The bookshelves of my mind
must be tumbled and jumbled
unsteady and cluttered, in urgent need
of repair and refiling or shredding.
How do I know this?
Because on the floor of my mind I constantly
find stray memories that have slipped, though
from which volume I know not.
Some are familiar, picked up and put back
innumerable times, but somehow always finding
their way back out, to flutter unbidden into
my consciousness. Usually embarrassing and
from decades ago. Mixed in amongst, sadness,
friends and family, gone, vanished, but not forgotten.
How rare the happy memories that arise spontaneously.
My antidote to this is simply to count my blessings.
I am what I am, and I am loved. I breathe in the scent of flowers
and feel the wind on my face. And above all of this,
I simply smile and record with joy all the good things
in my life and this world.
And they are many.
In a universe where the passage of time
Can be measured by the disappearance of a mountain
One touch of a birds feather once in a thousand years
Where the galaxies are numbered in trillions of trillions
And in each are countless stars and planets like our own
You think your existence matters one jot?
The answer? Of course it does, why else would you
Be gifted a brain capable of understanding the Universe,
A brain which itself contains eighty-six billion neutrons
And it is estimated a whopping great 500 trillion synapses
You are as marvellous and as complex as all the galaxies
And all the stars and planets and every atom put together.
The human brain has some 8.6 x 1010 (eighty-six billion) neurons. Each neuron has on average 7,000 synaptic connections to other neurons. It has been estimated that the brain of a three-year-old child has about 1015 synapses (1 quadrillion). Estimates vary for an adult, ranging from 1014 to 5 x 1014 synapses (100 to 500 trillion).
Dust in the hall
Dust on the stairs
But do I care?
An empty house loses its soul
All sense of home gone
An empty space without a role
Love and warmth forgone
A chill lives within its walls
Not just the absence of heat
But something more, a void that calls
Without you I am incomplete.
A small toy, bright faced, stares
Abandoned and forgotten
By a child who no longer cares,
Doomed to live forever in its forlorn habitation.
Wait. The toy moves, lifts, as invisible hands
Raise it, cherish it and hold it close
An inner light glows through it, expands,
Spreads, the whole room to enclose.
Voices from the past speak softly
Shapes appear, grow stronger,
Appear more and more clearly,
Making the light in the room alter.
The people may be gone but perhaps,
The memories linger.
It’s funny what pressing an extra
“nought” or two on a keyboard will do.
Yesterday in lockdown
I ordered a kilo of potatoes
Or thought I did.
I wondered why the Store sent
A fleet of delivery lorries
To my door and why
The front garden is covered
In brown paper bags.
To those who wonder
Why there is a shortage
Of potatoes, I can only say,
It’s funny what
A misplaced “nought” or two
So you think you are unchanged?
The same as you were
Yesterday? But that cannot be
So who are you today?
Never the same for
Another day has dawned
And flown past, bringing with it,
New thoughts, feelings, experiences.
But can you recognise
What has changed?
Who is the new you?
Answer – if you can.
On the road to understanding
There is a tollgate that bars some travellers
Reason is forbidden and it’s cousin
Rationalisation, as is Explanation.
Science bans itself, cast out
Into a rational wilderness of its own making
Unable to escape its mechanistic view
Of a universe beyond its understanding.
So who travel the road beyond the toll gate?
Poets. Painters. Lovers. Artists. The people
Who make others uncomfortable.
The odd people who don’t quite fit in.
And of course, all of those who have experienced
Love and Bliss beyond comprehension
Who have come to know
The name of the Divine.
As I grow older
Less and less
What compass divines
your direction as you pass
from birth to death?
Blind fate, simply casting
the runes that determine
what future lies before each
and every one of us?
The road already marked
that you will blindly follow
believing that you choose?
Karma? The pull of the previous
life, lives, that sweep you along,
atoning, overcoming past failures
moving you ever closer to nirvana?
Free will? You are your own
agent, making choices,
moving hither and thither
as you and only you determine?
Whatever the mechanism
that moves the wheel that moves
us from birth to death,
May you find peace and happiness
In this journey that we all make.
Inside each of us
Lies the place
Where the divine
That is the real
If the real
Purpose of life is
Simply to tread
The path that
Leads to where
The real you
The divine you
Empires come, empires go.
What seems indestructible, fails,
And crumbles to nothing.
Horror upon horror,
Massacre follows massacre,
Yet somehow good survives.
Aeon follows aeon,
Darkness may seem eternal
But always the light returns.
The unjust appear to triumph
The good trampled under their feet
But Love endures beyond all.