Whatever happens (in 2021)

A poem from Rumi to open the new year, with love to all who read these words.

whatever happens 
to the world around
show me your purpose
show me your source

even if the world 
is Godless and in chaos
show me your anchor
show me your love

if there is hunger
if there is famine
show me your harvest
show me your resource

if life is bitter
everywhere snakes everywhere poison
show me your garden
show me your meadow

if the sun and the moon fall
if darkness rules the world
show me your light
show me your flame

if I have no mouth 
or tongue to utter
words of your secrets
show me your fountain

I'll keep silence
how can I express 
your life when mine 
still is untold.


Ah, God I May Not Hate – Kathleen Raine

Ah, God, I may not hate
Myself, who am your thought, who made
Earthworm and spider, gave
Being to the burying-beetle and the maggot,
Beak and talon and teeth, hunger to all creatures
Made to be your begetters and destroyers. 
I who am living you from the numberless dead have raised
From the deathless dust of the grave
Dust of gleaming wings borne on the wind, seed
In the womb of the wind, borne
In cloud and tempest over the world
On tide and current made and unmade,
I am what you will, what you have willed
Life after life, maggot and spider, seed and harvest,
        chromosome, flame. 
Kathleen Raine by Mayotte Magnus, September 1977

Gifts of inheritance

The gifts of inheritance are laced with poison, 
venom passed on from fathers to sons. 
Hand-me-down wounds left to fester perpetually
numb fragile selves to both spirit and touch. 

Captive to idols and slow sinking blindly, 
ancestral illusions asphyxiate thought. 
Unbound and unbidden we turn and return 
from healing of silence to near noise of death.

1st July 2020, Somerset, England

Night Thought – Kathleen Raine

My soul and I last night
Looked down together.
I said, 'Here we are, come
To the worst. Look down
That chasm where all has fallen,
The rose-bush and the garden 
And the ancestral hills,
Every remembered stone.
Of that first house
There is no trace, none.
You'll never cross that burn,
Again, nor the white strand
Where lifted from the deep
Shells lie upon the sand
Or among sea-pinks blown,
Never hear again
those wild sea-voices call,
Eider and gull rejoicing.
Turn away, turn
From the closed door of home,
You live there no longer,
Nor shall again.
You have no place at all 
Anywhere on earth
That is your own, and none
Calls you back again.'

Soul said, 'Before you were
I spanned the abyss:
Freedom it is, unbounded,
Unbounded laughter, Come!'

Kathleen by Juliet Van Otteren

I alone – Fernando Pessoa

Ah, só eu sei 

Ah, só eu sei
Ah, só eu sei
Quanto dói meu coração
Sem fé nem lei,
Sem melodia nem razão.

Só eu, só eu,
E não o posso dizer
Porque sentir é como o céu,
Vê-se mas não há nele que ver.

I know, I alone

I know, I alone
How much it hurts, this heart
With no faith nor law
Nor melody nor thought.

Only I, only I
And none of this can I say
Because feeling is like the sky -
Seen, nothing in it to see.

Fernando António Nogueira Pessoa, Portugal, 1932.