Poem: Conversations With Rumi

rumi

Sweet Rumi, and Prophet Gibran, lend me your hearts!

Let me not be corrupted by hate, nor the enmity of wounded

Pride; the mouldering coal of anger that inflames my myocardia,

And obstructs the outlets of my infectious affection

*

Let me not be a hypocrite – I have promised to give,

So let me give – give, even when I feel only the indifference

And inattention of those I give to – when I offer of myself to

The point of exhaustion only to be met with distant stares

*

It makes this wounded child want to repair into a Grinch,

A burglarizing old Saturn, and declareth thus: “I have

Given, and been denied loving gratitude, so wherefore

Shouldst I give?”

*

Abide not that Reuben! Take that Reuben –

Slap him in the face – and sayeth unto him:

*

“Give, Reuben – give until you have donated the very bones

From your back; give of your skin – give until you are so itchy

And inflamed, your tender layers excoriated by blazing sands,

You can barely stand for the pain of how much you give

*

“By all means cherish those that receive your love,

And return it too, for they heal you and remind you

What it is to be whole – to be the middle ground

Betwixt Heaven and Earth

*

“But cherish even more those who neither take your love,

Nor return it, or if they do, give back only in outward displays

Of silent mockery, or glut the ears of your heart with poisoning

Words; those who take your love as but a trifling snack, and, after

Eating it all to surfeit, with no trace of gratitude, have the temerity

To ask “What’s for dessert?” – those to whom you give your most

Precious things only to have them to converted into missiles of

Unkindness to slay and destroy, like the golden statue of a

Glorious saint or king melted down to make metal for bullets or

Swords –

*

“If those that love you are your healers, then those emperors

And empresses of ingratitude are your teachers: they show you

How to steel your love and keep it pure – to persevere in a love

That cannot be deterred – to make your love the king of all beasts;

To dine on your obstacles as invigorating meats

*

“Evolution thrives on adaptation – so make your love such a one

As this – a love that refuses to give up – that always find a way

To survive – if at first your love does not succeed, endure, and

Search out the forms it needs to take on in order to be the

Emancipating skeleton key, the hidden jigsaw puzzle piece

That connects every heart.”

*

“But the blackness of my anger is so hard,” you say,

“I am depleted, duped, dead – how much longer must

I go on refining the steel of my love against the adamantine

Point of other’s disdain, apathy, and hatred?

*

“Because I have met those that would love me;

That would crucify me with their kindness –

That can clearly see all I strive to do for the world,

And see that it is good.

*

“Why would I consent to being a pillar of odium

When I do not have to cast myself so bloody upon

Embattled plains? Why would I submit myself to

Aching disinterest, of knocking flint against flint to

Try and rouse love in an unwelcome heart when I could

Receive love elsewhere ready-made?”

*

“Why would you, indeed?” said Rumi. “Take the easy way

And all will later be hardness; take the hard way, and, as you

Now know, much else will become easier thereby – better yet,

Unite them both, and be indifferent, accepting, and loving of

Either.

*

“No one said you had to make a choice, because how can we

Ever just make one choice about anything? In selecting one thing,

We also create the anti-matter of all we failed to select, and, by

Opting not choose one thing, we are still kept in the pall of

Non-choice’s shadow. One may choose The Path of Happiness

And still find sadness pursuing them like a silent cat – one may

Choose to renounce the world, only to find that the world still

Pursues them in their renunciation, and nothing has been

Renounced at all. One will always find many things one did

Not choose, so why place such great esteem in choices after

All?

*

“Instead of worrying about what to choose, be mindful of what

You do with what chooses you – be kind to those things you do

Not choose – you’ll have to learn to live with everything eventually

Anyway, so why not make things easier and harder for yourself –

Isn’t that what you’ll do anyway?”

*

“So, this is what I get,” thought I,More of the hollow philosophy

I went into the desert to get away from: survive – live – die – or

Do not die; choice against choicelessness – self-control verses

Recklessness – egotism verses selflessness – virtue and sin in

Psycho-sexual union breeding more babies of ambiguity to

Keep the world going on and on and on.”

*

“I hear you, brother,” said Rumi, tugging me by the hand,

And pulling me further into those golden desert sands, “I

Hear your cries, your confusion, your incertitudes, and

Desolating and uplifting attitudes. I hear your thoughts

And all the sly silky nothings that slink between those

Thoughts. I hear them all as clearly as I hear a jukebox

That spurs on a barbaric barroom brawl.

