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.

Cool Breeze Beneath The Plane Trees

London is sweet

In June’s ownership.

Roses billow

From front gardens

In to quite, shady streets.

There is a cool breeze

Beneath the plane trees,

And reality flexes

With a deep breath

And a mind expanding.

I read in the paper

That rare orchids had materialised

On a green roof

Among towering edifices –

An astronomical improbable chance!

Someone was quoted saying it was miraculous.

It made me wonder

What other miracles

Are yet in store,

Idling just off stage,

Unseen in the formless realm,

Unexpressed possibility

Awaiting only

A nod of our head

And an invitation to be.

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.

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.

May Rain

The sky breathes

Moist upon the land,

Kisses the newness

Of just-unfurled leaves,

Liquefying the air

Until dew drop and rain drop

Dampen tree bark

With dark mottled absorbency,

And the haze of cow parsley

Scents the sky’s earthward reach

With its Milky Way.

Shriller and lubricated,

Bird call conducted

Through the denser fluid,

Cuts the sweet cloak

Of draping mist,

Amplified inside

The descended cloud,

Defined by its weight

And closeness.

And from the delicate canopy,

Born in perfect verdancy,

Coalesced drops patter,

Splatting loose and percussive

Upon fresh nettle leaves

Yearning for light.

Spring Prayer

Newly minted air

Made new by the night

Holds spring

In its spaciousness.

The world is awake

And tender

As the first-born greens

Of beginnings

Brought forth

Again, and yet again

In timelessness.

Being dances

To the steadiness

Of the sun,

Lives as a prayer

To the becoming of the one

Who holds

The delicate flower

And weight of the earth

And else innumerable,

All secure

In boundless,

Infinite nothingness.

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.

The Measure Of Happiness

In the wind chime caressed

By a breath,

And in that very same breeze

On which birds chirp and caw

And flute about the day,

And in the corrugated iron roof

Tink-tinking with a lungful

Of sunshine,

Expanding its sun-trap back

And stretching like a luxuriant cat,

And in the lofty Scots pine

Whose needling fronds

Reach like sensing fingertips

Deep into the infinite:

These all

Are the measure of happiness.