Oceans of Being
Rain pours, weeping from the sky into the streams
of both the physical realm and the conscious.
I know what to make of the physical manifestation,
but often not so much of that which floods into my conscious mind.
As streams inevitably become rivers, picking up the pace,
these conscious streams transform into the same.
And as rivers become sea, my thoughts become me,
locked in the eternal relationship of shaping, changing, and emerging.
They become one with other streams and other rivers,
Our waters mingled into powerful oceans of being.
tired eyes relent to lack of light
ensuring the brain understands it’s night,
eyelids restrict sight
and ears in silence delight
“I change my mind with the certainty of chrysalis to butterfly
I am one with transformation moving effortlessly from room to room”
Contemplation at Latitude 
I’m reading Norwegian Wood by Murakami
I’m at Latitude
…and strangely (maybe) I start to think teenage memories.
a friend being beaten up while we were out on a bike ride down ‘the towers’
another digging for bottles over ‘the bogs’ and finding the most amazing old glass
and laying the supper table on a Saturday night to watch Match of the Day with my Dad when he came in from the pub
And then I’m snapped back to Henham Park – the festival site
A child with a walkie talkie is loudly informing the tent area that there’s going to be a cyber attack
…and I think ‘of all the shit I thought might happen while I was here I never thought that’… and this before a note has even been played!
I wait for the attack….
….and instead tune into the brash cockney twang that is in evidence
“awright awright ‘arm fu**in’ on it” ….in the family area as well… I despair!
…and Christine returns and I say ‘excellent – get the kettle on love!’
I turn to Ethan… ‘treat ’em mean, keep ’em keen’ wink
Christine gives me that look
I know my place
I go and put the kettle on
Reflections on a festival
I have come to know this copse of trees well
Standing tall and strong waiting for my return
Five years out of seven, always present
Watching the rest of the year waltz by
Capturing the outward breath of the inward looking
who come grasping for a moment
in the clean nature of a world outside of this one
that is somewhat less illuminated and, well, ordinary.
Middle aged men wear glitter and patterned shirts
In an attempt to shake of the tedium of the other life
Escaping from the daily routine
Inside – thinking, breaking, sinking
under the weight of mediocrity
But, in this moment, they are free spirits
if somewhat uncomfortable in this guise
Young men and women with impolite levels of flesh revealed
explore this moment of freedom
Shaking off the restrictions that their real world
is slowly starting to impose on them
The young men strut effortlessly, torso’s bared
While middle age spreads uncontrollably underneath
fake faded seventies t-shirts bought the previous week from Next
Older people attempt cool and fail
Bigger people attempt to float like their thinner counterpoints
flowery and cotton clad
No clinging savagely for the svelte, just serene draping
In a world where we need to desperately find ourselves in the day to day
beyond the selfie world of pretend glamour
We escape for a few glorious days to be someone we are not.
CHANGE THE CHANNEL
I reach for the remote control and change the channel to reality
Where people relate to each other within an uncomfortable realm
Of confronting each other with each others personality
The documentary of our lives plays out among the others around us
The reality of presence feels more removed than observation of other realities
The stage is set and we begin to wonder whether we can merge into another channel
I press mute to simply remove myself from what is around me
I see mouths move and expressions emerge but I enjoy hearing nothing
I watch closely to see if anything is worth understanding
Plastic pretence permeating priorities past people
Plausible but distorted in an unreality
Real merging with unreal like wood trying to be steal
Like beach trying to become sea
Like sky trying to become cloud
But like bricks become a house these distorted people make a reality of sorts
That has no basis in reality but for a price is bought
All seems well
But all is not well
People have escaped
And need to be re-snared
Into the reality of presence
The reality of distance is easier
Nothing to deal with there
Lost in other worlds
In other worlds
in the beauty of the flower,
in the coming of the hour
that returns your face to me,
in the rolling of the hill
and the stars that make me still,
it’s simplicity I see.
in holding, still, your hand,
in waiting while we stand,
taking in the quiet of the sky
as the clouds roll silent by,
it’s simplicity I see.
TRUTH ONLY EXISTS IN YOU
in the face of change
i muster the skill to deny that change is practical
i deny that anything good could come of anything changing
there is a ‘stuck-ness’ about maturity that youth seems to object to
but what of this ‘stuck-ness’?
it brings mastery of emotions
organisation of ones feelings
an understanding of here-ness
an acceptance that good things are comfortable
there is delight in the predictable
change creates fear
yet – it is argued – change is inevitable
but here – on this path – what is change?
should not change be about you and what is around you
to quote (rather badly) if it doesn’t kill you in makes you stronger
what needs to change often is what is in you
not what is around you
because truth only exists in you
There’s nothing to be done here. It’s time. It’s quiet. It’s peaceful. Life has been long. Life has… been. Life has been what it has been. Leaning forward is difficult but I want to see it again. This photograph has been with me everyday since she left me…. Quietly…. There is nothing to get used to in the silence. It can never be the same. Nothing can ever replicate the feeling of seeing her smile. She was quiet as she slipped away. I can’t remember if its been months or years but here she still is in the picture. Young. Beautiful. Smiling. Her face dances. Her hair sings. The photograph is cold to the touch but I warm as I look at it. It’s uncomfortable again. My shoulders ache, my legs ache, my soul aches. I can’t remember when I last moved. Someone will come and move me soon. I guess. I can’t remember when they were last here. It doesn’t matter. Nothing matters really. There’s nothing to be done. I am weak. In a few seconds I am no more.
