Saturday, 25 July 2009

Oriah Mountain Dreamer


It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon...
I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.
Fierce Longing
There are moments
when making love
when a door
to something else
I am never prepared.
There is no preparation
for the way it takes me
and leaves me.
Sometimes it is brought
by a movement of tenderness:
soft lips that brush my forehead
and murmur my name
as the fire burns through
me making
my hips rise
and my blood moan.
Sometimes it is brought
by a moment of great courage:
eyes that dare to meet
and hold mine as the flood
of silky amber honey
takes us both over the edge.
And sometimes
it is brought
by the sting of what is not
and the memory of
tenderness and courage
that has been.
And when that moment
catches me
and tosses me
I am helpless.
The words spill
into the night:
"I want ... I want ... I want..."
they leave me
suspended over the chasm
of my own bottomless
for that fleeting something
I glimpsed
or imagined
just beyond.
Gone before
I could name it.
The breath catches
a strangled sob
tears me
opens me
and I fall back
eyes wide and
on damp pillows
my face
wet with tears.
And his eyes
frightened by the fierceness
of my longing.
Night Tears
There is a crying
that happens at night
that does not come
while the light is with us.
There are things that cannot
be evaded
once the sun goes down.
Small nocturnal creatures
with sharp white teeth
silently gnaw at the edges of
belly and heart
when the darkness descends
and the void inside
grows larger.
It can split you open.
And the bone
in the centre of your chest
like the cracked wishing bone
from the turkey breast.
And if we are strong enough
to be weak enough
we are given a wound
that never heals.
It is the gift
that keeps the heart open.


This poem is almost prophetic, certainly symbolic, and yet no more than a draft idea, perhaps to come back to one day.

High on a hill I was waiting, watching the setting sun

Waiting at the anointed hour, waiting for the one,

The one who would take my hand as the hour of dusk drew near

And before I could turn to see her, whispered in my ear, 

“Hold on to this sunset, as the gold rays disappear,

Hold on to this moment, and keep the memory dear.”

I felt a shiver down my spine, a tingle of delight, 

As I watched the red rays’ splendour fade away to night.

“If you search for beauty,” she sighed, “that is but a taste”

As she curled her arm about my waist and turned to show her face.
Looking deep into my eyes in the shadows of the night, 

She promised she would be my guide and lead me to the light.

Then down the hill she led me, step by step in time, 

Each step a step to freedom, each step a dancing rhyme. 

“The past is history, the future’s a mystery,” she said,

“The present is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.

The gift that I will give you is a chamber far below, 

A chamber where you make the rules and all the secrets know. 

A chamber of fantasy, but don't do as you please, 

For if you break your own rules, you’ll soon be on your knees. 

But with practice you will learn the wonders of this world, 

And how when truly sensed, its splendors are unfurled. 

The sights and sounds and tastes, and joy of pleasure’s scent, 

All there for you to savour at your heart's content. 

But the journey won’t be easy, a journey in your mind, 

To relax, let go and truly know the things you want to find.”

“I have no words to thank you,” I gushed out in reply,

“But will you be my guide there or abandon me and fly?”

“Stay close!”, she said, “young soldier and do just what I say, 

For in this world are dangers too and you mustn’t go astray. 

Stay connected to me. I can but show the way. 

And tell you how the chamber works and leave you there to play.

We came before a hidden door and my guide pulled out a key.

Below stretched out a spiral stair and by the hand she held me.

This letting go made feelings flow. I felt at peace and free.

She told me how there were two halves, the blue for fantasy
Where everything comes true, and how also a half that’s red 

Where all the questions that had plagued me, I could ask instead.

And though she could not enter in the chamber by my side, 

I could later call on her and everything confide.

Down the spiral stair she led me into the black abyss 

And in darkness washing over me, I felt a state of bliss.

No doubt or fear along this path, I felt myself a ball 

Somersaulting, rolling, tumbling to a graceful fall.