*

“You want what we all want: you want to love and

Be loved – to feel that confusion is something you

Can overcome – that there is a direction, a purpose,

A motion in life you can eternally trust in – and

Even though you rebel against all linear things,

You still wish the course of life wouldn’t always

Be so frustratingly pinball quantum.

*

“Think of your friends, Rube. Those who are your friends

May later becomes your enemies, and, by becoming your

Enemies, may prove better friends in giving you things to

Strive against.

*

“How often have those you loved only proven to be stepping

Stones towards those you would love mightier later? How many

Dashed hopes have unleashed greater joys from the corpses of

Those they lost?

*

“The problem is the question of Finality – of Certainty.

The desire to have things so, and to have them always be

So: to have an eternal day, and be done with night – to

Have an eternal summer and be done with the savage

Ineluctability of winter – to have just enough love and

No more than you can manage – to have just enough

Solitude, but not enough that all your hopes are ravaged –

This golden mean – this constant ratio – this middle income

Of truth and light – of sustainable joy somehow always able

To vivify itself with an insurance policy against discontentment’s

Canker

*

“But we live in a seasonal world – an excessive world –

A world that will always take things too far, and, in the

Process, take you too far along with it:

*

“So why not smile and shout when you are happy,

And wail and cry when you are sad – and then reverse

Them, and dance and sing when your are unhappy

And cry with mightiness when your joy stabs you mindlessly

In the heart?

*

“Either way you experience –

Either way you keep on going –

Because there is no true stillness in this world;

But, like the ball in the pinball machine, you will

Always find yourself rocketing between one point

Of light, and a pair of pincers always ready to strike

You back.

*

“Like Homer’s Odysseus, you must choose between Scylla

And Charybdis, knowing that, in this union of sea monsters,

There is no real choice at all; between this rock and a hard

Place, you will feel the hardness of hardness, the softness of

Softness; the softness of hardness, and the hardness of softness;

And you will find joy and sorrow in them both; wisdom and ignorance

In them in equal measure.

*

“So what does it matter? It doesn’t matter which way you sail –

The point is that you sail. The point is that you have the courage

To be freely buffeted by the winds, lapped by the tonguing foamy

Surges of Neptune’s inconstant lover’s broil. Stay at home, and the

Sea will only seek you out – go to sea and seek out, and you will be

Sought by land just the same, if that be not the crux of all your

Seeking.

*

“Feeling stable, you long for change – feeling only surging

Tides of change, you long for the certitude of land to give

You a supply of paradise’s incorruptible currency.

*

“Again, the point is neither in choosing change or changelessness,

Finding both in neither, and neither in the above – the point is in

The motion – in the desiring, the end of desiring, and then the returning

Of desiring all over again.

*

“That is the point:

Motion – stillness – love.”

*

“I carry no assumptions about anything,” said I,

In return, throwing a bolt of lightning against the

Sand to make it into a glass to mirror us both.

*

“I know that one cannot choose happiness anymore

Than one can opt to completely outdo the conniving

Machinations of suffering. I choose neither an easy

Love nor or a hard love, for there is no love to choose,

Love being all there is.

*

“But I am human. I ask questions. I look to the future

And I speculate – I hold up and comparatively weigh

All the possible journeys I make. No one will ever truly

Know if they are the in process of experiencing the best

Of all possible worlds; but still – still there is the desire

That with every action and new direction one takes, that,

In the motion of that direction, we take it and make it in

The best possible way – that we leave no stone of potential

Wisdom, knowledge, joy, difficulty, or obstruction unturned,

Unfulfilled – that we do not lay to waste all those gifts that

Are made to us – that we make sure our cup runs over –

That we do not cease to drink wine until the vineyard has

Completely run dry.

*

“Who would do otherwise? In drinking milk from the tits

Of the world, who wouldn’t suck at and lust against every

Sacred udder they can find – who would be content to see

The dizziest of dizzy heights without being quest-proud in

Their vertigiousness to see them?

*

“But I don’t know really know what I’m saying anymore.”

*

“Then say nothing,” said Rumi to me, sweetly, “say nothing

And be sweet; say nothing and sing instead; say nothing and

Be ceaselessly still and silent and unceasingly without silence

And stillness in your dizzying quest for life and quest to seek

Repose therefrom.”

