The Silent Blue
Words are not a lifetime. Deeper textures
lie within the rock. The steadiness,
the poise of living hour by hour. The measure
of existence is the flower, the western
mark, the culmination, unexpected
as the night abloom with stars. We fear
the long approach, mistakes are made, correction
is a tool of joy. A certainty is near,
a sap that runs, the steady light that leads
us through the afternoon. The words that live
upon the page have history. They feed
the world. My words are shadows. Loving is
the firmament – the light of gentle stars
is calling us to be just as we are.
At night the certitude of life expands.
The stars, the silence, sometimes the clear moon –
a brighter order. Emptiness a plan,
the working of the infinite, its room
in time. Apotheosis, light transfigured,
pointillism of a million dawns –
what is expressed in what is not, an image
in the darkness slowly taking form.
Asleep we dream, our lives unlinked to what
they were before. A sanctity of blackness,
releasing the unseen. All life is not,
returning to infinity, no lack,
it disappears into the holiness,
the silent emptiness of all that is.
I fear the slow approach of dawn – I sense
the trembling stars. The night has beauty of
its own. A mystery, the hours spent thence,
between the lights. The certainty of love
exists beyond the darkened skies, I know
it well. No distances within its secret
realm. The voice of birds appears to grow
inside this world. One by one they greet
the light. The stars all vanish – that which is
transfigures that which was. Their history –
ten billion years – subsumed. We each exist
between these lights. I wonder, what of me?
What does it mean then, to really be –
another star lost in eternity?
The Turtle Doves
The turtle doves are singing. Sunlit hours
are spent – each call another cross-stitch of
a tapestry. Their minor thirds are flowers,
distinct and yet the same. The sun above
echoes their melody, it is the fragrance
of the dawn. At times their sounds are tinged
with loneliness. Each calls, and then the cadence
comes, a bird replies. I hear the wind,
I sense mortality – but still they sing,
as timeless as the light. Why do they speak?
Communities of love. I see their wings,
triumphant in the afternoon, their feet
upon a gold branch – a symphony –
communal songs of pure simplicity.
I woke this morning – darkness everywhere.
My dreams had given birth – I felt the pull
of their reality. To pray, to share
them with infinity. I wonder – will
the darkness there identify? It surely
will – for darkness is the place of dreams.
I lift my hands towards the stars, austerely
pale before the dawn. I wait, it seems
that though I try to understand – to hold
creation – silently the dreams depart.
God said, let there be light. I see the golden
sun. The light and darkness are the heart
of our identity. Some things remain unseen –
and others things as if they’ve always been.
The earth only endures – I read it once,
so long ago. Is this our history,
mankind immersed in nature’s overflow?
I feel for you – a people far and near.
What have you done? Where do you go? The silence
of those hills, the sorrow of the snow.
What have we left? A world corrupted, life
now out of tune. Yet nature has its way,
its mystery rights every wrong. But this –
humanity itself – who can redeem?
His everlasting love endures. I see
it in the cross. The universe transfigured.
Is this the overflow? His earthly will
becomes the fount of everything fulfilled.
I felt the sun this afternoon. I watched
it set. I saw the lonely radiance
reflected there. One star appeared, a flock
of bats. Is this what they experience –
the imprint of the living on the dead?
We shared a meal. We looked out on the final
breath of day. Each ends without an end.
I feel the silence. Nothingness defined.
We talked. The fragrance of our voices filled
the room. As you are so I am. I sense
the twilight of our speech, what is and will
not be, the markings of the night, the tense
of our mortality. The sun departs,
the ghostly light continues in our hearts.
In the music we were given wings.
The spirit rose. Each instrument attended.
Suddenly the truth of what we sing
was evident. We soared and then we entered.
Hoping this, that we could be the ones
that witnessed dawn. Who are we then? A motley
crew. Our voices mixed. And yet the sun
arises in our midst. No fear, it’s not
the work of our humanity. The spirit
lifts us heavenwards, frail voices graced
with power. In everything there is a limit.
