Heard My First

Heard my first Christmas song today,
You need not know where.

Here we go again! Into the tinsel, the tacky,
The shiveringly weird and wacky

Father Xmas show comes to town again!
Starring third-world slave-made tinsel-crapola,

Weird adolescent adult idiots running around
With red noses and brown plastic antlers on,

The word ‘Christmas’ (Christmas! Christmas!)
Coming at you from every direction (Buy! Buy!)

Buy your friends, buy them with tinsel and crap
Made in China. Let the little ones suck on shit

Full of colouring and ‘flavour’ (ing!)
Ring the bells of commerce! Ring ring!

Ring the merry bells,
Cash registers register-ing

A massive Bling!
Angels weeping.

 

Hands Loosely Folded In Prayer

Hands loosely folded in prayer
Thumbs touch, resting like lover’s heads
He below, she leaning in, shared
Wonderment in the flowerbed’s
Soft pillow, the day above in blue
And should the night roll right around
Like a counterweight, the view
Of heaven’s host of lights be found.

Hands loosely folded in prayer
Lips want to kiss the cool thumbnails
Two half-moons under shiny veils
And nostrils rest and draw upon
The air and light from father, son,
One hand the parent to the other
The space they share, theirs discovered
A place for holy spirit there.

Hands loosely folded in prayer
Fingertips touch the mountainous knuckles
Like unborn children’s heads to knees.
Before the bosom, one’s childhood suckles
Upon itself in dreaming seas
And so the hands become a womb
Enfolded spirals like seashell rooms
Breath at the foot of the stairs.

Hands loosely folded in prayer
Fingers make furrows across a mound
A fertile world, two roots going down
To elbows anchored near the hips
The space between where eyes like ships
Approaching a bright new world explore
The fissures leading to the core
The fecund treasure there.

Hands loosely folded in prayer
The folded fingers a double roof
The heels of palms the floor, the hooves
Of goats that press on angled walls
Starlight streaming above the stalls
Thumbs move now from lips to forehead
Third eye the star that sees the bed
And the baby cradled there.

18 – 11- 2010

Cancer

Right, you got me off the mark fast and furious:
You bring to mind the word ‘canker’:
n. 1. An ulcerous sore of the mouth and lips:
That’s fine, by chance I have that at the moment:
Stress-related, embarrassing, but at least it’s not going to kill me.

n. 2. An area of dead or decaying tissue in a plant surrounded by healthy wood or bark.
That’s more like it. I always found that fascinating, that trees had dead parts next to live.
Are you then the canker of the human world, the dead we tolerate among the living?
No, you are worse, the dead that presumes to be alive,
The fool haunting our world not seeing the light.

n. 3 & 4. Any of several animal diseases attacking especially the ears of dogs and cats.
Any source of spreading corruption or debilitation.
Dogs and cats are sensitive creatures, their ears burn with your lies.
You are corruption, corrupt, bankrupt, broken to pieces, entropy,
Infesting others, investing others, wanting them to mirror your lie.

Cancer, the crab, crustacean, carapace over cephalothorax. Carcinoma, creeping ulcer.
Clutching with claws your hold on our lives, demon of material realms.
Malignant tumour caused by the abnormal division of cells, invading surrounding tissues.
Blind materiality. Carcinomatosis – n. the existence of carcinomas at many bodily sites.
Ah, but epiclesis – the call to the Holy Spirit to turn bread and wine into body and blood of Christ.

We will name you, Cancer. We will address you by all your names.
We will learn the words to hold our power against you.
Even if cancroid – adj. 1. similar to a cancer 2. similar to a crab – we will know you and see you.
Our call is life, of the living, to the Life Force, to consecrate again our daily bread of life.
The transubstantiation of the Eucharist is more a miracle than your self-making.

Take this bread and wine and make it known to us as human flesh in kinship with the divine.
Anull in us the pernicious notion that this body can mutate in darkness by its own.
From the ouroboric ovum of a single cell, to the birth of a baby with 20 million million cells,
And the universe of 50 million million cells in adulthood, we are the united light.
Lend us the language of metaphor – it is body and blood because we pray and say it is.
  
3 – 2 – 2007

Talk of Such Things

Talk of things where one holds one’s breath.
Walls of citadels dusty with the desert’s wrath.
Face of fear, and death is stalking the streets.
I cover my heart now aware it is heaving red meat.

Night is swarming with locusts and lies.
All appearances wear a disguise.
In darkened doorway does my body give in,
Disappear in my chest and grow thin.

Eyelids shade like a camel’s wisdom.
I ride on the storm from my fabulous prison.
A troubled genii in a bottle’s throttled torment.
But the blood clutches the feet on the pavement.

The singular eye turns a gurney of gyres.
Golgotha is its claim and desire.
What witness am I that I’m caught in this web
While the light of the world rose into red?

