Published by Shoestring at Shakespir
Copyright 2017 Pam Crane
Shakespir Edition, License Notes:
Thank you for downloading this free ebook.
Although it is a free book, it remains the copyrighted property of the author, and therefore may not be reproduced, copied and distributed for commercial or non-commercial purposes. If you enjoyed this book, please encourage your friends to download their own copy at Shakespir.com, where they can also discover other works by this author. Thank you for your support.
to whom I do belong
to My Self alone
My is a wide net cast
hither and past
Self a sense of eye
the blue nerve seen
of uncommon kind
who kiss mind
risk discovery in
the people of Light
behind my sight
we are the white-gold
We are very old
In the holy of holies
in thick dark
smelling of birds and stone
my blind hand’s
the symbol of life
I have come back
my trails of
four thousand years
and all their images
twist to a single
to one fine brilliant vibrant
this soft dancing-ground
of yellow dogs
and buried shame
I have come back
my long strange face
The sun and my son
in the reed baskets
jostling crushed notes, cats
cheap azure scarabs
ubiquitous images of my peerless wife
where is my city
flat hot dust a rubble of stones
between the holy cliff
and sun-caught sails
stare from donkey-back at the gates
of death that swallowed me
my sweet children
flying and creeping creatures
all I knew
in temples, in musty tombs
tracing my broken features in the torchlight
following with their finger-tips
slim hands of the sun
I have come back
like the dog to its vomit
I cannot undo
cannot abase myself before my golden boy
weeping begging his pardon
the silly myths of heretic as hero
nor can I dissuade
a thousand souls from wanting to be me
For I am he
stripped of imagination’s glamour
of eyes name scraped away
in the king list bones
regalia food for thieves
I am he
trapped in another life and pinioned
to this shock newsreel
powerless to plead
to all these enchanted eyes
my god delusion
Drowning in memory grasping
my own debris
as it passes
the last feather to outweigh
my guilty soul
I came in nineteen forty-three;
You are a child compared to me!
But every year we share a date
In January; we celebrate
Four seasons more since we were born
In late, ambitious Capricorn.
At eight, you’re racing in your Kart;
At eight I’m winning with my art
And then my writing – oh, the thrill
Of chasing prizes! Love it still.
But by the time you came to be
A champion driver in F3
I raced toward another goal,
The understanding of the soul.
Came the millennium, came F1
And Pluto transiting our Sun.
You diced with Kimi, Massa, Seb
As I went hunting on the web
For information, dates and times,
For synonyms and perfect rhymes.
One decade ended, one began;
From Oz to Yas you were The Man,
Jenson; you had chased and won
Your longed-for moment in the sun.
And I? … was being born again
After the years and years of pain,
After my Jesus’ great surprise,
After so many fruitless tries
To greet the waiting world on-line,
I built a Site. Entirely mine.
Now I can hunt for distant friends,
And show them where my rainbow ends;
Share the excitement of this chase
To comprehend the human race
As tiny shards of the Divine
Through Sun and planet, arc and sign.
And you? … are stepping from your car,
Drawn to where the athletes are.
Your F1 training made you trim
And super-fit to run and swim,
To cycle Riviera hills;
You still need racing and its thrills.
Another track, a wider smile,
Pushing your limits mile on mile.
What are we chasing? Money? Fame?
The fire inside us is the same,
Both driving – driven – for a prize
Which no amount of money buys:
The joy that yet again we’ve done
Our Maker proud – and it was fun!
On my right, the voices of love and hope.
On my left, the voices of pain and war.
Between extremities there is so much scope
For the soul’s philosophising ; we can soar
On wings as angels – oh, how like a god!
Or fall beneath the bloody boot, the rod
Of iron, or the bitter ghosts of ice.
Be wary, Man, for God does not play dice.
Loving, eternal Father of us all,
Blessed and praised with so many holy names!
Open our hearts and eyes to the light of your Kingdom,
Inspire our minds and hands till the world of souls
Can work your Will in harmony with the Heavens.
Fling wide for us the door of your compassion,
And help us to trust the wisdom of your giving;
And as we learn to long for what is good,
To face our folly, and make our recompense,
Grace us with Truth:
We all are the One Life;
Forgiving each other in love is the end of fear.
Through the enlightened mind,
Through the compassionate heart,
Through the subjected will,
Draw us into your Glory and our joy!
Amen, amen, amen.
It is now night.
The little town
Is scattered with happy light.
He turns to her he loves
In the attic room -
And bring the water, darling,
That we must
She gathers bottles, kisses him
Amid the sleepy murmur of settling doves
Under the hotel eaves,
Managing the uncomfortable stair
To a thin door,
And warm velvet Pyrenean air.
