The Other Bank

On the other bank
out of reach
Pride’s grimace
forbids it

Not a finger
can span
nor lift
that spell

No salve
nor ointment
for the bitter
Juniper berries

The ambitious debris
slate black scree
weeping cold
on the mountainside

The fitting seizure
of a moment passed
a crushed portcullis
slams

Not an ounce
of blood
most vital
to the eyes

And that egret
eats sticklebacks
once again
and forever

Echoes in the Dao

I’ll try to verbalize something that I have been contemplating of late and the only phrase I can find for it is “echoes in the Dao”.

There are some events that may seem small, innocuous even, which continue to have a reverberation long after they have occurred. The circumstance, the event flow, continues to echo though the amplitude damps, decreases with each reverberation.

These echoes are not mind made, they are a property of the Dao. A mind made echo is when one checks the calendar and sees the anniversary of something, a death, a marriage, a cancer operation.  These echoes in the Dao come about without the mind checking, they just ripple in out of space. One is given a reminder of something and it starts to pervade into the consciousness.

Some of these echoes, stem from miss takes, where one has not handled a situation well or missed an opportunity. In a sense something which was “fated” to happen, did not and it leaves a kind of hole, a vacuum, in the event flow of the Dao.  This vacancy echoes on in the on flowing Dao.  It can bring to mind the actors and players concerned in the events around the miss take. It offers a chance to revisit and recapitulate what might have happened. The echoes can be opportunities for learning or if not treated in this way, they are soft fishes of regret breaking the calm surface of the pond of inner space.

I have a mild hypothesis that many of the pivotal events of a life are not the big things, but tiny little, innocuous things. Yet it is around these seemingly small fulcrums that an entire life pivots. They are so small that we fail to notice them and hence miss our take on life.

These echoes are almost ghostly, yet they can offer a second bite at the cherry so to speak.  One could re-initiate the circumstance missed to some extent. Because one can never step in the same river twice, it will never be exactly the same, but a similar learning might be found, should one so seek. The trick is figuring out what caused the miss take in the first place and then not doing that which was causal of it.

Another mild hypothesis is that the universe can be very benevolent, offering unto us a second chance to behave differently. These echoes may offer us a new view of our transgressions and a chance to make amends, to atone, to add a little bit of karmic merit. If we are stubborn and waste the universes benevolent offering, it is a second and more serious miss take.

Have you ever felt an echo in the Dao?

1.5 billion

1.5 billion

 

Are the beats of my life

more than 17

thousand days

and now

 

each sand grain second

in the egg timer

is longer

longer than ever before

 

each shard of  desert time

passes

and the hundreds and thousands

which I shared

 

are sprinkled fairies

on the ice’d cake

the wrinkled rink

of skating circles

 

the rub of blades

pirouettes and curtsies

as the waxed popcorn cups

leave the frozen stage

 

a decade since it happened

and now it happens again

790 and 510

days now roughly counted

 

the spreadsheet of a life

made to excel

has come roundabout again

mores blues than swing

 

each rhapsody 

is clarinet clear

and has all the silver keys

pressed and shiny

 

and now the penumbra

of the passing

flows on under

the bridge of sighs

 

that price of will

and of injured pride

tags not humility

and brings again divide

 

its longevity is marked

upon near half

of all those seconds

exact in the price

 

And it is a crying, crying shame.

My Ferric Justifications

People can talk themselves into and out of pretty much anything.

The trouble is regret is as slippery as an eel and can sneak through the bars, the bastions, of reason.

—————————————————————–

With the rusting bars

of those ferric justifications

my dreams they rot away

so reasonably confined to cower

 

Each nail bashed home

with the Mjölnir mind

resounding thunderous home

to pin my hopes to the page

 

Each slant, every twist

slams prison door shut

to echo along death-row

and no reprieve from the guv’nor

 

All that alleged sensibility

cuts razor blade the skin

whilst my heart bleeds

unnoticed tears, into a bucket

 

And when the bell tolls

I shall empty the slops

of all my reasonable reasons

which did treason to my love

 

The painted corner of my cell

surrounds me so perfect tight

as all my gaveled demi-truths;

my Soul does forever swallow and choke

 

