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Calling this section "Wisdom" is in no way suggesting that I have, or can convey wisdom though I would be delighted if I ever get to that position. I have grown increasingly frustrated with those whose delight in their own correctness is fuelled by a fundamentalist faith and some of this is more than a little apparent in a few of the poems here, as elsewhere on this site. I am passionate about curiosity and finding the space where people can be safe in their own identity and where fragility is a strength, not a weakness. 


What passion shapes your vision
for your wild and precious life?
Does the turbulence of living
make you breathless for the race?
Or does your narrow contradiction
from your living disengage
in the quiet subjugation
of the tyranny of beige?



(On hearing the first fundamentalist of Spring)

The unknown knowns are known to the thinking,
but known unknowns are crafty beasts
that dodge with glee the certainty of knowing
why or how such knowing makes us wise.

And known knowns, are grounded in an open mind,
but still the philistines delight in blind unknowing
as echo chambers clad with well ironed uniform intent
can clone the fault lines of incestuous delusion.

So no one really knows who knows, but knowing this
the knowers know that knowledge without wisdom cheats the soul
and “feeling right” inflates the needy sense of self
to new heights of unassailable conceit.

So no, I know that I don’t know
what knowing I have yet to learn.
But this I know;
         That wisdom finds its roots and makes its road
         not in the overbearing confidence of telling “how”
         but in the gracious erudition of asking “why?”


How quickly talk of casting crowns
turns to talk of casting stones,
when, in the theatre of bile
the cast of mindless fools abound.

Lear at the dawn

I am looking for light.
But blind am I.

          Treading softly in the darkness
          dark seeing little that glows or glimmers
          masked by the blindness of hurt seeing
          in offspring choice for selfish gain
          gained regal wrath and wreath in seeing.

                     Blind seeing.


I am looking for a light.
But blinded am I now.

           Cloaked well the paths of hope
           with opaque windows of soul searching
           pain of plucked remembered knowing
           with darkness brooding grieving knowledge
           what sanity in darkness gently dies.

                     Blind knowing.


I am looking for new light.
But blindness holds me tight.

           If eve and dawn the darkest hour proclaim
           what sense of gloom and senseless feeling
           lost in hopeless foolish wisdom grown
           no paths to see in darkened landscape felt
           light and life with brooding jester gone.

                      Blind feeling.

I am looking for your light.
But blind am I.

           Darkest hours of lost bewildered living
           hope dawned and dashed on dark horizon
           descendant chosen bleak unchosen life
           no gracious giving yet in gift of giving nor
           dawn of cock-crow shoreline greeting yet.

                     Blind living.

SENRYU for the red-faced preacher

Your love of road rage
While on the road to nowhere
Leaves me wondering.


I looked at the field and saw its handsome lines of grain
charming the sunlit rays that dance and gyre
with congruous patterns that please and charm.

Look at the centre you said.
Look at the centre you said

I looked and looked and smiled, and saw the serried heads of barley
nod and sway in rhythm, to and fro, to and fro, to and fro
moving to sluggish beat that blurs the patterns into one.


Look at the edges you said,
Look at the edges you said

I looked and looked and saw the crackled muddy fringe
hedging its bets on how to look with life’s wilderness
brimming at its margins and humming
with the irregular symmetry of living.

Take me to the edges I said.
Take me to the edges I said.


Take my hand you said
Take my hand you said

Let go the plough that furrows brow
and wastes the harvest of the edge.
Let go the nodding tracts of dull compliance and free from
well worn grains of wooden harvest,
find what always was and always will in broken margins
where living matters shape and sing a song of unrequited living.

Come, take my hand you said.

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