The hot day’s diesel
Reel with visiting Irish, blarney arms
Around their mates.
She skirts foreign cars
Down into the main street,
Into the swell
Of pilgrims, past the late
Bright kiosks, the emporia;
She has let her feet
Feel their own way, carry her
Into the heart of Lourdes,
Into the evening throng,
A people-river in which she is borne along.
And it is then
Amid the images
Of plastic basilicas, and Bernadettes,
Candles, rosaries and grotto sets,
Of Mary in roses,
Mary pierced with swords,
Mary in flashing rainbows,
Mary on clouds
That amid the crowds
She is met; and entered.
It is then she knows
This evening is extraordinary
Because on her walk for water
She is one with Mary.
The arms open wide; she is God’s daughter.
Into the darkness she is streaming love
Out of a double heart
And all the people can see as she passes by
(Could they perceive such things)
It is Heaven’s eye
That lights on them
And the hands, the fingers
That pour forth crippled souls’ healing
Lift from her like wings.
She has been set apart;
And the ineffable sweetness of Our Lady lingers
Even when she has entered the Domain,
Lightly touching the lonely,
Those in pain,
The nuns, the nurses, patient volunteers,
Her love untiring
To the hopeless, to the devout
Clutching their souvenirs
At the holy spring,
To the merely curious and to those barely living
The infinite healing loveliness streams out.
Mary is in her as she fills each flask
At the spigots, Mary behind her eyes
In the torchlight.
Around her the old rocks and worn buildings rise.
She is not allowed to make an offering,
Even to ask
If it would be right
To save the basilica and its crumbling steeple.
Words come onto her own lips silently,
‘Buildings are not important. Only people.’
She and Our Lady turn to make their way
Out of the town.
Now she is climbing steps that she came down
When she was still alone.
‘Look by your feet!’
There in the stone
Is a perfect image of Mary and her Child.
In the pitch dark on her PDA
The picture is drawn and filed.
Then, the journey complete,
Mary is gone.
Up in the hotel room, herself again,
She hands holy water to the dearest of men,
Has been, as ever, missed.
How was she back so late
Leaving him so painfully long to wait
Instead of coming straight
From the Domain? …
Even to him,
In her transfigured state,
Can she explain?
My bond with you
Is not the binding of a superstition -
I have not said
‘To guarantee good luck I’ll follow You.’
I do not wear your symbol as a charm.
My care of you
Is not the care that comes of obligation;
I will not pay
Attention to you by man’s calendar,
Nor do the will of any less than you.
My work for you
Is driven not by greed for recognition
Nor by the need
To compensate for some great weight of sin;
Because you ask me, I do everything.
My words for you
Cannot be pages of propitiation -
Awe and fear,
Eulogies, interminable prayer,
Begging and preaching, you will never hear.
And when I greet you
I will not bow, or kneel, or bend my head;
I cannot meet
Your steady gaze that way. I will not turn
My face, nor stay away,
From your embrace.
If I would sing a song to God
Then I must sing a song for Man -
And I must sing it from the heart
As freely as an angel can.
If I would sing a song for Man,
Then I must sing for every Tree -
For every leaf that breathes my breath,
And every branch that shelters me.
If I would sing of Man and Tree
The song must be of Sun and Rain,
Of feeding bird and humble bee
Who sow the green of wood and plain.
If I would sing of Tree and Rain,
Then I must hymn the dancing Sea
Who pounds the land from stone to sand,
Whose silver gifts of cloud are free.
If I would sing of cloud and Sea,
I serenade the mighty Moon;
For in her palm are Storm and Calm,
Her children with the Lord of Noon.
If I would sing of Sea and Moon
I lift my praises to the Sun
Who governs all from Spring to Fall,
The Life, the joy in everyone.
If I would sing of Moon and Sun,
The silver Queen, the golden King
Whose light reveals what God conceals
In every heart – to God I sing!
