Monday, 8 December 2014

This Is What Love Does

The juju thoughts, the talismanic thinking
Each carefully tended plan, every last strategy
All previously-struck deals and bargains:
Love took them all out of my hands today
And I, willingly this time, gave them all up to love

This is what love does
So we can pass through the needle’s eye
And enter the kingdom of the heaven we thought was elsewhere

Friday, 21 November 2014

Come Back To The Well

Come back to the well and quench your thirst for aliveness

Rage with the torrent
Spin with the whirlpools
Pause in the millpond stillness
All of it water, however it flows

Jump right in
You’ll get wet, of course
You might even risk a drowning
But why make do with the sidelines of life?

Marvel at the miracle of imagining
Revel in your maddest thoughts, your most insane notions
Rejoice in your body’s contortions, the aches of the flesh

You see and are seen
You do and are done unto
You hear and are heard
You act and are acted upon
You know, are known
And are the knowing of it all

Why pretend you're not all that?

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Dare You Be So Bold?

There’s an embarrassment of richness here
You are the luxuriance of being, unfestooned
The decadence of depth

It’s not that you’re not enough
For existence itself is beyond plentiful

When you see your own completeness
You’ll wonder if you dare be so bold
As to appear in public minus the garb of insufficiency
That you’ve been mistaking for who you are

Monday, 17 November 2014

This Is What No One Can Teach

No one ever taught me how to feel this pain
I learnt how to doubt and second guess myself
So all this time, I’ve been stopping well short

I no longer want your promises of salvation
(Such an inadvertent disservice, such a well-intentioned unkindness)

No one ever taught me how to lay myself open

What greater freedom is there than to feel this
Thus rendering everything else (having served its purpose)
Null and void?

My body, arcing and shaking, finally dances to its own tune.

Like Jesus’ time in the wilderness, numerous are the temptations to avoid this desert
Many are the whispers to stay away, to be unfaithful to ourselves.

This is what no-one can teach. 

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

This Silent Vow

With no thought to what I ought
I do just what’s required
The absence of rules, observances and resolutions
Brings a deeper resolve,
A wordless commitment:
To meet whatever calls

No longer abandoning abandonment, fearing fear,
Rejecting rejection or leaving loneliness on its own
To dwell in abandoning, fearing, rejecting and leaving
Until their time is done

This silent vow
Is to be here for it all
To consecrate all that’s been held mundane
To see the worldly in the divine

To move my allegiance from those false idols  
(What wasn’t and what may yet be)
To worship at the altar of what is

To stand, naked and vulnerable, as I am
No longer sheltering in the shade
Of beliefs, conditions, ideas or excuses
To emerge into the light of now, blinking
And a little timidly, at first.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Making Something Of It

The story, barely begun, meets silence today
A change from the customary making something of it
No momentum forward, no pull back
Bemused by the lack of movement
I sit, and do nothing
The aliveness of my senses wholly apparent

Then a question comes: what is here?
I sit and wait, the answer beyond comprehension
Yet known nonetheless

Next, words come: I’ll take up all the space I want
Really? And how much space is that?

A pause. Then an aah. 
Space does not take up space
It requires no special allocation

It now becomes clear that there’s something precious here
Which needs looking after
We can’t begin to know what it wants
Until we know that it’s not

What if I object to nothing, and things are as they are?


Sunday, 5 October 2014

When The Times Comes

1.      Self or not self:
The heart knows no such boundary
To all things a season
Indivisible fragments of the undivided whole
No thing without its other

2.      It is time to step out now
You’re not quite ready
So I’ll take your hand
(We’re never quite ready when the time comes)

When you decide to stop dallying, you’ll see:

The gold you thought so elusive
Is not at the end of the rainbow you imagined

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

When Love Comes Home

It is easy, by comparison, to love everything else
Here, where love is most needed
It’s often hardest to come by
I (like you) was not taught to love me

Having woken one day to find no love here
I went looking for it out there

When love comes home
You’ll hear the songs of praise around you
You’ll see how loved you’ve always been

When love comes home

Thursday, 25 September 2014

The Things I Thought Were Me

I come to a stop
At first, it's hard to breathe
As wants, needs, fears, ifs and buts
(The things I thought were me)
Implore me to go on
Much like a clamouring, mewling litter

From this silent dwelling-place
I hear their sweet cries
And gently greet them one by one

Shrill though they can be
They never actually wanted to run the show

Sunday, 21 September 2014

I Am Not The Author

I am not the author of this play
Defying all my attempts to rewrite, recast, edit, or expunge
Each scene has remained stubbornly true to itself
Knowing that I, despite my protestations,
Have no idea how the script is written

Neither am I the architect of this house
Its arcs, lines and curves, its walls and doors
None are of my making, whatever my claims
Life's form is entirely its own:
The sweet futility of wanting to make alterations to a design
The intricacies and hues of which leave me open-mouthed
And speechless with gratitude

Sunday, 7 September 2014

As If All There Is Isn't Enough

It’s all already here

It’s in this view of roofs and aerials and sky
It’s in the feel of the bed beneath me, the pillows behind my head
It’s in the tears coming down my face and in the song I’m listening to

Exhausted (from all that frantic attempting to change what was here)
I’m momentarily grief-stricken
Now it’s clear there’s nothing to be done

I thought I had to be somebody

As if all there is isn’t enough
As if there was anything to add or take away
As if the lily needed to be gilded

(And as if I had the slightest idea how to gild)

Monday, 1 September 2014

Not A Hair's Breadth

We’re trying to be what we already are
Striving to mend the unbroken
Now there’s a thankless task...

