It was the flight of the Icon Tester.
I was taking it for her first run.
When I thought of how I missed her,
And flew into the sun.
The video hummed by my side,
The technician’s hands were wrung.
He said, ‘Look man, you can’t commit suicide,
We just can’t let it be done.
That Icon Tester’s brand new,
It’s worth a heavy sum.
And top-grade pilot’s are few,
We can’t afford to lose another one.
I said, ‘You try and stop me, for
I’m looking after number one,
And life’s not worth living anymore,
I’m making the final run.
My wife died two days ago,
And life’s no longer fun.
And now I’m going to join her, so
Say goodbye for me to everyone.
The pain I felt grew more and more,
But the instructions couldn’t be undone.
The last thing I saw was the white of the core,
As the ship and I melted into one.
5 -7- 80
Thomas undertook a radical revision of his life.
His life he felt to be a fiction unread by most men.
By ‘most men’ he reckoned anyone unacquainted with strife.
With strife at his roots, is there anyone who could not understand,
Not understand more than a superficial gloss or first glance?
“First glances won’t tell a thing about me”, he declared.
He declared to himself a radical revision the only chance,
The only chance to be read where the level of fact was bared.
Was bared and naked of fictions the place where he’d see?
He’d see if the answer was to be found at the roots.
The roots were where no words could capture such truth.
Such truth was not the various versions of him it suits…
“It ‘suits’ of others, yes!” he said, “but not of me.
Of me they know so little. Deep at my core is pain.
Is pain and strife the ‘fact’ of my deep enquiry?
Deep enquiry then is at least a form of vision I gain.”
I gainsay you’ll guess the insight that occurred to Thomas.
To Thomas was given a gift when indeed he saw again.
A gain begotten when the light of awareness is on us.
On us the onus to clear the path of our life of the slain.
The slain are the dead-eyed men we see ourselves as,
Ourselves as lonely and unwitnessed by others at the core.
The core in truth has always possessed the light that it has.
It has been covered by a fear that it’s only ourselves that we saw.
We saw that without others loneliness seems to win.
To win new eyes to see we must give up one more view.
More view in fact that to see only ourselves here is to sin.
To sin is to see the ‘I’ and not become the ‘Eye’ that’s all of you.
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.
We sat upon the temple steps
Overlooking the marketplace.
Casual, side by side, on the uppermost step,
So that neither would presume to sit higher.
And yet still the dark mystery behind,
The large doors, the smaller one inset like a jewel.
Only at times of great festivals
Would the larger doors be opened wide.
Then the crowds jubilant and wild
Would bridge the distinction made
By these soft low steps of stone.
In my hands, forearms resting on knees,
I finger a stalk of straw, blown by winds
That gust occasionally through the city gates
Lifting feathers and dust from the streets below.
I turn the stalk as I turn my mind,
Sifting the dry contents of fields forever turned to hay.
You too are unsure where to look.
But your hand gestures to stay my meandering
And point out something that occurs below.
Ah yes, this stalk is yet no cryptic key.
I stab the air in vain and flick it away with my wrist.
Whatever, we must stay present with this.
Maddened fireflies assail the lanternlight.
The envy of these motherfuckers might
Come to grief with little distinction
Other than their own extinction.
Bearded we might
Scuttle down priory hallways,
One leading the other by the elbow
As though in flight.
Cloistered amid the booklined walls
We try to recall where we have read
What might beckon the other from the night.
Something seen when the moon was passing
The leadlight window framed above.
The hands turn thin sheaves of manuscript
As though we know there’s little time.
And who could say what was discovered,
How much the two friends dared to share,
The ages lost and yet in passing,
Who now knows what’s next in line?
Sorry, the train began on time.
The words were planned that were to rhyme.
The sense is now what’s left behind
Once thoughts have been committed to line.
Some missed the junction, went astray,
Like you and I from day to day.
What use regret and guilt and shame,
The many thin grey shades of blame.
The most is what is left today,
To bring it forth else fade away.