Love me, love my god
I go in fear of peace I promise me
Do not unravel him
he at the heart of death in wait for me
Who preys on all men’s prayer
I web the world he with my spinneret
Up fly and catch
Promise and arthropomorphic dream
Star set in a man’s skull
His morning beads a myriad I count
With him we tell
And wait for the updraught dawn dusk underwing
O silver god-hand I
Make to be at the last enlaced and all
Manner of many
Legged unwary other me o give us manna
Before making love to the
Last rose o beautifully bind us
Before the real
Unapprehended fang of our own myth grinds in
We came, swimming
amid the sound of mermaid tails
and elders chanting – the tales they gave
of ancient drowning murmured across
rhythms of whale song
the whole sea hymning
Into the clouds we came
and lost ourselves
the sound of hills growing
as they gave back the gift of rain
stilled us as the heaven moved across
as known, just as unseen
Out of the core we came
dragons of old old story
spoke with the sound of flame
courted the heroes’ swords
they gave us an evil name
robbed us and maimed us sorely
yet we remain the same
guards of the golden hoards
We came in secret
from our deep mole-homes
in the blinding dark
the sound of grass growing
of worm feeding
gave us direction, tunnelling across
nobody else’s vision
The clouds on the horizon
Are the spirits of the Bison
And they bellow in the thunder
With a fury at the plunder
Of the masters of the plains.
(Oh the pitiful remains!)
The clouds on the horizon
Are the spirits of the Bison.
In the glory of the lightning
Is the beautiful and frightening
Accusation of their eyes.
(Oh the sorrow of the skies!)
The clouds on the horizon
Are the spirits of the Bison;
They are crowding, they are coming,
And the Warriors are drumming
And the people of the gun
Haven’t anywhere to run.
From horizon to horizon
Sweeps the triumph of the Bison,
He has put his mighty shoulder
To the cataract and boulder;
Men will answer for their greed
In the heavenly stampede.
The clouds on the horizon
Are the spirits of the Bison.
They will spare all those who love them,
Passing harmlessly above them -
But the Cities of the Plain
Have to learn it all again.
Wail for sons and weep for daughters
Taken by the scouring waters;
Rage at industry and spire
Lost to earthquake, wind and fire.
Ah, the spirits of the Bison
Are the clouds on your horizon…
Sing songs of the dark font where I was named,
And of her I seek,
Who comes from the same chill God-house
and milked with me
And who was named
Her name and my name, Silence,
We one and many.
We women weave still our intricate small spells,
Those webs of time
To catch the best of the world’s uneasy beauty.
The thread is hard
And wonderful wild and delicate
In our hands.
There is You, though, with power to ease, always,
My each most dedicated tapestry.
Your day dawns,
Your shadow on the loom, and
I can do nothing.
I can no longer walk in the mind-forest I made
And reach for her,
My sister down every avenue waiting.
Caught in my maze of
Little grey rags when You with your laser-light
Oh You with your great gold humming shield before you
Fend them off in the dark undergrowth
Abject and unprotected, I gone from them.
Come to my hills.
Come with me in a dream;
You’ll not remember.
My lonely power extends
through every singing fibre of the wind.
See, out of the mist
swim mountains towards my fingers.
Out of the shadow of clouds
Facing the vastness,
watch me summon the wind.
It will blow through your heart and mine
till my eyes are seeing crystals
and you are stilled by the springing ice in your blood.
There is no horizon.
To the white edge of time
I have brought you
to know what I know of the wide power
that quickens the world.
Take it, take it
and keep it. The darkness comes
softly between us from the forgotten valleys,
There is no light anywhere;
you will not remember.
But here in the stillness of night
you have known the power,
you have lifted the wheel of heaven
that lies in my arm;
you have touched the skin of God,
and looked at me.
Long out of your dream,
you shall look at me so again, one day, in a room;
pause, sensing the reason …
… and not remember.
I saw the god in the mist that moved
And in the ground I heard him.
I felt his fear along my limbs,
And in my womb I feared him.
He showed me where his beauty was
And where the truth lay sleeping
Under a blighted tree. I wept,
And all mankind was weeping.
I wept for eyes that could not see
because they sought a reason,
And hands that murdered God – dead to
Their terrible blind treason.
The trees I love! The skies I love!
I mourn for them and cry,
For axe and flame are on the tree,
And wreckage in the sky.
And limbs are lost in ugliness,
And passions lurk and fester.
The night still flowers sweet for man -
How long since he has blessed her!
A red moon holds for him no fire,
The earth shakes him no fear.
Poor lovely stupid man, what wrath
Can prove the god is near?
Must stars claw out your eyes, and trees
Bear down to bring you to your knees?
Must grasses shrivel under rain,
And lightning rot the standing grain,
And worlds be hammered into dust,
The victims of incurred disgust?
My fear went into the mist that moved;
The god was in my hearing.
A tremor passed through the earth I loved
And all mankind was fearing.
I am Orphea.
Creatures come to me.
I sing, they come,
I am their healing.
I am mother of
All the love-lorn,
I am a tree
For every bird.
