When entering the Gorge, leave behind all preconceptions. Let yourself be carried off on a stream of consciousness that tickles the heavens as readily as it grinds down stone.

Peace

I bid you – and myself –
peace,
so that we may find what we need
 
Paradox
Knowledge that complements the bliss –
hold both in your heart
without your compassion caving in
 
Shout and misbehave
like an exploring child,
scream in the face of restraint,
in the wake of it,
the world is there for us to
 
dig in to, deep inside
the caverns of a ground
heaved, ready for seeding
 
before it gets trampled or packed dense
like badlands
and laid to waste
for generations
 
The march of boots
The chains of tanks
The cries of the destitute, the
 
imprisoned
 
A world of calm beneath our feet,
the realm of the dead (for some a goal,
a warning for others)
 
I wish you life and commotion,
the strength to withstand
the anguish of all things
animate
 
Hold on, we lose our grip only once
 
The toil, the circumstance of existence,
the blitz of interaction and the churn of engagement
loud and memorable – belonging – joy – the power to
 
shut down the pain,
be free for a day,
disinfected and light as
a feather
 
right as rain
 
falling gently on
scorched skin
 
a caring hand
 
moments in gentle sunlight
 
present among the breathing and somehow, in spite of the torment,
grateful for the opportunity
to draw breath and fight for a place
in the sun
 
Let our day begin at last
 
I bid you dreams sweet as
mother’s milk,
the joy of being among friends,
the touch of a lover’s kiss
 
I wish you memories you won’t dismiss
 
(Remember the days when
you and I were knocked out flat
in the frost of the night? – how quickly the years faded …
gone like the starry sky in the
haze of technology …)
 
There was a time when we looked up at heavens that
shone down on us
 
Now our glare keeps us captive,
we’re trapped inside our reflections,
our world a tiny room at night,
the lights on, the window reflecting
the interior –
we stare back at our image,
thinking we are
all there is
 
There could be a face behind the pane
looking in on us
 
Our lights have made us blind
 
and vulnerable
 
and small
 
Our horizon reduced to
a vanity mirror
 
I look around frantic
for a sign
 
I know you stay up at night worrying,
and I wish you wouldn’t – it’ll work out
in the end, you’ll see – the winter of hubris
will fade away, there will be brighter days,
memories that keep us warm,
whims that bring us laughter,
the prospect of release and creation
 
I bid you effervescent peace,
the touch of a friendly hand,
words to soothe you
in your sleep, when you’re floating in space,
unhinged, crashing through your bubbling
 
synapses in search of a thought to land on,
a hospitable planet inside your exploding innerverse,
a place to call home and rest,
gather your strength before you venture out again, I bid you clarity,
 
assurance – I wish you stamina, strength, conviction, analgesia,
and a sunrise to light up your day
 
a sunset to calm you down,
the darkness to fall as a warm blanket
to preserve the life between sunlight
 
I wish you all this,
to you and me and to all who stand before us
watching with regret or nostalgia,
the ghosts we left behind,
all those we miss, I bid them as I bid you,
from the bottom of my fractal heart,
at this very moment in time – while it lasts –
unremitting, unrelenting,
everlasting peace

NB: A previous edition appeared in LocoMotive (2017)
and in Behind The Mirror: Short Stories And Reflections (2008)