“Goodbye”

Flung down, run down,
bunged up and hung over,
I got on the bus today
to leave once more
a place full of people I love,
intense friendships which burnt
at fever pitch for a little while
but now will fade
until we meet again to
stoke the embers and ignite
another blazing bonfire
of words, booze and blues,
everyone dancing like idiots
until the grey morning returns.

Sitting on the bus with a
pounding head and bleary eyes,
I know all too well that
to live is to suffer;
bound and gagged by time
we are assaulted by a
constant sense of loss,
of having left behind
something meaningful.
Moments we want to hold
slowly slip into silence as
the ravages of the clock
tick-tock our temporary time
until too soon we must go,
always searching for what
we have already found and lost,
lost and found,
among the doubtful sounds
of an uncertain universe.

But then I came to a church;
a tiny building beside a lake
so blue it shamed the sky,
so beautiful that the church
didn’t need stained-glass windows,
for nothing could tell the
story of God’s grandeur
better than that water,
so I sat and listened
to the moving old tale,
breathing in the peace,
which smelled of oak and age
and a thousand weary souls
come to find deliverance.

There was a sign which read:
‘This is a place of God,
please treat it as such’
and it was certainly true;
God does live in that church,
but I couldn’t help thinking that
every place is a place of God,
and sometimes I just need a
beautiful view to remind me that
I really have lived and loved
and that is enough,
for it will always be with me
as I sit alone, play with silence
and think about how happy and sad,
joyous, painful and absurd this life is
and how shit it is to say goodbye
and how thankful I am for it all
and what exact food will most
help me with this awful hangover.

“Te Tapu-nui” (Mountain of Intense Sacredness)

He walked into the woods
to gather up a poem,
drawing rhythm from the
melodies of a gurgling stream
running its ice-cold course
across paths and pine needles
passing beneath his feet;
from the wagtail’s call
chiming through quiet trees –
nature’s bell to mark the passing
of no time at all;
from breathless gasps
steaming out his lungs to the
rhythm of a beating heart,
matching tune of the wilderness;
from the silence of a frozen pool,
solid ice reflecting the view
of dramatic mountains and a
sky-blue lake supplied by snow.

It is a story of the journey
upward to a place within
beautiful enough to match
the white-crowned mountains
and mirror lakes,
a place as wild and unkempt
as the forgotten goat paths
to abandoned cabins
where once we panned for gold,
pulling nuggets out the stream
before descending back to town
bearing riches in our packs,
wrought of hard work and
solitude.

That is his story, his world,
out there in the mystic wilds
of his own heart where
streams of blood flow in time
with the bird call’s of his mind,
and the quiet trees are always green.
There he chooses to walk
wandering hitchhiker,
no phone, no pets, no cigarettes,
looking to unmask the false being within,
the person made to match the
thoughts and feelings and laws
of other men, no better than himself,
nor any worse.

Leave him to it,
aesthetic voyager of the heart.
Let him have his world
and be done with it,
to perish or prosper in lonely grandeur,
far from the company of men
and yet always in sight
if only they’d look up, look harder
at the background of their photos,
to see those silent stony cliffs
which hear the last confessions
of every soul that leaves this life,
ascending for the final time
up the snow-capped alps
and into blue eternity,
far above the clouds.

*I’m so sorry that I haven’t posted in some time. I am travelling around New Zealand’s South Island and having the time of my life away from the internet and anything online. I will return in a few weeks again. Until then, keep smiling!

“Domestic Bliss”

“These images by a white photographer

of black domestic workers are offensive”

reads the headline on my newsfeed,

two words hanging like death knells

so that the sentence cannot live,

cannot breathe beneath the

crushing pair of opposites

it fails to reconcile.

 

The portraits are not perfect,

lacking the shades of grey

also missing in the headline,

but the function of art

is to bring out the best in us,

reveal the wonder of perception.

That is what the critics

have never understood.

 

Even the unskilled artist says

“This is my truth, nothing else,

it need not resemble yours.”

But if there is rhythm,

if it is skillfully rendered,

it will have some element of Truth,

an all-too-fleeting moment of

Beauty.

 

That is what I seek

between the light and dark lines

of a Japanese landscape painting,

opposites used to construct

a complete picture of

the ebb and flow of existence,

photographers and domestic workers

included in the rhythm of it All.

 

The more I look the more I think

the answers only fit for the

conversations of madmen and shamans

far from religion, race, belief,

where the truth is shattered

into a million different shades

battling back and forth between

the darkness and the light.