The Grapefruit Tree

Spring Storms 027

 

It must be enormous now …

that Morrison Seedless beloved of the Kiwi gardener

a gift from my grandpa

for the house – and my birthday.

My man used

our supply of demolition bricks to make a path

to the leafy infant

its protection, a low brick surround

as if for a nursery

its botanical companions

some lavender cuttings from the hedge

I knew since childhood.

 

I hope the owners of that house

we once owned

have not cut through its gnarled trunk

nor felled the giver of those golden

juice-filled fruits

… fruit which makes marmalade

for breakfast toast

eaten in that cobbled suntrap

by the French doors.

 

2010

 

 

The Diamond Map

Phil Tayler – December 2015
The Diamond Map

To understand the outer world, we tend to gaze upon it;
many options present themselves, to elucidate perception.
One image of the world; mere colours upon an atlas
two dimensional spacial, paper mapping information.
Three dimensional fractal, holographic light in form
Four dimensional reality, with limitations merely time. .

To understand the inner realms, we need reflection deeply;
for truth is like a diamond, the most precious of the gems.
Cut with many polished faces, each facet like a mirror
reflecting back to all of us, beliefs we cherish dear.
It takes a very open mind, to see opposing facets
never mind the deeper truth, the disregarded faces.

So light reflecting from within, illuminates the seeker;
shining on the gem of mind, the clarity of mappings.
Yet one can never disregard, the physicality of existence
bound together seamlessly, with bone and blood – the mind.
Yet imagination travels far, our thoughts yet further still
colliding with our sleeping form, intuition in our dreams.

So mind it seems, is paramount; surmounting all its boundaries;
our electro physical senses, mere appendages for its usage.
Emotions come and sensations go, yet only memory remains
of gems of truth and maps of light, experience won at cost.
As years go by we learn at last, we accumulate our actions
loves we’ve known, compassion shown, embedded in our being.

Sparaxis

study1

Hovering like pink and white stars

a haze of flowers

floating above a green, rank grassy bank

gently buffeted by a breeze

skimming a sullen harbour

in an Auckland spring evening…

Weaving up the rank grassy bank

are, trembling in a gust,

blooms which will cease to be

as summer approaches

all that will remain are green blades

leaves leaning into the sloping lawn.

The setting sun

wrapped in violet clouds

slides light through hazy perforations

catching the Sparaxis blooms

on a rain-sodden, rank grassy bank

a glowing hovering haze

shimmering still, as the day is

extinguished

and the evening breeze whips a sullen harbour.

 

Hauraki, 2010

The Gathering

17

Here under a strange sun

A dying star

Draws in its carriers

Within the loops and whirls

Of genetic material…DNA

preserved, as inward collapses into immortality

The worn-out, discarded, the frayed

full of holes …of an ancient carpet

without footprints

Thin patches worn to the boards

Threads unravelling…

the ravages of substances

Abuse of mind, war, destruction

Tearing at the threads of Matter

Cradles of Humanity now its cemetery

Join with the Spirits

on the Day of Reckoning

which will be

a Day of the great ‘Ah ha’…

a Day of the great Realisation…

on those winged thoughts

which lead ever

towards the  Light

for which all ache…

glimpsed …now realised…

shining on the gems of our Earth lives

the dross slipping and sliding

into another infinity of recycling that Clay

from which God, (Who has many names)

formed all

in Eden (which has many names)

each according to their own…

as it is in Heaven … Nirvana…Paradise…

 

Shells of Memories

15

 

Shells of Memories are…

fragments of Mind…I think…

gnawed at by time

eroded by unseen elements

buffeted by centuries

scoured by forces of the mind

 

With them I

roll into chasms

at the depths of trenches

pitted by canyons of currents

a chipped end

a crumpled bulge of shell wall…

 

I listen for

echoes in those casings of the soul

which speak strange words

… holding the patterns…

but, crumpling and collapsing

the messages dissolve

 

 

I cannot differentiate between

the memories of the shells

the shells of memories

slowly becoming one with the shingle and the sand

forces beyond … pushing, rolling, revolving

clawing…

 

I feel that they spin…from where all emanates

released they spiral through the unseen tide

for  their span of life… then

all manner of matter succumbs to the lure of the abyssal vortex

a black hole…to which all is destined to return

 

If I look carefully within I see

beyond the black hole

a strange re-formation

where Light itself takes the fragments

remakes…

from the detritus and the rubble

 

The Eternal Creator remakes

forever eternal God formed Adam from the clay…

slices of light reborn anew

but within the reassembled fragments remains a memory

which Time Itself cannot delete…erase…forever eternal

we cannot erase but only watch…

 

I want to…

look upon the shells of memories

they which have become the bones within

for those which were the bones without

now wear bodies on the outside

…people talk of Evolution…

 

 

I roll ideas as the ocean rolls the shell fragments

of the Evolution of Thoughts

growing within their casing of brain and bone

and do they…

devolve

returning surely to the Source?