Yes, yes: I know it feels
As if we’re shattered, flawed, in need of ministration
Yet complete and incomplete have not a hair’s breadth between them

Trust me: you are as miraculous today
As you were on the day you were born

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Even This

I’ll admit it: I’m really fucking scared
(Well, life can be terrifying)

And there was I, trying to not be scared
I was trying so hard to not be scared
Whining and cajoling, debating, bargaining and pleading:
Not this, surely not this

Luckily, life didn’t give in
So I get to see: I can admit even this.

Even this. 

Monday, 16 June 2014

Here's The Miracle

Sometimes, I just forget.

I forgot you were here, so I thought I wasn’t safe
I forgot you were here, so I went looking for you everywhere
I forgot you were here, so I acted like something was wrong
I forgot you were here, so I believed in should and shouldn’t
I forgot you were here, so I told myself I was damaged and in need of repair
I forgot you were here, so I went looking for love
I forgot you were here, and it all got so complicated again
I forgot you were here, despite the reassurance of everything

I really thought you weren’t here
(It’s easily done)
You’re only everywhere, after all
There’s every single thing singing your praise
And me, gloriously missing the point

I thought I was outside of you, cut off, adrift
Now I discover I’m deep inside, held safe
Nothing to defend, nothing to defend against
Heartbreak the only viable option
Here’s the miracle:
I thought you weren’t here, even though I bathe in you

Now, there’s nothing but love
For those who have loved me and those who have hurt me
For those who left and those who stayed
For all we’ve said and for all that’s been left unsaid
For all we’ve done and for all that hasn’t been completed
For every look, every nod, every smile
For every yes and for every no

I move or I don't move
I write or I don't write
All utterly equal, all movements of the same stillness. 

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Let The Silence Descend

This is the only way I knew how to say no:
I pretended to not be broken

I discovered the transient nature of things too early:
You tried to break what was already broken

I couldn’t fight you, so I fought me
Not knowing I wasn’t the enemy
I turned on my blameless self, unaware of my innocence

All this time, I’ve been trying to prove myself unbroken
When all I’ve wanted to do is lie here broken
And let the silence descend

Monday, 19 May 2014


I thought I was the epithets you applied to me
So I, in my turn, applied my own
Until they were all that we could see

Today, let’s leave all our ideas at the door:
Your ideas about me and you
My ideas about you and me
For such things prevent intimacy

I’m tired of making excuses for what I am and what I’m not

I want to lie down with you
I want to come to you empty-handed
I have nothing to offer, and there’s nothing I need

We are so much less than we think we are
And so much more than we could have imagined

Sunday, 4 May 2014

The Ballad of Me

I tried not to feel it
Yet not feeling it was so much more painful than feeling it

I tried not to need, thinking that if I could not need
I’d get what I needed

I knew this wasn’t it, and I ignored that knowing
In all the ways I knew how

I built a shrine to myself
I sang the ballad of me
My triumph when it was turning out well
My fault when it was turning out bad

Intent on proving myself right
I waited (in vain) for you to validate my version of me

Let’s face it: we’d almost rather kill ourselves
Than admit this isn’t who we are

Here’s the thing: It’s all totally innocent
We can only be what we are

Sunday, 13 April 2014

The Stunning Symmetry of Opposites

I thought this wasn’t enough.

I wasn’t terrified of death:
I was terrified that this was all there was
I was terrified that life might only be this
I was trying to survive on only one shore
Despite the waves carrying me relentlessly to the other

I didn’t understand that it’s enough just to be here

Today, I can’t find a difference between life and death
Life completes death, death completes life
The staggering completeness of it all, the stunning symmetry of opposites
There's black’s velvet comfort, white’s deep delight, such intimate exquisiteness
And nothing ever out of place

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

When You Let Life In

When you’re willing to give every single last thing

You’ll give up your bargaining, your frantic insisting
You’ll disband the border controls, dismantle the surveillance
And you’ll stop counting life in units of you

When you let life in
The door will open, and everything will hurt
so much that you’ll laugh helplessly

Open the door to love, and pain will come too
Open the door to pain, and love will inevitably follow

Thursday, 27 March 2014

The Caterpillar Is Not Condemned By The Butterfly

The caterpillar is not condemned by the butterfly

I was looking (in all the wrong places)
for a solution to a riddle
that didn’t exist

That’s how it had to be
That’s how I had to be
We have to be that to become this

Here’s the secret: there’s nothing about you
that needs to be changed,
nothing even a hair’s breadth out of place
Transformation is your very nature;
no admonishments or exhortations are required.

