Poems from Travel Journal 2015

CONTRADICTORY

I’m trying to write about spaces
so difficult to distinguish
and encapsulate in words
just when in all my languages
words are slithering and absconding
pushing each other forward
in the wrong order
sending me to a thesaurus
where none of the exactitudes
properly fit.

Space is what I read,
but how can I recreate
a room or a sky
its power to expand
contract take off the lid
or remodel the walls
of the space inside me, Continue reading

OTHER POEMS

These are most of my poems not included in Inhabiting Earth or other series on this site, more or less in chronological order. Some are personal, some more chatty, or ‘occasional’, some can perhaps be called philosophical.

 

PART  I: INDIA

 

Fragments of an optical illusion

The square field grows round
like a womb,
the ground where I walk
is sown with eyes. Continue reading

THE MARRIAGE OF WOLF AND SHIP

 

 

THE SOURCE

 

Light on light

light sparkles in clear water
mirror of quivering ferns

and strikes flames from the stones
on the spring’s floor

gathers under the skull
with its hairy thatch
and bursts out
opening a breach to the sky

 The travelling sun
at night the pricking stars
beam into the place of sight

 the long low golden trail of a comet
sets off the charge

 Wakening on wakening

 the young wolf stretches her paws wide
stares round her mother Earth
in pure wonder

Continue reading

POWERS OF THE THRESHOLD

My working title for this ‘book’ was ‘Fragments of a Study of the Emotions’. I’m still not happy with the title I have, but I haven’t found one that does justice to the subject.

The book has two parts, ‘The Mothers’ and ‘The Fathers’. My idea is that the European-Mediterranean Mother Goddess myth represents, in the story of the Hero who is born, loves and is sacrificed, a ‘feminine’ cycle of emotions from hope to passion to horror to acceptance, including many shades of happiness and sadness, while in the Indian list of emotions, or rasas, on which ancient Hindu aesthetic theory was based, we find a more ‘masculine’ interpretation of these forces that form the bridge between our animal nature and our conscious experience. I have personified the rasas as ‘Little Gods’, which is not part of the Indian theory. My version of the Mother myth comes from more sources than I can remember.

 

POWERS OF THE THRESHOLD

Sometimes the wall between
our muddled daily feelings
and their ancient sources
becomes transparent and we see
a realm of lords and ladies
performing patterned rites
under a twilit dome
that is not quite the sky

and if we enter there
before the show dissolves
we glimpse how they’re shaped
out of our blood and nerves

Continue reading