I am a rock
For those who drown,
I am the house
Of all the homeless,
I am the hand
That feeds the hungry,
I am the path
The lost may follow,
I am a fire
To warm the lonely.
But for Orphea
Who is a haven?
Who will comfort
The breast of a hill
So dry and hard?
Who will shelter?
The winter trees
Or a draughty sky?
Who will sing to her?
Who loves Orphea?
Only the sun
Whose arms are generous,
Never the moon,
So cold and contrary.
The moon disdains her.
There is no cure
For Orphea’s sorrow.
Who will comfort
The lonely singer?
Man, you know, is no longer Man. I’ve seen
Unlaboured efforts on the part of God
To hold him up to ridicule. I wish He would
Be wrathful – compassionate – something in between …
But not so rude.
He falls away
In vast dudgeon, whirled in a breath of stars.
Exasperating little Man! You had your way;
And may it do you good to appal Him grey
At the godless genius of motor-cars!
Abandoned to angels – Mercury and Michael,
Lucifer who likes us – we carry on abusing
The beauty we thought we could understand, foolishly choosing
(Instead of leaping naked) a wonky cycle
How we amuse
Our disconcerting audience, and grieve!
They must be disappointed, but the means they use
In making up for this are sheer abuse
Of all a god is able to achieve;
For why not work some sort of miracle?
Why not make us perfect - just like that! -,
Instead of watching all the nonsense, all the tat,
Too destructive to be comical,
Sprawl from the Challenger Deep to Ararat?
Of course, they can.
But these are not the gods to whom we pray
If we are sufficiently perceptive as to plan
Posthumous privilege. Oh, He began
When we first let Him down to wander away
And left us to the lesser deities
Who, I am much afraid, have little mercy
Now that God has turned His back on us, so tersely
Non-committal – “That’s the way it is.
So, let them curse me!” …
Finding failure bitter and more alone,
Alone with a Mistake among the stars. “Oh shoot me
Happy with if any perfect one!
In self-extinction, what an end of duty!
Magnificent! I am Creation’s quick,
And nothing now is perfect save My being;
Deleting that, nothing perfection, and therefore (agreeing
That ultimate pure perfection is what I seek)
Perfection – Nothing.”
The little gods laugh.
They pick up their lightnings, greased in a flash, and hurled
Through Immortality (unwounded as a loch
Showered with pine-pins at the brink) to scoff
Omnipotence stripped of self-rule and runaway world.
No greater darkness is there known
Than when the Old Malefic One
Intrudes upon the Over-Sun,
Between the soul and Heaven’s throne.
Yet every soul on circling Earth
Is core and crown of radiant Light
And all are glorious in the Night
To bring divinity to birth.
For under Saturn’s murmuring ring
The little will for right or wrong
May listen for a mightier song
And join itself to Everything …
Caught in a leaden chord of Time,
If it is silent, patient, still
The soul will pulse to its Father’s Will,
A twin to Love and Joy sublime.
Without the ancient Dweller there
No little Sun with feet of flame
Could play the holy hero’s game
With ladders of the Reaper’s hair.
Over the wall of dark and death
We climb (or else die whimpering there)
- And find it a triumphant stair
To Lightning and the Holy Breath.
O Sun of Suns, O Mystery,
You wait for us beyond the wheel,
Spinning our reason to conceal
Your hands upon our history.
O Mind of Minds, our journey’s end,
Your wisdom set the Ring-Pass-Not
Where men become the Fools of God
Or of the self. Here waits our Friend.
I looked on Jupiter by night
Too large, a red and dusky light
Which in a spasm spread the sky
To blind, engulf and terrify.
I stand with others in a room;
Out of the window all is still.
Nothing but water meeting sky.
My Master calls beyond the sill.
We gather in a holy place
To pray. I see my Lady’s face
And figure stream with sparkling light
And I am lifted to the height
Of floating incense through Her grace
Higher than prayer. All who see
Wonder, and wait for prophecy.
We reap the whirlwind. Houses fall.
Amid the gale, my Lord I call -
“This is your house, and we are yours!
Stilled instantly, the storm withdraws.
Men sit or stand, await the Word.
“You must seek out your chosen Lord,
You are the one to forge the bond
Till He embraces you beyond.
Yours are the words, the striving love
Requited in the realms above.”
Candles do flare, my friend;
The dark responds
To the mind’s fingering.
Even the fear you feel
Is very real,
Alone, and walking
Motionless up a dream of stairs
Leading to pain and sorrow where she lies
Too close to her forebears.
The night may come to your call;
One flame may form
A spire, and a woman live.