Beauty indescribable – a face
in music, not the mind, so limitless –
we open up ourselves to this excess.
I taste the fruit. The beauty of your garden
seems to be in it. A mandarin –
connecting time, allowing us to pardon
what has been. The past continues, singing
in the dawn. This gentle culmination
of all that has gone before, declared
in autumn’s sweetness. There it is, negating
passing time. Its brief existence shares
the seasons, gradually becoming something
new. I taste it now and sense the sum
of who I am. The seasons drift, succumbing
to reality. But in this one
I see that truth endures. A joy appearing
in our sorrow, sweetness, despite tears.
In the Afternoon
It’s almost silent in the afternoon,
the turtle doves, the distant cars, the sounds
of living things, the face of all in tune
with one reality, it is the crown
of something distant. Here we find what is.
The evening comes, and soon another world.
A starlit portion. Now the genesis
of deeper things. I find this solitude
transfiguring, and yet I sense what was,
the imperfections of another time
in darkness written big. There is a law
that’s found within the light. The gentle rhyme,
the radiance of singularity –
it comes to us with kind civility.
Your face, though tired, beheld such beauty. Life
departs so swiftly – bodies warm are cold.
A breath departs, and soon our radiance
belongs within a different world. The old
is new, and little things that made our life
acceptable become like stars, the distant
light of past reality. My wife,
my mother, friend – today behold what is
becomes what is no longer, certainly
within this world. The days continue, who
we are remains in memory. Our being
is in the morning. Suddenly it’s true –
the light of day reveals her radiance,
a fruitful branch, a carrier of fragrance.
The Silent Blue
The silent blue of day, this dawn in winter.
The frost has left a stillness. Unknown birds
are calling. Delicately each leaf begins
again its ceaseless motion. Is life a word?
Its singleness, the way each thing progresses
to its home – the silent holiness
of everything. In music now we guess
what simplifies. The coming one who is
in subtle fragments on a page, the future
found. Humanity once saw him, when,
encompassing mortality, the dew
of later times began to fall. A friend
to us. I see today his lovely form
in this – the lonely blueness of the dawn.
What is. The stars at night. The certainty
of other worlds. I see and understand.
They shine. A silent testimony. High
above they wait in darkened skies. I am –
eternity beholds eternity.
A prisoner – here, humanity. The wind
appears. In everything, a destiny.
No voices heard and yet they seem to sing.
Invisibility made manifest.
The dark declaring what has been. I sleep.
In nothingness a light. The Word made flesh.
One time, one place – the radiance. Too deep
for thought. John saw it in a human face.
The wind is blowing through the trees like lace.
A church beneath the sky. A magpie, silent,
now begins to sing. A gold eyed fly
observes my form. Each fallen leaf is quiet.
A mystery, what is. Identity.
A fragment of a great reality –
each being a token. Ceaselessly the sun
appears. In everything the dawn. To be –
the surface breaks. What is – what was begun.
I watch the long wake disappear. The sea
grows silent. Nothingness. I feel for you –
the sun that sets each afternoon. To be
is not to be. And yet – the sky is blue –
in love there is infinity. The singing
bird – the evidence of other things.
The stars are passing. Overhead they move
in perfect regularity – one
by one in spheres – silently disproving
our identity. We have one sun,
but here – infinity. Tonight I woke
to contemplate. Our being – as the sand.
It’s there – transfigured. Certainly he spoke –
comparing dust with light. With his two hands
eternity was made. But here – my father’s
house – I feel a deep mortality.
A tiny lizard on the wall, so silent –
a little gecko. I return. I see
the emptiness. Is this the light – the night?
The sandy shore – what is – becoming bright.
A book of paintings – each a window. Life
is there. Reality immersed. In art
what is becomes the limitless. No strife –
in silence now, eternity. A heart
observing. Stroke by stroke the trees appear.
Complexity. You see. We see. In love,
without a sound, he brings the distance near.
Abstraction – seeing within what is. Above
the radiance – that is not now. An image –
fragments. One by one remembering.
