These Lines

These lines,

rebellious markers of the places

I refused to break,

this museum of myself.

My hands become curators

running over skin in the dark.

At these lines,

fingers pause in caution

armed with curiosity

at those frailest of sights,

the thin and gossamer veil

blowing like a curtain over

who we believe ourselves to be,

and who we really are.

These lines

where my soul grows so steeped in love,

heavy like sacks of sand,

it almost bursts from my flesh,

skipping into puddles and leaves and the blacks of your eyes.

These lines,

where my bondage is weakest

but our belonging is strongest.

Here at the border

of village and forest,

the known and the true,

between us and Her.

These lines tell our story,

the ways we split apart,

to let all we have die –

to return to Her.

 

Part of you remembers how to read it,

and it scares you.

Your spine was never built for this,

like mine;

the legends you read at night

are lived in these lines.

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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.

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.