Untethered

I hold my opinion

As you hold yours:

A collection of ideas

Raised on the twists and turns of our lives:

Individually accrued

And shaped into a weave

That we wear like coat:

A personality,

An identity,

Who we are, perhaps?

Can you be loose

With the luggage of the self,

This weightless stuff

Made of weightless thoughts

And thoughts amalgamated into belief?

How real it appears

How solid it seems

As if the weightless thoughts

And invisible ideas

Made something tangible,

A thing, actually there in the world.

Better to be loose

With opinion.

Better to see it

As merely a point of view

Among eight billion,

No more or less valid

Than the next,

No more or less serious

Or stupid or laughable.

Better it drift off in the wind

Better it evaporate under sunshine

Better it be like a friendly shadow

Whom you love

Despite its ignorance.

Be free unimportant opinion

Who I held so close,

Be free

Here in me,

For I see you small

And light and fragrant

And harmless,

A nothing who might alight

My indifference

And flit there unworried,

Restful for being wholly untethered.

The Nectar

Already by 10 AM the sun is merciless

But the birds are twittering

Under the shade of leaves,

Cool in the undergrowth.

Sounds arrive in the garden

Brought by a breeze:

Cars swishing in the distance,

Workers on scaffolding

Laying tiles,

A child cries out

After its mother:

Just everyday happenings

Of a suburb in a town in the summer.

As I sit, hearing the world,

Brought the waft of honeysuckle

And jasmine flowers

Generous and comforting,

I realise

That I am here

And I am now,

And that life is perfect

As the buddlier flowers’

Drooping purple spires

On which the bees drink thirstily,

And butterflies flit,

Their tongues unfurled

Tasting the world,

Sipping at the nectar of it.

The Fluid Of The Air

There were downpours last night,

The patter of swollen drops

On leaves and the absorbent earth.

The guttering dripped intermittently

And sung me back to sleep.

This morning, when I step outside,

The garden accepts me

Inside itself,

Merges me wholly

With the rain-heavy air,

Easy on the breath

And dampening like a sodden blanket.

Bird calls are shrill in the moistness

As if the lubricated air

Conveyed sound more easily.

The separation between things

Is altered and healed

As though my senses,

Conducted by the closeness of molecules,

Reach far beyond

What I might call the body.

Where once there was dry air, the sky,

And things existing in it,

Now there is one fluid medium

Where all things touch.

The boundaries of bark and stem,

Feathered skin or the insects chitinous

Exoskeleton are as porous

As the canopy of the overarching tree.

And the osmosis between

Is a luxuriant movement,

Energy’s transient enquiry,

Unconcerned by the names of things

And free to pass between,

Free to roam

A borderless and singular being.

While The Sun Set

While the sun set

Our thoughts got caught

In the sticky thorns

Of the news

And we all remarked

On how terrible it was.

And as the sky became redder

And wider and filled

With darting bugs,

Feasting bats upon the wing,

We said it was a travesty.

And when the moon,

A slither in the vastness

Of horizons broad as beginnings,

Slipped from behind an effortless cloud,

We continued with our worrying stories.

And at last, with but a pale glimmer

At the most western face of the day,

The final moment

When night was not yet night

And day still held sway,

We woke up,

Realised everything was alright

And that life was in fact joyous.

Identity Trap

You sit there

In your skin of ideas:

What you’ve learnt,

What you’ve imbibed,

Parroting out

Your culture

Just as I am spewing mine.

And in all this soup of thoughts,

A million-hand reused,

We take our arbitrary stand

Against each other’s placards,

Clinging upon the cliff edge of identity,

Fingers bloodless

In the fear of where we might fall.

But if we were loose in our thoughts,

Seeing them as harmless

Products of an endlessly spitting machine,

And not really ours at all,

Might we see

That the apparent void

Into which we might fall

Is no void to be feared

But an endless source of spaciousness.

The Great River

I lie back

In the great river,

Its warm waters

Lapping at my cheek,

My chin and my forehead.

The great liquid of the world

Holds me with a tenuous grip,

Perhaps only a nudge

Upon a gently idling whirlpool.

My chest holds my heart to the sun

And I am open as a child

Yet to learn.

There is sunshine on my thoughts

And eyes, closed

For the meandering of the heart

And wisdom’s language,

Subtle as the currents

Baring me.

I am alive in trust,

Surrendered to the water’s movement,

Guided by it,

Content to be borne

Where its great waters will.

A Dove Coos

A dove coos

In the the bell tower,

Soft and throaty

And warm

For the chicks

Loved in to the nest.

The Scots pine,

Lofty in the graveyard,

Stands still and magnificent

Exuding presence,

Shining with silence

And oblivious of time.

The woodland,

Dotted with ewes

And skewed graves stones

Chatters

In warble and whistle.

In the canopy

Birds flap and flutter unseen.

Potential

Turn

From the tired old trudge

Into limitation,

Where the mind conjures

Ever decreasing lack

And multiplies of hardship.

Turn towards

The vortex of love

Spinning perfect

In the centre you forget

While straying in the dream

Of you as lonely entity,

You as lonely, separate fact.

This infinite you is limitless

And born anew,

Fresh and ever fruitful.

It calls the thoughts,

Enrobes them rich,

Colours them

In love’s ubiquitous energy,

And spins them

In upward spirals

Bringing more and more

And glorious more

In never ending

Expansion of being,

A potential

That cannot be reached

But can be

Reached into

And rode:

You,

Forever uplifted.

No Need To Love

You need not love the self

For the self loves you.

Relax, forget about the work

Of loving, it’s not yours to do,

For the self loves

Your every limitation.

Stop attempting the impossible:

You cannot conjure love

Through will and the toil of thinking,

Just chill

For you are loved already,

Wholly and infinitely,

No part of you left out.

See you are bathed in love,

See that, only see,

Then sit back

And do absolutely nothing.

Wonderful Space

The garden is ripe with being

For sunlight

Diffuse through haze

Illuminates

And encourages

All green things

To be

Ever more themselves.

And like the plants

I expose my skin

And open my pores

And breath in

That light,

Absorb

The sweetness offered

Unconditionally,

And drink in life

Knowing, as it is mine

So it belongs to all

Whose hearts beat

And in whose veins sap rises,

And in even the static selves

Of soil and stones

And things thought inanimate,

Nevertheless

A pulse of being still thrills.