I Have Heard the Master Calling


I have heard The Master calling
in the chorus of the Sea
and though I linger here awhile
within this pleasent garden
a restlessness pervades my soul
that tells me despite all its beauty
I must leave here presently.

I have seen The Master's cathedral
in the naked tree of Winter,
in the crowning of the summer fields
and the crucifixion of the year
but all of this is just a passing show
behind which a greater, quieter mystery
is slowly being unfolded
and soft words being spoken
for those who have ears to hear.


I have seen The Master's footprints
in the bright foam of the Sea.
There are roads that one might walk upon
to deep submerged Kingdoms,
to golden palaces in the fiery fields of the Sun,
to delicate crystal forests between the burning stars
but the truer and more subtle path
is the one into the heart
that may start in some fresh spring field
or at dark midnight's feet
in some unobserved act or unspoken thought
where the roads of all worlds meet.


I have heard The Master calling
and almost glimpsed His face
upon the violet sky at dusk
filled with joyful melody
or in the infant bird fallen from its nest.
The lightning has almost revealed to me
the contenances of ten thousand sleeping Gods
shrouded and wrapped in the ancient spells
that keep them bound to the Earth.
With dawn a moment of lucidity struggles to arise
to the surface of their dreams and they seem on
the verge of awaking -
but then the moment passes and the sorcery
of Creation continues.
One day perhaps the stars themselves will be
turned into flowers
and come tumbling down from the sky
to land upon our rooftops and window-sills and doorsteps
and commit everyone to amazement.


I have seen The Master's cathedral
in the naked tree of Winter,
in the crowning of the summer fields
and the crucifixion of the year;
I have heard The Master calling
in the chorus of the Sea
and though I linger here awhile
within this pleasent garden
a restlessness pervades my soul
that tells me despite all its beauty
I must leave here presently...




White Flower


White flower
what is your name?
I heard your laughter on the wind.
White flower
you stole into my room
upon the footsteps of the rain,
tapping against my eyelids with liquid fingers,
drumming against my ears with soft insistent words.
White flower
I awoke from darkness into a dream
and you were all about me
filling my room with your scent
but when the morning came
you had fled with the monsoon rains
and your delicate white petals
lay broken on the ground.
White flower
what is your name?
I hear your laughter on the wind
that shakes the branches of the tree outside my room.
Tonight the rains will come again
- will you return to me?

Hourglass


When the Night comes down
with all its old stories
wrapped in the petals of stars
the old man of the hills
puts on his old felt hat
picks up his favourite cane
and leaves his comfortable house
with its warm and cosy fire.
All night long he walks
the hills and vallies
seperating the tiny clusters
of ancient tales from the
crystals of settling frost,
teasing out genuine memories
from the hard-shells and soft
decayed leaves of self-deception.
Quickly, quickly, old man
before they melt away in the
deliquescing tears of the dew;
quickly, quickly, before the night-fairies
come and gather them all up
to unravel at leisure in their
blue-lit subterrannean caverns;
quickly, quickly, before the greedy
fingers of dawn come to snatch them away
and carry them back to Grandfather Sun
to smoke in his great briar-pipe.

Quickly, old man
the cocks are beginning to crow
the furled up flowers are yawning
and twitching in their beds of earth,
dreaming of butterflies and bees:
one last tale
tightly tied in starlight,
one final poem
curled up into an ink-stained ball
and your bag of dreams is full.
Then its back to your cottage
at the edge of the world,
back to the last dying embers of your fire,
back just in time to upturn
the Hourglass of Worlds
full of a hundred million words
that fall like shining angels
from heaven to earth
and back again...

(Written 5 a.m. 1999, somewhere just west of sunrise)
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Copyright © 2009  Willowdown
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