If you are wise, however, you will give
All thanks to God you did not lose yourself.
To be a light to lighten the Gentiles
He set you in the midst of speaking women -
Women who sleeping speak,
Who are waged by war -
And the glory of His people Israel
Is your keepsake
As an old god marches through Faversham
In his sleep, in his sleep,
And they turn where his head turns
From fire and cloud,
Bespoke women who turn to the old stones -
Blind pumice, circle of basalt -
Unable to watch you rise
In full Sun.
“There is a silver lining to each cloud…”
I heard you whispering the words aloud
As you lay dying. By the hospice bed
A cup of sterile water; overhead
The drip that gave you some relief from pain -
Until the crisis took your breath again.
You smiled at me, and looked toward the door;
The strangest look I’d never seen before.
A light was in your face and hollowed eyes,
One faint gasp … of joy? Or of surprise?
One frail hand was raised a little, then
Let fall on the pristine sheet again.
“Please don’t go!” I took your slender fingers.
“Nothing is worse than a life that lingers
Once the call of Paradise has come,”
You whispered. “Everything I am is numb
Except my Self, my mind; it longs to fly
And watch this worn-out woman’s body die.”
I said, “I shall be with you to the end
And pray to God that you are right, dear friend.”
You stared at me at last, your eyes were shining.
“This is the fleeting cloud with the silver lining,
The dark nimbus of your misery.
Be happy! With my death my love is free
And every grateful thought of you a kiss
That you will feel; an unimagined bliss,
An understanding never fully known
To you before, a truth you will be shown.
“The point of life is ultimately found
Only in giving the body to the ground,
The spirit going home. I leave behind
The Earth’s great school for the growing mind,
The whole rich curriculum of life -
Children, mother, lover, sister, wife,
Work, worries, friendship, some success…
Please be happy for my happiness!”
And in that moment you were gone. I saw
Nothing rise, or leave … but where before
Vividly there was you, only a shape
Remained, witness to your Great Escape.
I touched your cooling hand, I felt your brow -
Nothing here to animate them now.
Where was the childhood friend so dear to me?
Surely more than a fragile memory?
Nurses bustled round the curtained bed.
Kindly, “You’ll need a cup of tea,” they said.
“Come back up here in fifteen minutes, then
You can be quiet with your friend again.”
I did; I did. And briefly was allowed
One precious, holy moment; for my cloud
Was torn apart – the ward, the world was shining
With everlasting life, the silver lining.
(A Double Acrostic)
His life on the line
Enters his prison.
Ecce Houdini …
Tears at his contract;
End of career?
Royal theatre …
Taking his moment
Anchored in iron
In that display case;
No hope of rescue.
Exit. The last breath
God knows about anemones,
He knows about the winkle,
He knows about the night, and why
The constellations twinkle.
He knows about the mother moon
Who lullabies the river
And rocks the cradle of the deep
Asleep in sheets of silver.
He knows where all the starry dust
In dusky earth is hidden,
And why the tiny turtle seeks
The sea unseen, unbidden.
He knows about volcanoes, and
The sparrow in the gutter
He even knows why Frances felt
The urge to make some butter!
Some thing is sheep-dogging me.
It drives me over the field of my desires
Crouching patch-eyed at the boundary,
A swift snarl plugging each gap in the wires.
Every circle I make toward the outer sky
After the worn ground, is nipped back
In a belly-streak, determined I shall die
Of circumscription; not for any lack
Of tears for what I might be, me and my brethren -
We have huddled askance and shot star-like apart
To confuse and out-flank our enemy; but whether in
Sheer stupidity or lack of heart
We fail, and are whipped in by a whistle, who knows.
We stare silly at the same trough and the same tree
In the same chewed patch where nothing new grows,
Consoling ourselves with familiarity.
We know the way so well. We have, amid usual mayhem,
Rutted here, hating our poor fellows;
The hound’s eye rolls reflected in each of them.
Our only heaven is one clump of willows
Under an April rainbow – as I mate
In the dog-watch the unsuspected eye
Snapping each vain attempt to procreate
A vision of free hills and a different sky …
I would stand outside the fence, you see. I would lean there,
Once out, not escape. I would not like to strand
My old company, but show them the fresh air
And all the patterns vanishing from my hand.
Let there be love for every living form,
Love for the coal, the diamond and the tree;
Love for all eyes, for star, for meteor-swarm -
Glory be to God for all of Three.
Let there be life for every loving thing,
Life for the Light that out of Glory grew;
Life for the Harmony my soul can sing -
Glory be to God for all of Two.