 

In one of those  information boxes on the lip of the cliff

I read that where we stood was once beneath those waves….

and as I scanned the words

beneath my feet I felt

a shifting motion an uprising of an ocean bed

beneath my feet… an outpouring of fossils…

 

It would be futile to take a spade

and dig down…shells of memories will ooze

upward between the grains of clay like

a fragment of a memory held

in the palm of my hand as the tiny piece of ancestry is

lost among the shards and grains

 

 

I want to say…

that all that we think

do…plan…dream

settles on the bottom of this vast ocean of experience

where all our minds are destined

to meet…in a strange eventuality

 

So…

does the flotsam of human doings

float, jostling like seaweed

or does it slide beneath the waves of  living past

subducting our living presence

and if so…

are our thoughts our own or shells of memories?

 

2014

The Birds

'They sing among the Branches'

The birds seem

to be watchful for the End of Days

of a distant destination yet to come

floating in the Sea of the Infinite

islands of consciousness

visible through the tangle of branches

of confused minds

like veins and synapses

bearing witness to scattered ideologies…

witness to the fruits of our actions

over-ripe

about to split asunder

in the deluge…

for I dreamt about a monstrous tide

of blood-red waters

and overhead circled the birds

by now white-winged

in a great gathering resembling

a multitude of angels…

‘Then I saw an angel standing in the

sun; and he cried with a loud voice,

saying to all the birds that fly in the

midst of Heaven, “Come and gather

 together for the supper of the great God…’*

and then the words were lost

in a profound silence

a lapping of the waters

the blood-red waters…

 

And I awoke to the dawn chorus

of a tree bare

of leaves and fruit

save for tiny new

green shoots…

and through the tangle of branches

an angel standing in the rising sun…

 

Susannah MacDonald 2010

 

*Revelation 19 Verse 17

The Holy Bible The New King James Version

 

 

The Scent

November 2015

The scent, is all that is left of what the relationship once was. The fragrance of all that is left of how it used to be. The prosaic might call it pheromones, but I prefer to call it the essence of a time, and those overwhelming feelings that once were.

 

The Scent

It is remembered as the perfume

On a white handkerchief trimmed with lace…

The Angel said;

‘This is the scent – the fragmented fragrance

of what once was…

the remnant…of earthly desires.’

And as he spoke the words evaporated in that mist

and the fragment, like a slice of memory

crumbled…

dissolved like his words…

Some famous writer expressed it, somehow…

I thought it was Somerset Maugham, but on waking

I know that it was not…

The memory remains

as an elusive fragrance

from the gardens of experience.

 

2013

The Owls

17 (2)

The owls…guardians of wisdom

Wait at the portals of the Great Mind

for… a wisdom yet to be revealed…

For it is not yet written…that which will be written

Revealed…and the earth shall truly split asunder

And great waves, the Tsunami of consciousness

shall fall upon the shore of the sleeping minds…

The awakened shall float upon the churning waters

The sleepers, ruffled momentarily

gently settle back to sleep

on the floor of the ocean of the unconscious

with the shipwreck of humanity’s

vanities and vain endeavors ….

to continue their eternal sleep

until they see, far above, their deeds

reflected…

 

The owls

Guardians at the portals of Wisdom

Fold their wings

with a gentle ruffling of feathers.

 

2015

Pastoral

You think

it’s the drink

talking but

 

I swear

your honey hair

imbues night like

almond, palm, Arabian

Sea.

 

We sat by the well

you and me

one night in summer

which heaved

with distant sea

and the silences between

the crickets

like the world itself

and everything in it

was breathing.

 

The stars in the black sky

twinkled like fireflies; wow,

those were the formative years

of our religion.

 

My imagination was wild; I might

have mapped the night sky, named

the constellations. I saw

centaurs, chariots, winged

horses that spanned the hemispheres…

and well, we spoke

sparingly which is good, as it should be –

centuries before the Spartans

famed it.

 

14/9/201

Abeyance

nightsky

You gleaming like water evaporated by cause,
I blew the chalk dust from my hands,
Late on his deed it was done,
It became another clown prince dream,
For us time was a myth.

Under the street lights at night,
The fine arc of the distant moon mirrors my empty hands,
Hands that bled at the mention of your name,
The stars dazzle topaz memories of our youth,
I search the night sky longing for you.

