It investigates the nature of each of the seven worlds of existence.
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The savage kingdom
The tiger stalks across the plain
A bird sings a haunting refrain
Is the war over?
You say you will no longer fight.
Two dead bodies lie on the ground soaked in battle's blood
The tiger licks their wounds
Feeds on blood let into light of day
The bird sings its notes for joy
A blue crested kingfisher high in its tree beside the stream.
Is anything remaining after the bloodiest confrontation?
What of these human bodies lying in the baking sun?
Is this the paradise?
Existing only when battle's done?
When there's none to win and nothing won?
Did it have to come to war?
Pitting their hate against the might of nature.
Who are these bodies lying on the ground
Clutching each other in death's throes?
And if there had been no war
Would the tiger be prowling, the bird singing?
As each delivered the mortal blow
They saw in dying the light of the sun
The illuminating glow showing them their woe,
In the doubt of agony they recognised each other's wounds.
The tiger lopes to the tree by the stream
His jowels are warm with the taste of blood
The bird sings higher notes of praise
There is nothing now to disturb the light of day
Flooding the plains between the mountains.
What will become of the dead bodies?
The tiger will gnaw, the bird will peck, the carcases.
Will this tainted flesh issue in holy war
Between the tiger and the kingfisher?
No, they each have their role within the kingdom, they know.
There is only one earth
As it always was and is.
What to quarrel with?
Life runs its course.
The bird rides on the tiger's back
The sun shines
The stream flows
From the beginning of time
It has always been so.
The savage kingdom of delights annoints its victims.
From The Conjunction of the Sun and Moon
Early July Dawn
How many days since you waited at dawn
For the burnt yellow sun to bring its warm?
How many days since you sensed the motion
Of the forest with creatures steadily
Prowling the grasses for their prey?
Steam rising from the pool, the crazily
Wooded hills curvaceous as Kathmandu.
It is early July now, the summer,
Every bud a flower, every leaf a deep green
Or musted pink, so that you may gaze
Across the valley to see pink green blue
Before the white house in the nook of hill
In its lush blanket of ripening fruit.
The moon is seen in the dawn, gone past full,
Pushing on further exuberances.
The house, as a library in the night,
Casts soft light outwards from its womb like calm.
When its wood blinds are drawn, then sleep will come.
The trees will wait for the very first light
Before birds rival each other in song.
Not long now, you must rise, go on your way,
Washed in the dew, dreaming of the harvest.
From Another World
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Your dark wings
Dark phantom jet skidding through black clouds
Tiny lights swim in the swirls of vapour dark.
With such speed you fly above the brooding ocean's parts
In night you return supersonically; you know I think of you.
Shadows we passed days of love together.
You have felt a thunderbolt urging you into deep space.
You know what could grow between us - a new world face.
As you return on wings I wonder and I don't know.
There is loving that gets bewildering,
Glance into an eye, the response of dazzling light
Days come to us, the activities of living, love out of sight.
We know what is between us, hang back, brittle.
We are so thrown and tossed on the spring tide of change,
So confused when our every value must be cast into a pot
Left to fight among the poison to prove its worth or not.
From many miles you come back, I wish you could arrive.
From The Conjunction of the Sun and Moon
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Will you tell me of your future plans,
How you intend to bring to earth caravans
Of goodness and gladness? Before me I see
Men plotting destruction and plunder icily.
It is not that I have no faith in you
I glance into your heart and find my due,
At last I have come with much travailling,
To the apparently firm, to he without cavailling.
I will reveal to you a glimpse of my soul,
As you travel out and beyond your past goal
You may see the glowing presence of mind
You may witness that the laws are all kind.
For to wish upon yourself much happiness
It is necessary to undergo the trial of sadness.
All the hurt you have gathered to your self
Is no more than a thin covering, time's pelf.
I listen you heart sir, it sounds good
But I have problems without answer, a dark wood
I tread worried through, then have revealed
All the horrors and agony my mind concealed.
Do you seriously expect me now to reconsider
Your foolish hopes and dreams? They make me snigger.
I cry to comfort my heart and gasp,
So lost, sunk, drab and sore is life's clasp.
I'll tell you in anger, dame, my great wish
To seek all, to expect all, to not relinquish
One tiny fragment of the dreams of yesterday
To tell my self ardently it happens like a play
Where good overcomes bad in due course and time
Where true love is rewarded, taken to heaven's clime.
I cling to my hopes as you cling to despair
For in perfectness is the warm heart repaired.
Good sir, your words pour through me full
I sense their lifeblood, recover some not all
Of my passion for living, of my will to run
After the unknown and unexpected, to hunt the sun
And having found his warmth to hold it close
Within me I can make him twice splendid, the utmost.
Holding him I'd fly on any dream to any part,
And yet, and yet..is this my end my start?
Good lady I'll leave you with a kiss of promises
I'll pay you my respects, good wishes and homages.
I've watched you glide effortlessly up to me
I've danced you round the stuff of infinity.
You may have glimpsed me there shining bright
Have known the love that waits in peaceful night.
But I'll not rest until I bring you more and more
Of the warmth and light the universe has stored.
From The Conjunction of the Sun and Moon
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Moonbeams, I will tell you a story of moonbeams.
In the sky shines a globe, from it light rains
To us below under the dark blue of night.
Look away and the full moon shine draws you back
Back to where you were.
Come now into the night
It is night everywhere, above a mountain peak is a glow,
See how the light grows brighter brighter
Nearer nearer the peak.