Elements of Chalk and Cheese
Cut from the same cloth you and I are,
Despite some elements of chalk and cheese,
We meet at the same seam.
The pattern sometimes doesn’t quite line up,
But the stitches reach out their threads to connect.
I sometimes wonder at the patterns you present,
And am often puzzled that, when I thought you were floral,
you demonstrate a different skin,
Sometimes I don’t know where to begin.
I see what is without,
But can’t, at times, see what is within.
We’re cut from the same cloth you and I,
But sometimes insist that we are parts of different garments,
Yet sometimes a beautifully lined jacket we make.
Different as chalk and cheese you and I.
But, like those elements, we’re intertwined forever in the same sentence
and secured at the seam.
the little clean grey elephant (for Jonathan & Luke)
￼Dad had been working late and he was driving home in the dark. He was very tired. Mum had already put their little boy to bed for the night because by seven o’clock he was very tired too.
Dad turned his car up the bumpy road that led to their house. The porch light was on and in the glow he caught sight of a shape. He couldn’t quite make out what it was. Imagine his surprise when he got closer and the shape turned out to be a little elephant. Not a baby one but a grown up one only smaller! He was a clean shade of grey with wrinkly legs, big toes, bright eyes and a winning smile. Oh! And a trunk, well two trunks actually. The one that he had instead of a nose and the battered leather one that was by his side.
Dad got out of the car slightly worried. What do you say to an elephant? So he said, “Hello”, and the elephant said, “Hello”.
“Can I help you”, said Dad.
After studying his response for some time the elephant said, “No, but I think I can help you”.
“Oh! Well you’d better come in then”.
This was certainly a great mystery.
“Hi, darling”, dad shouted to mum.
“Hi!”, mum shouted back.
“Have you got a minute, I’ve got someone I want you to meet”.
He’d already led the elephant into the sitting room and sat him down on the biggest comfy chair.
“Goodness, what’s all the racket about”, said mum, “it sounds like you’ve got a pet elephant in……”, and she stopped dead in her tracks, because quite frankly there was a pet elephant in the sitting room.
Mum didn’t quite know what to say!
“Hello”, she said.
“Hello”, said the clean grey elephant with wrinkly legs, big toes, bright eyes and a winning smile. And two trunks.
“Mum this is…….”
“Sidney”, said Sidney the elephant.
“Sidney”, said dad.
“Pleased to meet you Sidney”, said mum, ever polite to guests, “would you like a cup of tea”
“Hmmmm….. I don’t think I like tea”, said the elephant in a studied manner, “not the sort of thing we get in the zoo. I don’t suppose you have cocoa do you?”
“Yes, I do as a matter of fact. I’ll go and get you some!”
Mum looked at Dad completely puzzled by the presence of an Elephant in her living room and even more puzzled by the fact he wanted cocoa!
“How do you come to be here”, said Dad, “don’t elephants live in Africa of India”.
“Well yes”, said Sidney, “except the ones that live in zoos”.
“Oh”, said Dad.
“Oh”, said Sidney. “I’ve been sent by the Zoo Keeper-in-charge on a most important mission. It’s your son. I’ve been told he’s a little sad at the moment”.
“Well yes”, said dad. “His best friend has had to move away and now he won’t see him anymore.”
“Well there you go then! That’s why I’m here”
Mum returned with the cocoa and the elephant drank it in one gulp. “If you don’t mind I’d like to get some sleep now, I’ve got a busy day tomorrow. Little boys to cheer up and that kind of thing. Could you show me to your spare room.”
“We don’t have one”, said mum, worried.
“Oh! Well if you wouldn’t mind I’ll just sleep here on the couch”. And he did!
He got out blue stripy pyjamas, his toothbrush and his bed socks and got ready for bed.
Mum and Dad left him too it and went to bed themselves.
Dad woke up with a start early the next morning and remembered the events of the night before and thought it must have been a dream. But, he decided to check anyway. Wouldn’t it be wonderful though, he thought, if the Zoo Keeper-in-charge really did send clean grey elephants, with wrinkly legs, big toes, bright eyes and winning smiles to cheer up little boys and girls? He walked into the living room expectantly but there was no sign of him. It must have been a dream Dad thought until he heard laughter coming from his little boys bedroom. It sounded like there was a pet elephant in there. And when he looked…….there was!