prayer

Sahasrara

At 5am the attic door becomes a waterfall
of cloud-pallor and silver-grey and electricity
flooding me - impossible to think - air full of bells -
and ripples and vacuum and hysteria -

The children wander their unknown dreamworlds
their hands birdlike, warm and light and urgent
as all that brightening pushes its way in
and my skin tautens - I am a kiln - I am a cathedral -

I pray in myself, rats hunt in my cellar,
light presses into me from on high -
with closed eyes I am an infinite space
of many bodies, a mind of mirrors and glass.

My eyes sting, I have to sleep -
but it's worth it to be renewed
at the altar of early morning
and the funeral of the long night.

A Stupid Prayer

Forgive me my falseness
I don't know how to be honest
I've always been so selfish
and I've always wanted to be so special

if anything or anyone hears me
when I whisper to myself at night
in the dark, under the covers,
I hope you understand I had no chance

I couldn't hear you, I couldn't see you
and all my words just fell into silence
for every beautiful feeling
it seemed I had to hurt someone

I didn't know why or how to love
or why I was born wanting to
and if you can hear me, please
tell me nothing is lost

because even though this was a spoiled life
I don't want it to be swallowed
into the darkness before and after time -
please tell me you know me,

you forgive me, you lay your hands on me,
you gather my little life into eternity,
you see through my eyes, you listen
with my ears, you kiss with my lips -

tell me these words aren't useless
as we wander through our weird cities
and sleep all tangled together
and breathe sweet smoky air

I woke up as a flame in a fading light
and maybe I know who I am
maybe it's a vast and funny harmony
but I'm so tired, please will you carry me

Sofia

...don't even say a word.
    ...play sad music and sit in silence
        ...stark and stunned
daydreams like escaped moons
so easy to follow into the outer dark
thoughts bound in order
celestial harmony of divided spheres mediated by corpus callosum
I am disjointed now and
    > struggling <
    >> for expression <<    OF:
(+) <= clues I find / or maybe not clues / but delusions
a cross or a host or a
(religion abandoned us and left us helpless
    before the contents of our own minds
        (let me be moved by those
            who the Lord hath awakened
SOFIA // AEON
and once
    THIS
        (this focus and this fire)
        >> or being : this one : Flower <<
        endless and unendurable agony
    - star death
    - golden wreaths
    - pulses in metal heart
    - lost in expressions of time
I was supposed to embrace it all / link it and find it
as one unified / an understanding made singular and named
    BUT
        this turns out to be
        I M P O S S I B L E
(i am sorry /                (this one is moved /
i am so small /                by One greater /
i thought i was more /            the impossible work /
than i am )                is already accomplished )
        ET LUX PERPETUA

I'm diving now, wrestling with my own gift
(and it is a gift)
at the first of the doors in the deep
there is St. Sofia / the ragged blind woman
a girl who once loved me / and so forever
in paradisum deducant te angeli / her arrows
her wings / her dark eyes / I kneel
in the dark garden / to kiss her shadow's feet
of all my loved-ones / she is my guardian

O Kali Ma, Holy Guardian Angel, androgyne Uriel, silly little girl,
let me pass through your golden gates and safely on to the underworld.
I love you and I am yours, and cannot survive
in my own mind's wild labyrinth, unless you give me passage
and bless me with a kiss that marks me for all to see.
Now I lay me down to sleep / and pray the Lord my soul to keep
guard me, Jesus, through the night / and wake me with the morning light
and if I die before I wake / I pray the Lord my soul to take
------------------------------------------------------------>
Birth                            Death
<------------------------------------------------------------
I pray the Lord my soul to take
into that great tunnel
from my window to yours
(two universes become one
((+))
my lady, grant me thy grace.
my lady, open thy door for me.
my lady, kiss me and bless my journey.
my lady, in sleeping and waking keep me safe.

lady, I remember
you had rings on your fingers
and bells on your toes
and so you had music
wherever you go

through the first door into bluey ocean darkness -
and behind me the dead girl dances -
torn dress and dread hair weightlessly writhing -
haloed in the illumination of the upper world.
we blow kisses. she is so cute.
all around me the supernatural dark. the pressure.
the foot of the Lord on my neck and nothing
for me but twenty years' journey and a broken sword.
a long and a hard life, sinking
towards far smooth sands, peaceful and inviolate.
the creatures of the deep tear themselves apart
from within, if they rise, exploding
into the sun and the air like saints
destroyed by the solar divine -
and we of the light and the surface
journey only once into the realm of iron and ice.

