Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Carathor uth Benethan

[Devoutly staring at the Sun]

Translation of words found carved on the hermitage wall of the heretical "prophet" Al-Pheraezin the Blind [d. 1087 A.D.] Revered as a sacred text by his devotees "the Solarists" until the demise of their sect in the early 16th century. The source of their central mantra: "Cara. Cara. Utha Cara" ["The Light. The Light. The Light is All"]. Solemnly intoned during their initiation ritual "Ul-Carathul" or "Burning Wisdom" wherein new inductees sacrificed their visual faculties to attain to an alleged spiritual "enlightenment." Their territory in Northern Azerbaijan was easily vanquished in 1502 by the marauding Qizilbash army due to the blindness they all held in common.

The Sun. Luminescent lotus of the heavens.
A piercing revelation. In full bloom.
Receptive eyes held open to see.
The golden searching searing Light.
Magnificent and radiant fire.
Resplendent auras. Angel-glories.
Wings of light caressing the soul.
The flowing waters of joy. The martyr-pain.
The Light. The Light. The Light is All.
Ecstatic awareness. Steady attentiveness.
The reception of the All in All.
The deep and serene and abiding Peace.
Illumination fading. Shadows growing.
Dark eclipsing of the rapturous vision.
Bright and holy Wisdom received. The Sun.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Outside all circles

Outside all circles, revolving crowds
and conversations, attentions directed
elsewhere, the spiraling weight of constant
gravity, of magnets never touching, repelled
at the polarities, quiet cushions of atmosphere,
the stars of closest galaxies, the cold and frail light
reaching patient planets, orbs cloaked in serene
darkness and the ever-present silence of thought.

Monday, November 19, 2012

What pure maidens

What pure maidens, what fair essences
of guileless joy, what diminutive frames
bearing the iconography of original innocence,
what divine splendor burning within these
fragrant and holy gardens, where the sheen
of Eternity and lost effulgence of Eden shine
unsullied upon sweet and unfurrowed brows.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Night and Day

"How sad," whispers Venus from behind the veil
of soft and tattered silkworm lace,
"the quivering starlight must now fail
and Diana must withdraw the fair moon face.
For behold! Apollo now ascends the sky
on his chariot pulled by ten great stallions:
immersed in golden flames they fly
towards the summit of heaven on high
while night-joys fade away with a sigh
with none to mourn them when they die."

"How glad!" shouts Apollo from within the fire
that brings warm light to the world at last.
"On, good steed, now take us higher -
the melancholy shadow of night is past!
No more will this land be hidden by grey -
no more the sad and weary gloom. 
Be cheered! The blithe and golden ray
upon the waking world I lay
casting grim darkness far away
to impart to the living another day!"

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Forbid, forbid

Forbid, forbid the trees to dance,
the birds to sing, the horse to prance.
Forbid in each new circumstance
the semblance of mirth.

Set the geese in throngs to fly,
the light to wane, the leaves to die,
the wind to breathe a mournful sigh
across the weary earth.

Forget the golden summer days,
the gladsome bloom, the warming rays.
Forget the robin's merry ways
in this time of dearth.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


The rush of gentle waves over sloping sands,
the great press of sorrow - always tomorrow.
A full breath of sunlight, the sea-sky is full
of scattered islands, the Hebrides of old.
Daily they offer prayers for me on Iona -
over the tomb of King Cináed mac Ailpín.
The sun is radiant behind them: a heaven
of halos shining down on Rèilig Odhrain.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

State Highway 31

The Sally Mann landscape, sepia-skies
and chemical burns, sunlight overexposed
over a nameless creek, the thunderstorm ravaged
and passed on, left filthy rags overhead, a soft horizon,
dark vignetting, seeping shadows around the edges,
the highway bisects tattered fields, dry and forsaken,
a lone pine toppled over in the middle, dying,
an out-of-focus crossroads town, frowning faces
outside a gas station, overalls and greasy hands,
two shirtless boys precarious on one bicycle,
girls in dirty dresses, jumping rope, braids bouncing,
all is lost in Gaussian blur, passing through