*

Then we took one another by the hand

And carried on walking through the sands.

*

 

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Poem: The Horse

horse

The world behind the curtains:

That is my world – the domain wherein

I can be king, where else I would be but

A pauper – a man in the gutter reading

Out passages of Chaucer . . .

*

That is my world – yet so few ever see it,

Seeing only curtains – taking the hair of

The horse for the gallop of its heart

*

That horse could gallop along with my heart,

Its hooves trotting in time to the verses of my

Mind, stopping, nobly, humbly, before us,

*

That white blotch on its face – the last stain of

A sad eye that no longer sees – that longs to see,

But is forbidden sight by the sickness of its skull

*

That – that is the spot where I place my hand –

Where I receive and give knowledge – sending

Out and taking in parcels of love and empowerment,

The strangest of strange, war-wizened weapons, that

Only make their bearers feel weaker and weaker

*

I know what it is to be that horse,

To spend my days bathed – by great swathes of space amazed,

To be simple and sad –

Just a horse among horses

*

Then something happens.

A stranger creeps over a stile.

And the pattern of their legs meanders towards you,

And by the unhorsey beats of their horseness, you are

 Swiftly beguiled.

*

“Come!” you say, “I am wild and mild.

I am tame and tragic. I am patient and

Waiting, my hooves hardened by keratin,

And the jealous frustration of thunder.

I am all that you are, slender, unhorse-like

Things.

*

“I come to you for comfort,

Because comfort cannot be got from horses;

I come to you for understanding,

Because understanding is not shared among horses;

I come to you for wisdom,

Not because wisdom cannot be got among horses,

Because wisdom IS what a horse IS –

And, as every horse needs a rider,

So doth my wisdom need a non-horse to ride upon.

*

“But wisdom is pain,” continued the horse,

A tear falling from her face. “Have you not

Seen the saints cry? Have you not heard the

Wise men wailing? Have you not seen mothers

Confined in callousness, yet inside, as crumpled

And broken as the babes that came from them?

*

“This is why I came to you – why I humbly bow my

Head to you, and strive to let your fingers softly search

For the spirit of my soul; for, though we are divided,

Man and beast, and beastly man – your loneliness is

Still the same species as my own – the burden of wanting

To give out a gift everybody needs, but no one cares to

Receive.

*

“For wisdom is not just pain, but the weapon of love,

The dagger that seeks out the sagging point where it

Might carve itself a home.

*

“And, I can see your searching eye, strange, unhorse-like man.

Even as you stroke me, and we share a connection that transcends

Body and body, I can feel your mistrust – your awe of my power –

You are so afraid I could trample you to death with my hooves,

That you almost wish I would, just to get it out the way.

*

“From this I know you know how to love:

When you see an oncoming stampede, you do not run,

But lay down and open up your arms, and call out:

“TAKE ME AS I AM – FOR I AM NOT – I AM NOT AT ALL”

And even when the stampede somehow does not come,

And you suddenly find yourself whisked away to a desert

Plain, and see vultures swooping overhead, you do not flee,

But cry out in a Job-like strain: ‘I AM HERE – EAT OF ME AS

YOU CAN!’

*

“But no beaks come. No greedy, searching talons rend your

Waiting flesh, or carve grooves into that furniture of space

And time you call your skin. Nothing comes. Nothing symphonizes

Your last moments with the desperate flutter of its wings.

*

“And that is what love is: a sacrifice – an offering –

Not a gift given or taken, because it has no need

For giving and taking – that would be gain or loss –

Love can never diminish, though it be given and

Taken – because you cannot diminish what transcends

And underlies the very notion of diminishment.

*

“Can a river be said to give more because it’s banks

Are flooded? Can a volcano be said to make a donation

To the world when it vomits lava to harden into magma

From which new lands and continents will be formed?

*

“No. Because water will always be water,

Though it evaporate and dry up,

And lava will always be lava,

Though it harden into rock.

*

“So, love will eat up those who give themselves to it,

And to those that don’t, it will seek them out like a

Dangerous flood. But, whether love comes to you,

Or you to it, the outcome is the same – you will be

Burned and drowned. Drowned – but now as vast

As the immeasurable ocean. Burned – but now

Hardened into the hope of a seed-waiting new land.”

*

II.

We stood there in silence,

She in her hooves,

And we in our shoes.