        (+)

the lady tells me:
    / open your eyes now
    / to your inner ocean
    / realm of ice and iron
    /
she means:
    / overlay, map
    / two universes become one
    / reunited twins
    /
she means: begin the great work

the insane king: Lorcan? Stalin? Shah Jehan?
his great temple's dark twin
reflection of a broken heart
a war between chambers and vessels
MAHAL: what I said then and what I say now:
>> I bring the sky and the earth together <<

fall we will, but rise we must
and thus become one with all that rises
    L E V I A T H A N
we are panicking in the world of surfaces
counting and checking and cataloguing and linking
driven by our obsession with the light and the dark
and the realm of ice and iron stirs beneath us
a blue blanket over a bloated, empty belly
and a terrible child stirring in a terrible womb
the terror of the blind guardian and the blank page
the mythical beast rising through words and waves
and I am a mariner / a fisherman / a swimmer / an island
is drowning something we do or something that is done to us?
it rises anyway / regardless of names / or purposes
ancient illuminator / we the pages of his text
and the world and its words        / mind
and the world and its blood        / body
and the world and its soul        / spirit
are one, One, ONE

            (+)

Thy will, not mine, be done.

The King of Broken Things

Weak evening sunlight from between hills across the reservoir. Ringed now with steel spikes painted green and glowing. Domain of cats and foxes, mice, car thieves, mind-crippled wouldbe saints and policemen looking for junkies and teenage couples. Where concrete and stone from an old wall lump together in one spot to make a broken throne. Overlooking a broken kingdom of remodelled schoolfields and replanted hedgerows and hidden estate grasslands and flatpack white houses and blood-golden roof slates. Behind the throne the cold reservoir water lapping at granite stones and a red-rusted jetty. Hours spent sitting there witnessed only by ancient lightning-charred pine and lost house cats.

Future hours would bring stories and memories. stories of eels in the dark water like strands of hydra hair to catch swimmers' feet. Memories of traveller kids diving off the jetty one afternoon in wetsuits and shorts. With the disappearance of the light the reservoir bottom also vanished and that great trench opened to the centre of the world. a moving core like a lost heart. Bats silently skimming and twisting overhead, only heard as movements of air. Voices at the edge of consciousness floating closer on a distant path over a high wall and growing loud then fading again. A path that led from one suburb to another through schoolgrounds deep and insane with shadows and trees and long grass. Memories of drinking there years ago, laughing and running and falling over, standing drunk at the reservoir's edge thinking nothing but NOW NOW NOW

Stories of walking off the jetty at night and sinking into the abyss. How only one of pure heart could swim to the other side and only one of great courage could brave the clutch of eels and the ice clawing at the chest and the face. Stories of the old king and queen who ruled that place before it was broken, when the throne was whole and the land was whole and the reservoir was a lake fed by springs from hills unspoilt by apartment blocks and offices. When the school sent generations of sages from its gates each year in pulses that spread through the world. When the king and queen loved each other and loved their son and daughter and loved the land. And how in their way they also thought NOW, they thought NOW NOW, before the lightning blasted the old pine and before all the houses fell asleep and began to look the same, before there was a future the king and the queen were in love NOW NOW NOW

I pity the king frozen and sad deep in my mind, the queen pale and lost deep in my mind, the child hoped-for and afraid deep in my mind. The sun glinting from the far horizon and the night falling. Moths and weeds and the long walk along the water's edge - water ritual, stone ritual, ritual of memory. Stories of the child who inherited a broken world. What could he do but say to himself that he must save it. The broken thing, fixed. The broken bird, healed. The king and the queen, rescued. To sit by the shore once more and hold hands, old dry hands, old ashen robes, and smile at each other and at the restoration of the world. How the child would swim the dark water and brave the abyss and find the lost talisman. How the earth would slough off the crust of a hundred years and flow into nature again. the river and the hills and the sun and the sky and the trees and birds and cats and all of it wakened up and resurgent. There at the centre of the mind, sunken to the quick of it: the healer. Memories of loneliness. Solitude and birdsong in long bright mornings while his parents slept. Stories of solitude. How the one alone becomes the only one.

Hundreds of heavy mornings in the glass canyons and the choked cataracts of the kingdom. A million feet in military lockstep across the new millennium's bridges. For all of us a throne and for all of us a vista of numbers and letters, endless liquid crystal prayerwheels spun and shining all day long in the dead city. Chanting the names of gods unknown until now. The kind of gods that crawl out of the rubble of a shattered place, full of shadow and sadness and obsession. The king and the queen nothing now but memories of ancient statues of mythical characters, abstracted through endless layers of mind and lost to NOW.