The sky has the magic blue colour
Throws it upon the sleeping earth
Blue trees falling back on blue rocks of blue shapes
Stretching into the past of present history.
It is all here in the moonbeams, all seen, all revealed
By a pale light from a perfectly round orb,
The sphere of the moon, joined to us by moonheams.
The people are sleeping, all is still, terribly still,
So still that I cannot put death far from my mind.
The moon is throwing cool calm light to rest our souls
They are abroad, your soul, my soul,
Called away on the moonbeams.
Sleep the people sleep.
Faraway they watch. Understanding, nodding, watching.
It is all going on. Further and further away the air clears.
Perfectly clear. The light is sharp and pure
Cuts through clouds, out into the spheres!
Lights everywhere, crystals set in a blanket.
Breath in, out, expand, contract, see, know.
The order is apparent.
The moon glows, grey dust shining white.
The stars twitter their light about you.
Sing in harmony with the perfect scale of space and time.
A grey cloud hides the moon's face.
At the edges of the great careering cloud
Moon shine catches, surronds with sheen of white,
A crown behind a cloud.
We are watching, refreshing, loving.
The world is sleeping.
It is cool, the clouds are massing together,
There rides the moon above the disappeared clouds.
Perfect, a round hole of pure light in the darkness.
Distant shimmerings of constellations and galaxies,
Linked casually and inexplicably they revolve and turn,
Expand, rush into everywhere.
The link is there. The moon is the first link,
The strongest link, the light for the sleeping
The way for the dead.
Minds have thrown themselves on the heap of despair,
So much cluttered nonsense, lying there for death
Gasping, dry, brittle, sweating, shaking.
The bodies pile higher and higher on each other.
In the moonbeams arms reach up from the moaning mass
Clutching up at the life they glimpse.
Through the blue landscape walk eight heroic figures.
Those who are not asleep watch, in silence.
They walk with purpose.
She is an Egyptian queen, she a woman from the woods
Her a Roman empress, he a Greek youth
He a warrior king, he a philosopher, he a magician
Last comes he, hope in the future,
The propher, the messiah,
The god of the living, Pan.
At the end of this moonbeam night there will be nothing left to ask
It has been a ghastly fantasy, an hallucination
The mad concoction of a moon with horns.
Down below the actors and actresses are laughing and joking,
The ground is still a little soggy where that groaning mass of people lay.
They have gone, they could not see
They were drawn by the crowds of distress,
Thought it was an enjoyment
Clouds have appeared again.
The bats are no longer playing in the moonbeams.
Across a lake between the mountains advances
A great cloud turned pale shining yellow
By the hidden dawning sun. The lake is being
Showered with rain. The cloud rolls onward
Towards our lookout on the peak.
This cloud will soak us even up here.
It is dawn and we will go down into
The green stretching away into the forever plains.
After the rain comes the sun, the night is over.
Welcome, here you are.
Dal Lake, the Himalayas, Kashmir
From The Sphere of the Moon Goddess
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Like a fragrance in the wind
Hundreds of thousands of flowers roll in waves to your gates
The palace looks out at the swelling multitude of mourners
Only at your passing do we notice you have gone.
Gone from the long hours alone wondering how to save
Yourself and indeed the whole suffering longing world.
A fragrance rises from the flowers, heady ethereal not of the earth,
But of some kingdom where vaulted domes illuminate the sky
And the powers of the universe are acknowledged in all their splendour.
The royal standard flutters from the white towers of the ancient abbey
Like Eleanor before, the journey to your resting place is marked with candles
Wafting their flames before the ever blowing fresh cool wind.
Pale lillies on the draped regal coffin ride with you in state
The sun blazes a light so strong and clear it cannot be looked upon
But only seen in its reflections, a hundred billion suns shine
In a hundred billion galaxies, an emissary from the worlds beyond
Is recalled and, on your passing, only the fragrance of millions of flowers.
Kensington Palace and Westminster Abbey, September 5 and 6, 1997
An open grave.
I am the mauve lake under purplish sky
You came to gaze upon slyly
After you gazed
- night of infinite length -
Into the dissolution preceding birth.
From the park you gathered green leaves
Seen and plucked in your mind at dawn.
We wandered among fresh sun glades
Of blue skied grass.
This plucking leads me to wish the fertile green
Into your withered body of
The night was with you today.
Under the purplish sky you dress in pink
Gypsy black hair crowning gypsy green eyes.
You came to the lake all mauve mysterious,
On one side stood, gazed into the eternal water
On the other I surmounted the panorama
Of crinkling tree leaves waving upwards
In incomprehensible patterns of life.
In June in London the world is young, aglow.
I watched your loping walk
Unobserved saw the striding arm
Walking proud to view the mauve
But in night it is all black, your soul.
Tired by fright you battled on my loins in night
Pleading inability to love,
Pride collapses rather than yield, this I know
The lake continues the living
In night you are dried to bone.
So your love sighs lied
Your backside tightened refused
The open daylight of life
I smashed into this refusing pig iron muscle
Frozen above me.
To yield is what you wish, dear woman.
A woman with the mind of a girl you pretend
Your woman's soul seeks the eternal drink of life,
You gaze at the mauve lake
Gather green leaves
Adorn the room with the colour from your dawn buds.
Did you see me in the lake?
Then tonight the colours may shine
Upon the grave of your soul.
Pray, dear, pray.