Let there be Fire for every holy heart,
Fire understanding; Fire for duty done;
Fire for the rapture of God’s rejoining part -
Glory be to God for All of One.
Help me – oh help me endure.
One touch from your finger-tip, fierce glory,
All that is darkest in me rises to the surface
Of my soul,
That which is dross, impure
Is borne up on the tide of my lanced love
My Lord, my Jesus, for you take me whole
To make the hopeless holy.
You have harpooned your struggling fish, O Man-God,
Master of Seas!
It is your net I fear far more than your will’s sword,
It is your net – the stifling shock of shoals hauled asunder,
Outpoured as silver at your wounded feet;
The terror and glory
Is my drop lost already in your ocean.
( A Double Etheree )
a soft mist lies
Our nets arc outward
Fishing is poor today
The wet mesh only lifts weed
And we have a living to make
Somehow. Andrew gasps, points to the prow -
There stands Jesus, who had not come with us.
“Cast to the other side,” he says. The mast
Swings as we haul water-heavy net
To starboard; we stagger righting
The boat, every rope tightens,
Each muscle taut, Peter
Staring at Jesus -
Then at the shoal -
The child whose eyes are full of stars
That burn the hills of broken cars,
The man whose smile is like the sun,
whose only wealth is everyone -
Jesu, we lift our light to Thee
To glorify their poverty.
The girl as simple as the moon
robbed of her innocence too soon;
The mothers who are left to pray
For sons and husbands locked away -
Jesu, we lift our light to Thee
To shine in their captivity.
The bones upon the searing plain
Too weak to reach for milk or grain;
The hands that cry from fields of blood
Dying in debris, war, and mud -
Jesu, we lift our light to Thee
To guide us to Eternity.
Give me my share of the power of the mountains
And my part of the trees’ prayer.
Give me the wind to quicken my feet
And the birds to sing to.
Let me remember roses
And that rainbows begin in cloud,
That the sky has wept oftener than I,
And that tears may sleep in the quiet kiss of the grass.
Give me the love of man,
And fill it with light
So that my heart is not weighed down with wings,
But make it the gay feather on which I fly.
Dear God, I touch the hem of your listening darkness
with my heart;
And my lips are filled with light.
Clambering on the vanishing treads of prayer,
Each thought’s finger strains in outreach unto you;
And it is wholly there, Mind close in for the strong force
To fuse Mind Holy with lowlier mind;
As a fine bead breaks of dew, runs at a water’s touch,
is lost in the pool.
As a passion of wind and wave claps cloud
and the soaring sea together
Rapt in the silent eye of the vortex.
O God, I am a moving stillness within you:
But touch my need with the finest filament of your Will,
Time is re-woven.
When you first came – your clarion sounded by a thousand fables -
Nobody noticed you, hid in your own shadow,
Nobody saw the Man behind the winding-sheet
Who opened his arms wide and called to the children;
Who opened his arms wide with a lovely smile
And touched the amazing glass for all to see
In the bending light your face…bare Love breaks through a fissure of time
In which the heart, the Earth, and the Sun, stop.
And the second time,
You blew like pollen through a thousand hearts
Lighting the grains of love into a flare;
Striking like a match dry nerves, and in a running flame
Catching the hands of the unprepared, of the unwary,
Catching the hands of the dancers in delight
And running with their messages of love
All over the Universe.
We are astonishment, we whose wide eyes were burnt open;
Bursting like stars on the firmament of fear.
The third Coming comes in a blue silence. Those
Who have understood, bowing their melting eyes
To the Infinite as the liquid Love of the Will of the Father
Floods and flows over the last banks of our history,
Floods and flows white as our burning blood,
Yielding with utmost grace each heart to the Inconceivable
As gaunt brothers tower in fear over a brief terrain
And are taken, all, with the body of the world.
And are faced, all, by the eyes of Christ in the blue silence
Christ is your Creed, your high endeavour;
He that is Love let none deny.
You are the loved, without Him never -
In shadow and sunlight standing by.
Christ is your Truth, your God, your Saviour;
Ye are no wiser than His Word.
Dutiful be in all behaviour
Unto that Song the soul has heard.
No-one is lost; His dearest pleasure
Is ever to be our homeward Guide,
Gathering slowly all his treasure
Of human hearts to the Angels’ side.
Lord of our Joy, no tongue can praise you
More than the Christed soul can sing!
Beacon of Love in Heaven ablaze, You
Reign in our hearts as the Pilgrim King.
You walk among us, and we become
Incandescent. Who are You?
You are the Light of the world, our life’s flame
Opening bone and nail to reality.