To hear rainfall and jazz together,
Such fervent opinions of music,
An unanswered telephone rings in the distance,
Leaving behind traces of brilliance.

Tyrant Sun

The wind shifts south to tear at the land, and

stressed tufts of green sway and roll then hang limp.

Men look out, eyes narrowing and say it’s been drier,

that a shower will come to bring back life; 

and the sky blackens, a boiling belt of black,

swollen with promise, and thunder booms 

and the men look and run hands over chins:

this will be it, they say. It will rain.

Still the wind pulls at the ragged leaves and they flap

and fall, tired little roots prying the dusty soil for moisture.

Then it is gone, a retreating blackness

shot through with china-blue and the wind dies

and there is an awful calm, where men look at each other and nothing is said.

There is nothing to say, just sadness roaming the eyes

 

 

mangere settler

mangere settler

i came across the headstone of Thomas Troan while wandering through the grounds of the Anglican Church of St Peters in Onehunga one early morning. Intrigued by the family name ‘Troan’, i searched for its origin on the Internet and was much astonished to find an article in the annals of the New Zealand Herald dated 23 June 1882 concerning the circumstances surrounding the death of a ‘mangere settler’, Mr. Thomas Troan. The phrases/words with quote marks are drawn directly from this article. The article itself, ‘The Late Fatal Accident to a Mangere Settler’,can found at:
http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&d=NZH18820623.2.30

Reading of Mr. Troan’s passing left me with a sense that any life gone needs a song however insubstantial, at least, to remark its passing.

This poem consists of 3 pieces. The first, as noted above is based on the newspaper account. The second is a speculation on the last thoughts of Thomas Troan and the third a meditation on the remnant fact of his headstone.

mangere settler

what seas
what rains
you saw from
the north of
ireland
to mangere
erin’s harp
broke strings in
the rigging
on that ship
you gambled
many a time
in your poor
mind wretched
with lurching
in the hold
would not
make it
your luck
felt to burst
its tight purse
on landing with
a whole land
come again to
your feet a
land you would
purchase a
breadth of
under the
mountain
that blown
hill of mangere
atip the manukau
you raised your
beasts on that
farm alone gaining
‘thereby a competence’
buying and selling
them in that market
aswill with animal

what sweetheart
did you carry
in the deeper
pocket of your
heart a picture
put between the
pages of an
untouched bible
we know not

the thread of
your life began
to run swift
in a single
night
under klotho’s*
hand

night of the
election nine
o’clock the
’15th instant’
‘worse for drink’
the paper wrote
of you on a
‘spirited pony’
you tore down the
road into a winter
evening likely wet.
not seen again
till morning met
walking on the
road you’d run
into old nick** in
the spin of that
night not even
knowing how your
clothes were clumped
with mud your hat
well gone thinking
only you had been
thrown
from that horse
and kicked or
old nick had
tapped your
breastbone
a harder
slam.

a ‘young man’
who came across
you there kind of
nature bought
you a glass of
brandy in the
‘Star Hotel’ which
you downed
and lay down
on the bed
offered you
by the publican
while the doctor
came felt your
chest and pronounced
you ‘dangerously hurt’.

placed on a
stranger’s buggy
another helping
soul you were
driven to the
hospital conversing
‘freely and sensible’
but were gone by
wednesday night
a hard corpse all
you left behind
some pounds
that piece of
land at the
foot of mangere

Thomas Troan
the facts known
of you fewer than
the telling of them
more sober than this
blarney a strum
on erin’s harp
buried in your
thirty third year
the age of
the Christ.

onehunga/panmure/howick
november/december 2012

*One of the ancient Greek ‘Three Fates’, she who spun life’s thread

**the Devil

last minute

This is naturally not based on any known record since it intends to show the thoughts of Thomas Troan’s last minute of life on this earth.

for a full
green minute
i made it
home
mother in
the field
looking out
toward the
sunshower
just off the
peninsula
the ‘almost
island’ *and its
church of slate
where i learned
latin and the
smells of christ
i heard a prayer
on her lips felt
a joy wide as the
sun coming out
from the cloud
on the westward
sea looked
back
from the
sunshower
at the church
of slate saw the
ivory cast of
her bonnet
afar.

ridge rd, howick
evening, 29 june 2013

*the literal meaning of the word ‘peninsula’, ‘paeninsula’ in Latin

headstone

at least
this,
a stone,
letters saying
‘this life was
unlike the
others for
the ages
unhonoured
their names
chiselled then
with grief into
the wind,
shouted once
from the tangled
rope ladders of
the blood.

onehunga – panmure
18 february, 2014