Yet we berate the caterpillar
We’re often at odds with our markings
Struggling, our movement limited to an ungainly crawl,
we long to fly, in the faint belief
that we have wings, somewhere

One day, the time comes, and all activities cease
All further motion is rendered futile
as we turn inward, trust the darkness, and wait.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

There Is Nothing To Be Done

I’ve been rationing silence
(As if it were a rare and precious commodity)
Because I knew it would be the death of me
And I had to learn to be willing to die

Stop for too long, and the Divine will claim you as its own
Make sure there aren’t too many cracks where the light can come in
Or you’ll realise that there is nothing to be done

You can’t force this: let it come to you
You do not need to earn or embellish existence

Friday, 21 March 2014

Life Will Move Me, When Movement Is Required

I don't want to talk any more
Neither do I want to move, or respond, or react

My senses - already replete
with tree branches, birds and the sound of the rain - 
need no further stimulation

Why elaborate?
How could this possibly be improved upon?

All my years of meddling achieved nothing
Except my own (inevitable) exhaustion

Life will move me, when movement is required

Until then, I'll look at the sunlit water drops on the window pane
And sip this tea. 

Wednesday, 12 March 2014


I trust you completely

I was trying to keep some of it out
I was trying to keep some of it in
There I was, squeezed in the middle
So many frontiers to be guarded
So much vigilance required to prevent encroachment
Protecting and surviving, I yearned for reassurance

The vastness then becomes apparent
It’s all so heartbreakingly beautiful
Every birth, every death

Nothing was ever wrong
Nothing has ever been wrong

Such gratitude. Such grace. Such perfection. 

Friday, 7 March 2014

I Know By Heart

How can I not be with you in your pain?

I know – by heart – the bereftness and grief of loss
I, too, have been seared by scalding, murderous rage
I’ve felt that same sting of guilt and regret
And been on intimate terms with shame

What is there to understand?

It happened, and it hurt
(Things happen, and they hurt)

So let it hurt
Yes, to all that is in you
Yes, yes, to all those hurts, all those unfelt feelings

We’ve waited so long, yet it takes so little
When we give up trying to solve it
And simply let it hurt for a while, together.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

I Am All That

A coat of many colours has been made for you

Now, I see:
All I’ve ever wanted is to be here, like this
Finally saying yes to all that I am

All that I am
(As if there could be any debate)

I am all this, without distinction or discrimination
No part greater or lesser
Noting denied

Joseph’s brothers despised him, not because he had the coat,
But because he had the courage to wear it
Knowing he was all that

My dear, a coat of many colours has been sewn for you, too.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Life Has No Need of Happy Endings

All life wants is to know itself
To know and to be known
To be seen, touched, sensed, experienced

Life has no need of happy endings:
When you drop your demand for it to please you
When you’re no longer screaming for it to make you happy
It unashamedly delights in itself, in its own sheer miraculousness

Life sends forth its invitation to you every day
And you, making your myriad excuses, usually decline
Because you know that if you say yes
Your very own ten thousand things, your wonderful, labyrinthine creations
(The mes and yous, hims and hers, its and thems)
Will lose their substance, their gravity, around which you revolve

Once you finally stop spinning – even for a moment -
You’ll see that all life is here (for there is nothing Out There)
And unadorned, sublime, it truly has no need of happy endings

Friday, 31 January 2014

When You Wish It Were Not So

You wish to fashion life, to carve it according to your desires
At times, you sculpt carefully, delicately;
A corner rounded off here, an edge whittled away there,
Seemingly without violence

More often though, your cuts are swifter, frantic, more desperate
As you hack away at everything you wish were not so

Despite your efforts to excise all that you dislike
Life – whilst it may appear, at first, to conform to your will –
Has a tendency to remain stubbornly, brazenly whole

It keeps all those discarded, broken, misshapen pieces for you
Knowing that, one day, you will need them: they are essential to your survival
For they are the very thing that your soul most craves

Then, when all the defences have been stripped away
When there’s not a single fibre or sinew left to hold you upright
When struggle, effort and opposition are ablaze on the pyre
And you are prepared to fall on the sword of what was and what wasn’t

You realise there was never anything missing
Despite this loss of incalculable proportions

All is intact. You’re whole. You’re here. 

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

For All Those Who Have Been Humiliated

I’ve been holding out
Believing that patience is a virtue
When, in truth, I am beyond frustration

To save you from the offence of having to take me as I am
I died a little every day

I toned myself down, made myself smaller
Dulled it all a little
No stride, no demands
I went underground
Thinking I’d find solace in the subterranean depths

Except: this cannot be contained or constrained
Nor should it be

This is what no-one could see
This is what was hidden

Now, out in the daylight, blinking a little uncertainly
Yet breathing that much more easily
I’m thankful.