We view them now. A life. A privilege,
what he saw. A personality.
A tree, a hill, a rock – what is in time
continuing, each painting like a rhyme.
Our faith is personal. God near, the holy
come – apocalypse within. His mark
divine – the night sky – emptiness that calls.
Impossible – descriptions of the start.
God enters, stars appear. Our finitude
encompassed. Death a dream. And yet – the one
who is once died – finality, our tune.
The absolute appears. I see the sun.
The unapproachable. No thought recalls
his majesty. An absence now. A veiled
advent – a mystery – towards it walks
in inexhaustible being. A path
to origins or new reality?
The cross – his secret eschatology.
The rivers all descend. Their destiny –
to carry life. A certainty – what is
becomes what was. In darkness things are free.
The waters disappear – for like a kiss
that fades – the waters pass. Eternally
the darkness comes. But like a kiss what was
remains what is. For secretly a tree
is there within a seed. A gentle law –
for mercy is eternal. Silently
each time becomes another time. Each life
departs. But in the taste of wine – what is
exists eternally. A sacrifice –
a river flows. The future – now – in this
dark cup. The infinite – a time that is.
A gentleness – there – in the sky. Its colour –
blue. At times we feel it in the rain.
A visual and a vibrant thing – a brother
to humanity. In this terrain
life is. The ever-changing light, the light
that does not change – a circle, infinite
and strong – the ceaseless sky. An Israelite
observed that God appears like this – as night
is full of stars – the future seen – what is –
what it will one day be. A gentleness –
that carries us towards eternity.
I see it in a human face. Transgressing
his divinity is often hard –
a mirror seen – reflected from a shard.
Two stones – two centres of life.
Jerusalem – where faith originates,
and Australia – the place from which I come.
Two compasses – a stone picked up one morning
on the temple mount – three thousand years of prayer –
where God appeared, where God is found.
The other stone – from Uluru – the great monolith –
in Australia’s centre. Two compasses
to base a life upon. Eternal land – without beginning
or end, and endless life – the life I sensed when
I was young, as clear as sky. Two points of aim –
the place I’m on – and mercy that endures.
Two compasses. Their focus is the same –
the living – on the living they remain.
Each dawn a light appears. I see it now,
reflected on the water. Hope is here –
we feel it in our bones. Is this the flow
of history – a mercy drawing near?
A stream of ants – each one declaring that
they know this great reality – the light –
for this is what they speak about, as friends.
To act justly, to love mercy, to humbly
walk – the prophet guides humanity –
a river’s radiance – the sun reflected
on the waves – this is what comes to us.
I sent you Moses, Aaron, Miriam.
I lead you out from slavery. To love
is like the dawn, that rises in its strength.
In silence light. Beatitude. The temple
forms. Each star another evidence
of immortality. There is no steeple –
night unfolds its infinite expanse.
In solitude what is becomes what was,
our certainties all cross the sea. The dawn –
the nearest star subsuming all. A cosmos –
darkness – light – in silence life is born,
in solitude it disappears. In time –
the poor, the meek, the sorrowful, the pure –
rewarded. Cities on a hill. I find
humanity. The infinite endures.
A candlestick that lights the world. A vision.
Spirit speaks – in nothingness a kingdom.
Intangible – the gentle path of ants.
They shine. Beneath the sky – eternity.
A galaxy – each ant a star – advancing –
circling within circles – silently.
They touch – a transcendental immanence.
The sunshine moves. What god is this that arcs
across the sky? We search for permanence –
the ants endure. As shadows fall a spark
of holiness appears within the husk.
They pass – a constellation – one by one.
They signal. Silently they turn. The dusk
declares their innocence – ten thousand suns –
their multiplicity. This is what is –
community – divinity that lives.
A flickering shadow of a leaf – the sun
inscribes its tenderness, the wind its form.
A number of infinity. A son.
Fragility. A dew drop of a storm.
In reticence, aware of death, I view
my own mortality. A fragment – all.
Impermanence – a moment that is true.
A bird sings – radiance – another calls.
