Month: May 2011

Black Vacuum

I put my lips to your face
I make that puckering suckering noise
and breathe in old skin.
Your face changes colour.
Becomes pink with new complexion.

Your mother calls.
You can’t tell her about this.
Instead you tell her, ten, for coffee.

After coffee. At shopping. She remarks,
‘my daughter is so very beautiful’
The salesman nods in agreement.
She purchases a new appliance.
It matches the colour of everything;
it’s the most powerful and efficient vacuum in the world.

She is happy. She brings it home with us. Plugs it into the socket.
It sucks up everything, including the paint from the walls,
the curtains from the window and the photos from the mantlepiece.

Your mother is pleased, it’s everything the salesman said it would be.
She leaves. And then we notice,
Along with the furnishings, it has sucked us both into the black of its belly.

And so surrounded by the comforts of home we start a new life together.

You remark: ‘one day, we’ll be very happy’

However it’s so dark I can’t see your face.

But then the phone rings.

It’s your mother.

She wants to know how we’re settling in.

Not Leaving (re-publish)

I’m waiting for you to leave me
but you don’t

I’m waiting
for perspective
to re-appear,
for
diminishing return,
for warmth from distant appreciation

but you don’t leave

I’m inhabited
the meal doesn’t end
the wine re-fills itself

surely time will take you from me
a little further off
so I can wave
the small wave, of
distant friend

rather this
than retain the air
where you might breathe
imagining that you hold me

as you do

MCHallis c.2002

Gazing at the Light

The lamps are different,
But the Light is the same.
So many garish lamps in the dying brain’s lamp-show,
Forget about them.
Concentrate on the essence, concentrate on the Light.
In lucid bliss, calmly smoking off its own holy fire,
The Light streams towards you from all things,
All people, all possible permutations of good, evil, thought, passion.
The lamps are different,
but the Light is the same.
One matter, one energy, one Light, one Light-mind,
Endlessly emanating all things.
One turning and burning diamond,
One, one, one.
Ground yourself, strip yourself down,
To blind loving silence.
Stay there, until you see
You are gazing at the Light
With its own ageless eyes.

Jalal-ud-Din Rumi

Once Upon a Word

Once upon a time and in place that is near to where we are today. A few simple words decided to see what they could be together. They wanted to know if they could achieve more collectively than they could as individuals? As words went, some were better known than others as some occurred more frequently in common usage. Each one enjoyed being spoken out loud. Being announced gave them life and they experienced delight when uttered in song. Being whispered softly in a moment of intimacy or friendship was equally considered quite a treat. Each word possessed unique characteristics. Some were made up of more letters, others had more syllables. However the words did not judge their differences, in fact they celebrated them. They knew that their differences came in many ways, some being older, some longer and some more experienced. The words also possessed latent talents. They were able to change their shape and appear as different expressions of themselves. They called this, playing a role, or being characters. After much discussion the simple words agreed that if they were to serve their greatest purpose they should work together in a way that would be of benefit to all who uttered or heard them. Ultimately it was decided that of all expressions, they should come together to form a question. It was unanimously agreed that this was their best option. A question they considered, could, when expressed in the right circumstances and in the right way, provoke deep thought and wise conversation. The words agreed that the best question would take the following shape: What are the clearest words we can summon, to ask the best questions, to be the best and give the best that we can be, right now? From this they noticed, to their great delight, other words often came along in response, partly in admiration but mostly to contribute to creating insightful responses. To this day the work of these words continues and people who use them are often very satisfied and very pleased with what emerges.

© 2017 martin challis

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