Sunday, 27 July 2008

i have been told

i have been told
by persons unknown
in places unseen
at times not specified

that the sun doesn't rise
that the moon doesn't wane
that the earth doesn't spin
that the soil doesn't engender
that the soul doesn't stir
that the air doesn't smile
that the ghost doesn't bow
that the death doesn't last

that the life doesn't die

Friday, 25 July 2008

The Train Says Larkhall

The train says Larkhall
and I, trusting, go inside.
it could be going anywhere
Auschwitz even, first class ticket
and I'm a poet, businessman, political doodler
artist, social entrepreneur, meditation guide
(and philosopher I'd say)

Shut up Jew the ticket inspector would reply.

But I'm not a Jew I'd respond in panic
and the cock would crow three times
i'm a Catholic, well was.
do you know what a scientific secular buddhist is?

Shut up Jew he repeated and I swallowed hard.

I had just bought Szymborska's and Milosz's
Collected Poems
but showing them to the guard,
i mean ticket collector
would only increase his suspicion

in desperation i fiddled about with my wallet.
damn. not even a business card.
then i remember i had bought a return ticket.

i showed it to the guard.
Glasgow Central / Queen Street to Hamilton Central.

That's fine then Sir he said.
it's three stops time.

The old man opposite me looks sad
bewildered even.
i feel guilty about my good fortune.

Finally I get off at Hamilton Central.
i look back at the train
it has turned into cattle trucks
in the distance beyond the shopping centre
car park
are the gates of Birkenau
the place where the Enlightenment fell apart
and science gasped at its own wickedness.

24 September 2007

fixing an old gate

to fix an old gate
start by getting to know it
that usually takes about twenty years or so
then tighten up the screws that are still in it
holding the hinge to the gate and to the gate post
screw fine new screws in where any have been lost over time

don't disturb any cobwebs
you're fixing a gate
not decimating a community

it's worth considering whether to repaint
or brush protectorate onto the wood
wood likes to breathe
and feel natural
but it also enjoys a fresh coat
like we do after many years in rags
so think about it

make sure the bolt still fits into the bolt hole
as you refix the screws
making assumptions without checking
can lead to a skewed conclusion to your work

finally thank the old gate for its patience
and years of consistent service
may it live long and see your grandchildren
walk in and out of its domain
and may they in turn
come to fix the old gate with reverence.

Saturday, 19 July 2008

i have a problem with time

I have a problem with time.
a lifetime's too short
but a day drags on forever

i have a problem with everything.
things don't turn out the way I want
everything's a mess and i'm confused in the clutter

i have a problem with problems.
nothing is simple
everything's just too damned hard

but it's no problem these problems
problems aren't problems
just meanders through time
but of course i have this problem with time.

time is the problem
time the solution
it's time i dealt with time
if i ever find the time

i have no time for problems.

Sunday, 13 July 2008

the conforming mind

the conforming mind
genes and culture
the non-conforming mind
a different delusion

something rotten

something rotten
the machine
my personality
general malaise
the machine
how to combat it
the self-captive mind
politics is inherently destructive
so is writing
to live outside the law...

art as commodity
one world
homogenous choice
aesthetic suffocation
by the retail world

new stoicism

new stoicism
simple living
non harming
spiritual sustenance
purpose meaning
relationship to life
cultural sustenance
eco housing
pure water

you have to find your own way home

you have to find your own way home
there is no map, only clues
there is no guide, only friendship and kindness
there is nowhere to go but still you must travel
no destination to reach but still you must search
yet in searching you will not find

as i watch the peach trees

as i watch the peach trees
everyone is at home
along the road to the West
i ask the pond where i can find rest
and it sparkles in response

river the material

river the material
nightfall, i return
to shine on their transluscent beauty

the simplest of lives

without music
without luxury food
without computers
without tv
without news
without companionship
without books
without writing

just being,

chatelherault country park hamilton

based on Yang Hsiu's "When the moon is in the river of heaven"

the gruff branches of the scots oak
shelter the old folk from the gusts of modernity
enveloped in the shade of green perfume
filled with drops of smirr.
why are their linked arms so poignant?
is it only to provoke the fragile
fears, loss of love, loss of youth?
my mind, swollen with uncertainty,
i wander in this sacred park.
and then my doubt and confusion disappear
my mood brightens and my smile returns.
the moon, lovely enough to wake the dead
sinks to the horizon, and suddenly
i am happy to grow old.

quit in anger

quit in anger
sweet to be father
in lonely monastery he returned

swoop & seize birds

swoop & seize birds
man whose heads controlled
familiar in all kinds of distress

inflated sense of entitlement

inflated sense of entitlement
darkness led to light
vultures begin to hover

autumn stars rise

autumn stars rise
have no friends with evil souls
parent's dream intensifies conflict

how test theory?

how test theory?

guard yourself well
withered cotton blows in wind

lucky break

lucky break
break nonetheless.
everything fatal


painful, not fatal
could say lucky

nothing to do

nothing to do
much done
achieve the great end

many things to do

many things to do
nothing needs done
to what end?

much business dull trash

much business dull trash
spent too long in company
of pompous arse

smug arrogant condescending

unconnected to any reality
except snobbish banking elite

meeting cancelled

meeting cancelled
feel uplifted
gain precious time

wind whistles low

wind whistles low
springtime leaves brown
something not right

lazy & indifferent

lazy & indifferent he insulted me, he hurt me

relatively few have emotional advisors but all have financial gurus

it is not to be said
this thought in my head
because it's against the State

it is not to be thought
what cannot be bought
and so all I can do is wait

zen rendition of effigy by creedence clearwater revival

Last night fire burnin'
palace lawn. humble subjects,
mixed emotions

last night fire spread
palace door. silent majority
not silent anymore

last night fire spread
countrywide. few left
ashes die


Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Future Philosophy

the miracle is not walking on water...

the sublime is mundane
the mundane is sublime

death is ok

always getting somewhere
always arriving
always already arrived
always home

no self to fulfil
only here and now
space-time to use

express, create, share

listen, learn, see

no attachment
just flow

no concepts, no goals
nothing to do
just do it
effortless effort

build it and it doesn't matter
if they come or not
indifferent to failure

part of something awesome
enjoy it
do no harm
help if you can