UP AND DOWN STAIRCASE

One man’s refuge
is another man’s cage.

Trying to get in
often meets
Trying to get out.

 

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ROBIN

First year robin sits inside a tree
shaped by a storm,
lives on its wits,
sings through closed beak,
plays hide and seek
and looks at me.

I am neither kestrel nor worm
and so an object of mild curiosity.
Neither am I another robin
deserving of this robin’s full ferocity.

I am, perhaps, a handful of crumbs?

 

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MAKE THE MOST OF IT

What is “It”
that we should make the most of it?
What have we
that we can justly boast of it?

We have inherited our share of wealth;
and karma and good sense
have brought us health.

Time weighs not on our hands
and, as things stand,
we have sufficient
and do not rightly understand
if, of Time, we think ourselves deficient.

What if, as in the parable, we have concealed
our talent in the ground,
and, newly dead, the fruit
of our labours is revealed
and nothing found
and all has been in vain?

Then, downward spiralling, off we go again
to land, with new bruises, in some older state,
to sift through the ashes
of our self-appointed fate,
and stare into the shadows of “too late”.

 

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TRUANT

The wren
is very small
but its voice
is very loud,
confident and tuneful.
It is as lively
as a kitten.

Yet
it has no formal education.
Nor does it contribute
to a government-approved
pension scheme.

 

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LISTEN

What is that sound?
Like the trailing of a fan
through a silent anteroom?

It is the murmur of air
ruffling leaves.

It is the herald of the whirlwind
which will strip those leaves from their trees
and wrench the trees from the hillside
and blast the soil from the rocks beneath,
leaving the skeleton of the earth
to bleach and crumble.

And what is that sound?
Like a cascade of pearls
on a silver salver?

It is the rushing of the waterfall
in the Italian garden.
It presages the tempest and the raging ocean
which smashes earth’s boundaries
and drives the rivers back up to their sources,
drowning and destroying everything that lives on air.

And what is that sound?
Like the crackle of dry twigs
under the heavy boots of soldiers?
It is the fire in the hearth,
logs spitting, blue and yellow flame dancing
under the granite lintel.

It is the messenger of the Sun
which will rage and burn the planet
to a cloud of incandescent interstellar dust
for the winds of space to disperse forever.

And what is that sound?
High and plaintive
behind the polished nursery door?

It is the crying of a two-day-old baby.
It tells of the heavy tramp of armies
across the continents of the world
marching to the rhythms
of dark gods
bringing the destruction of cities
and the extinguishing of civilisations.

It is the sound of an empty skull
there in the desert,
abandoned by dog and raven,
dry and bleached and splitting along its seams,
home to gusts of wind
and the occasional locust.

These are the sounds of the end of human endeavour,
the end pages of books,
the silence which silences the symphony.

When the gums shrivel and decay,
the teeth are cracked and broken
and there is to be found no place where the smile
or its shadow has ever been;
no echo of long ago laughter.

This is the sound of eternity.

 

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FORK IN THE ROAD

ARIADNE’S THREAD & ‎THESEUS

Many people,
but not everyone,
encounter the Truth
in some form or other
during the course of Life’s journey.

This leads to a fork in the road.

Either they adjust themselves to the Truth,
in which case
they are led along by Truth
on their Journey,
and the Ego melts away.

Or they adjust the Truth to themselves
in which case
they are led along by Ego
which strengthens itself
on its journey
and the perception of Truth
melts away.

 

Note: Either you hold on to Ariadne’s thread of Truth and end up in the open air of Freedom (and Ariadne).
Or you cling to Ego’s coattails and end up on the floor clutching his caste-off garment, when he slips it off and disappears.
And what are those things sticking out either side of your head?

 

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A POISONED CHALICE

Education
breeds expectation.

Expectation
leads to frustration.

Frustration
is a suicide bomber.

Flowers of the Void
are not so easily destroyed.

Insubstantial from the start,
they shine on in each empty heart.

 

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