Ecstatic Fire of the Heart

When I was young
I wished only to speak the Truth,
but your words have been like stones.
Now that all these years
have been trodden through
and all your words
have been thrown,
I look.
And what is there beneath
the pile of stones
you have buried me under?
There is, still burning,
an ecstatic fire in this heart
with tongues of flame
that speak the Truth.

Then as I understand
the terrible yoke you have burdened me with
your gift to me,
a present of forgetfulness,
then I unreservedly reject
the mountain you have made
to hide the day from my eyes.
And choose to look upon my own heart
for the words of Truth
I crave.


From the book ECSTATIC FIRE



in a weak moment,
the wish to be relieved of my burden
rises up through my craw.
If I am paying attention
I hear Your words at that moment,
and know the truth;
That the aim of my Work
is to transform the burden
into something utterly different.
To be an alchemist of my own life.

She Went Away

She went away.
She went far away.
She stayed away
a long time.
Such a long time.
He waited for her,
he waited all that time
for her.
Then one day,
she came back, one day.
And they stood
and looked at one another.
But her eyes had changed
she’d been away so long
her eyes had changed
and she didn’t see his eyes.
She didn’t see him.
And he looked
at her
and he couldn’t see her eyes,
he couldn’t see her,
at all.
Some times it seems
people’s eyes change,
they see differently.
Sometimes they don’t see
at all.

9 August 1997
Written while thinking about LT & JB

Heaven is your face

I watch you
and to me,
Heaven is your face.
My feet are the Earth
when your eyes
are in my eyes.
To kiss your lips
after an evening
of being in your being
simply fills me with knowing
a patience, which
allows my heart to beat
slowly and generously,
without trying.
I am happy
in your presence,
I'm in Heaven
when I'm in your face.

March 1999
From the book ECSTATIC FIRE

Blue Beard

He always assumed
that love was yet to come,
ahead and waiting
his arrival.
That once a ‘something’ was done,
some task completed,
he would be ready
to enter in
a partnership
a marriage,
and live love;
his coveted dream.
Meanwhile the false disaster
of his heart
was allowed to
do its work
within the rank and file
of eager women,
and secured of his power
and enjoying his endurance,
he left desolation,
with his shallow swings
his slicing blows.
He was self-berating of this ruinous way
self-loathing of his day
trying to cover the inner stench
of his soul with his indulged own-pity,
but the invitations came,
the forbidden door was opened
and he cut
heads off.
He was only able
to be

The women came
and kept on coming.
He couldn’t see why
they would do this
because who he was
was clear –
his beard was fucking blue!
But they came, they did.

he would wonder
if he had changed
and would shave
his gentian whiskers.
But he was marked;
a lover,
with a stone-handled cutlass
for a heart.

 After decades of being
The Magnificent Blue-Chinned One,
he realised that
this life had slipped by
and he was saying
And though a great many
loving friends
and friendly lovers
came to see him off,
he himself
was still
to meet
the woman

May 30th 2006
Revised May 31st 2014


Don’t console yourself

How do I find you?
How do I find you?
I can't find you in my drawers,
my shelves or cupboards.
I'm looking at a canvas
waiting for you to appear
but I don't know how
you might arrive.
How do I avoid you?
"Everything else to do today"
"Can't waste time finding you"
But I do wish to find you.
To contact you
to exchange my nothingness
for a moment of your fullness.
I look in a photograph for you,
but you're inside me
puzzling me
drawing me in deeper,
if only I wouldn't resist
I could find you!
If only I could stop looking
for your photo in my desk
rummaging around
pretending that what I'm doing
is important, urgent, necessary.
Actually losing more and more
of you
as each hour passes, and each day
And I have still, no idea how to find you.
I'm frantic now, searching,
and running about 'doing' things.
Stand in front of that canvas.
Mix paint.
Hold your brush.
Let the marks begin to reveal themselves,
to join together into a whole.
Just stand in front of it,
Just stand and watch you appear.

You're inside me,
always waiting to be found,
patiently watching my tears.
I need my tears to sizzle
down my cheeks,
to turn to steam because the fire
in me, is raging
and I'm burning inside.
But I'm not.
I don't feed my inner fire.
I don't find you.
My tears run down my face
and my beard is wet.
How do I find you?
How do I find you?
I see I don't search for you.
I see the sham
of my life,
as I glimpse you
and understand the offer you make,
and the offering I make
is still not possible.

But it's only been fifteen years.
And fifteen more before.
Don't console yourself you idiot!
Put something on the fire!
Don't let it go out.
Keep watch, be vigilant.
Every day, every hour, feed the fire.
Find some real courage.
Find some real hope.
Find some real love.
Then maybe, I find You.

10th June 1999
For my brother MH
This poem is related to this painting
From the book ECSTATIC FIRE