Five Ways of Seeing an Apple

in the age of innocence
when apples had no names,
i lay beneath the shining leaves
where ripening apples swayed,
abstract, out of reach

this was long ago
before the autumn play
when apples could be tossed
and bobbed
and used as cannon balls
or fashioned into dolls
dressed in summer frocks

as an icon by Magritte
an apple’s just a thing
making man the hidden one
his eyes obscured by leaves
everything we see
hides another thing

Alfriston and Pippin
Billie Bound and Russet
Braeburn and Brown Snout
They revel in their names
Catshead and Pearmain
Juice runs down the chin
Peasegood’s Nonsuch, Bountiful,
Cider in the press,
Bramley and Blenheim,
In the ancient orchards
Beside the winding lanes
Beneath the White Horse on the hill

sharp and sweet or bitter
green or red or gold
nestled in the palm,
roundness you can hold,
when you cut it open
an apple shows it’s heart

My Heart

my heart is no longer an open book
not even to myself
it’s in a language i can’t read
the pages keep on turning
the pages are well-thumbed
I am tired of reading

i don’t know whether i should smile or groan
i am looking for a sign
a symbol
a fingerprint
that shows that it’s still mine
or is it yours
has it always been yours
all the time

to kindle a spark
of recognition
on this dim lit path
i am seeking an illustration
of a crossroads
in the dark

Turn and Return ( a doubled Etheree)

the unwounded self, at the heart, is still
in response to circumstance we turn
between the worlds we move as one
chased along by thrusting time
only surface changes
perhaps forever
as i will be
as i was
i am
now
gone
and dead
if you are
in cold despair
i am alone here
we turn it round in faith
life runs like a salt hour glass
hours and days pass us by with speed
which world is real is a mystery
there is an open door between two worlds
there is an open door between two worlds
which world is real is a mystery
hours and days pass us by with speed
life runs like a salt hour glass
we turn it round in faith
i am alone here
in cold despair
if you are
dead and
gone
now
i am
as i was
as i will be
perhaps forever
only surface changes
chased along by thrusting time
between the worlds we move as one
in response to circumstance we turn
the unwounded self, at the heart, is still

Peaceful

it’s a quiet early morning in springtime
rooftops arise from a gentle grey mist
the dawn streets are in silence and empty
and all in the drowsy town are asleep
it’s then i go out, in to the garden

it is then that my heart, sighing, grows still
in peace, alone with the trees

it’s a quiet time of day in the summer
when the dusk starts to fade slowly away
the sun sinks behind the far distant hill
and the birds in their nests lower their songs
with an occasional voice they settle

it is then that my heart, sighing, grows still
in peace, my mind flies away

it’s a quiet autumn day by the river,
a mirror, shining, reflecting the sky,
where white swans silently glide by in dreams
and the willows bow, heavy-headed,
a soft breeze makes the calm water shiver

it is then that my heart, sighing, grows still
in peace, lost in the beauty

it’s a quiet winters day at the fireside
coals caverns burn in a cast iron grate
casting shadow as flames leap and fade
imagination wanders in landscapes
the world outside grows forgotten and dark

it is then that my heart, sighing, grows still
in peace at the end of the day

The Sea

watching the sea
as it rises and falls
always awaiting the seventh

the rock pools are flooded
deep water drums
as each wave hits them again

the green at the heart of the wave
as it curls in the sun
and comes crashing down

fading, dying, it washes the shore
white frothing bubbles of foam
leaving smooth darkened sand in its wake

the line of white shells and pebbles
defines and records the retreat
and, for a time, holds the imprint
of my feet as i walk away

love, like the ocean, is endless
life and death on the tide
makes the cycle complete
and the loving more sweet

The Search

souls,
no longer with a beating heart,
drift in silent patterns now
far apart from memory
at rest in universals dreams they share,
heedless of a when or where,
uncaring of a how or why,
unknowing of the present I

returning to defining space,
given back a mind and face,
what they forget,
and what they know,
is still a shadow in the mind
constellations intertwined
create a tribe invisible,
as searching down the road we go

true foundations are so few
in matters solid, temporal.

when I return,
unknowing what it is I do,
I will find,
along the way,
that I will always
search for you

Little Peace

with a double-ended stick
chance pokes at me
right off the chart
right off the map
can i be blamed
for not trusting that,
when it can shatter my world?

frying pan; liar
true-teller; fire
just about sums it up

why should it be, that in telling the truth,
the people that mean the most to me
are the ones that trust me the least?

protecting themselves
from the beast
i suppose
and who can blame them
for that

shackled by earth
from the day of my birth
my mind has done battle
to keep my heart free
a life-sentenced prisoner
i long for release
or a little grace-given peace