28 – 11 – 96
Grace falls from heaven.
This healing grief.
My throat catches.
I cannot express the way
This crosses my heart.
The suffering that bleeds
Into the plains.
The rivulets that run into the earth.
They are channels
Like the grooves of my forehead.
From the diamond centre
I am pierced like an arrow to the depths of me.
What has happened to my people?
17 -3 – 96
I find myself in edges where
Litter is lodged amid despair.
The ghosts of others who came this way
And left too soon, they did not stay
To find the reason for moving on,
But carelessly left a state of abandon
With evidence they thought it wrong.
I choose to lose myself now here.
I leave no litter but take the care
To clear again this natured nook
Of rubbish, contain within this book
The unwinding of my bandaged self,
Reveal a healing into health
Of soul, and solitary state of wealth.
I remember the day,
Down at the site of the sweatlodge,
When squatting naked, I had the realization
That I don’t sit down in my balls.
It was after the fire was out.
Around the rim of the firepit, it was wet.
And going deep inside, I felt my cock relaxing,
But I still wasn’t down in my balls.
I was moved to spread my thighs wider open,
And really sit down on my haunches.
My knees pushed the muscles of my biceps wide
As I tried to feel down into my balls.
I felt like some long-limbed frog,
My feet feeling the suction of the mud,
As I leaned slightly back and nearly sat down,
And my balls touched the cold of the ground!
Electric eels could do no more!
But soon the cool mud pressed around,
And relaxing further, I discovered I was able,
Heels against the bones of my arse, to sit stable.
And the frog became an ancient toad.
I sat there for nearly an hour,
And pondered life on the edge of the pond,
Sitting down in my balls and my power.
Candlewax drips in a sudden profusion.
Flame crippled drops as it splutters confusion.
Now strikes up again with a red-enraged hand.
Slaps some smoke as it smotes to create a diversion.
Lake of wax fills again under burning desire.
Settles deep in the heat in retreat from the fire.
Fomenting rebellion as its twists in the torment.
Til the wall’s rent anew and it runs til it tires.
So too does this wounding seek its natural discharge.
The curse bursts its banks and drains me of courage.
If I falter I’ve fallen and soon comes the blame.
If I rage to recover remember
Through screen of smoke heals the flame.
14 – 2 – 05
We hated those men then,
With all we could muster,
Who bore down above us,
With blades bloody-lustred.
Who tore us from land,
And forced us here into danger,
Where the heart beats on fire
At the hands of a stranger.
In our rage we were hardened,
To confront the dark lords,
Those steel eyes of requirement
To submit to their swords.
Though our hearts lay wide open
To the rivers of blood,
In our anger-filled frames,
We were as large as the gods.
And our chests grew like furnaces
Roaring with logs,
And our cries were the ravings
Of wolves and wild dogs.
And our teeth showed their edges,
And our brows ran with sweat,
As we fixed on our foe,
And knew blood must be let.
In a wave of defiance,
We ran forward to fight.
And our fierce pride dared them
To question our might.
Arms and hearts reaching upwards,
We exploded in red,
Yet our anger declared
We’ll not be of the dead.
For our hearts harboured children,
And wives and kinfolk.
In our crazed cries of courage,
It was for them that we spoke.
So we called on the gods
Of rage, weapons and war,
To put fire in our chests,
And burn brave evermore.
21 – 02 – 05
A sword thrust downward, glancing the right of face.
Piercing the sternum, and slicing lungs and diaphragm.
The eardrums burst, the pop! the shell cracked open.
Head wracked leftwards turns, the wraith in ruins escapes.
The severed vertebrae, splintered off like icebergs.
The heart collapsing, ruptured blood-lined rubber.
The lungs lift shattered, crystalline cavities of silver.
The skin is flayed aside, layers of clothing in skin merge.
Metallic technology, morning bite of cold hard steel.
Turned in space with the glove, but forced facewards into flesh.
It drove a demon downwards, in roots of mine enmeshed.
This wound I here unwind, where words and image heal.