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A warm welcome to my website.

Whether you are here because you have read The Naked Mystic or because something else has caught your eye, I hope you will find the site useful and informative.

Click on the tabs at the top of the page if you would like to know more About Me or if you are interested in my Writing, Speaking or Counselling.

The Blogging happens here. You’ll find it if you scroll down.

That is where I think, write and try out ideas.

Many will never come to anything much but I hope a couple will make it into maturity and even into old age.

I’d love to read your comments if you have any, or reach out for a chat at jrqclark@gmail.com.

To Be or Not To Be

A voice came clearly: 

Listen! 
Tell me what it is, 
if you can, that knowing 
that knows that you are mad. 

Listen! 
And then tell me 
what you will choose to be: 
the knowing or the madman? 

And I heard the voice say to his friend: 

Watch! 
Tell me, which one 
you think he will choose? 
At least a madman is something to be. 

Watch! 
And then tell me, 
if you can, whether he will 
prefer that to the nakedness of knowing. 

The Tower of Babel

How does one say
the same thing about
Nothing, again and again?

Lay the first course of bricks
from a corner-dream-stone, and
on a strong foundation of fresh air?

Paint seven pictures of the night in 
seventy times seven misty colours, and
watch the morning sun consume them all?

Put a story-capstone on an ever changing
tide of nameless feelings labelled into thoughts,
then fence a portion of that sea and call it Me?

My plans point at me and laugh from the
rubble they have left behind, and watch the
smoke rise and dance from the end of my cigar.

This Silence

This rising tide of
silence murmurs life
into my fault lines.

She always finds her
own way home in me,
to flood the cellars.

Here she takes her seat
– she has always been
the abbess of my abyss.

She greets those hungry
ghosts as long-lost friends
as they fade into her waters.

She is all that’s left of my
ruins – she is the foundations
and the pillars of this world.

Dreamscapes

How is it that when I dream
I am the father, the source
and the creator of worlds?

Aren't I the one who also
seems to love and fear in
those same landscapes?

As I sit the thought arises
out of nowhere - a place
I know but can not find.

I am being dream-spun by
the father, the source and
the creator of these worlds.

My Real Resume

I make and drink sloe gin
and walk my dogs, but only
when it's dry; when it rains
they turn back in and I watch
them wrestle on the furniture.

On hot weekends I think about
the beach and disappoint myself;
I'm not what I would like to be in
garden centres, retail parks, or
the musty darkness of a matinee.

Most days I avoid my friends;
I can’t say why. I sit a lot and think
too much. When words do come,
I'm hardly ever writing, at my desk,
by the window with the view.

I roll my own and smoke, a lot.
It’s something simple I can do
while I remind myself, again,
that I am slowly burning up inside;
It’s the proof that I am cooking.

Coming soon…

The Naked Mystic by James RQ Clark.

He can function as a priest no longer. Perhaps the burden of a priestly vocation is too heavy. Or perhaps he’s lost faith in the Church’s ability to lead people to God. He doesn’t know. After resigning his position, he leaves his parish and heads for the relative solitude of a rural town in south-west England. His only close companion is his dog, and it’s through the dog that he meets an enigmatic character who will challenge his Christian persona and his belief structures in a catastrophic and, ultimately life-giving, way.

This is an autobiographical account of one man’s mystical journey through The Dark Night of the Soul. On this journey that will teach him the true meaning of spiritual poverty, he is stripped of his religious persona and plunged deep into the abyss of a purifying process that seems to him to be a place from which there is no escape. But in his guide’s ruthless hands, he discovers a new way of relating to his faith and the scriptures that define it; a level of freedom and contentment for which he has been longing. And he realizes that God has been staring him in the face all along.

Please go to the Metanoia Press website for more details.

While you’re there please also consider having a look around and signing up for the newsletter and updates.

Buckfast Tonic

Today, this place is re-
woven on a loom with
a hundred thousand,
silent, spoken threads.

The Rule is read.

The river waves and
sings to passing rocks,
while patient, well-trod
paths, groan underfoot.

The Mass is said.

Ancient trees whisper
antiphons, that drizzle
the unfurling ferns with
charms and Glory Bees.

The monk is dead.

This is where the Ever
Ancient Ever New will
come to live, wrapped in
old habits that die hard.

The robes are shed.

Here the Mystics

Here the mystics hide in holy huddles. 
They can hear the lilies laugh at them, 
and considering them, all they can see 
is the just-as-naked Christ beyond. 

The oxen have escaped their ditches, 
they sleep and play like sun-warmed cats. 
Take the woollen habit off, it’s only made 
of words and they, by now, are all as straw. 

Here the smiling dogs preside at table, 
their vestments left for nesting crows. 
It’s they that bless the Children’s bread and 
lick the sadness from their solemn faces. 

Here the swine are made of pearls and 
camels trample down the slender gates, 
brooding vipers soothe the sick with oil and 
doves, in squadrons, do the locusts' gentle work. 

Here the monkeys steal the rosaries and 
spark a final funeral pyre with mantras and 
the well-thumbed pages torn from Testaments. 
An earnest mystic’s service of remembrance.