Below Myself

What lives below myself is feeling.
What rind I find myself needs peeling.
I want to knife myself while kneeling.
Unwind the surface self til reeling.

My heart in treasure chest is heaving.
What is this life I live achieving?
But what’s this angry face so seething?
Where comes this cloven hoof now cleaving?

Who cuts the lock on casket hidden,
Who foists the force upon unbidden?
Who diving drops to depths so leaden,
To slice the tangled roots that deaden?

If I, who am ‘I’ when freedom comes?
So I am the feeling that was numbed.
What lives above this Self can be summed
As two entwined in doubt and not the
One.

Seasons Of The Soul

Life (unfortunately?) is not a linear progression of continual transcendence.
We loop-the-loop in periodic cycles whose zenith
Is the acquisition of higher consciousness given as grace or guidance,
And whose nadir is the sacrificial ordeal of the redemption of lower consciousness
And the gift of initiation.

A catalyst kicks it off, a season of the soul.
Looking back I can reflect ‘that was the period of my life when..’
How did that one begin? What started the wheel to spin?
We were on a roll, a spark ignited, something fired the imagination,
And we got caught on the rising tide, the movement of transformation.

The ‘New Age’ is largely a solar cult, fashioned from sunny California.
The sparkle of spiritual images from the commodity capital of Hollywood.
Bought in the marketplace we must make them our own,
Bringing image together with shadow to become real,
Find what is uniquely ours from all the ideas that appeal.

A calling turns us inward, beyond the public domain.
What got us kudos was not enough, the outward expression is flagging.
What was once professed we must now confess we know not where it came from.
And we ask in declining days of summer if we might humble ourselves to listen
and accept the lessons of the guiding ones.

Grace is the gift of those who have stopped seeking or struggling.
Outward confidence becomes the inner ability to confide in oneself.
Something nudges us from our certainty and calls into question
The mission we thought we were on.
Sweet season of touching the future self where it’s already all been done.

A crisis takes us full circumstance, opposite where we began.
We must enter the underworld embrace and allow an understanding.
Every aspect of ourselves wants to be accounted for and included.
The stretch in ourselves as we remind ourselves of the light while in the shadows.
It is the shamanic ordeal to use these tools for transformation.

And in that said period of your life, wasn’t there the determination,
To break several cycles of similar fate to gain an initiation?
The gift you receive becomes your service to see where others are caught.
What gold did you uncover? The rhythm and pulse of life discovered.
Seasons of the soul beyond which realization is sought.

 

~ Tony French 1998

 

 

A Dream About Counselling Work

My brother, Steve, and I, talking to a guy.
There’s some work he wants to offer us.
(Steve’s been struggling around work issues too).
The guy’s a brilliant young biologist.

He’s been working with trout, growing them large,
He says, up to eighty kilos.
Wow, that’s one heavy lifting job, I joke,
Imagining giving them the heave-ho.

The guy knows my joke, but knows me better,
The cap-tipping banter of one anxious about work.
Of course, I’m working with them when they’re lighter,
He says, and I, in a sudden realization, know my quirk
Of finding in images the heart of the matter.
I look inside again to what my soul calls me to.

And sunlight flashes on scales of silver,
As I lift heavy fishes and pour them on through,
To slip into streams from their large holding tanks,
And I know this is the work I will do.

 

The Holy Masculine

Bagpiper stands at the top of a hill,
And he’s calling to his clan:
I’ll find my art and perfect this craft,
Til I know the holy masculine.

And a poet prays til he falls silent,
And trusts his words again.
Then writes of things that touch his heart,
Til he knows the holy masculine.

And both alone they travel home,
To communities of other men.
To play their songs and share their words,
And embrace the holy masculine.