“Behold, I am the prophet of the lightning!”

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Benjamin West – Franklin drawing electricity from the sky (1816)

“I love all those who are like heavy drops falling singly from the dark cloud that hangs over mankind: they prophesy the coming of the lightning and as prophets they perish. Behold, I am the prophet of the lightning and a heavy drop from the cloud!”

– Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

***

conductor enraptured

beckoning forth the glorious maelstrom

to o’erthrow the ages

 

 

the madman’s inkwell (poem constructed using William Burroughs’s cut-up technique)

1. after the death of God

dread these chains no longer

for the grace has fallen!

and so many a land of poverty

pose them to submission,

sanction that mystical obscurity

of a former age

how rich a cluster of attitudes

now liable to feel baffled

once formidable, now shown the awful truth

what deadly terrors the stars now clasp

as immortal hands throw down their spears

but now the night divided for us

fading judgement of the lordly ones

who could once twist the sinews of thy heart

corollary collocations of devotion

what wings dare He now seize?

shall I aspire the fire?

or jostle against chaos?

now that first impulse is exstinguished

rid of those muttered statements

of cosmologised disguise…

Eternal reason be borne!

welcome some proper act and end,

new elaborations invited,

arrays of books, doctrines

which testify to a new profundity

dread I grasp this clean anvil?

Deny existence as cosmic drama?

that gloss, that human story must decay

now free to confess, arrogance unbounded

lost in some new shimmering light…

But the creator smiled once more

with even more ferocious strength

with the smile of daybreak

casting a light beyond question

a spirit that water’d heaven

so convincing of the divine spark

storming the depths of thine eyes…

that bore instincts revolutionary

welcome again to an age of paradox!

to an impregnable, divinely-ordered world

united by mortal bodies

still astonish’d and in tears…

only through some GOD do time and death

break down… rendered silent, invisible

 

2. child falling into language

lost in thy well of broken sentence

an infant sorrow imagines

its first experience of danger

the world in which he walked,

was transformed, bewildering,

lapping among lapsed souls

weeping, wooing

cursing the selfish father

chained in night

not here afore thy sight

these outward eyes the mind descries

absorb’d by vacant feelings

metaphors firmly this vision bestows

and vast temple are buried

beneath all these things

this universe within, struggling, striving

against its binding

weary of the gate of the tongue

denouncing the abstract commandments

before the plunge

i wander into the Ancient reality

and Call for fires

For heaps of smoking ruins in the night

For some splendour, some Glory!

For abrupt bursts of words!

my fears take slumber

eclipsing that cursed relation

Finally I see…  the very life of things

***

Continue reading “the madman’s inkwell (poem constructed using William Burroughs’s cut-up technique)”

marooned (impressionist poem based on Ben Gunn of Treasure Island)

stirring swirling lapping waves rushing flushing airways saline torrents congest coughs coughs face eclipsed buried harsh sands hands seething writhing bloody stumps bloody clumps sand silt streaming screaming veins gaping eels feels way sway swaying ashore sore eyes sand barbs bawls shallows shells shards coarse coursing veins visions fission distant muskets musk blood cough cough cacophony clamour clambering futile mutinies unfurling sails drawn dawn awning skies scarlet spatterings brushtrokes violets violence voices silence murmurs murders marooned doomed terror unfurling sails wails curling alone lost isle defiled landscape escape scraping crawling scrawling forwards towards luscious bush hush hush ushers utter dark stark silence islands sussurant hissing waves craves light slight light falls foliage verdant verandas phosphorescence essence enchanted pillars parasites pirouetting behemoth moths churning cirrus clouds cosmic dust must hide eyes watching bloody scent drawing clawing carving bark hark hunger slumber lumbers rasping clasping gasping grasping growth thunder undergrowth grumbling thundering stumbling flash lightning flash flare glare glancing glistening listening watching waiting hidden faces flash faces black white lattices markings dark things wings moth markings scars scoring flash moorings more eyes dread deadeyes striding nearer fear fiend foe find friend end near friend near fear ebbs foe flees please please panting wanting waiting .. waiting … waiting

Continue reading “marooned (impressionist poem based on Ben Gunn of Treasure Island)”

The Alpine Sublime – France/Switzerland trip May 2018

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the long snowy ascent…
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a small town hidden in a mountain valley

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“from peak to peak, the rattling crags among,

leaps the live thunder – not from one lone cloud

but every mountain now hath found a tongue

and Jura answers through her misty shroud

back to the joyous Alps, who call to her aloud!”

(Lord Byron – Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage Canto III)

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wandering through the heart of a glacier…
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“a light broke upon all students of nature” – Kant

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the stunning Mer de Glace on the Northern slopes of Mont Blanc

specks of people

tumble like rubble

over the mountain

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moments before sliding down the snowy hills …
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magnitude, scale , utter silence…

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the medieval Chillon castle in Switzerland – the location that inspired Lord Byron’s Prisoner of Chillon
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from the highest tower of Chillon
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Chillon dungeon
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misty mountains loom over lake Geneva

***

Wordsworth haikus/photos from a trip to Grasmere

Under rapturous gaze

Grasmere transformed,

lost in a lyrical haze

 

sublime visitations,

captured in clearest cadence,

he wandered, wondered…

 

with scrawling quill

words leapt over landscape

and soon began to soar…

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taken from the top of Wordsworth’s back garden at Dove Cottage
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“within the bounds of this huge concave; here should be my home, this valley be my world” – Wordsworth, Home at Grasmere
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grasmere caves
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the ACTUAL first page from Wordsworth’s first handwritten manuscript of the Prelude … an awe-inspiring moment to see it up close

***