Poem: Thanks For Ducks

Mandarin-Ducks-3

When you’re tired,
Lonely, and aching
And your only consolation
Is a far-off duck call
And a pile of half-read sutras
You can feed the duck
Some duck biscuits
To thank him for his help

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Poem: Snowy Peaks

Jackdaw

Snowy peaks and roosting jackdaws

If you want drama – this is it!

No monsoon rains

Can glisten your fears

When pine mountains linger

Bodies turn to

Snow and ice

Joining arctic monsters

In The Desolation of Grace

Try as they might to suck up the sun’s rays

The moon always pecks them to dust,

Dust,

Dust

Poem: Nature Rides Again

Amaterasu_cave_edit2

Apollo shines down smilingly on me

Or is it Amaterasu?

A symphony of bird song

Caresses my every cell

A deliquescence of sight and sound

Inviting boundless bliss

Great tits sing their squeaky faucet song

Whilst the song thrushes are unstoppable

Singing miles a minute

With the outrageous return of Yang

Nature Rides Again

Blog: Totem Poles and The Unity of Life

 

 

Totem

This week, I had the privilege to visit The World Museum in Liverpool, where an entire exhibit on the third floor is devoted to preserving artifacts of ancient cultures all around the world. On this magical and spiritual journey, I was able to look directly into the eyes of African dance masks; tremulously admire Congolese idols used for black magic and sorcery; and regard with wonder the fold-out books of a hieroglyphic Mayan ‘dream book.’ I came face to face with statues of Vishnu and Ganesha; priceless suits of samurai armor; Buddhist hanging scrolls and Tantric deities straight from Tibet; and beheld with awesome fear relics that were never meant to be witnessed outside of ancient secret societies and mystery schools.

I was in this large, circuitous exhibit mostly by myself, with the pregnant silence only occasionally interrupted by tribal drumming and chanting bursting out of the speaker system. As in the Egyptian exhibit at Bristol, I once again had the mystical experience of being confronted with a spiritual presence far greater than myself, overwhelming me with raw emotion. This presence commanded great awe and respect, and I was repeatedly moved to press my hands together, bow, and chant, in order to properly express my deference.

But, overwhelmed and humbled though I was, nothing could have prepared me for The Totem Pole. As I rounded the corner, and was confronted with a deific figure towering above me, its face frozen in a martial rictus, I was so frightened that I had to retreat for a moment to sit down, and stitch back together the thread of my courage.

Composure regained, I tentatively re-entered the room, building myself up to it by looking at the other exhibits. But towering at between 15-20ft tall, it really was the proverbial elephant in the room, commanding every part of my being to kowtow to it with my attention.

The totem itself was a chimaerical hybrid of human, animal, and spiritual elements, effortlessly fusing a man, a killer whale, a serpent, and two mythical giants into one single, phallic entity.

Once I observed this unity, my fear began to subside. Despite its fearsome appearance, I realized that the pole was not an apotropaic structure, but a potent symbol eloquently depicting the holographic truth of the ineffable unity of all things. Man, Nature, and Heaven are not separate from one another, but are one another, interwoven so that all things are within them, and they are within all things – a true hologram.

This truth was so evident to the Native Canadian artist, Richard Hunt, that I was amazed to learn that the human head on top was actually a self-portrait. These animals, these ancestors, these myths were so much a part of him so as to actually constitute his very being.

If only we were all so in-tune with the world as to recognize it as our being, and to recognize our being as the world.

Poem: The Mushroom at the Center of the Earth

giant-mushroom-forest

Sweet, sweet,
Saprophytic
Angels of decay
Sending out threads
To transmit prayers
To the Mushroom at the Center of the Earth
It divides its time
Between torturing telephone operators
And ecstatic lethargy
But we better behave
For we are all at the mercy
Of its divine boredom
For we will disappear
As soon as it gets bored
Of holding us all together
O, Mushroom at the Center of the Earth
Hear the Shaman’s Cry
Do as we ask you to
And we won’t put you in a pie

Poem: Duck Day Afternoon

Duck horse

Another day spent
With the unidentifiable duck
Glossy feathers
Of screaming labradorite
I asked him
What he could teach me;
He strode into the water
Gave me this poem
And went looking for someone wiser to talk to.

Poem: Silent Crow Mountain

Mountains

Just because you’ve climbed a mountain
It doesn’t mean you’ve conquered it
That pile of earth will still be standing
After your sorry bones have withered away
When fighting the wind on Silent Crown Mountain
What else is there to say?

Poem: Under The Old Oak Tree

Oak Tree

Weeping under an old Oak Tree
Acorns in the cow shit
I feel a sadness
Beyond the clouds and wind
Just a bit of lunar madness
To keep transformation rolling on

I have a buoyant mind
And a buoyant heart
I will get beyond this
Just treacle in the dust

Poem: Half Past Moon

Half moon

Half past Moon
Half mast Moon
Borrower of light
And summoner of elves
Invisible monkeys
Scramble across the branches
of a red ash
Susurrations come from the motorway
singing of sirens and slit-throats
The Himalayan Balsam
Have turned a ghostly white
Chalked by the moon
Until the raging dawn
Kisses them pink
Once again