The lizards forage. Silently the sun
descends. Timelessness is within time.
Like lightening are the cherubim – each one
like burning coals – above – the one sublime.
A human face – divinity enfleshed –
on the cross he breathed his final breath.
A presence – life – intangible – a breath.
The sky is green and yellow – clouds – the rain.
The earth becoming sky. A gentle death.
Another I – identity – the same.
A tree contains its darkness – underground
the roots draw out of hidden springs. The Lord
appears. A wall – impregnable – no sound.
A wilderness in flower. A secret ford.
The angel asked, what is your name? A broken
man. The dawn. I lack – and lacking I
have everything. I grant him what’s unspoken.
Earthquake, wind and fire – and then a whisper.
Cloaks are drawn – we go outside – the one
unknowable – we see the morning sun.
Finality – in darkness I can see.
No dawn. Above – the stars. Infinity.
Why wait? The solitude – it calls to me.
In nothingness I find identity.
The world – what is – reality – an hour
ago I knew – but now? The spaces of
eternity. Is this the end? A flower
blooms and fades. What is becomes what was.
A circle forms – what was becomes what is.
My child – a mirror – more and less than me.
The roots – the bud – a destiny. A gift.
Ten billion years – and yet I am. In freedom
we perceive. A certainty – the night.
In everything the dark becoming light.
A gum – a ghostly presence – certainty
subsumed – the mountains silent – rocks eternal –
one by one the trees exist – a name –
the morning sun – the distance drawing near –
humanity unseen – a radiant sky –
an Eden far from paradise – the purple
ridge – the sunshine on the grass – the nameless –
image of another world – a country’s
heart – a nation failed – eternity
engraved – the painter there – a ghost – what is
and what is not – the arch – the shelter – red
the roots – a life appears – a silent dawn.
A table set – the natural world – a fading
afternoon – orange yellow blue –
the petals formed in shapes of flowers – landscapes
there – the hills – the water source – the fragrant
air – infinity – in radiant circles –
life and death – an angel’s eye observing –
beautiful – what is – the dying light –
yellow orange red – remembrance –
a jewel – the painter finds what is no more –
like water drawn – like early bread – orange
yellow blue and red – a parable –
eternity upon a garden bed.
Eden – dawn – humanity – a stream –
a garden – cyprus trees – a place to work
and care – wild animals and birds – a name
given to all – a source of gold – the human
dreams – a woman born – a serpent there –
the voice of God – two cherubim – a flaming
sword – where are we now? – Messiah – tree –
a glory – living streams – but what of nature? –
another age – at the renewal of
all things the twelve tribes shall be judged – but what
of us? – between the ages – humanity –
our farms – our water source – our trees of life.
My father moves towards the night. The sunset –
first light of the stars – these things await
him. Judgement too – for who he is – the one
who sees into each living thing – the gates
are open – water flows. The clouds turn purple –
silence dawns – habits of mind are gradually
overthrown. A grandson loved – a circle –
who he is becomes Emmanuel –
life disappears into its source – each light
becomes a part of one enduring light.
My mother watches – silently the dawn
appears – in solitude each man is born.
The everlasting light – the one who is –
the first light of the stars – a tenderness.
The son returns – above – the dawn – the silent
star – the moon – his path was marked by water.
Birds migrate – attune to wind, they fly –
their destiny. We disappear – a thought
then nothingness. Repentance marks his journey
home – what I have done – what I’ve become.
The father of the lights – he does not turn –
no shadows – urgently he grasps his son.
A robe – a ring – two sandals – in reverence
the son receives – no tears – a lost one found –
a feast. Is this humanity? – a test –
compassion – mercy – love – the inner cloud
transfigured him – a dawn – the son of mine
returned – reborn – an evidence in time.
Sometimes I see. Today at church, amidst
the songs, a vision came – the land was rent –
I saw the jagged lines – a great abyss.
What does this mean? Torn skies, the dove’s descent.
And yesterday, while travelling, I saw
that I was marked by him. A tent ablaze.
