Tag: Poetry

Derelict Zones and Jazz Bar Blues

 

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During hot summers

they used to walk through the neon lit streets at 3am.

They were seduced on freewill

falling in and out of basement jazz bars

in derelict zones.

Music in their souls

and abstraction in their minds.

Never short of courage

sipping whisky neat

drinking hours away

running out of days

feeling abundance and horizons infinite

whilst walking straight towards the heavy hearted bonfire of destruction.

They traced their path to nirvana

inventing their path

away from the banal.

Searching for the reality that both attracted and repelled them.

The novelty of everything was unexpected and effortless.

Life stretched out everlasting

and truth tempted their souls off the narrow path of the paradox

towards the only truth that they wanted

mysterious and inexplicable

the truth which they couldn’t put into words

which couldn’t fit into a single story.

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The Bardo-State Man

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He is a fortunate man.

The waves of life fall off his shoulders.

A clean path spans his vista.

The bland but dutiful and pretty wife dishes out his middle-england suppers.

His children are primed with the winning edge.

He is a fortunate man.

He ticked off school, university and aced that graduate interview.

His job brings in enough dollars.

His pension pot and private medical care are carefully topped up.

He respects wealth and power.

He is a fortunate man.

You’ll see his shiny white teeth telling jokes at the dinner-party on Saturday night

or you might see him picking out paint in some faceless store on a Sunday morning.

He is a fortunate man.

He strides though his linear path in life with the

promise of becoming a better human being

or being a better person.

Somehow.

But he doesn’t raise his head above the surface of life.

He exists and he keeps on existing despite his hour glass running out

and the lack of mystery in his future unfolding.

He hovers in a banal-bardo state.

There isn’t a moral story here.

Nor is there any resolution.

Genghis Khan and the Ice Temples of Central Asia

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I awoke to the sensation of dawn rising.

 

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Somewhere between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

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41,000 feet above.

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Bound for central China.

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The cabin was silent but for me,

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as the black night yielded to the dawn.

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The closed, mysterious, secretive and distant lands of the republics of the former Soviet Empire lay shut beneath me.

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Sapphire glows pleated the ledge between Heaven and the Earth.

 

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Dawn’s cautious sunlight sprinkled the horizon with its amber glow.

 

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Lonely, apricot coloured, clouds drifted past me through the vast, empty sky.

 

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Crossing the lands which mark the border between Islam and Buddhism.

 

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Ancient seats of nomadic empires laid in horizonless steppes.

 

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Silk roads holding secrets deep.

 

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Passing over lands where Ghenghis Khan had once weaved his armies,

 

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bringing Empires remote violently down onto their knees.

 

 

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Frozen lakes.

 

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Crystal clear torrents.

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Glaciers running slowly through icy veins.

 

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Rippling gales chasing bareness, everywhere.

 

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Endless white planes.

 

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Centuries old. Wild and untouched.

 

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Sparse villages.

 

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Stony mountains climbing so high I could almost reach out and touch them.

 

 

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Inhospitable lands,

 

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cut by time and dreaded weather,

 

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lay frozen,

promising to hold off summer and spring.

I felt like I was at the earth’s edge.

 

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And, as I drifted further East,

I thought of you,

as winter stretched out everlasting,

and my warm tears threatened to melt the snow beneath me.

 

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A Midsummer-Night’s Dream in France

We cycled through rolling fields of golden wheat back to the hidden house.

The wheat turned yellow as far as the eye could see.

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The sky was wide and trackless, and

the sun shone on the stone of the little commune house, standing deep in the woods, as we approached.

 

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The sultry sounds of yesterday evening’s party long evaporated,

 

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where glasses had been filled to the brim,

where we’d eaten from shared plates filled with meats and bread,

as children wove around our legs,

with the murmur of voices, laughter, singing and dancing escaping into the air,

and the heavy sounds of jazz music spun us into the moonlit night as the darkened sky harked to the owls.

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Today, we lay on our backs, in the grass, facing the sky.

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Not another soul around us.

Not another sound except for the babbling brook and the cry of the larks.

All still.

Idling in the heat of the late afternoon sun.

Dragon flies glimmering in the hazy light.

Not a thought in our heads.

The leaves rustled in the ruffle of the woods and wildflowers danced around us.

As you spoke to me in French, through the hush of the gentle breeze,  Oberon and Titania whispered the forest’s secrets back to us.

The whole world ceased to exist but for that which immediately surrounded us.

We were the last people standing in paradise as Athena departed and Cupid’s bow landed.

And as dusk began its descent, the spokes of the florid twilight reached out to us as we bid adieu to our secret hideaway.

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The Meaninglessness of the American Dream

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The spirit to imbue.

Stands monochrome.

A polished face. Charmed

as sweet as it is grim.

Where the only things that get you anywhere are the things you sell.

Your mind, your body and your soul become the commodity.

Seduced into thinking that that which cannot make profit is valueless.

Confusion between the fantastical and the real where

simulated communication is held together by designer fabrics. Painted in gold.

Jostling to confirm where you fit in. Image fixed. Controlled by uncertainty and doubt.

Big dreams lie exhausted.

Enchantment dissolute.

Penned in suburbs.

Returning to dreaded homes.

Locked into closed loops where the world stands stagnant,

where Heaven refuses to awaken the Meaningful from its deep slumber and

the Meaningless lies bloated and satisfied.

Are you always so dull?

Dust settles on habits tracks.

Moments which are calculated by memory,

threatening to dredge themselves up from the depths of unexplored lives.

To confirm the reality that we know is there.

Acquisition anxiety keeps us dormant.

Where everything we are not is at every moment alive in us.

Where all that I want is out there.

Waiting for me the minute I can say I know who I am.

But they would certainly dismiss this tragedy as absurd.