The next thing I knew, I was outside the chamber true,

Standing before the door marked fantasy in blue

Though many things my guide had told me, I remembered few,

Except to love and trust myself and see what I could do...


Salvatore Quasimodo

Selected poems from Salvatore Quasimodo "To Give and To Have" (1942), translated by Edith Farnsworth.



Every sweetness having gone from life
you praise the dream; toward unknown shores advancing
may your day approach
in which still waters dense with angels
of encircling green trees barely stir.

Your infinite day; to overtake each hour
which seemed to you eternal,
youthful laughter, pain,
where formerly you sought the secret
birth of night and day.

And Your Dress Is White
Bent is your head and you regard me
and your dress is white
and one breast can be seen under the lace
falling from your left shoulder.

The light overpowers me; quivering,
it touches your naked arms.

Again I see you. Words
you had that were mute and rapid,
giving a heart
to the burden of a life
which seemed a carrousel.

Dark was the road
by which the wind came down
those nights in March
and wakened us,
strangers as on the first evening.

You invoke a life

Task of love, sadness
you invoke a life
that deep within has names
of skies and gardens.

And were it my flesh
which the gift of evil alters!


You laugh because I flay myself for syllables
and bend the skies and hills, the azure hedge
surrounding me, the rusting elms,
the voices of the anxious waters;
because I beguile my youth
with clouds and colours
which the light dissolves.

I know, all that in you is lost
exalts the fair, the breasts,
curves with the thighs and gently
broadens for the timid arch;
in formal harmony descends
to the ten shells of the pretty feet.

But if I should take you,
In words, you too would be sadness.


Pure white the angel sleeps
on roses of air,
upon her side,
her fair hands crossed
beside her breast.

My voice awakens her,
and she is smiling;
strewn with pollen
is the proffered cheek.

She sings; the opaque sky
of dawn assails my heart.
Mine is the angel;
frigid, I take her in my arms.

Hidden Life

It filters time and space
and has no light of presage
in the apathy of the grasses;
and the wind, the fresh wind pours
no web of tones, no quick illuminations;
when it is silent the sky, too, is alone.

Give me hidden life,
and if you do not know me deep concealed,
the night, ethereal sea.

I drown: and with each syllable you mean
that from the earth it mines its gleam
and in the dark expands;
tree it becomes or rock or blood
in palpitating essence
which in itself degenerates, 
myself, exfoliate from the suffering
which renders me serene, love's depths.

Dreams of Absent Lovers

A short series of poems by six female poets, beginning and ending with
Mary Wilkins
and sandwiched in between the five lesbian poets
Matilda Betham Edwards,
Aphra Behn,
Marie Madeleine,
Katharine Lee Bates, and
Wu Tsao.

Now Is The Cherry In Blossom (Mary Wilkins)
Now is the cherry in blossom, Love,
Love of my heart, with the apple to follow;
Over the village at nightfall now
Merrily veers and darts the swallow.

At nightfall now in the dark marsh grass
Awakes the chorus that sings old sorrow;
The evening star is dim for the dew,
And the apple and lilac will bloom to-morrow.

The honeysuckle is red on the rock;
The willow floats over the brook like a feather;
In every shadow some love lies hid —
And you and I in the world together.

A Valentine (Mathilda Betham-Edwards)
What shall I send my sweet today,
  When all the woods attune in love?
  And I would show the lark and dove,
That I can love as well as they.
I'll send a locket full of hair, -
  But no, for it might chance to lie
  Too near her heart, and I should die
Of love's sweet envy to be there.
A violet is sweet to give, -
  Ah, stay! she'd touch it with her lips,
  And, after such complete eclipse,

How could my soul consent to live?
I'll send a kiss, for that would be
  The quickest sent, the lightest borne,
  And well I know tomorrow morn
She'll send it back again to me.
Go, happy winds; ah, do not stay,
  Enamoured of my lady's cheek,
  But hasten home, and I'll bespeak
Your services another day!
The Dream (Aphra Behn)
All trembling in my arms Aminta lay,
Defending of the bliss I strove to take;
Raising my rapture by her kind delay,
Her force so charming was and weak.
The soft resistance did betray the grant,
While I pressed on the heaven of my desires;
Her rising breasts with nimbler motions pant;
Her dying eyes assume new fires.
Now to the height of languishment she grows,
And still her looks new charms put on;
Now the last mystery of Love she knows,
We sigh, and kiss: I waked, and all was done.

