Just Down and In?

'Down and In'
the nucleus,
and progenitor
of Everything.

Leave planning, 
pruning, and 
training cordons
to another, 
invisible hand. 

Life is its own 
and guidance 

into the underworld, 
to the bottom 
of your own tap root, 
tending the subsoil, 
is enormous.

At once
an act 
of profound trust,
and an agonising,

A movement
exquisite and
in keeping with
the immense cycles 
of the entire 
Solar System. 


Becoming River

Notes from the River Valley during a dark time when I thought I'd lost my way. 
I remember the touch of the world but felt so distant, I forgot how to care whether I found my way back again. The only things that reach me are the poems of David Whyte and Rilke, and the Rivers Tyne.

I perpetually yearn, the longing is that I know I Am you, River. But for some mysterious rhyme, this time around, I was born into denser substance; so there's always this gap - whether by deed of human disconnection or through being moulded from duller material which produces this sense of separation; as if the world is an abstraction, an approximation of how everything ought to be experienced - and the inherent grief that comes from this division. 

And I feel it now, the River, pulling stuff out of me, simply by my proximity to it, the kinetic flow of it. Working on the generations, past lives and sub-strata of psychic scar tissue unavailable to my conscious recall. The ‘stuff’ that still grips me, governs actions, drives cravings and limits possibilities; all this being worked on - while I sleep, work, relate and play by the River, simply going about my unexceptional daily business - through the intelligence of the Elementals who occupy the interdimensional spaces of the River Valley.

When I die I'm going back to being The River...

Becoming River… Body responds 
as unspeakable longing, a wretched 
‘almost’ pulls on my organs, belly and breasts in 
an urge to merge ache for the possibility 

of Death throe surrender 
to the heart of the River;
a visceral and holy communion 
with the vast, formless, 
Godless stream of souls. 

Abysmal thirst and sheer will
could never serve, and 
a lifetime too brief to 
drink deeply enough
to Die to, or Live 
as this River.

Currents, seen and unseen, 
invisible realms of psychic River,
relentless; eroding my imagined self.

Shame, turgid habits,
the relationship I have to
the things of this world;
all relinquished with 
past and future 
to a deluge of 
present moment; running 
not past but through me, 
not beyond but in me,
a truth pledge, 
a promise
of peace.


The Long-Drop

Piety shits on holy things:
Fuels rage and pronounces judgement on what is not yet understood,
Snatches greedily at the beautiful and mysterious 
With an avid hunger for lofty status and control. 

Pay attention to those moments when you’re 'In The Right'
Because this means someone, something, somewhere else, must be 'Wrong'.
And you risk becoming a missionary attempting to convert the indigenous.

(Peoples who are bonded to the landscape in ways we cannot fathom,
Whose languages don't recognise 'I' or ‘you or me' or 'mine or yours';
Beings inhabiting LifeDeath/LightShade/BothAnd in every instant;
Vast entities of deep relationship beyond separation, 
Polar opposites and irreconcilable truths)

Pillars of society, appointed intermediaries of God, 
Political and educational figures, righteous activists, 
Humanitarian do-gooders and campaigners for equality:
Beware of occupying that same tower you're trying to topple: 
It's a long drop.


~ Ouroboros ~

in cosmic union                      holes and 
another dimension                                      protuberances at
or teleportation to                                                       the top and bottom
communication                                                                         of the organism
are a device for                                                                                male and female
of a magnet                                                                                   connectors
negative poles                                                                    at both ends
 and positive                                                       can be docked
like one’s phone                                either way
charged : plugged in    


Conjunctio: by Linda Hill https://theredseeds.wordpress.com/alchemy/

                                                                               CONJUNCTIO: The Marriage of Day and Night by Linda Hill


One Moment, Young Lover

In case you're assuming I'm especially qualified
In matters of the heart,
And the workings of the flesh,
Or somehow more deft to lead the dance
Between intimacy and passion,
Longing and consummation,
Pleasure, pain,
And Heaven and hell
You may be right, all that could be true…

But should you for a moment imagine,
I could possibly know anything
About the intricately spun and beguiling insides of you,
How life desires to play through you,
Through this distinct and matchless union that is I and you,
And the fresh new paradigm waiting to dawn
In this numinous, wild, and beloved present moment
Then set that dim thought aside...

