GREY SUNDAY PALLOR
Grey Sunday pallor.
Another church going morning in
The congregation risks getting a ticket
on their afterlife
for doubling parking.
It seems if you’re not being trod
like the grapes of wrath
at the feet of God
into the symbolic blood
of a wine-sipping saviour
you’re living off the backs
of sweating atoms
holding the world up on their shoulders
like an avalanche in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco.
Shakespeare where are you now?
I miss the homeliness
of your dream of the real world.
I want fire to be more intensely fire
and the ashs to be left unswept.
I want water to be more ponderous and wet
and the fields to have no extradition treaties
that didn’t send everybody back like wildflowers
all at the same time
to their point of orgin in a beginningless abyss.
I want to arise like a prophet in an aboriginal religion
that didn’t expect my coming
and say out loud
in five words
the whole of the perennial philsophy
we’re all native to this
that is arrayed before us now
like life on a habitable planet
whose only border is the wind
whose only flag is water.
Whose only moral suggestion
with respect to the conduct
of the mind the heart the hand the eye the ear
is keep them open.
No locks pleading like lost keys
at the doors of perception.
Peace rooted in the palm of your hand
beside the lifeline of a river
that isn’t impeded in its passage.
because perfect empathy
has only one identity
and one passport
to go anywhere in the multiverse it wants
where the rights of humans
are written in light
and signed sealed delivered in blood
that makes them citizens of life
without anyone else’s approval.
Created in the image of God
who doesn’t live alone with their originality
without an image or a face or a shadow
contemplating the creation of worlds
to mask the unknowable with the known?
Every identity is a lie
that believes it’s telling the truth
but matter is energy and emptiness congealed
in a bosonic force field
that cries on both sides of the mirror at once.
God was a hidden secret who wished to be known.
But the minute you know one
there are two
So truer to the image of God
than an exponential simulacrum
that doesn’t bear any resemblance to the original
is not to have one.
So I’m the empty atom
of the little piggy
who had none.
The less I know about things
the more I experience them
as the earthly specifics
of my own cosmic mystery.
The moon is the fruit and blossom of my roots
who remember them
as previous incarnations of a lifeline
between heaven and earth.
I think of the planet as a sentient life form
that’s as dispassionately aware of us
as we are passionately ignorant of it.
And I marvel sometimes
at the disparity between the message
and the messenger
at the optical illusion of a thought
that clings to the notion
that it knows its own mind.
And wonder if we’re merely the functionaries
of a vaster intra-terrestrial intelligence
with the wisdom of the life of the seas in its eyes
and in its heart
compassion for all the generations of the dead
who animated its art
like models in the studio
of a painter who liked to work from life.
When I write.
When I paint.
I always think it’s dangerous
to become so identified with the work
I think it’s my own.
That’s why I get lost in it
bury my name in its solitude
and wander through a mindscape
where nothing looks like home.
Just like the river Heraclitus
couldn’t step into twice
unless he was up in over his head
everytime I write
I have to learn a new language.
Everytime I paint
the colours don’t have the same eyes
I looked into yesterday.
Thought travels faster than the velocity of light
but it isn’t a constant
and feeling at the speed of sound.
When you put the pedal to the metal of time
like dark energy
things expand so fast
that tomorrow’s extremes
are already today’s cliches.
I don’t want to be diminished by a Theory of Everything
that blinds Paul on the road to
like a snowman with lumps of coal for eyes
in a nuclear test site.
I wasn’t persecuting anyone in the first place
so I’ve never needed divine intervention
to bring about a change of heart
when change is the only thing it’s ever known
from the very start.
Life is the kite at the end of a long wavelength
in the hand of a star
that eventually taught it to fly on its own
by letting it go
to come back home alone when it’s called.
Fourteen hundred and seventy five c.c.s of starmud.
Seven thousand trillion trillion atoms.
The depths of space
the volume of my eyes.
The Big Bang the age of my ears.
I’m a unifying field theory of becoming
not a unified field theory of what is
and I don’t see how I can have
a meaningful relationship with matter
if matter isn’t a matter of mind
not over anything
because in the whole of creation
as it is in the abyss
nothing is the underling of anything else.
Regardless of its time and measure
everything is a whole note
in the creative collaboration
of an unfinished song
that interrupts the silence
with sounds of life.
With the picture-music
of the nightbird in the hidden grove
that’s a dead-ringer for the mind
that reveals the song
but conceals the singer.
Everyone can hear it
but no one can see it.
You can listen to all the ghosts
of all the millions of voices
buried in the grave of a dead metaphor
and still not be able to know how
to breathe life into words
so their meaning is a living experience
of the unsayable mystery
that inspires them
to speak to themselves
like someone whistling through the dark
like an echo of mirrors.