`Twas but a dream, yet by my heart I knew,
Which still was panting, part of it was true:
Oh how I strove the rest to have believed;
Ashamed and angry to be undeceived!
 Foiled Sleep (Marie Madeleine)
And when I shut my eyes, forsooth,
I cannot banish from my sight
  The vision of her slender youth.

She stands before me lover-wise,
  Her naked beauty fair and slim,
She smiles upon me, and her eyes
  With over fierce desire grow dim.

Slowly she leans to me. I meet
  The passion of her gaze anew,
And then her laughter, clear and sweet,
  Thrills all the hollow silence through.

O, siren, with the mocking tongue!
  O beauty, lily-sweet and white!
I see her, slim and fair and young.
  And ah! I cannot sleep tonight.

If You Could Come (Katharine Lee Bates)
My love, my love, if you could come once more
From your high place,
I would not question you for heavenly lore,
But, silent, take the comfort of your face.

I would not ask you if those golden spheres
In love rejoice,
If only our stained star hath sin and tears,
But fill my famished hearing with your voice.

One touch of you were worth a thousand creeds.
My wound is numb
Through toil-pressed, but all night long it bleeds
In aching dreams, and still you cannot come.

Bitter Rain (Wu Tsao)
Bitter rain in my courtyard
In the decline of Autumn,
I only have vague poetic feelings
That I cannot bring together.
They diffuse into the dark clouds
And the red leaves.
After the yellow sunset
The cold moon rises
Out of the gloomy mist.
I will not let down the blinds
Of spotted bamboo from their silver hook.
Tonight my dreams will follow the wind,
Suffering the cold,
To the jasper tower of your beautiful flesh.

After the Rain (Mary Wilkins)
  It had rained all night, but the sun shone in the morning. The cottage-roofs steamed in the sun; the roses in the garden were still heavy with rain and draggled with garden-mold; the wet trees gave out green lights; little rain-pools shone in the road like liquid gold, and the sparrows dipped in them. It had rained all night, but the sun shone in the morning.

  The lover whom love had forsaken looked out of his window. All night had he lain awake, listening to the rain on the roof, and longing for his lost love, while the memory of her caresses clung to his soul as sweet and evasive as the perfume of the roses in the garden.

  It had rained all night, but the sun shone in the morning. The lover whom love had forsaken looked out of his window. "My love has forsaken me," he said, "but it has stopped raining."

Two more poets in the comments:

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Down in the Valley Below

Lower, descend lower into the valley below
And there beside the little hut you’ll see the one I know.
He carries a staff of ancient oak and in his hand an axe.
I loved you. Do you know it? Down in the valley below.
When we were kids we used to play and tease and laugh and sing.
Come to me and we will be forever dancing by the sea.
I loved you. You know it now. Deeper in the valley below.
Down in the hut where the old man stands with a wooden staff and an axe, 
Tracing my fingers over your skin, a breath between our lips, 
I love you still, my love. And there is nowhere deeper to go.


Tuesday, 14 July 2009

The Truth Beneath The Clouds

Some say that all is dust,
A figment of the mind,
And when we beings turn to rest
We are no longer blind.
Welcome then the stillness
Beneath the daily grind
So that we may truly sense
And inspiration find.


Monday, 13 July 2009

Seeking Guidance

At some point when you feel in a relaxed state of mind, ask yourself questions, and go deep inside yourself and listen to the answers. After each answer you get in reply, write down the answer exactly as you hear it, neatly enough so that you can read it later, before returning to the relaxed state to ask another question. Thanks to Cyn for the inspiration to do this.

