Puff of Dust

Mind is chewing and spitting out

that which it doubts.

Not because it is untruth

but because it undermines

the glamour of the ego.

It says: this is dull, boring,

devoid of fun.

But when these ideas

are held up to the light

and seen for what they are,

they vanish

like a puff of dust

because there is nothing there

but the dead skin

of the separate self.

And, beyond that,

a blanket of peace;

a canvas

on which all form,

all colour,

is splashed

and alive.

Not dull, not boring;

ever-present and open

to all expression,

without dismissive, judgemental thought.

The ego sees neutrality as boring

but in that hollow

is the infinite potential

of the moment

in all its splendour,

no matter how ordinary.

Riding the Edge

Riding the edge
Between consciousness and creation,
Stillness and action,
Being and doing.
Not one, not two. 

Along that edge,
There is an opening inside me,
A letting go and stepping,
Each moment,
Into the unknown
Of the next. 

I don’t want to live
Tired and dogmatic,
Going through the motions. 

I want to awaken to life
And devote myself
To its flowering
And unfolding. 

I want to open,
Like a window,
The sun’s rays
Streaming through me. 

Through pain,
Through pleasure.
The dust motes
Dancing in the light. 

Call of the Cave – A Pantoum

I hear the call of the cave
World’s colours grown too bright
There’s no one left to save
Only the inner blood red light.

World’s colours grown too bright
I retreat into the shadow
Only the inner blood red light
Golden field lying fallow.

I retreat into the shadow
Drink deep from the well of me
Golden field lying fallow
Dancing sweet to the spell of me.

Drink deep from the well of me
There’s no one left to save
Dancing sweet to the spell of me
I hear the call of the cave.

The Wild Inside Me

The wild inside me
lives on the edge
of the stream
where gnarly roots and bracken
dip their toes
in the water.

I follow
my shaggy wolf heart
down
to the rocky crevices
that run
with the mountain’s medicine.

Black fox feet,
all muscle and movement,
awakening to the call
of the poetry
that beats in my belly.

Down here
there is no time
but the present.
And the arrows
that show the way
are drawn with twigs.

The rushing brushing music
of the waterfall
carries my thoughts
to another lifetime,
when I was always
in this:
fully immersed
in the cradle
of life, death and rebirth;
cycling its deep meaning
into my bones.

Em & Lucy

We stopped outside the square building. Lucy’s hand clamped around mine. When I look back, I think that was one of the last times she held my hand. She was twelve then. I remember because I had decided I would tell her when she turned twelve.

The winter cold crept in through the collars and sleeves of our coats. There was a feeble layer of snow on the ground. Too thin for Lucy to take her sledge out that weekend.

‘Sidney Lust’s drive-in theatre,’ Lucy read aloud from the large lettering lined and studded by lightbulbs. I looked up at the two theatrical mask faces on the building wall; one with an upturned grin, the other with a downturned grimace. I wondered how Lucy would respond to my words, whether there would be tears or smiles.

‘Sidney Lust’s drive in,’ I repeated, ‘I used to come here a lot in the summer I turned seventeen.’ I noticed how I tried to keep my tone light and cheerful but a hidden weight pulled it down.
‘Did you? What movies did you see here?’ Lucy had that great knack of showing interest no matter the topic of conversation.

But I didn’t tell her about the movies, because memories of all the nights I’d spent there, sitting in a car seat, gazing up at the stretch of screen, scooping popcorn into my mouth, all blurred into one. Into the night I spent there with Stevie, the night Lucy was conceived.

And that was what I answered with. I had avoided discussing it for years, wanted to wait until she could make sense of it, until she could swallow the fact that she was a result of a careless teenage fumble in the backseat of a Ford Fiesta.

‘I was just an accident. You didn’t want me.’ Four years later, her sixteen year old voice rings through the apartment followed by the slam of the front door.

I didn’t see Lucy for three weeks after that stormy exit. Every night, exhausted from the desperate phonecalls I had made to ascertain her whereabouts, I would lie awake in bed, tears striping my cheeks, wondering what I could have done differently.

When she was a little girl, she used to sleep by my side, enclosed like a small warm animal in the folds of the duvet.

I must have fallen asleep that Thursday evening because I woke up to find her sitting on the edge of the bed, with her denim jacket still on and her backpack by her feet.

She looked down at me sadly, must have seen the heavy rings under my eyes. We didn’t say anything, there was no need in that moment. She reached for my hand and held it. Her palm was clammy and unwashed but the contact of her skin with mine pricked my throat with tears.

She said I could make her breakfast and comb her hair after she had showered. I was still in my dressing gown, sipping my morning coffee as I waited outside the bathroom door. I listened closely to the thick, humming rush of water that confirmed that she was there.