A Second Meditation

These moments
The mind repackages

Like well-used clothes,
Worn with both human
Necessity and splendour,
Vivid colours, from
Taffeta to cotton,
A logo, a label,
A sari from Goa,
A fashionable dress
You’d forgotten,
Esclavage necklace
A friend had lent
Before they moved
To the continent.
All these thoughts
Eventually deposed
And posted to buyers
From Guildford
And Frome,
(Or if not bought
Then decompose),

Yes, repackaged,
A repurposing.

In the end,
All will seem
Not moments,
But times long ago
Where we wore
Different clothes
On our bodies.

A Peatland Fire

Fire on the heath!
Flames are fanning heat
Inside a famished tiger’s teeth;

His cinder-lolling tongue
Tastes borders of grass parched
On the levee-surrounded

Island retreat, home to
Nightjars also known
On southern moors

As Goatsuckers, bizarrely,
Crespuscular-loving Roe Deers,
Adders in the reeds

And hawking Hobby Birds
Through longer summers sleep.
Bog Moss grows here too,

Bitter Berries for calming nerves
And promulgating peace
Across the prairie-reserve

Of my mind,
Where passions conspire
And ego confined.

Impunities of fire,
Merciless tiger-like intent,
So he contemplated dharma

In a higher monastery,
And mementoes from markets
Still selling today in Tibet;

Untrodden Himalayan
Glaciers will repent
And retreat from his breath,

Untouched by well-worn piolets
And crampons, where violets
Cling to the crags

Like old thoughts,
Geranium perfumes
And bright patchouli,

By the prayer-side sight
Of my Lama,
I caught a momentary odour,

And then the fire subsided,
A tiger’s stripes defeated
If not forever the tiger.


Death does not deliver quickly,
She prevaricates and hedges;
Nature is made to wait
And Death is no different.

She delays the abrogating colours;
A solitary cat’s tail flicks at midges,
A pregnant pigeon’s on the fence,
Both as patient as fishermen

On the paths of the Nar and the Thet.
She contemplates the fabric,
Chess Grand Master, always
Gets her way to play in black,

She paused the chess clock
Which I had mistakenly started
And the glass of the faces cracked.
My constant companion, she has

My back covered like a doleful guard
Who unashamedly doubly
Crashed my car, and then the ambulance.
We have nothing much in common

Except persistence, so tiring,
And procrastination, she’s hiring.
I told her: ‘I am a Capricorn, like you’,
With the thorns of a goat in my toenails.

As far as Death is concerned
There is no Time, no need for devices;
Who needs work when a scythe’s enough
For slowly felling and dicing.

This is my Fate distended,
To live like an abeyant
Abberation of Meditations.
She’ll get there, in the end.

The Way Of The Tea

I mediated without you
But thought about you
As I prepared a yunomi
For a deep green tea.
The path to the sea was stony,
Seven rusty rungs beneath,
And I dreamt that if such moments
Could only become eternal,
The scent of moonlight
On your wrist, and
How you captured the ocean
And all that exists
In sand-dunes and seaweed,
A holding of hands,
Two teacups on a stand
Infused, we said our blood
Would pour green from our caddies
Like contusions on sea-sailing skins,
Like cuttings in photographs
Of a mown lawn’s aftermath,
Futile grass-clippings,
Your lips and this beautiful illusion
I willingly colluded with
As we sat sipping, delicate manners,
Overlooking paddy fields
And a distant wabi-sabi garden
In the Kingdom of Seven Teas.

Yet not everything in this life
Once broken, could be restored;
You can take a plate or a tea-pot,
An ornament, yes, or indeed a heart
Would be repaired if with diligence
Handled, and care,
But not ineffable moments
On a shoreline disappeared;
There’s no glue or sewing kit
Which would unstitch the loss
Nor all the hindrances since,
And so in silence I pour my tea,
As I meditate without you,
Although I thought about you
Without me.