Our liquid lives run away from the last cry
Cross-hatched with pain, melting into Your feet
To bear You mutely as the waters bore You -
All we can do, to make this Death complete
Is haul our Tree down to the rising tide,
The debris-ridden sea we call a soul.
Back in the lovely desert of our lies
The weight of it seared us, old and black as coal.
Nothing behind us but the wastes of time,
Nothing before us but the Saviour’s face,
Like mad men we float out on the Cross
To enter You. In the dirtiest, holiest place.
A little child I do not know
With a stone broke my window.
The beautiful glass, all shattered and smashed
Lay on the floor where it had crashed,
Its jewelled colours alive no more -
In fragments dead upon the floor.
Mother Mary’s gentle face
Was cracked and holed in many a place.
Her soft-draped cloak of heavenly blue
That glowed like love when the sun shone through
Was torn from the limbs of the Virgin Queen
And there was a hole where her heart had been.
The cruel stone lay there below.
I picked it up and with sorrow
Bluring my sight with tears unshed,
My mind numbed and my heart like lead,
Wearily over the glass I stepped,
Sat down on a chair, and wept.
(Written when I was thirteen.)
Jesus Christ is ours today,
His Sun will shine on straight and gay!
Leave the trivial, leave the smart
And come to the Lover that’s in your heart.
Come with a whoop or come with the gall,
Come if you’re ill or you’re not at all.
Up the ladder where angels fall -
A Cup and Loaf will serve us all!
One day which never existed,
in solitary rage surprised Himself with a Thought
so unsustainable in the here-to-fore
He cracked the unflawed sheer shimmer
of Monad in Equilibrium,
He broke Mind
mirrored in all directions,
He shivered Infinity
and the incorporeal mighty Hand that held it,
thus beginning seven days of Bad Luck
as Time was born
in the vortex.
Resourceful, He stretched forth His other hand
upon the vortex, with an opposite charge -
And Said: LET THERE BE LIGHT, and There Was Light
flashing from splinter to splinter, aeon to age;
suns of a shattered hand blinked fire into and out of a myriad million dizzy reflections
glinting Godhead back,
reduplicating spin-drift, inkblot, starclot and coalsack -
by which light a God could see His scattered parts
God, He Said:
LET THEM FLY
Asunder upon the wind of
My unparalleled Imagination,
LET THEM SEED where a
plus-minus meets in the heart of light
a microcosmic god in the anti-mind, for this
is Matter of Moment; let there be Life, therefore,
so let there be Soul – let there be male, and female
warring and mating; let there be holes for light to penetrate,
dramatic poles, north and south in collision, upwards, down -
as in My excess I find
sorrow I cannot drown
in the necessity
for light to
mend Me by,
so will my Self,
twin of Me and
be lover of that Light,
his flesh a bandage for My fractured dignity
for a seven-night.
Let every action have its equal and opposite reaction.
Let there be
Polarity, pendulum, fractal, parabola
Thus Spake God …
… One Day that suddenly existed, as
a myriad million fragments of Forever
took their first lesson in strife and alchemy;
towards which sex, war, succour, science and sainthood,
the long, vain struggle to tie the strings of symphonies
between grass and the galaxy, Caligula and Christ -
So many poles of puzzlement, poor man-thing! -
making itself slowly in God’s other image,
feet on a star, head in the coalsack.
to make men like snails. Here it is Sunday lunch
And still we have not mapped our route for the last afternoon
of our life; the future winks only briefly at us
out of the healing mirrors.
Some are struggling
To put their eyes out on stalks and see around corners
of the inconceivable before the last trump
is played, the last supper indigested and
the disbelievable unMichaelangelic Hand
reach forth to converge the silver trails
of the slow, vulnerable, visionary sun
housing the soul in helix.
Here they come,
a few at a time,
the unrejected cells;
a Miracle is made.
Thy Hand, O God
may close the eyes of Time – but it is built of us!…
We who have put out the cat may be most unwilling to
put out the stars the cat and we have hunted our dreams by,
may be discontent;
may fidget with the smoothed fabric of Space,
finger the substance of the Maker’s Dream,
flex the muscles of a new idea -
Spring a surprise.
Jeff, John and Ron -
Mayo, Addey and Davison.
Charles Harvey and Charles Jayne;
Al H. Morrison.
The quiet teachers,
The mercurial out-reachers,
The wired-world explorers,
Sacrificing self for us.
Walker, Elliot, Woodruff
And they are gone
To the real
With Jim, Howard, Neil -
Lewis, Sasportas and Michelson.