The wash over me clears my mind of illusion.
Such imaginal memories seem not a delusion.
Wouldst my heart drip with red and the light lift my lungs.
Wouldst my breath give away and such speech light my tongue.

Rune

Ravenrage diabolus crucifix knife
Hungred hunted the throth bound remain.
Inkquire peatbog in lumen light
Whenced cry carren chillen in hand.
Yestered homeheart beat no moren fire.
Trackened marshwood their steps falterbear.
Morst to me now inthen grast the chillen carren
Carren cross sarnt the night naughts to them.
Weast hathoer owne abiden book resplayn.
Tays the stories woven webs o oer clayin.
Noed need orsfor hammer sin crossbladen book.
Curn in deathmartyrs throes aftine crust masters cruik.
Callered light crowerd cowl beats ashame.
Moren men suchas like wi no name.
Send tha hundread ahunt ferus here.
Thas wimin carren chillen in theys nayre ayear
Theysorl carryairn sweet dearones agin.
Romen crossern nayst acallered them in.
Ahd curlin acornkindred moon enda myne.
Adepped as asleept in nowre plumered clouerwine.
Cries onye thaes noosehaltered hounds.
Nae sons daughters wies owre’en us thattheys bound
Will gead wyrds to thae cawr book.
Thaes hang deatheyes ofteare kindred avain.
Ours alongain runningean faers a’ wimin
Eyn carreyn chirren weast towr remain.

 

16 Favourite Moments of the 1998 Summer Gathering

Leading three sweatlodges then being part of one by Danyo.
His spiritual name in English is White Mountain which I saw he is.
He’s a pipe carrier for his people. He’s been a sundancer for twelve years.
They pierce their chests with hooks and dance hung from the world tree.
He says it takes some of the suffering away from the women who give birth.
In the lodge he called the women the life-givers, men the protectors.

Rochelle doing Huna Bodywork Healing on me on her table in the tipi.
The grief and wounding that surfaced stimulated a visionary experience.
Releasing Catholicism, Jesus / martyrdom mythology, I was in the dream.
On a cross so lonely so realistically yet aware of her on the ‘outside’.
Sensing how I was trapped and moving warm energy against my skin.
Taking me by quiet storm til I was so warm and safe within.

Jason coming out in his wheelchair all the way in the mobility taxi.
Being carried by four people in his chair up to the chicken shed longdrop.
The longdrop was the highest point of the Gathering land.
Lots of joking and cheering about carrying the king to his throne.
Later in the big tipi with the drummers and dancers around the fire.
Jason’s request: Cody and I took turns holding him up so he could dance.

Down at the stream at dusk, some people standing ankle deep in the water.
My torch joins theirs as we hold them like cups upright shining from below.
In watery shadows slides an eel lazily tracing a line sideways.
Embarrassed at my ignorance of such matters, I turn caution into bravery.
With an ‘O’ of finger and thumb, I let the eel slide forwards like a condom.
Sometimes I held it forward of halfway, and we both backed up in fright.

Lying in a field of enjoyment under the duvet in my tent, gladly exhausted.
In such a high state of consciousness I ‘dreamed myself’ into visions.
Impossible four-dimensional landscapes like continuous fruiting on trees.
And at the bamboo kitchen, some favourite women are singing so juicy.
Impossible to visualize, rolling raunchy with the ‘Funky Chicken’.
The desire of wanting to witness what I am already intimately influencing.

Andy’s in Auckland to do a 10-day Vipassana meditation retreat.
The centre is in Kaukapakapa not far from where the Gathering is held.
Being at the same time, I’m naturally disappointed he’s not here instead.
But my other two brothers bring him out on the Sunday before his starts.
I’m swimming at the time so I’m not tempted to play tourist guide.
Instead we four of us jump off the bank and feel like kids again.

The sweatlodge still wasn’t built after the first week of the Gathering.
The previous year, the site had been left in disrepair; the coverings rotted.
Musing again at its fate, I saw firewood stacked in the old rock pit.
Everyone had agreed the children could have a campfire here, Doug said.
The sacred site was cleansed by kid’s laughter and toasted marshmellows.
The next day a large lodge was built: in darkest night the people entered.

Older men aren’t blessing younger men much anymore, Bly had said.
Elsewhere I’d heard that younger men weren’t apprenticing themselves.
Max asked a circle of ‘good men’ to join he and his son Willow in the tipi.
We honoured Willow for the journey into manhood he was making.
Sharing what it meant to be a man, we spoke of what we recognised late:
The support of men, and how we wished we’d had Willow’s fate.

Finding the power place for the closing ceremony on Saturday.
On the other side of the stream, a clearing between the three largest trees.
Coming together again as a smaller circle: where were all the men?
Each person standing before the group framed by the two big trees.
Being told of their qualities, the growth some had noticed over this time.
The image was of taking the gathering inside to pour ‘out there’ again.