A word is a word.
A thought is a thought.
A kite is a kite.
A hawk is a hawk.
If you don’t try to make one live
like the lie of the other
by keeping them both on a tether
you can learn to fly like the wind
without keeping an eye on the weather.
You stop pulling the flightfeathers out of your pen
like arrows out of your heart
and your heels sprout wings
like the stars in the Great Square of Pegasus
like snakes become dragons
like worms become butterflies
like the medium becomes the god
of the message it delivers
like a lock to a key
that sets the lock free
of having to keep everything in.
The human spirit
to the rosaries of the slavers
who compel it to servitude?
The raptures and excruciations
of two extremes of death
two visions of the same junkie
talking in his sleep
like a dream on crystal meth.
The one who thinks he’s the secret partner of life
writes his name in stone.
The one who practises necromancy
with his own shadow
and reveres his own lie
like a sacred object
everyone must bow down to
entrusts his mind to ink and horn.
He binds the spirit of the word
to the letter of the law.
Everyone is guilty
until they’ve earned their innocence.
The most absurd thing about common sense
when it testifies before a jury of mirrors
is that the more it disappears
the more it’s mistaken
for prima facie evidence
to verify the quick convictions of its peers.
But the eternal sky
doesn’t inhibit the flight of the white clouds
and I’ve got a whatever gets you through the night attitude
like a long wavelength of compassion
like a sure sign of intelligent life
from the other side of the universe
that eases the mutuality of our suffering
by realizing there’s nothing alien about life.
And it’s not so much a matter of life
reaching out to life
like someone who can teach us about ourselves
as it is
someone to talk to.
Someone to walk beside like a river.
Not a highway to heaven
or a shortcut to hell.
I have relative faith
in the interdependence of my originality.
In the whole history of the universe
there’s only been everyone of me.
Why should I ask the windows
what direction to look in
when I’ve got eyes of my own
with holographic vision
that can see further
than the eyebeams
of the gravitational lenses
fixed at both ends of a telescopic black hole
projecting itself on the universe
like Batman caught in the glare
of an antimatter flashlight?
Why should I live like a gibbering shade
in the afterlife of my own lucidity
when I’ve got it made now?
I can tell a silk purse from a cow’s ear.
The dark clarity of an enlightened heretic
from the occult magic
in the bones of a martyred relic.
There is as much of the night in me
as there are stars in my eyes.
What does the wind worship
if not the sky?
And what could be more false
than trying to true the idols of I?
Woman wasn’t made from the rib of the first wishbone
like the short end
of something that sticks in your throat
like a harp in a chimney
and I can’t imagine any supreme being
being way more vindictive in hell
to the people he loved and couldn’t save
from the wanderlust of their earthly dust
gusting up along their path to salvation
like a dirt demon blowing stars in their eyes
than Hitler was in
for ephemeral war-crimes on crusade?
If the water doesn’t turn to wine
when it first touches your lips
at the wedding of Canaa
you’re sipping from an eclipse
of black cool-aid in Jonestown
that tastes like spit
you drink from other men’s mouths.
What fool conducts his own life
like a foreign policy with God
as if a wavelength of insight
were opening trade relations
with the great nightsea of awareness.
I like to read scripture
that’s never learned to write
that’s as eloquent as water
when it says its secret name
like two rat snakes swimming in moonlight
like echoes of one another
returning to the far shore
of the mysterious voice that summons them
like a spring thaw
to express themselves creatively
without brainwashing their gene-pool
that in the rainbow of life
they’re the evil wavelength.
Why do people expect God
to teach them a language they already speak?
And when she doesn’t say a word
ask someone else to do the talking for them
like a medium channeling the infallibly dead?
Who needs an air raid siren to translate
the lyrics of a songbird
into a purple passage of life
that understands every word of it
like first light?
Grey Sunday pallor
of another churchgoing morning in
I love to mix the infinite prolixity of pragmatic greys
that are engendered by the union
of complementary colours
island hopping like new lava
on the palette of my eyes
as if grey were the third extreme
without an opposite
because it didn’t cast a shadow
whether it stood in the light
or the moon.
The third wing on a phoenix
in the mystical ashes of billions of stars
I like to fly down the middle with intensity
when the fire refeathers the wind in my flames
and words overturn the urns of their old meanings
in sacred precipices
and holy mindstreams
to go with the flow of the picture-music
like the lyrics of a dream
they wrote the words to.
My emptiness is a watershed of inspiration
I can draw on anytime I like
without fear of depleting
my spiritual aquafers.
I’m an hospitable well
who doesn’t judge strangers
by what we all have in common with water
or whether they can tell a mirage from the real thing.