So here is an imaginary visual cues... just questions and answers, just like Yahoo Answers, but with me as both asker and answerer.

What should I ask for?
You should ask for that which will guide you to greater wisdom of the self, for wisdom of the self is everything.

Where does will come from?
It comes from inside, from Source.

Where do I find morality?
Morality is like diving into a pool. If you do not come up for oxygen, you will drown. Morality is that which sustains us, gives us direction. You will know when you are ready. Temptation is distraction.

How to tell if something is a distraction?
Feel it! Say, is this oxygen that will sustain me and take me forward, or is it something that distracts and holds me back. Do I need it?

So when we reach a state of needing nothing, do we run out of morals and is everything distraction?
We no longer need morals to sustain us. We are at peace.

Long pause in a still meditative state before I ask again...

This state of not needing anything, is it an amoral state?
The waters are cool and light. You do not need oxygen. You do not need warmth. You have it inside you and you can go where you will.

If two paths are presented to you, how to choose?
You have free will. You have choice. But a bad path in a pool filled with light will be very clear to you.

Is there anything else I should ask, and may I share this?
Yes, you should write it down and contemplate it. Ask "Why?"

Why? ... what?
Why I am here?

Why are you here?
Because you sent for me.

Thank you for coming.
All is in the asking.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Beyond the Waterfall's Edge

I take you silently in the dark
Like a raindrop falling from a rose,
Ravishing you slowly and smoothly,
Oars gliding to a gentle rhythm,
Tendrils floating down an invisible stream.
The darkness can contain us no longer;
We dissolve in a lightning flash
And the life of a rainbow dancing.


Diary of a Debauched Poet (Anonymous)

Sweetly, she said, in her voice to flirt, 
Hips swaying above her miniskirt, 
“How many girls have you taken out?, 
Tell me their names. Are they still about?” 
And round and round the merry-go-round 
Of accusations, she prodded and frowned. 
“What does she look like? Was she like me?” 
Then she leaned over my desk to see 
What I was writing, “Do you write for her?"
And on your name she uttered a slur. 
“Enough drama!” I cried, “You have no right! 
Time you put your cat out for the night.” 
Indeed, like a cat, she comes and goes 
Until the next time, and when? Who knows! 
Reading my mind, she sighed and purred, 
“You going to miss me, you baby bird? 
Oh how you blush and let out a sigh, 
Open your palm and make me feel high.” 
“Damn!,” she said, “I wanted to say that, 
Now you’ve written it, you’ve made it sound flat."
I looked at her eyes, out over my glasses, 
The drill-down look, I used to make passes.
She knew what it meant, that wicked stare.
Before I was even up from my chair,
She had already scooted away,
Back onto the bed, ready to play. 
As I dived down, around her clasping, 
She howled out, half-screaming, half-gasping, 
And her eyes rolled back into her head,  
As she dragged forth guttural sounds from the dead.

Needless to say, (or rather I must need to say it, for if it were needless to say, then I wouldn't need to say it), the debauched poet or "I" of the poem is anonymous and does not represent okei! :^)

Angel of the Morning

Be there with the sunshine!
Wake me from my slumbers!
Rouse me from my dreaming!
Stimulate my senses!

With your haunting fragrance,
I know morning is up,
When you come fill my cup
Drawing apart the cloak
Of my expectant soul.
I open to you, but you
Still burn at the first touch,
Then, relenting, you warm
To my faithful embrace.

Your silky smoothness slips
Between quivering lips
You brush my tongue and enter
Deep inside my centre.

Steal my tranquility!
Leave me buzzing and high!
Make me feel I’m alive!
Satisfy my desire!

I know tomorrow morn
When I spread out and yawn,
Again I'll be thirsting
Apprehension bursting
To take you once more,
For always you promise
Indescribable bliss,
From the moment we kiss,
Oh, my dear morning coffee.

which left so much unexplored that I couldn't help just extending it a bit.