From NOTNESS (Metaphysical Sonnets)

                   in the temple of Eros and Thanatos


Immortal volunteers and candidates,

they chime long echoes in our consciousness.

Here, two are locked. They kiss, embrace, caress.

He kneels, she squats. Another watches, waits.

Two more in passion’s combat-stress rehearse

pressures of flesh and muscle against skin.

Naked, another hurls a javelin

while two in tunics casually converse.

There, warriors in ranks ensure a king

shall make safe passage to the other shore.

In clay, wood, marble, metal, all abhor

movement (which they have passed) and suffering..

These words, though, carved like them, call out and breathe.

                   Life leaps here through them as they writhe and seethe.


On ground that holds me, steadying my feet,

I walk this world and breathe. The ready air

flows, follows, billows round me everywhere

assuring, reassuringly complete.

Though infinitely varied, things repeat

in rhythms, waves, expansions that they share

with all else that’s unique, beyond compare.

Each flaw, mark, stain in glass, each grain of wheat,

each mole, fold, wrinkle, every seam, crease, pleat

in nature’s fabric, every spore, pore, hair

bears its own stress, style, fingerprint, song, flare.

Miraculous, reverberating world

filled with new things unfurling and unfurled

as I walk down this ordinary street…

                   I dreamed I wrote

I dreamed I wrote. A poem, long, assured,

impassioned, and composed in a white heat,

poured out of me. I set it down, complete,

perfected. And breathed, as if cleared, cleaned, cured

of every ill, pain, anguish I’d endured

in making it. Surely my work would meet

acclaim, fame – recognition on the street. …

I woke. My edifice collapsed, obscured.

I wrote I dreamed. And now, though breathless, dead –

through you who read this, I wake once again

imperfect, hopeful, agonised, as then.

I can’t give you that poem, so instead

of what I’d rendered perfect in my sleep

I offer you this hint, mere glint, to keep.

                   Now, drum

Now, hollow drum, old knot, new pleated fold,

mere point, fine spectrum, radiating waves

through time’s continuum, and vast loom that weaves

new fabrics on this energetic field

matted through matter, uncoiled and unfurled

across the moving patterns of our lives,

no sooner swells and breaks than ebbs and leaves,

self-emptying each instant it has filled.

Is this then nothing but the drum the dream

of being batters out its morse upon?

Since now repeats with neither gap nor seam

between (within) each wave, its antiphon,

eliding all nows on a curved light beam,

how then can now be ousted or outshone?