Would that I could vomit

most visceral up

all this heinous bile

I feed myself and to others

 

Within the rusting bars

of all my ferric justifications

my dreams they rot away

reasonably confined to cower and decay

Soft Waves of Regret

If I let one tiny wavelet

past the bastions of reasons

the ramparts of justification

‘t would set me all a shiver

 

My vigilance must be supreme

for to allow such a heady thing

might shake my core

to litter the ground with tears

 

That pregnant tumult

with its full quiver of feelings

will overwhelm the keep

and battering ram the heart’s portcullis

 

To feel its orgasmic climax

shaking, shuddering through me

must I myself forbid

for to taste such fruit….

 

My frail hidden vulnerability

stripped harsh, naked, human

all that I tend to pretend

shattered into shards of glass

 

Each feather tickles enticing

soft undulating waves of regret

surreptitious at the harbor’s edge

resist you fool, resist…

 

Must fend of that tender melancholy

till dawn’s alarm beckons me busy

I can make it through one more night

I can, I can…

Soliloquy

Someone, my mother, once asked me how come she ended up so bitter. Those prone to scoring points, manipulation and petty revenge can end up like that. It seems like a good idea at the time but then karma kicks in.

—————————————————————-

But for a moment’s thought

The balance of the world

Hinges

 

The insistent stories we paint

Have lives of their own, becoming

Demons

 

As stark cold winter’s nights

Drawn in on our vanity

Shadows

 

The eiderdown quilts we stitched

For to show only to others

Shrouds

 

The patchwork fields of pride

Mere whimsy of our own

Indifference

 

The steak and kidney pie

Pierces life to the core

Fatally

 

The dark vampires of mind

Suck deep the realities

Dry

 

The trophies on the mantle

Gather only dust and spiders

Hollow

 

Now to watch consequence

Unfold its pages, before us

Decades

 

The never ending story of

Each tart spiteful action, ever

Bittersweet

 

No tonic or Juniper here

Unripe quince on the tongue

Smart

 

Yet clever brings no comfort

To the fabric’s weave

Unravelled

 

Spinning jenny has dropped the thread

And there is no more wool

To knit

 

Only the mirror pond

Before our eyes rippling in

Pain

 

And to know inside that it is our razor

That made such a terrible cut,

Expensive

 

For what collateral the life of another

To score scores coronary deep

For points

 

What sweet bargains made

In the vision of cataract blind can

Recompense

 

All the anguish inflicted

Upon the most hated world so

Justified

 

And in the bowers of distortion

Bending facts so as at night to

Sleep

 

Whilst core cuts burrs

Of as yet denied knowing

Harsh

 

Such a burden to hang leaden

Heavy beyond pretence possible

Unfolding

 

Likes of this would not I bear

Pointing fingers into eyes

Blinding worlds

 

But for a moment’s thought

The balance of the world

Hinges

A Grain of Salt

fading into time

a grain of salt

in the pillar of

looking back

 

the over the shoulder robes

slip on a clavicle,

a harpsichord

with no Bach’s flower remedy

 

a tincture of infinity

bound tight in sand,

a seed of truth

to worry into pearls

 

the salt of the earth

comes out of tears

shed as many scales

in the lack of balance

 

a couturier sublime

etched in the cloth

of human folly

making proud stalagmites

 

centuries and bastions

standing Easter Island guard

unless something sneaks past

on a whimsical wind

 

all the herring and rollmops

which curl up the tongue

to a shot of Aquavit

can’t curl enough

 

sweeping the ice

scoring it deep

and no rubbing of brass

will bring back the past

 

an echo of maybe and might

whispers goodnight

onto the pillow of dreams

wet now from eyes

 

and a love now destroyed

simpers and dies

for want of humility

as scarce as a scarecrow’s heart

 

the last train home

leaves the platform of will

forever now

and what price the bill?

 

and that which we do

unto those whom we love

is the most terrible cost

of a bitter revenge

 

passing now forever

a brief echo of a life

jaundiced by pride

as sad as a tourniquet

 

to share and to bind

one to another

its midnight now

and no turning space

 

fading into time

a grain of salt

in the pillar of

looking back