*

We had to go soon,

And I could feel the sad tug

Of an aching bond about to be

Loosened.

*

I had given you my hands,

My small doses of love,

Now it was time for us to go,

And, with that thunderclap of

Envy, you returned to your sentinel –

Back to being a horse among horses,

Until that happy moment when someone

Creeps over your stile, perhaps to understand

You all over again.

*

III.

I can no sooner leave my field than you can, horse,

Unless farmers come to cart me away, and turn my

Idiosyncrasies into glue. For my life is my field, its

Demarcations and boundaries; and, I too, stand within

Its confines, just a being among beings, until that fleeting

Moment when someone reaches out their hand, and I can

Feel they understand – and I stand then in patient ferocity,

And drink in all that I can, because I know they will go soon,

And I will return to being misunderstood – a horseless,

Horseless man.

*

IV.

But it will not always be such.

One day I will build a home

Upon the making of such

Moments.

*

And I will be happy.

And my happiness will stride out,

Clumsy and sticky, like a newborn foal;

All that is inchoate and formless will be

As palpable and beautiful as a magical

Crystal.

*

And my house!

What a house!

*

I can see it.

I can feel its masonry growing upon me,

But I cannot yet describe it.

*

So, I can walk away from that field now with my friend,

Knowing that, as I leave behind timelessness to commit myself

To the future, I am somehow, magnificently, walking towards

My home:

*

The home where happiness will have its day,

And then have it all over again.

*

 

Poem: The Snowy Owl

snowy-owl

Snowy Owl of my dreams;

Can you help me fly above my fears?

Can you help me traverse those acres

Of snow, with courage as my only

Candle?

 *

O, Ancestors! Rise up to me!

Beat your drums – weave your

Shawls out of stellar glass: for

Tonight we will unfold our wings,

Set foot in the chariot of the

Cosmic Horse, to dine with

The spectres of substance

*

And you are my spectres.

You have raised me up in

More lives than I can count;

Delivered me into an out of

Strife – made me a nervous

Newlywed, and a grieving

Wife

 *

And I know what it is to grieve –

To be pierced by the fervour of

The night; to cast that ebon shawl

Into luminous hallways that know

No night, but The Night of Nothing –

To evanesce into skies so removed

From density, it integrates All

Into The One.

*

II.

But, I will not speak of The One with

Number-stained lips – I will only speak

To you of Snowy Owls – of the fabulist

Messengers who sustain my dreams,

And ease me back into Everything

 *

And that is what I will take from you,

Snowy Owl, Dream Owl, fertilizing the

Thoughts of billions with your phantasmal

Pinions – with the phantasmagoria of every

Flight that showers us all in stars

*

That is what I will take from you, Snowy

Owl – I will take the Absolute Everything I see

You clutching in your claws.

*

For your yellow eyes see everything –

They, too, inject themselves into the

Veins of the night – they, too, tell the

Soul where it must go, to berobe its

Fertile distress with Wisdom.

 *

And This I will Bless.

And This I will Love.

And This I will harbour

In an eternal chest –

That lifts us above

The contagion of

Sorrow.

*

For I am done with sorrow. For,

Though I still weep, and my body,

Verily, often feels like an unreleased

Bag of tears – still, I cry, howl, weep,

And wail – still I will explode with the

Gift of Liberty, with the starburst of

Every tear fall

*

And, as God weeps those self-same tears

Back into your face; as Gods and Goddesses

Cry – every tear a legion – the pain milked

From every unwanted goodbye – as God weeps

Into my face, I will weep back into hers; and ours will

Be a union of such terrific tears, that it could be

Neither seen nor heard.

*

Then I will be The Snowy Owl –

Then I will be the parchment of

Every tear – then I will be the fragrance

Of an imploding happiness that always

Has too much to share

 *

And, as I rip from your beak the heart-felt

Letter that you bear, sealed with the

Stamp of an elastic soul, I will weep into

The miracle of your thunderous words –

Give myself up to the birds – to sell my

Remains to The City of Shadows, and the

Thirst of every Hug.