Mother, father, this wind is so cold and we have been lost for ten thousand lifetimes. So many years since you were warm. So many years until that far green future when the kingdom will be healed. And here I am lost in the NOW as I always was. Chanting NOW NOW with my palms together and my eyelids wet with remembering how you used to smile and how once the coldest roads all led back to the same warm place. Crying please NOW, please come back NOW NOW, not in that dim past or that far future but oh please NOW NOW NOW let there be a beautiful end

Machine Code Raindrop

this droplet from dark twig mirroring glints of glows
of fire in forest canopy burning throat of sky
and raindrop falling for insect-lifetime from space-edge
gathering images forgetting purpose frozen unfrozen and high

this fierce bonfire mind calm in rainstorm ghostly
called twice in pain from abandoned chest-locked heart
end of raindrop journey smashed into blackened skin
and arms bruised to bone and ash-whitened flung apart

seeks language made schizoid by intuition
seeks subjects and subroutines rivered from fingers to flame
for crashing continents for kissing oceans
leaf-ash floating higher, falling on storm-inspired no-names

singing and dancing closer, the leaf and the lover
flower-picker sweet and bell-ankled and henna-tattooed
clear water pouring from overloaded palms, over-
whelmed eyes, overcome heart-deep by ridiculous truths

and once in loneliness on knees in winter needles
roaring forest for choosing madness over agony
and raindrop floating earthward for infinite lifetimes
soaking into skin soft forgiveness of entropy

the inevitability of gravity, the hunger of whirlpools,
lost incantations and lore of amorality of love
of lunacy of loss and ecstasy of laughter of organs and bones
and taste of god the droplet bled from sun-veins above

Mind Rain

she's there, between the eye and the brain,
like liquid crystal under the surface of a lens
listening to rain, thunder, strange city weather
like flames and devils in the wallpaper,
dancers in the air of the bedroom on dim mornings,
the shifting, coy disguises of the body
possessed by the ghosts of actors and the words of history
we like to take a walk to buy chocolate at night
we like to lie beside each other
raining through each other's minds

this is the outside, streams of whatever-you-call-it
flailing like octopus arms around whatever-it-is
everything bleeding, everything exploding
in and out of forms and bodies, the hot red and yellow
of it all, the deep green taste of the thawed lake,
blinding, tilted out over the trees, mirroring
their echo, their resonance to their own insane sound

this has no direction, that has no flavour, no texture
the ice cream is the same to me as the news and the sex
as I swim into the flow, as I divide into a million rivers
of attention and thought, tickling at the molecules -
they say it's an illusion that one second follows another,
one thought into the next, one dream into another day -
one by one we unreal things kneel down in the dust to pray.

The Circle

We caught a bus out of the city near dawn
and crossed the wet football fields into the park
after a night of reading and talking and no sleep;
thin psyches, sensitive eyes, amazed by simple things -
oaks and crocuses, birds, breath vapour in the morning air.

February sunlight on the sycamores and chestnuts;
flickering on the spinning edge of a boomerang
bought in a music shop, thrown in a ritual circle.
A dog grabbed it, chewed it up and ran out of sight
over the lip of the hill. The horizon's circle placed us
at the centre of a world that moved with us like an aura.

We squinted when the sun would break the tree cover
and catch us talking about the four elements and the spirit;
about friends and past lives and drugs and spiced tea;
water spraying from a dog's wet fur, geese croaking
over the flat lake water, street lights flicking off on the waking roads.

Everything became concentrated in the ritual of the walk -
up the oak and beech slopes to the edge of the golf course,
along the river gully and past the tall, scarred tree,
around the edges of the lake; our conversation
fusing our experiences and memories with this reality:
the alchemy of the elements. Lake, sky, sun, mud, and us.

Once in a while, something notices how scattered we've become,
and decides to bring us together again: poetry, pub stories,
sharing sandwiches on a cold bench, kissing under a crumbling wall.
We collect what we can, and offer it to the other for blessing:
an oak twig, shaved and sanded for the altar; the names and shapes
of seeds and leaves; feelings summoned into the material world,
like the perfect oak, alive in space and time until the final storm.

