The Many Deaths of God

 Just last night it was early summer
as I stood, at home and deeply rooted,
in a warm wheat field, net in hand.

I was waiting for and eating words as
they danced and whispered by on a
dripping, pollen-loaded, musky breeze.

I saw them coming from a distance in
hoards - stormy, echo-leaved colonies -
they were riding the silver crests of dusk.

They only ever blew my way, onto my lips,
when another one of God's infinite faces died
somewhere - they are made of endless deaths.

Here they are shuffled - sifted, stacked and
sorted - then they are tailored and en-vased.
They never last much longer than cut flowers.

Rest

 For the longest time, I
 wanted to be something
 I could finally believe in.

 I sketched and carved,
 and tried on and abandoned,
 so many different faces.

 What lunacy persuaded me
 to cling to that which always
 comes and goes and never is?

 What a relief to fall, laughing,
 into Holy Saturday's sweet abyss,
 where I am not, and not my own.

Rest was published in Ancient Paths Literary Magazine on 31/03/2018

The Eternal Sabbath


There is no becoming here.
In this eternal sabbath, where
all is betrayed, begiven and begotten.

No skipping from empty siren-ship
to ship, no promising noise, no begging.

The fore-runner footprints are washed
away where nothing is borrowed or lent.

They will not help you here, the priest
and prophet are vowed to silence and bereft.

Nothing is stolen, bought or taught,
nothing mine, except Another’s naked face.

There is no becoming here.
In this eternal sabbath, where
all is betrayed, begiven and begotten.

Slipping

 I find that I can't read much anymore.
 I see the spaces and the page too much.
 I'm far too tired to chase the end of me in tales.

 I'm pretty sure my eyes are planning on
 leaving me behind. They're always looking
 for the gaps; those places where the curtain's torn.

 They see that effortless, endless white.
 That silent ground for which they long is
 leaking through and misting everything with joy.

Here

This vast, great emptiness
is warm, sun-drenched, soil
coursing through my cold veins.

I can’t,
for the life of me,
find Me here.
Everything is almond cake.

This heavy-scented silence
is days of quiet, running-rain
oil-soaking this dry, old skin.

I can’t,
for the life of me,
find You here.
Nothing wears its own face.

In this sweet, bewildered state
You drip your best wine, deep
into my hungry, milk-weaned heart.

I can’t,
for the life of me,
find Us here.
There's no more Me and You.

How is it, then,
that You seem to
hold me so fast?

Something I wrote a few years back. It was published in the Sumer 2018 edition of the Sufi Journal magazine. This version is slightly different.