Shapes that stood above me,
There were roiling clouds of light and dark,
And between and under all of this
Ran a road like a silver sliver
That curved and swooped between the dark heights.
Like a light moving through a shadowed chasm.
And that road of light
Led my way to its distant point.
So how did I find myself
In this dismal cave
Half way up a shadowed mountain?
I took my eyes off the road.
So where are you?
I’m here standing watching
Through blue misted edges
Blurred and blended
With one another to a common hue.
A life view of everything indistinct.
Nothing moves or changes.
An unsatisfactory stasis.
Like a fly caught in amber.
And your view?
Would it do me good to know?
Are we all encapsulated by
A golden hued illusion that
Allows us to think
But not to act?
Everything that ever was or will be
Happened in an infinitely small moment.
And then what was aware decided to consider it.
And that’s when time became.
Look back and reflect.
Look forward and consider.
Now is the locus.
Standing between two mirrors.
Looking over my shoulder,
Looking into the past,
I see behind me many times.
Looking forwards into my future
I see me ahead many times.
Both are illusory.
With wide blue eyes and pink smooth skin
Young Alphonse viewed the blue sky swirling world
About him with endless optimism.
He gleed and clucked and rolled his sky blue eyes
In wonder at the life that lay before him
Before he was introduced to the idea of sin.
And as he grew and saw and loved and lusted,
And knew the destruction of the values of those about him
And strove to hold to a better view,
He found emerging distance grew like a gap
Between the hull of his ship and the established land
Built by his forefathers as an anchor.
As his sails filled and billowed with warm wind
Of aspiration and hope and a sense of direction,
He puzzled at how his path took him away to sea
Far from the hard certainty of the land that had been built for him.
His world was far more turbulent than had been intended.
Full of raging storms and pirates and ill fortune.
But also of adventure and learning and growth
And passion and love and lust and a kind of violence
That fulfilled him and made him feel righteous.
He sought his fortune and found it in foreign lands.
Values that echoed his forefather’s dreams,
But built on floating platforms that drifted with fortune.
One day his home was overwhelmed by glittering waves,
Smooth with glossy assurance as they lent over
To drown his dreams and all he loved
And as his life sank and his ship dissolved away,
He raised his view and saw the blue sky and the sun
And heard the call of certainty of land and the ways of his fathers.
But by then it was too late.
He sank slowly into a grey green world
Of passing currents and shifting sands
And glossy creatures that smirked at him
With botox lips and small hard eyes,
And he knew that from now on there would be no certainty.
Only life from one moment to the next to the last one,
After which perhaps he might wash up on some far shore
To be absorbed again back into warm dry soil.