Monday, 13 December 2010


The universe is everything that exists and everything that does not exist.  It includes the Past, Present and Future.  The project refers to everything that exists because no communication is possible in the realm where nothing exists.  Everything that exists is vibrating.  The vibrations accurately express a thing's present time condition.  The vibrations flow out from a thing's location in space and impinge upon other things.  If this impingement vibrates at a frequency within the range of any sense organs other "things" have developed, it can be consciously perceived and interpreted.  This is communication.

The English word "language" emphasises communication with the tongue; "lingua" = "tongue".  However, the vibrations which flow out from beings cover a wide spectrum and are perceived by different sense organs in different ways.  Slower vibrations are perceived as sound; faster ones as light. 

There are many gradations in between and outside of these. Different beings have developed different sense organs in order to perceive these vibrations and interpret them for survival.  It is always a mistake if a human being assumes that, because he cannot perceive something with his five senses, it doesn't exist.

Even human beings do not limit communication to what can be heard or transmuted into symbols and written down.  We have sign language, body language, intuitive perception, body contact (kisses, pats, punches, caresses). Unintentional perception enters through the nose and communicates stinks and aromas.

So this vast network of vibrations from every existing thing is eternally communicating its all and everything.  Is anyone listening?  In a nutshell, what does it all add up to?

Looking with dispassion,
with equanimity,
doesn’t it shine brighter than a thousand suns?
The broken wing
the severed finger
the uncompleted life
‘the smyler with the knife’
the smell of fear
spirochaetes, viruses and germs
and the ever-chewing sepulchral worms?

And don’t we see a thousand times and more
that what we build and try to hold in place
disintegrates, vanishes without trace?
And what we hoard up
and try to store
provides a breeding ground for rats?

And this, which is the Past,is also Evermore?

What we cannot preserve here
when we have felt the betrayal of the breath
we save for heaven,
taking our joys and pains
across the no-man’s land of death
and there, in finer, subtler, intellectual realms
plant our standards.
And still the Eternal, empty wind
blows them down.


Where there are listeners
there is no silence.
Either the sounds
of the listeners’ minds
from the boundlessness of space,
or the universe itself pounds
out a multivociferous chatter;
the sound of reaching out,
and pain;
coming together
and falling apart again.

Every plant, every stone, every sun
has its tongue,
its subtle and interminable vibration.
Every whirling planet
and spinning electron
screams (or whispers) its history.
Reaching out
coming together
falling apart again.

Where there are listeners
there is no silence.

The universal music thunders discordant tones
the unintended harmony
in its unintended composition;
the sound of creation
and of decomposition.



The terracotta pavement is lined
with pradhu trees,
the symbol of the Navy,
hung with orchids (wooden bananas).

Outside a shop called “Modern Optical”
with its reflecting rows
of à la mode spectacles
is a line of large Chinese fish bowls
in which live (and will die)
three-foot high pudtan trees.

On these pots, sit five of the very poor,
hunching together as penguins do,
to keep the outside out.
One is grey with age,
two play old wooden instruments discordantly,
a girl sings;
the harmony is in the poverty.
Each has a tin labelled “Donations”.
No eyes are visible in half open sockets.
For they are blind.

They touch to make a living human chain
so that the fragile world they share
does not disintegrate.
A sharp-eyed woman,
with eyes for all five,
assists (or exploits)
their helplessness.

When the owner of Modern Optical
comes out to speak
and wave his hands,
she leads them away
to the market to find a new pitch.
Each holds onto the one in front
like a medieval European dance
of Dies Irae.

“What were they playing?”
The music of human misery.

New Project: "My Body, My Mind"

Monday, 6 December 2010



What is that sound?
Like the trailing of a fan
through a silent anteroom?

It is the murmur of air
ruffling leaves.

It is the herald of the whirlwind
which will strip those leaves from their trees
and wrench the trees from the hillside
and blast the soil from the rocks beneath,
leaving the skeleton of the earth
to bleach and crumble.

And what is that sound?
Like a cascade of pearls
on a silver salver?

It is the rushing of the waterfall
in the Italian garden.
It presages the tempest and the raging ocean
which smashes earth’s boundaries
and drives the rivers back up to their sources,
drowning and destroying everything that lives on air.

And what is that sound?
Like the crackle of dry twigs
under the heavy boots of soldiers?
It is the fire in the hearth,
logs spitting, blue and yellow flame dancing
under the granite lintel.

It is the messenger of the Sun
which will rage and burn the planet
to a cloud of incandescent interstellar dust
for the winds of space to disperse forever.

And what is that sound?
High and plaintive
behind the polished nursery door?

It is the crying of a two-day-old baby.
It tells of the heavy tramp of armies
across the continents of the world
marching to the rhythms
of dark gods
bringing the destruction of cities
and the extinguishing of civilisations.

It is the sound of an empty skull
there in the desert,
abandoned by dog and raven,
dry and bleached and splitting along its seams,
home to gusts of wind
and the occasional locust.

These are the sounds of the end of human
the end pages of books,
the silence which silences the symphony.

When the gums shrivel and decay,
the teeth are cracked and broken
and there is to be found no place where the smile
or its shadow has ever been;
no echo of long ago laughter.

This is the sound of eternity.