Spontaneous stanzas

Every now and then (a curious expression), a group of us gather round a bowl of high-fat crisps and play acropoetix, games of verse. A favourite is to each come up with two words, pass one left and one right, then write some spontaneous verse incorporating the two we’ve received. Basically all the games are kicking off points for writing something immediate – a nominal five minutes. It is surprising what emerges when you haven’t time to think about it. Some of mine seem relevant to Dharma matters, I suppose that’s what’s lurking under the surface. Here’s a selection of these ‘egg-timer’ poems.


I surge up from the depths, gasping,
nothing solid, all turned to space!
Aeons spent down there, fasting,
locked in timeless lack of place.

Emptiness is awful – and it’s heaven:
no sense of sense – a life in lapse,
The thread of things is loose, I’m riven,
shattered to wholeness, living the gaps.


What do I know?

What do I know about metal?
Couldn’t say which one it was,
nor yet how cold, although
I felt it keener than all pains
I’d been heir to thus far.

What do I know of motives?
Couldn’t hazard why it was,
nor yet how fast it could strike,
gatecrashing my busy story
I thought would roll on.

What do I know now? That
consciousness continues after death,
that we don’t know a future second,
that inches of metal can pop our balloon
– like THAT!


(Given the title:) If Jesus wore a tracksuit

If Jesus wore a tracksuit
Buddha’s on a skateboard
churches are gymnasia
pubs all smell of joss

Bibles are in txt (o gr8!)
psalms are sprayed on walls
the fusty bits deleted
at last it’s here-and-now

It’s in yr face, a sacred shout
that takes away the guessing –
this is what it’s all about
the rest was just a dressing.


The Essence

Not knowing, I listen for the essence.
Still, I glimpse the avalanche.
This moment has no purpose.
Every point is an expanse.

Slower than a tortoise,
silent as a corpse,
pulse as fine as silk…
not knowing, I listen for the essence.


Nothing to be, you already are

Seeking nothing, nothing lost,
no heroic struggle to be,
no such madness, no such cost,
whatever comes, comes peacefully.

Whatever goes, or seems to go –
except in thought, it never came,
only change, a ceaseless flow,
the rest is but our foolish game.


The Obvious

The obvious is everywhere,
we just see through it, like it’s air,
we live life with bifocals on,
we run it like a marathon,
we don’t look up, we don’t look down,
get lost in details, thrash and drown –

I’d like to tell you what I see
but you’re too busy telling me.

(I had in mind: when emptiness is seen, it’s clear that it was obvious all the time, we just somehow didn’t see it)


(This next was done spontaneously as a variant of an earlier ‘acropoetix’ which I called “Are  You Awake?”)

Life & Death
Life is not what you think it is,

All those twists and turns.

Thinking stops you seeing it –

Simple, nothing to learn.


Death is not the end of mind,

it’s not a goodbye kiss:

it’s nothing, what you left behind,

and the Knowing is just like this.


…and a haiku – (poem of 17 syllables only)

Haikus: wistful thoughts…
No wonder, the climax comes
so soon, and then they



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