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.

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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.

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.

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?

The Taste of Peace

It’s the empty bliss between heartbreaks.

The second your clinging fingers let it slip

over the cliff and in your lightened grasp

colour floods back to your hand,

red rivulets rushing to warm

your desperate flesh.

It’s the golden pulse around you

when at last you reach the surface

and seize your first grasp of air.

Where straining ceases,

the casement flies open

and all that’s ever been floods in

– more than you could ever dream –

till the tears run

at the kaleidoscopic freedom

that was waiting all along.

Lost in the Night

A thousand and one nights without You, my darling,

I collect thoughts like shards of glass from the street

and clutch them to my desperate heart.

But they all stab and cut in the end,

and the red dewdrops that appear

twin the tears in my eyes

at my own misunderstanding.

It’s not that You drift from me, but I from You,

slipping from our bed in a hypnotized passion,

to roam midnight calling for You by all the wrong names.

Why do I never remember what You told me?

To find a quiet place and think of You,

and You are there, constant as I am wavering.

I wonder why You permit my weakness,

my turning from our sacred love over and over

till I forget what Your touch feels like,

till the sight of myself in Your eyes

becomes a dim and painful memory –

peace too often veiled in darkness.

Oh my Most Beloved,

forgive once again Your inconstant lover,

teach this fickle heart to be true to You,

to know joy in Your certain embrace.