Dec 242016
 
Kate Georgall, Bird in Snow

Kate Georgall, Bird in Snow

I said to my soul, be still and wait without hope

For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love

For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith

But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting

Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:

So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.

Whisper of running streams, and winter lightning.

The wild thyme unseen and the wild strawberry,

The laughter in the garden, echoed ecstasy

Not lost, but requiring, pointing to the agony

Of death and birth.

You say I am repeating something I have said before. I shall say it again.

Shall I say it again? In order to arrive there,

To arrive where you are, to get from where you are not,

You must go by a way wherein there is no ecstasy.

In order to arrive at what you do not know

You must go by a way which is the way of ignorance.

In order to possess what you do not possess

You must go by the way of dispossession.

In order to arrive at what you are not

You must go through the way in which you are not.

And what you do not know is the only thing you know

And what you own is what you do not own

And where you are is where you are not.

 

T.S. Eliot, East Coker, Four Quartets

Aug 082012
 

A garden enclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed.

Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphire, with spikenard,

Spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees frankinsense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices:

A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon.

Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.

Song of Solomon, 4.12 – 16

Jul 042011
 

I lifted up skyward the crown of the faeries,
Tarnished by oceans of sea-crossing time.
Forged in the fire of golden-days dawning,
Lit with a halo of stars in the night.

Who now shall wear it? I wondered in silence
Una is resting with Duessa at play.
Gwenevere wanders in halls of forgetting,
Deep in the summer of dreaming this day.

On her feet sandals of gold, steps the princess,
Floating on air through the green garden grass,
Walking alone by the castle of ether,
Seen but unseen by the world through a glass.

The seal of the nether-world opened up freely;
Through the dark tunnel with reason behind,
Following meekly the one with a mission;
Perfect in will and a reader of signs.

Once past the stream of the guardian lizards,
On through the gate to the bright other place,
Land of reflection and fathomless knowledge,
Home elemental of alchemic race.

Where do we go? I looked left and then eastward,
Somehow forboding the place that I saw.
Life’s university, building of sandstone
Burnished and gleaming, a prison by law.

Silent, but knowing, did reason stand sweetly
Holder of mysteries, the teacher and guide.
Younger and wiser and older all-seeing,
Dressed up in white and demure by my side.

Then came a voice – and as if out of nowhere –
Do you need help, you seem lost in this realm?
There stood a faerie, bewitchingly golden
Silken and spun was her hair from the sun

Stepped forth the reason – seduced by her magic –
Stretched out a hand to her beautiful hair.
Won’t you come with me? The faerie enticed us,
Stop by the hearth of the potter this day...

Brooding I pondered, could faeries be trusted?
Should I be swayed from the pathway assigned?
Yet I had watched how my reason surrendered
So before airs of a beautiful kind….

Loathe to offend such a glorious being,
One who had offered with kindness and grace,
Help just when needed. I bowed to the faerie;
Take now your highness my reason away.

Then the wind changed as a wandering mistral,
Warm as the breeze on a meadow of wheat,
Swift, warm and golden the faerie-bird air-borne
Flew o’er myself that fell under her wing.

Passed by all time as I sailed down the sleep-stream,
Far to the land where the doe and stag graze.
Home to the garden that blooms East of Eden,
Land of the ancestors covered in praise.

Opened my eyes as I reached the cool garden
Wonder-filled, wide, as memories unfolded.
Looked up the stag and the doe from their incline,
Wakened my self from the river of time.

Safe in the knowledge of paradise tended,
Turned I my thought to the reason once lost.
So in a blink of my eye I went searching,
Straight to the hearth of the faerie-bird’s host.

Jun 202011
 

Indeed the Idols I have loved so long

Have done my credit in Men’s Eye much wrong:

Have drown’d my honour in a shallow cup

And sold my reputation for a song.

Indeed, indeed, repentence oft before

I swore – but was I sober when I swore?

And then and then came spring, and rose in hand

My threadbare penitence a pieces tore.

And much as wine has play’d the Infidel,

And robb’d me of my Robe of Honour – well,

I often wonder what the Vintners buy

One half so precious as the goods they sell.

Alas, that spring should vanish with the rose!

That youth’s sweet-scented manuscript should close!

The nightingale that in the branches sang,

Ah, whence, and whither flown again, who knows!

Would but the desert of the fountain yield

One glimpse – if dimly, yet indeed, reveal’d,

To which the fainting traveller might spring,

As springs the trampled herbage of the field!

Would but some winged Angel ere too late

Arrest the yet unfolded roll of fate,

And make the stern recorder otherwise

Enregister, or quite obliterate.

Ah love!  could thou and I with fate conspire

To grasp this sorry scheme of things entire,

Would we not shatter it to bits – and then

Re-mould it closer to the Heart’s desire!

Ah, Moon of my delight who know’st no wane,

The Moon of Heav’n is rising once again:

How oft hereafter rising shall she look

Through this same garden after me – in vain!

And when thyself with shining foot shall pass

Among the guests Star-scatter’d on the grass,

And in thy joyous errand reach the spot

Where I made one turn down an empty glass!

Taman Shud (it is completed)

The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

May 292011
 
flowers of summer

flowers of summer

When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams
as the north wind lays waste the garden.

For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.

Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.
He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast.

All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life’s heart.

Burne-Jones

But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing-floor,
Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.
Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
For love is sufficient unto love.

When you love you should not say, “God is in my heart,” but rather, “I am in the heart of God.”
And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.

Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

Apr 232011
 

From her garden filled with flowers
Aphrodite screams in terror.
Then, the Goddess, caught off balance,
Falls into the field of Ares!

‘Thus, the God of War is fuming.
Anger grows inside him. booming,
So much so that grave Athena
Has to watch him blow up Thera!

‘As the scenes of devastation
Reach the eye of Lord Osiris
Thinks he: ‘I shall end a nation,
Then uphold another’s rising.

‘‘Cultured isle, the great Minoa –
Massive once but soon a shadow –
Shall become as mist to Egypt,
Nothing more than dust by morrow.’

‘All Olympus stands in silence,
Knowing that the day is over,
Watching as the face of darkness
Brings a wave from Cretan waters.