Antimatter

solar powered, battery free hopeless incompetent hero drowning
partially helpless unclothed mystified you're my freshness and my sight
I'm outside everything, wiping a finger on the window of my dreams
fogged up and freezing, friends and failure, my god helps me to see into
the nighttime dynamo and the whirling metal glacier indigo
I'm not here, I'm not anywhere, I'm not a thing at all
nowhere, nothing, a twist in the sheet metal of the mind, a noise
in the storm of the mind, an image writhing on the surface of the mind's sea
all this is nothing, I need my own voice to come through
not some reflection of the screams and confusion going on in my brain
but my real awareness, how I'd want to speak to god, how I'd want to speak
to my own soul, my own heart, how I'd speak to my mother after this life is over
this is nothing, there's no reason for it, I can't see or hear, like something
not even born, wailing unformed and limbless, egg sac, egg yolk skin and eyes
not that nightmare, something real and ordinary, a fetus, an amniotic teabag
there's no identity here that stays the same across each moment and second
no ghost dancing in my bones, no woman drowning in my mind, no hero
puking into the dark river, no lion raising its paw to pull down
the screen of the universe and bring all pretending to an end
mama mama let me sing before the dark god coughs and the goblin claws my throat out
let me roll in the brambles near the reservoir, let me leave and never come back
fist, throat, name, hand, shoes, walls, sun, sister, road, knife, sky
a new style in the magazines or the third greatest novel in the history
of an insignificant country - another barefoot, smiling guru, another teacher
clawing desperately at a sick blackboard as the faceless students scroll by
on film strip winding around a prayer wheel, a maypole, a stick for entrails
three kilos of quivering calculating brain cereal, bone and meat, leatherbound,
decorated and stamped for approval and processing, rapid insertion into the equation
no purity, no home, no return - halved and quartered and divided until we are sand,
we are dust, we are antimatter, and our burning heals us, our screaming soothes us
I remember how I used to sing, and listen to singing, how I used to shout
when the birds and the frogs in the old garden woke up and the ditches shook
I am just a bag of memory, old stories repeating, sun and moon cycling, blood
in the veins and arteries, a system of systems, words and words and words
trying to find a new way of writing but my mind is empty, nothing comes
India, father, pillars in the evening, sand and kisses, the smell of the dead house
smoke from bodies, slow river, roots of mountains, clear water, the bellow
of an emperor trapped in a dream, horse rotting in a riverbed, flowers in eye sockets
fuck how I love to breathe, to feel it bursting in my stomach and my spine,
that insane loving energy shooting me like a maniac bullet at my own beautiful death

Reasons Not To Go Home

The city is drunk
and then there's me -
sober, surreal, softly
walking beside the viscid river,
witnessing:
her spangles, white and orange;
her patience, the way she gathers
everything in strange arms
as gifts for the ocean.

I have gifts, in a plastic bag:
a chocolate egg left from Easter.
A copy of Time Magazine.
Stray words in my mind,
which I will write down
because that is how I can stay alive.

My mother gave me the egg.
She wastes nothing, except time.
She never learned how to live
with time, and its gathering
of all the pretty things
to the mercy of their endings.

Alone in my bedroom, I can hear
traffic, voices from the street,
wind sometimes, and if it rains
I will leave my window open
and imagine that I am on a journey
across many miles of water.

I truly have no reason to be here
except that I'm waiting
to feel my lover's hands on my face -
I'm waiting to lie with her
and whisper that I remember her
from a lighter, more gentle place.

One day all the stories of me
will end, like the lights on the river -
maybe borne like funeral candles into the sea,
or maybe disappeared into daylight,
but either way, tenderly, without harm,
no one there to see or be afraid.

For now, I can only be a prayer
in the living darkness,
heard by silent companions,
stilled into the air's memory
even as I am carried without end
from moment to moment. And she
is the prayer that I am, the plea
that I make, the desperate language
that no one ever taught me -
no one ever needed to.
 

The Knight at the Nexus of Memory

Everything smelled perfect and everything
tasted sweet in my grandmother’s house -
Star Wars on rewind in the VCR,
my uncle's chess computer blinking in thought,
the grey afternoon light, gentle minutes
settling around me like mystical tissue.

In the cotton silence of her attic,
there was nothing of me except a body,
tingles in the stomach, an ache in the mind
for the world above the skylight
and its spaceships and alien cities, alien houses
for alien boys with no place in this world -

or rolling on the side lawn with my uncle,
trying to trip him, getting breathless and heavy,
falling into laughter with my cheek pressed
to the soft grass. He didn't know I was hiding
inside myself, scared and small with no powers,
no lightsaber, no invulnerable smile.

My little superheroes were a virus in my mind.
For every day of warm rain and every good friend
there was the knight at the nexus of memory,
the dancing samurai, luminous blade cutting images and words -
the vampire, the unseen bodhisattva dynamo
powered by prayer wheels and playstations

and always hoping for a simpler life.
No one knew he was there, and so
no one saw him leave, sad and empty: old killer
in a land of reincarnating immortals.
Everything he shaped is coming loose,
useless dreams I don't need to remember.