Let us both become artless,
Bold in our vulnerability,
And simply let innocence enlighten us.


This Is My Body

I refute the current cultural determinant that tells me
how I should Look to be attractive.
How on Earth can I be in my body
if I'm Looking at me from over there,
and through somebody else's eyes?

Not Looking from the outside in,
comfortable in my skin,
is how I Feel.

Comfortable and relaxed and soft and delicious.
I'm attractive to myself.
I attract My own attention.
A powerful magnet that increases its momentum.

My awareness brought inside,
I am present,
To how it Feels,
To be in relationship,
With the world 
From this side of the lens,
From inside the vessel,
From this side of the bars.

But I'm not trapped
This is the Freedom side!

I Feel from the inside:
Folds of flesh,

Creases and scars
Of a life lived close-up,
Honest in its human imperfection.

A distorted tree,
Hyper-real with living wisdom,
It supports an entire forest of diversity.
Creatures thrive upon it. 



(For Abi, who's longing for contact and pining for a pet with hairs on) 

But what about Woodlice? 
I'll bet there's some waiting for you
in the musty hollow of that rotten log just outside the back door.

And Worms? 
They're tactile. And immediately 
beneath the surface of the soft sweet muck in your garden.

What about that Spider,
held in the quivering cobweb you’ve been gazing at
above the bed, wondering if you’ll ever get to the spring cleaning? 

And those dust mites, 
imperceptibly munching your dead flesh as you lie there, 
hungry and homesick, once removed from this sensational world?



Diving for cover 
beneath my deepest doubts
as the absolute and final certainty,
this dreadful cloister a sole retreat 
from the crushing responsibility of being;
and gripping onto old life for grim death 
in hopeless bargaining for eternal safety,
airless meagre and unessential;
I am suspended impossibly 
between the suffocating sanctuary of prayer
and a terrible rebirth into something greater.


Women's Hearth ~ Spinning Sisters

Spinning Image                                                                                                            The Call by Charlotte Santall


The Women gather, and draw close around the fire,
With rapt attention, they talk and they listen. 
They have a language all their own; a unique dialect of sighs and signs 
rarely spoken in these times, or heard by the ears of others, or in the light of the day.

They speak of life and death; of what has been lost, forsaken and dispossessed:
Kinships; ancestors; wildness and belonging to the land.
They share visions, augur destinies and dreamings and the forgotten mysteries of the Moon.

And as they share, time distorts and the earth spins more slowly on its axis,
As they sit and they talk; and they talk and they sit; seeing inward…
suspended in timeless space; held by a spiral existence...

And the potency of their sharing, the absoluteness of their passion and pain,
dignity and disgrace; their ecstasy, emptiness, sorrow and rage
are distilled between silence and laughter and longing and tender heartfelt care.

They howl and sing and bleed and weep in the truth of their being and becoming.
With fearless presence and devotion, they sift through the sea-drift of their hearts.

Armours dissolve, masks melt; knots loosen and unravel, 
As they spin a golden lace-work reality as beautiful as the lines on their faces.
It is a strange and wondrous alchemy of body wisdom and soul song...

The Women weave their sparkling rainbow essence 
into a new paradigm of archetypes and deities; ethereal and manifest...
And what was once thought to be dead is brought to life,
What lay sleeping is awoken, in themselves and in the world…

Grandmother by Charlottte Santall                                                                                                          Grandmother by Charlotte Santall


Medicine Walk Home

Lessons come in turning leaves,
ripening Rowan berries,
a gathering wind,
and the unquestioning motion of water.

Small way-side flowers fading,
delicate grasses gone to seed;
clouds, birds and all the creatures and songs of nature
emerge in time and tide.
No forcing, or holding back, 
or striving to be any other
than that which they already are, 

grounded and complete in their being.

