What Is Woven

I’ve built a frame and called it God.

I hammered nails into planks borrowed

from cleverer souls than I,

bored holes with years of looking closely,

and twisted joists within.

I’ve strung the contraption tight as a harp,

one string for every breath taken in silence,

in time set apart to honour That.

The threads I’m handed hold clashing colours,

and I’m not told the pattern in advance,

but I’ve chosen the Beloved as a loom

for my task, and in invisible structure

I allow this work to take shape,

this net to catch my despair, or hopelessness,

and spin something beautiful out of it.

Swing of the Pendulums

Let the pendulum swing,

this moment is only for us.

As much as possible, in the darkness,

I reside in you and you in I.

For now, we become each other

and the becoming is sweet,

as we unbecome ourselves

and seek to take on the guise

of something half you and half I.

Here and nowhere else –

if we can hold now that long –

we taste the sharing that is divinity.

Here and only now,

I don’t have to choose between wholeness and you.

There is something sacred in me stopping

to brush the hair from your face,

there is something sacred in the breaking pain

of knowing this instant can’t last.

There is something sacred in the gentleness

we take, handling each other’s hearts.

From the Healers

I am a bucket in the well,

holding links of twisted hemp

between me and the source,

bathed in darkness, the fall too far –

I know you’re frightened.

You don’t know you’re held

because the grip is so gentle.

Till you can trust the lengths of rope

you’re wrapped in so safely,

the rigging of this ship,

let me fall into black for you.

Let me strengthen my arms

so I can pull myself back

to the surface,

filled with all you need.

More than enough to share.

Until you learn the way,

may I fetch all I can carry,

so we can begin to quench our thirst.

Catching Forever

Forever isn’t always measured

in the length people like to trace,

stretch a yellow line from here to there

and mark the boundaries of a love story.

Sometimes eternity has its roots in our feet

and grows down, down into the centre of this moment.

It bursts like flour in the air,

filling your vision for only seconds,

sinks as particles into your lungs;

and occasionally, years later

you still feel her in deep breaths.

She pledged forever, darling –

I know it hurts to remember.

Your own broken vow stings in tandem,

a memory of what you couldn’t complete.

 

But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t real.

 

In that incandescent bulb of time you shared,

you held a love that stretched outward

and echoed itself through the stars,

bent inward and unwound you

to that shell-pink state of softness,

replicated itself like leaves on a tree,

and just for that moment,

you knew the presence of Forever

in the corner of the room

and saw its unmistakable promise

reflected in her eyes.

Like Water Through Cloth

The earth ripples with it,

under all it runs like water –

slips like drops unnoticed.

At that first touch we shiver,

our skin unused to the shock of cold.

 

We are cloth, rough and swiftly woven,

we blow in the breeze,

dancing in the air above the tides,

fighting the gravity pulling us

into weight, a frozen drowning

of the free will we defend so mercilessly

(as if it could be taken away).

We see in water only an end to flight,

in surrender only oppression.

 

But water as it runs through cloth

is water delighting itself,

and in its tender passage

cloth is transformed.

Altered, loosened,

the weight in its spun fibres

lets it stretch and open

and pinpricks of sun reach through

till the ground below

is a mass of stars in midday.

Three Chains

Three heavy chains cross my chest

winding over sweat and tangled hair

bending me double to the floor.

Selfishness is the most abrasive,

cuts welts into my tired flesh if I move against it,

kneel to put another soul before myself –

or even on the same level.

Cowardice simply clings like wet cloth,

makes me shiver at the thought of stretching.

Those freezing rags wrapped around my bones

are enough to cement me into stillness.

Laziness droops in metal drapery around my ankles,

gathers under my feet and trips me

the moment anything requires a step out of turn.

 

It’s only skin and blood against twisted metal,

soldered iron that ties not just my limbs

buts runs around my organs, squeezing my lungs.

Must I always be this person?

Can I turn the tides in my veins

to rust down the metal,

to build dams and bridges in my soul

out of sweat and foresight,

of looking back at the plans

our elders placed before us?

Might I be better?

And can I wake each day

and believe it’s worth the strain?

Promising Emptiness

Lost in the empty noise of my desperate mind,

I close my eyes and suddenly You reappear.

I want to cry, to cling to You,

to fold myself into the space

between Your arms and I do –

Your loving hands bend and mold me

into driftwood, a sailboat,

white swathes of fabric floating

above me and You release me –

floating downstream.

 

Then the boat pitches off the water’s edge,

an end unnoticed, disappearing.

Shiva, ever gentle,

You hold Your hands over my eyes.

 

What have I not yet learned about surrender?

Why do I see time like a jailer,

above me rattling his keys?

when every day You pry open bars

and invite me with Your patient smile,

Come out, come out into the sun.

Let me care for you 

as the most doting of parents.

Why do I, so many days, choose

to stay in familiar darkness?