Waves

Waves

Grief comes in dark waves
Crashing on the desolate shore
With the fury of a jet engine or a lion’s roar
Hissing like a strangled saint
Supine on the bedroom floor

10 January 2019

The Albatross and the Drowning Mermaid

The Little Mermaid statue

I cannot always talk directly to my wife. Or at least I cannot expect any definite answers. That’s where the mermaid comes in. Through her an entirely different kind of communication is possible. It’s a different kind of talking and a different kind of listening. Like poetry and myth making. It came to me first in a dream, not long after my wife died.

In my dream, an albatross has written a three-dimensional poem about my wife and I am jealous. Other people are heaping praise on the albatross for his clever construction and the profound truth that the poem conveys about its subject. I am completely out of my depth and cannot compete with this legendary seabird. There is a photograph of my wife that I’ve never seen before. She is swimming underwater. Down, down into the depths of the sea. Away from me and out of reach.

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Descartes: Thoughts for the Day

Human head with questions

I think, therefore I am
(Descartes big idea)

I think, therefore I think I am
(Descartes on weed)

I think, therefore I will self-harm
(Descartes with depression)

I think, therefore I am alarmed
(Descartes with anxiety)

I think they are out to get me, therefore I must be well-armed
(Descartes on gun control)

I think, but since thinking is the source of all suffering, I meditate to stay calm
(Descartes on Buddhism)

I have tried and tried to think this through, and they really don’t have a fucking clue!
(Descartes on Brexit)

05 January 2019

A Lost Sock in the Laundromat of Oblivion

A Lost Sock in the Laundromat of Oblivion

Buddhists believe in a never ending cycle of births and rebirths called saṃsāra. You can escape the cycle of rebirth by attaining Nirvana. But that’s something which requires a lot of effort, dedication and hard work and seems really rather difficult to achieve for most people, on account of their inherent laziness and fallibility.

I do not remember any previous lives. But you could remember your past lives in some detail, and talked about them often. You remembered being a boy in one life and dying young. In another life you lived in poverty and recalled the memory of hunger and starvation. Further back still you remembered living as a rich and powerful woman, a cruel aristocrat responsible for the death and suffering of others.

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Lip Service

Lips

Smiling lips
Beguiling lips
Laughing lips
Talking lips
Tasting lips
Singing lips
Pouting lips
Stinging lips
Shouting lips
Puckered lips
Biting lips
Licking lips
Lovely lips
Luscious lips
Kissing lips
Outer lips
Inner lips
Painted lips
Tainted lips
Swearing lips
Spitting lips
Silent lips
Lucky lips
Lonely lips
Lager lips

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All The Living And All The Dead

Jackie Crookstone memorial. The massacre of Tranent
Photo by Kim TraynorOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Some days start off this way. Perhaps after deep and unsettling dreams. Or after a night of heavy drinking, prescription painkillers or tranquillisers. It’s a familiar feeling but one which is always startling and profound. That moment when you first wake up and remember that you are alive, and that you are who you are, and exist in the world as a conscious being. And simultaneously, that one day you will no longer exist and will never wake again. In that fleeting moment of conscious awakening, the joy and the agony of life seem fused together in an indivisible unit, and we dimly recognise the mystery of existence and acknowledge the strange hinterland that we sometimes inhabit between being and nothingness.

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The Dance of the Dying Bee

Bumblebee

What a beguiling spectacle to behold. Such precise and elaborate movements. The dance, not performed for an audience, but for it’s own sake, with dignity and with joy. The flexing of the wings. The stretching of the body. Up on the hind legs at full tilt. Cleaning the face with the front legs. A rite of purification before the dance begins. Then dancing in circles. First one way then the other, zigzagging across the plain. Life imitating art. Then suddenly an unexpected gust of wind whips the small body 50 feet, 100 feet, 1000 feet in the air and away for ever.

A stunned silence follows. Was it a dance of death or a dance of life? Do any of us know that this will be our last day? Our last hour? Our last minute on earth?

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Bad Dog

Death Flame Death Head

“You have to taint the dog.” The voice says. It is my own voice. I don’t know who I am speaking to or what the hell these words even mean.

I am being overtaken by a rising wave of panic. “Taint the dog. Taint the dog.”

Suddenly I realise that the person I am speaking to has a plastic dog stuffed in his mouth and his hands and feet are bound.

“Bad dog.” I say. “Bad dog.”

I can hardly move my tongue or formulate the words. They come out slurred and slowly, like a record being played at the wrong speed.

It’s too late. The incantation is failing. This dog is evil!

“FUCK OFF DOGGIE.” I shout, louder now, terror rising. “FUCK OFF.”

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Promises

Birch Tree Bark Heart

I will make promises that I cannot keep
(heroic promises)

I will break promises that I do not remember making
(forgotten promises)

I will fake promises that I have no intention of fulfilling
(political promises)

I will make promises to myself which I will never articulate
(hidden promises)

I will promise you the earth in this moment and mean it with all my heart, even if I know my promise can never be realised
(impossible promises)

I will promise you anything if you give me what I want right now
(dirty promises)

I will promise you anything if you stop hurting me right now
(desperate promises)

I will promise to love, honour and obey you till death do us part
(contractual promises)

I will promise you my eternal soul if you open up your pearly gates
(sacred promises)

I will promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of one dollar
(devalued promises)

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