How to Get There
Go to the end of the path until you get to the gate.
Go through the gate and head straight out towards the horizon.
Keep going towards the horizon.
Sit down and have a rest every now and again,
But keep on going, just keep on with it.
Keep on going as far as you can.
That’s how you get there.
When the Heart
When the heart
Is cut or cracked or broken,
Do not clutch it;
Let the wound lie open.
Let the wind
From the good old sea blow in
To bathe the wound with salt,
And let it sting.
Let a stray dog lick it,
Let a bird lean in the hole and sing
A simple song like a tiny bell,
And let it ring.
What's the Use
What’s the use of this little hand;
What’s the use of this little eye;
What’s the use of this little mouth
When all the world is broken?
Make a cake with this little hand;
Make a tear with this little eye;
Make a word with this little mouth
When all the world is broken.
The Summer Palace
Make a little garden in your pocket,
Fill your cuffs with radishes and rocket,
Let a passionfruit crawl up your thigh,
Grow some oregano in your fly.
Make a steamy compost of your fears,
Trickle irrigate your life with tears,
Let your troubled mind become a trellis,
Turn your heart into a summer palace.
The Path to Your Door
The path to your door
Is the path within,
Is made by animals,
Is lined by thorns,
Is stained with wine,
Is lit by the lamp of sorrowful dreams,
Is washed with joy,
Is swept by grief,
Is blessed by the lonely traffic of art,
Is known by heart,
Is known by prayer,
Is lost and found,
Is always strange,
The path to your door.
Peace is my drug;
It stops the pain.
In safe reflecting rooms
Or in a lane,
Or in a park,
I will lie
And have some peace
And get high.
If it’s pure
And there’s a lot of it about
And pass out
And dream of peace:
My favourite thing
When nobody wants me
And nothing’s happening.
There is a missile, so I’ve heard,
Which locks on to the smallest bird,
Finely tuned to seek and kill
A tiny chirp or gentle trill.
It’s modern warfare’s answer to
An ancient wisdom tried and true:
When fighting wars you first destroy
All songs of innocence and joy.
Every night and every day
The awfulisers work away,
Awfulising public places,
Favourite things and little graces;
Awfulising lovely treasures,
Common joys and simple pleasures;
Awfulising far and near
The parts of life we held so dear:
Democratic, clean and lawful,
Awful, awful, awful, awful.
Robin Hood, Robin Hood,
You’d be napalmed in the wood,
I am very sad to say,
If you were alive today.
The Crowdless Man
See him wandering alone,
The crowdless man,
He has no group,
He has no tribe,
He carries his identity in his pocket.
His pocket has a hole in it,
His story has a hole in it,
His tragedy is not a tune you can hum.
His suffering and sacrifice,
They have no handles;
His persecution has no logo,
No shrine, no yardstick.
His joy has no credentials,
His observations have no fixed address;
There are no awards whatsoever.
His gaze and yearning are way outside the loop,
His pilgrimage has lots of holes in it.
See him wandering alone.
Beaming to himself.
Artist, Leave the World of Art
Artist leave the world of art,
Pack your goodies on a cart,
Duck out through some tiny hole,
Slip away and save your soul.
Leave no footprints, don’t look back,
Take the dark and dirty track.
Cross the border, cross your heart:
Freedom from the world of art.
Let it Go
Let it go,
Let it out,
Let it all unravel,
Let it free
And it will be
A path on which to travel.
Magpie, magpie, dive on me,
Swoop down from your holy tree;
As I pass the flower bed
Stick your beak into my head.
Magpie, magpie, make a hole,
Through my head into my soul:
As I pass beneath the sun
Bring my troubled head undone.
Magpie, magpie it is spring
Is my soul a happy thing?
As I pass around the tree
Make a hole so you can see.
At the Top
At the top of the tallest building in the world
Sat the saddest man in the world
And inside the man
Was the loneliest heart in the world
And inside the heart
Was the deepest pit in the world
And at the bottom of the pit
Was the blackest mud in the world
And in the mud lay the lightest, loveliest, tenderest,
Most beautiful, happy angel in the universe.
Little scraps of peace and quiet,
Hope, conversation, handshakes –
All in dribs and drabs.
A few crumbs of fun,
A tiny flake of beauty,
One teaspoon of enthusiasm –
Offcuts of each other.
A skerrick of community,
A bit of a kiss.
A snippet of eye contact,
A snippet of hospitality,
A snippet of patience,
A shred of honour,
A wisp of good humour,
A sample of compassion –
Remnants of the glorious situation.
A fragment of God,
Not much, really.
Sorry, time’s up.
From the dream inside our mother’s womb,
We come into the crowded noisy room
Of life on earth.
Our birth is rude.
We come completely nude.
The soul is raw.
Our skin is bare.
At first we feel the air
And there and then the naked breast is found.
All of life is soft and warm and round,
The nipple and the lips so pink and ripe and new,
The newborn mouth knows what to do,
And skin is pressed excitedly to skin
As memories of feel and touch begin
In loves’ first blissful primal kiss.
And every kiss forevermore will be a bit like this.
For skin holds memories of touch,
The sight or feel of nakedness awakens much.
And skin begins to feel a need for skin
The stirrings of the memory within.
The milk and rapture of the mother’s breast
The love of skin to skin will never rest;
By grace and innocence compelled:
The need to hold, and to be held.
Just to hold a hand or stroke a brow.
The tingling of the naked touch returns the soul unconsciously somehow
To warmth and nudity with mother at the start,
When we were happiest in our naked little heart
Than we would be for evermore.
And so we touch ourselves,
Or touch each other and explore
The beauty and the miracle of skin;
The sensuous memory unbeknown within.
To kiss grandmothers’ cheek,
To feel a lovers’ hand upon your arm
The hand that rubs our back until we’re calm.
To taste the new-found lips, the strange caress.
To yearn for total nakedness.
Of self and other.
A bright reincarnation of a sacred time with mother.
Far beyond the realms of love or joy or sin.
Oh the wonder and the longing in our naked skin.