Where Is Heaven?

Where is heaven?

Only here

With the past drawn up

And collected

Like the skirts of time

Were no longer historic,

Nor paid much mind,

The future too

Is clawed back home

Until the now is pure and plump

And filled to brimming with love:

And the measurement of things

Is scrapped

And swapped

For the absolute value

Of the universe,

The self brought

Wholly to heart.

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.

Love Breathes

Love breathes

Its breath

Upon the suffering of man:

A sweat breath

Upon the knots of thought

And tangled emotion;

A fragrant breath

Laced with the ingredients of freedom

And possibilities infinite.

To the prison of locked thought

And tight-chested constriction,

Love melts itself

And all

Into beautiful lubrication,

Absorbs what is not light

Into light’s overwhelming union,

Consumes illusion

And false belief,

Turns mind

To truth,

And flowers in itself

As oneness wholly felt.

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.

Heaven

We walk in heaven

Barefoot on the grass

Drinking dew-cool breaths

Or we dance on the burning pavement,

Our thoughts like shards of glass

Cutting us deeply.

Yet still we are heavenly set

Upon the earth,

Our gentle or angry mother,

Goddess or foe,

Living our lives in grace

And the freedom to choose

To make this world

A heaven or a hell.

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.