The wonderfully contentious process around drugs and alcohol.
Buttons getting pushed, flare-ups and walk-outs, my meditations on Yin and Yang.
Gerd’s offer at the morning circle after three days of drama and dramas.
He puts a beer bottle on the altar where everyone’s offerings were arranged.
More laughter when Simon opens it to pass round for the alcohol-lovers.
Half-way around Gerd in his turn pours it out on the ground “for the others”.

Getting a sweatlodge together a little belatedly, Skins and Ben agree to help.
They take on Firekeeping with lots of wood to gather, chop, and split.
Later Skins says he has to clear with me about something a few days ago.
We reach an impass so he says he and Ben are no longer available.
I make the fire, crossing a poster of five bikers that’s been placed there.
In the circle next day Skins says he appreciates how I “got it together”.

I do a half-day in silence, an note taped on my tee-shirt.
Later I’m wandering naked as such a joyful innocent, so safe.
Where ‘Steve’s Cafe’ opens out from the Totara grove there’s a tent.
In a dome cubicle of soft bedding sits Corinna who I haven’t met.
All smiles and elfin eyes she lets me come close like a silent pet softly.
She shows me photo albums of her bus parked in different places.

Finding myself an older man among teenagers doing a sweatlodge.
Often in their company I act the suave runaway from responsibility.
Here I tell them of tradition and honouring, people and process.
In the third round the young men are still braving it with their philosophy.
Warm sound and silence resounds when I invite the women to speak.
“We’re a swimming pool”. And another:”a soft penis in a warm vagina”.

The talking stick suffered a variety of applications in the circle.
Gerd and I raced for it once, no, twice I confess, once in the tipi.
In the marquee I handed it to him before he could finish explaining.
In the tipi I held both the male and female, and offered him the male.
He witnessed my love, but took the female, and we jolly-sailored like boys.
Moustache-twirlers, like the counterplay of complements/compliments.

“If I can’t hug you here, I couldn’t hug you anywhere”, I told Henry.
He was sitting at Gerd’s cafe, and I just knew that I must ju-jitsu him.
Sure enough, he was only at the Gathering for five minutes.
I pushed past to his chair while Agnes gave me a wry smile.
Henry and I haven’t had much to say to each other for a while.
Now he thanks me for minding Zowie but tells me to use tongs for the food.

Corrina’s eyes are every colour, but her nose stud’s turquoise-green.
It picks up the eye-green like fishes in two ponds of colourful lilies.
Going gaga enough to tell her something like this I mention iridology.
“An iridologist’s dream, your eyes”, and the bit about the guy down in Golden Bay.
He took close-ups of his eyes and put them on sticks in the garden.
Like seed-packet posts showing what he was growing and guarding.

Confession Without An ‘I’

The body, as a condition of life, seems like a prison.
All it’s troubles, restrictions, and efforts to appear other than it is.
Walking down a country road, alone, finding a quiet, even pace,
There seems obviously this division between one feeling and the other.
Call them personality and soul if those words are useful.
The soul, naked and so vulnerable in its dedication to be different,
Wants to touch the body as just being this body, inhabited from within.
The personality seems to be the body’s representative, for how it wants to appear.
So willing to change the measure and shape of the body if an ‘other’ appears.
The soul, so tired in its captivity within the body, the domination of the personality.
Soul, so infinite and vast, contained within the privacy of its depths.
The body, as a condition of life, seems like a prison.

So much seems to have been lost if this knowledge of soul is possible.
Suicide contemplatives have at least the intelligence to consider mortality.
All the woundings and restrictions of the body would release to something.
The body is Jesus on a crucifix, the radiant body is the soul simply shining.
So much sadness and loneliness and freedom in the life of the private self.
So much desire for the totally trusted other, to open and confess to.
So painful the make-dos, the indifference to the thought of something else.
So impossible the cage of the body, dominated by the personality.
All the happinesses are temporary without this one happiness.
The soul sings to itself the glories of the world, the beauty of the trees.
The world is a dreaming of cicadas and clouds, lives and meetings.
So much seems to have been lost if this knowledge of soul is possible.

The soul is embarrassing in its ardent loves, its delight in anything.
Extremely shy and extremely confident, its life seems undeserved.
The personality, as advocate of the body in the world, covers the soul up.
What a miracle to even walk an even pace, to move a little slower or little quicker.
To breathe behind the eyes so the sight can swing from limb to limb,
To feel the chest lining up with the trunks of the trees in greeting.
The soul wants to find its mirroring in the world, without intervention.
The eyes want to rest on the colour of the roses growing by the vines.
Just as it is would be fine enough, nothing left behind, destroyed in its wake.
Not the personality, feverishly making and unmaking, modifying and make-believing.
The freedom to consider what comes along, find thoughts and words for it.
The soul is embarrassing in its ardent loves, its delight in anything.
  
8 – 02 – 07