The men of presence,
The laid-back and the intense,
The spiritual mothers,
The many unforgotten others.
Rudhyar, Ruperti, Ebertin
Have now been
Where all is known
And Moby Dick is, Johndro, Maurice Wemyss
To whom we are dreams.
Ingrid Lind. Ada and Ivy. Margaret Hone.
Jacob, and Olivia, and Michel -
Schwartz and Barclay and Gauquelin -
Shine on where all is well
With our wise-women and our starmen.
Now we are the teachers,
We are the out-reachers;
They before, beside us, behind us
Invisibly remind us.
You used to be my friend;
Such is the price of fame,
That partnership would end
Once you had made your name.
I found you at my door;
I taught you all I knew.
The glamour that you wore
An amusing part of you.
The showman and the mage
Reached for the wheels of time,
Spun them on every page,
Made them your pantomime.
Now here’s the photograph,
That weekend in July
When I made people laugh …
You never said Goodbye.
And here’s the quarter-page,
The store, the famous face;
And here’s the West End stage;
And Strictly in eighth place.
Here’s the remark you made,
Burned on a DVD,
The moment you betrayed
Your soul, to be rid of me:
The stars that lit your way,
All that I value dearly
You still exploit for pay
Yet were a hobby, merely.
Once, you always swore
Never to fail a friend,
And now one heart is sore
Which you refuse to mend.
If I am to forgive,
Leap from the turning wheel,
Abort its narrative …
If we are both to heal,
Deep in the heart of light
My bitterness, my shame
Must die, and I rewrite
The price we pay for fame.
Core values. The Sun
Counted from the Dragon’s Head.
Trunk of an old tree.
Nodic arc – a fine
Anagram of Draconic.
And hears God …!
Light streams from the Equinox
Nests, broken branches
The great scheme of things
One small world set in the stars
Tree in a landscape
I behind the eye -
On the twelfth step of Being
Life enters and leaves
Check for vital signs -
Faults glare, gifts shine in God’s Eye
Squaring the Circle
Warp and weft of painted Light
Flying your colours
My time – flying hands
Turn up the deal of the day.
You are my transit.
Great expectations -
My riches under your Dragon
Turning to fool’s gold
Striking a chord, you
Remind me of who I am
Joining of forces
Back to the future,
Forward to yesterday – I
Am a splash in time
All over the map
Shock arrows of energy,
Keep in formation
Pilgrim, join the dragon train
Onward and upward
Days of babyhood
Mapping my years creeping hands
Both Angles flaunt a
Star, or a natal planet -
E is MC squared!…
From the Beginning
Were the Words. In lettered rock
Raising by degrees
One circle to such heavens
Oh imagine spheres
Journeying, your world
Known from different angles.
New houses. New you
All my selves true child
Of the whole of heaven
Mind Squeezed to a pinpoint
The sign, the turned wheel
Unlocking vaults of the soul
With twelve keys of gold
Here’s the score: play well
Or badly, the metronome
Ticks to the last bar.
Rewind history -
Somewhere on the wheel your time
Cradles the future
Under the weather?
Everything on edge? Only
Going through a phase!
(Aries) …… Teach me how to be,
(Libra) …… And be aware,
(Taurus) …. Teach me how to have,
(Scorpio) … And how to share,
(Sagittarius) .Teach me to understand
(Gemini) …. As well as know;
(Cancer) …. Teach me how to root,
(Capricorn) . And how to grow.
(Leo) ……… Teach me how to love
(Aquarius) .. And to be free,
(Virgo) …… To be of service;
(Pisces) …… And to come to Thee.
Pam has been a poet since she was seven years old; it was only when she joined her local Writers’ Club that she found she could also write short stories.
She has been a Christian astrologer for most of her life, is well known in that community, and is the author of two books plus many articles in the Astrological Association Journal (for which she compiles the regular Cryptic Crossword.)
You can find her website at .
'Testament' is an anthology of spiritual poetry by Pam Crane. Many are strongly Christian in their theme, but by no means all, as her experience has embraced many other dimensions including spiritualism, reincarnation and direct inspiration. Her whole spiritual life is here, from an early intuition of the universality of God and appreciation of other beliefs, to the Christian conviction that in 1993 brought her to ordination as a Deacon in the Liberal Catholic Church. For over twenty years she had been an astrologer, and still researches and teaches in this field; unusually (but not uniquely) she has combined her astrological skill and philosophy with her Christian life, informing much of her writing. There is a very broad spectrum of spiritual experience in this collection which may appeal to readers of many faiths or those as yet uncommitted but willing to be inspired.