Humanity – divinity – in awe
connection made. A voice – a sunlit ray.
I love because he is. My gentleness,
the evidence of immortality.
My prayer – his incense rising – earthquakes, peals
of thunder, lightning flashes – majesty
is seen within the ordinary things –
a dove in flight – a shadow of its wings.
My hands performed. My body reached beyond.
I felt the storm. A holiness. A touch
that speaks for what remains unsaid. A song –
the residue of greater things. A judgement
on what is. Instinctively I knew
the chords – my fingers somehow not my own –
perhaps my muscles realised what is true.
Another world. A citizen. My home.
A gift. I dreamt of music – starlit forms –
structures – delicate and powerful –
multiplied – a tiny poem – born.
I’ve lived too long beneath the sun. Infilled –
creation waits for more creators. I lift
my hand – like God – creation shall be swift.
Justice, mercy, faithfulness – neglecting
this a law without a dawn. Blind guides –
a woe to you – hypocrites – rejecting
this reality – a fool inside.
Religion keeps a partial law – a moon
that wanes – eternity is written there –
its face reflects a light – and yet, too soon,
it fades. An inner light – perfection, rare –
the light of day – this is what he commands.
He suffered for our good – a holy flame,
unquenchable – this is what he demands.
While life is quenched – and those who know his name
complicit in an inhumanity –
where is the dawn – in us – eternity?
Anthropocene – another age – in us
the earth has found a new identity.
Here is the man! The stars are high – at dusk
humanity. The crowds cried Crucify –
a beggar now – the King – infinity
engraved on wood. The finitude of earth.
A law. Today a hundred companies
inflicting suffering – what are they worth?
What price – terrestrial inhumanity?
They clothed him in a purple robe, they slapped
his face. Here is your King. They crucified
and buried him. Eternity is mapped
in men’s disgrace. Emmanuel in dust –
in death as is in life – a holy gust.
A harmony – a truth that’s found within.
A shoot – appearing now – before the dawn.
A seed – a dark simplicity – beginning –
forming – fruiting – fragrance on the lawn.
A river comes from mountain springs – the many
one. Refracted into sevenfold –
a rainbow – light from light – the ordinary
multiplied. In this the truth is told.
A seed contains the tree, the tree the seed.
Even God’s identity contains
a marvel. Mathematics is the key –
abstraction – numbers signify restraint.
Harmonics secretly are heard – above
the chord a radiance – that speaks of love.
Extinction. Circles never end. A line
made up of ceaseless points concludes. A life –
a spiral – emanates – a point beginning –
circling – ending – infinitely – a crisis
when it is no more. Each life revolves
around its core. The marks of spring appear –
green shoots – the generations past involved.
A darkness now – the spring has disappeared.
A human world. A night without a star.
A grandeur lost – the heights and depths – the we.
Humanity abounds – horizons far.
To be – a little less humanity.
A corporation’s greed – infinity.
A life – a gift – a bright eternity.
Dusk – the afternoon – the morning – dawn –
the clock unfolds – the light returns. Beginnings –
evening and morning – all reborn.
Today – the first day replicated in
the last. Is time a circle? Past
is present – tears are wiped – no death, no pain –
another order come. The first is last.
A stream. I am the root and offspring. A grain
of wheat abundant as the sand. The LORD
appeared to Abraham – the great trees
near – a chess piece moved across the board –
a queen – a flame of laughter – a slave set free.
Time is an illusion – dawn is dusk
and dusk is dawn – a corn within a husk.
Mid afternoon – the dappled light – no words –
a mystery. Eternity in tune
with our reality. A silent bird –
its turn shall come – the petals slowly bloom.
Ten years ago I saw Jerusalem –
the sky was beautiful – beneath the moon
I watched the men in prayer – the shore again
surrenders to the waves. Midnight and noon –
the radiance – I feel it in my bones.
I ate beneath a canopy of leaves –
the light and darkness – autumn clouds – a home.
Between the seas – humanity. The sheaves
are gathered. Silence breaks – I hear the birds
of dawn – a hurricane of living words.