*

 

Poem: Making and Unmaking

a-dream-for-two-gogalniceanu-carolina-romantic-painting1

My mind cannot move for thought of you,

My heart cannot beat for love of you,

My blood cannot flow for want of you,

My hands cannot feel for touch of you,

My lips cannot speak for taste of you

*

 I thought my monsoon had ended –

I thought this chapter had closed –

I had crossed the bridge,

And called a truce,

In a war I was certain to lose

*

But the rains were just beginning;

Another Blitzkrieg on my heart;

My days stretching on like empty pages,

Waiting to be filled with words

 *

And, when I leave you, I always

Ask myself the same questions:

 *

Why didn’t I stare into your eyes for longer?

Why didn’t I let my hands flow freer?

Why didn’t I run my fingers through your hair?

Why did I not deluge you in kisses, until the

Coastguard declared you MISSING, and

‘Presumed to be lost at sea?’

The Answer:

For fear of wanting and non-wanting,

In the making and unmaking

Of a heart

 

Poem: To Worship

ir

What does it mean

“To worship”?

To worship something

Is to appreciate it so intensely

That the electricity of your enjoyment

Inseminates everything you are

Creating constant friction

Which creates more electricity

Until all that you worship

Is you

You cannot worship something

By placing it on a pedestal

Unless you grind your cunt

Against that pedestal

Until your mon veneris bleeds

With affection

Don’t worship from afar

But with terrifying closeness

Like a man on an electric fence

Writing odes to his own electrocution

To worship

Is to be alive

Nothing more

Nothing less

So worship every moment

You can start by taking off your dress

 

Poem: Song to a Muse

piggirl

You are a bower of bliss

A little fortress of possibility

Slithering into my awareness

With those unforgettable brows

And that visage of excitable calm

How could I not take you as my daughter

And leave you in the road to die?

Oh, don’t ask why!

Isn’t it enough just to know

That I am here to be your guide;

Your psychopomp through valleys far and wide?

And to teach you to address

Those chains of experience

That will thus constrain and arouse you?

Why you should be on THIS raft of the living

Is your purpose alone

To guess

But your power is great

And it is just my delight

To bring it into fruition

 

Poem: Perfume

The%20Beautiful%20Woman%20Without%20Mercy

Of course you have to be here

How else could reality

Kiss itself?

Sweet breasts drooping

Inside a peasant’s dress

The kiss of the tide

And your legs spread wide

Isn’t it wonderful

How a woman smells like a woman?

And a man smells like a man?

Let’s make perfume together, my love

Just make sure I’m sober;

I’ll feel it more that way

Out amongst the trees

With the wind kissing my skin

Setting of sparks

Of glittering lights

The twilight perception

Of my own true self

Living authentically

In a magpie’s dream

I have a hammock in the garden

Where I can watch the fog

Roll down the mountain

Let’s walk into that fog

And lose our definition

 

 

Poem: The Face of Love

tumblr_mx5pf4VrsU1qhe15lo1_500

What is it like

To look on the face

Of someone who loves you

With such brutal clarity

When all others would just

Misunderstand?

Is it scary, haunting,

Welcoming, warming,

Swarming, daunting,

Unreal, yet eye-popping,

Comforting, yet destructive?

Who has the bravery

To come eye to eye

With such a face?

Who can look at me?

Who can look at themselves?

Who can look in the river –

In the mirror?

I know hatred is only

The stifling tightness

Of not knowing

How to be free

A small gaggle

Of baby goosander

Float by me as I write

I just float along too,

And say:

Good morning,

Good night

 

Poem: Kiss of Initation

korea.jpg

To kiss you anywhere

Perhaps right on your breastbone

Or inside your right thigh

Or a quick kiss on the bum

Just to say goodbye

So many places

I could kiss you, darling

With these lips of spaciousness

Just come over here

Untie me

And we’ll find out

Where I start

 

Poem: The Ultimate Romance

dakinis

My erotic, sensitive,

Feminine, sensuous side

Got killed for a time

Destroyed by the wolves of winter

And the hardened arteries

Of a hardened heart

That no longer permitted

Love to flow through it

But now, it is back again,

With blood-thirsty gentleness

I find myself

Both man and woman

Dakini and Heruka

A beautiful and hideous hermaphrodite

Unifying the lotus

Of day and night

I hardly know

Whether to put on a dress

Or dance around provocatively

In military apparel

Tossed out of all the functions

To which I was originally invited

As a Guest of Honour

I find no difference

Between a throne and a floor

Between sky and earth

Between rejection and a door

I wriggle in the fluidity

Of this delicious ambivalence

This all-inclusive dance

The yab and the yum

The ultimate romance