Everything around me,
whatever my senses can experience,
is present in full moment and magnitude;
perfect counter-balance.
Pausing to absorb the Sun
through a kindly gap in the trees,
I am allowed to lose the edges of myself
to an unbounded moment,
where the Earth's insistent becoming

is silent and surrendered in its sovereignty.
Here, where home always was.


Heart Meditation

The ghosts & shadows
of my heart
like angry families
in crowded tenements,
lonely people
in high rise flats
who can only gaze
at the marvelous view
but have no space inside to play.


~ Earth ~

And a change comes over Earth as the stones begin to find their long-lost sound.
As more of us are still enough, for long enough to listen,
their resonance converges into a distinct and palpable rhythm,
a long low rumble, slow as lichen growing;
the stone ancestors entrust to us their ancient song of magic.
As it coils and shudders like a dragon underground,
we stir to the memory in our bones
and become echo sounders,
bells that thrum to the knell of mysterious rites and traditions;
and the deep and silent secrets that lie buried and forgotten
in the landscape of our flesh.


The Scullery Maid (soul retrieval)

She lived in a dark, damp cupboard under the stairs, with the brooms and shovels and other items of domestic drudgery.

She slept and sometimes crawled in there to hide from the dread of her existence, for undoubtedly, there was no escape. Invisible and of no consequence to the world; she had nowhere to go and nothing with which to get anywhere; without possessions or meager means to take care of herself. 

She never knew what it was to own a thing, least of all herself, nor had she any sense of belonging to place or persons meaningful. Sovereignty, agency: those constructs were alien.

Besides, it would be terrifying to own or care for anything, because then it would surely be taken away. She didn't know 'choice', had never experienced making a decision; she was owned and enslaved from the moment of birth to the end of her short, miserable life. 

Her pale skin was black with dirt and blue from the cold, and black and blue and red with bruises and sores from scrubbing rough floors and relentless beatings. Her eyes had grown dead with the brutality. 

I found her, crouched in that cupboard in her thin dress, legs exposed, feet bare, half-starved, half-frozen, and so weary she could barely comprehend the presence of a kindly stranger.

We sat together and I listened as she communicated silently through her pain and withdrawal. All that soul needed was a witness, and to know she wasn't alone. We sat together, simply and for a long time, with nothing more to be done. 

In time, I gave her a warm blanket, which happened to be royal blue, thick and heavy, made of modern-day fleece material, incongruous in that spectacle of Victorian squalor. 

As she began to relax and could bear contact, I washed her broken feet, brushed her lank hair and laid her in a clean nightdress on a soft feather bed with cotton sheets. 

She lay curled up, her lifeless eyes turned away from connection, closed down through unendurable human suffering, even to kindness.

Eventually, I climbed into the bed next to her, moving slowly closer so she could feel me there, but could barely touch, so sensitised and raw was she; though she could perceive my presence, was aware of the warmth from my body and somehow able to absorb tenderness obliquely through the field between us. It was the only way possible to begin to approach the hurt.

I asked her, silently, if she was ready to leave, to go to the light; but I already knew, in her eye the faintest glimmer, she needed to stay for a while, if only to receive a momentary experience of humanity. 

Now, she is healing as I am healing, we are healing each other, and in her way, she is teaching me how to love. 


This tale isn't intended to evoke sentimentality or an attempt to glorify the everlasting nature of the spirit, but to express in some way, what happens as a result of unendurable human suffering; how the absence of humanity results in damage that has consequences to our entire chain of existence. 

That it is possible to heal from the trauma of unendurable pain and suffering, no matter how far we drift from ourselves, however unreachable we might become. That we can learn how to love, how to receive and how to heal.

That kindness is actually a powerful healing tool, a gentle laser beam that can melt the toughest psychic scar tissue.

How, as human beings, we deny the subtler aspects and levels of existence because they're seemingly impossible and defy consensus reality.

How 'Being' functions in both time and space and has knowledge of everywhere and everywhen; each moment that ever is and was is unceasing and coexisting, accessible through the eye of now. 

That soul retrieval, psychic healing and integration of past life trauma can occur, in a nano-second.