Dappled Light

 

 

2016-2017

 

 

 

The Silent Blue

 

 

The Light

 

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

 

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

 

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.

 

 

 

The Dawn

 

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

 

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.

 

 

 

A Meal

 

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.

 

 

 

Wings

 

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.

 

 

 

Fruit

 

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

 

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

 

 

What is

 

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.

 

 

 

Beneath

 

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.

 

 

 

Becoming

 

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.

 

 

 

Paintings

 

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.

 

 

 

Night Sky

 

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

 

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 Colour

 

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 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.

 

 

 

Redemption

 

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.

 

 

 

Light

 

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.

 

 

 

Ants

 

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 Shadow

 

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

 

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.

 

 

 

Darkness

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Ghosts

 

 

Ghost Gums

 

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.

 

 

 

Drying Wildflowers

 

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

 

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.

 

 

 

Emmanuel

 

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.

 

 

 

At Dawn

 

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.

 

 

 

A Dove

 

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.

 

 

 

Hands

 

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.

 

 

 

Eternity

 

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

 

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.

 

 

 

Simplicity

 

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

 

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.

 

 

 

Reversal

 

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.

 

 

 

Dappled Light

 

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.