The sea of rocks


immense silence spreads out from the sun,
a shimmering cloth of wind and light unfolds,
woven with dapple through the breathing trees.
beneath the zazz-zazz of the cicada scratch band
are caves of silence, cisterns of darkness,
where old waters slowly gather and distil.

beings tempered in a harsh climate, they hang on tight,
green ferns, thorny clambering vines with green spade leaves,
and poison berries. wild rose thrusts grappling hooks 
in every cranny, flowers all beer and apples,  
mint everywhere, pungent, lingering long on the fingers, 
thyme, slow and woody, cooks savoury notes. 
brambles knit together and tear my legs,
wild olive, silver grey, small oaks, bay, sweet, green and tough, 
wild clematis scrambles with gifts of creamy flowers, 
essential juice of wilful heady life.

blots of lichen maze over rocks and roots, 
rain sculpts the rock and slowly sinks, 
bearing mineral gifts to the dark.

earth exhales essences
in the hardest places
storing precious principles,
resistant pungent herbs    
like a poet’s words
at the edge of possible.

here humans have enriched the mixture, 
moving stones into dry walls,
bringing peas and beans,
hopes and fears to nourish the soil 
growing food under siege
in shifting wars
on the sea of rocks.

it rolls away like the sea, 
breaking into white rock crests, 
blind elders sitting in the sun, 
patient as only being laid down in forgotten seas
and rising ages later into the light,
to be weathered and worn down again,
could make them.

everywhere ants rush –
carry off crumbs, 
crushed comrades, 
exchange messages,
so driven.

my heart beats strong with heat and song
sun enters my body, a dark house opened,
flooded with light.

it resounds like a warmed drum, tightening, singing,
that being in me whose full expression is sensual ecstasy
wakes in this percussive heat, nerve endings tuned to their highest pitch,
extend through all my body and beyond
so you and i and all around us share one body,
subtle messages exchanged,
extending ecstasy to green orgasm,
while insects feast on our forgetfulness
small gods quick to seize an offering. 

ripe tree goddess, holding your full breasts, slowly revolving your full hips,
rhythm of desire and satisfaction, fruits smelt and devoured, juices dripping,
weaving a cloth of desire, chafed into fire, being and annihilation coming close
and daring one other, the tension gathering, giver and receiver merge. 
the salmon’s driven to seek the source of being, 
back to the beginning, jetting after long fast in ecstatic mingling, 
dying to give birth, there in the young stream to begin again 
the cycle of desire, drawn to burn, time after time.

this  sea of rocks, rocking with waves of being, 
sea of leaves and tendrils, light, shade, vibrations, cicadas calling, 
mating, beginning again the round of their being, 
waves of coming into flower and seeding, a foam of petals, pollen, 
seething waters of becoming, 
rhythms of rising and falling…

we consume, are consumed by the same fires
turbulent, muddy lives,
longing for moments of perfection
whose illusion rises, a reflex of longing,
essential tension that drives on being.


after sunset, evening ripens to peach light, scented air,
warm as gestation, no shadow anywhere. 
rocks exude sun heat
entranced hillsides are still, 
half moon softly golden 

from this rock i can see all round, 
where rising night deepens the sky’s bloom
to where the last red velvets dwindle, 
leaf breath, rock warmth fill the still air,
moon sharpens, nightingale begins 
a slow rich flow of bubbling, stops;
the old tower, the single cypress and the pine 
turn to symbols.

earth’s a deepening darkness 
as the moon gains power. 
owl calls, a wave of breeze lifts and drops,  
owl calls again.  and then
far off i hear the tearing sound of traffic, 
fretful motion – here is a moving stillness, 
a silence which small sounds only deepen, 
infinity hemmed in all round, 
layer on layer pushed back 
by this restless human teasing at darkness, silence, otherness, 
bothered by them, wanting to dispel them …

still bathed in beginning undivided, 
i dare not move, dreamed by the journey 
that somehow led to this moment, 
where the owl calls, where sunstruck rocks vibrate with memory, 
where trees breathe out their night breath.

spattered with milk, blood and seed, 
the initiate moves to the core of ritual, 
back to the generous, voracious heart of being.

tides of humanity nag at the sea of rocks, 
wash over, retreat again, a haunting refrain, 
rocked on the sea of being, the music reflects those longings
for going and returning, circle pierced through with an arrow, 
speed of escape, racing from the round earth’s close embrace, 
balance walk the rope of contradiction, 
bridge to other worlds of seeing,
gipsy mind, wander the universe, turn it to song, 
trying to join what’s always divided, 
all the belief that’s needed to take a single step, 
whose loss freezes impulse, blocks it, 
locks the contraries into a single cell, 
from which they can’t escape, 
but cancel each other out
in a last burning bout
and are born again –

that persistent gnawing rodent of despair, 
hangs around and fixes you with a blank, black stare 
and suddenly you wonder, how did i get here
along the nightmare path among the ghosts
nagged by the chafing muddle of every day 
that makes the attempt at meaning falter constantly –
but no i will return to the still heart of the flower of evening,
suspend the petty disbelief and open to
the multitude of quiet infinities that offer their velvet to me 
the rest can wait, i will hold back time itself…


rapt again with first gold light rising, that lifts the lid a little,
unsheathes the sword of light before the sun, sky knows, but earth
still wrapped in darkness seems unconscious, 
sleeping spread out, hip, arm and shoulder, 
while overhead a morning star lets through white fire.

as if new made and waking in wonder like lovers, 
when they are fresh to one another or faced with parting,
dew falls on the shut flowers, nightingales throb gently,
sun touches it gently and earth,
like someone just awakened, face open, eyes still shut,
so vulnerable, returns slowly to itself ….

seeming simplicity can’t last -
the usual tangle of love, blood, death, rotting and rutting –
clambering out from under a heap of bodies, 
or down through the narrow opening into gravity and light, 
this breeds desires for comfortable nothing, 
not to break the veil that protects and  suffocates – 

those who came earlier –
deep in the earth they went, to the mother of herds,
bear mother, deer mother, to find on the walls of her womb
and draw into their world, creatures for hunting,
placate her, mate with her,  make her bring forth –
rapt in the longing that permeates all,
that began as one light, one heat, one hunger,
becoming many as it divides, divides, divides again,
multiplying in generation, hunter and hunted
flower and bee, and those who wait on the feast so patiently, 
a ferment of being over fertile vaults of nothing.