It is only by going through,Dawn light 2
Not around
Or away from
Or above,

It is only by going through
The looking glass.
Sinking in
Through layers of self
Feeling presence, hearing voices.

It is only by going through,
With no short cuts,
No spiritual bypass.
All that arises from within
Must arise
Be seen, heard, felt. 

It is only by going within,
Not denying
Or rejecting to the waste lands,

Dawn light 1It is only by going within
To Persephone’s underworld.
Allowing, accepting, feeling
Sorrowing, pleading, shouting
Grieving, fearing, thanking.

It is only by going within,
To the deepest, darkest places,
That light can be found.
All that is there
Is and is not
But must still be sought.

It is only by going to the depths,
That the higher realms
Are reached.
And we find something
More enduring than,

The Birthing Place

TreeinfieldBring them here all of your selves
To the inner sanctuary,
The place that you’ve prepared
With gentle resolution.
Welcome them by name
Let none be turned away,
And lie with them softly
To hear their every breath.

Here lies the innocent
A bud of newborn hope,
Here lies the wounded
Bleeding ocean tears,
Here lies the orphan
Weaving tales of woe,
Here lies the hero
Abreast a snow white horse.

Here lies the witch
Casting spite upon the world,
Here lies the judge
Imprisoning the weak,
Here lies the unworthy
Lying torn upon the altar,
Here lies the sage
Whispering candles in the dark.

Make space for every one
Lie down and be still,
Allowing each one’s contours
To nestle with the next.
Hold them very gently
And stroke away all fears,
Whisper ‘I love you’
Throughout the midnight hour.

No boundaries existing
Between one and another,
As they and you all become
At once both true and false.
What must ultimately be surrendered
Must first be claimed,
What will one day fragment to dust
Must first become united.

So bring them here all of your selves
To the inner sanctuary,
Welcome each and every one
Let none be turned away.
For this is the silent place
Where miracles spring forth,
And gradually with gentle care
Wholeness may be born.



String of Giggling Pearls

Apparently I laughed in the womb,Aleah Giggles
Giggled while yet unborn,
A strangely anomalous event.

Some upwelling of humour,
Sudden surge of happiness,
Or tummy-tickling sensation.

It emanated formless,
Free from the constraints of thought,
From my barely begun being.

Rippling outwards,
Through an ocean of fluid,
Rocking me in my cocoon.

It’s no longer a memory
Held within my mind,
Yet the echoing pulse remains.

And the knowledge leaves me curious,Aleah Giggles 2
After a modest span of living,
As to the meaning of that moment.

How could one
Not yet fully in this world
Know what it is to laugh?

I ponder the questions
That flutter around me
On illusive, feathered wings.

Did some part of me
Contained within that speck
Know more even than I know now?

And was the knowing enough
To spark such giggles
And spontaneous bubbles of joy?

Such thoughts are a rockAleah Giggles 3
Warm to the touch,
When days are dark and stormy.

Fierce clouds may come galloping
Heralding a tempest,
While lightning sears the sky.

But in the eye of the storm,
Amidst silent darkness,
Lies a string of giggling pearls.

Apparently I laughed in the womb,
A moment more precious than jewels,
Even now, I can’t help but smile…

This poem is with thanks to an almost-lifelong friend, osteopath and healer Rex. A long time ago, close to when we first met, as I was lying on the osteopathic table and Rex was doing cranio-sacral therapy on me, I started to giggle, spontaneously, out of nowhere, with no idea why I was giggling. When I apologized afterwards and asked him what it might mean, he said something along the lines of, ‘You were back in the womb, remembering and reliving a moment…’ The memory of his mysterious answer has always stayed with me. The pictures are with thanks to my gorgeous (step)daughter Kirra and her equally gorgeous daughter Aleah. Aleah, my husband Bruno and myself were playing on the floor while Bruno took the photos; they always make me smile and think with wonder of a child’s innate sense of joy.

Know Thy Self…

Know Thy Self…Light and Shadow

Just as the sundial
Knows its place and function
Within this world…

Standing as it does
As a meeting point
Between light and shade…

Its form designed
To face the sun
Yet cast a shadow…

Which can be read
By clear sighted eyes
And discerning mind…

To learn something
Of the nature
Of this universe…

This poem came from a meeting with a shaman a few years ago. I cannot recall his words exactly but I do remember him describing something of the nature of our existence… Ideas to do with the Light and the inevitable connection between lightness and darkness… That when any form comes into being, we are like a puppet standing with the Light shining upon us… And by the very nature of our existing, a shadow will be cast… We stand as the meeting point between lightness and darkness… We are formed from the Light and cannot exist without it, but neither can we exist without the shadow… Our journey includes learning to accept and understand the shadow for what it is and ultimately choosing to face the Light…

The Beggar’s New Clothes

We beggar ourselvesPentacles 5
When we clothe our selves
In garments which are not ours to wear.
They were of our making,
It is true,
Hewn with our own small hands.

But a child’s hands
That did not know
Whither what they did.
And sewed but blindly
With beginner’s stitch,
And innocently nebulous mind.

Swords 5The trembling hand
That was guided
To fashion in a certain way.
And create a costume
Strong enough,
To protect us from the world.

The costume
Fit well enough the child
Even the teenager wore it with style.
But not so
The adult who followed;
An emperor adorned in old robes.

With his red tunicCups 5
Of fiery frustration and rage
Hanging in impotent shreds.
Her night-purple boots
Of delusional pride
Broken, with heals mismatching.

His great grey cloak
Of impenetrable protection
Dragging filth along the floor.
Her sky-blue dress
Of smiles and obeisance
Quite apologetically faded.

Better we were bareStar
Defenceless and naked
Than wear such rags as these.
Give up the charade
Of parading as beggars
Through the entirety of our lives.

Discern piece by piece
Every rag, every tatter,
And resolve to let them go.
Thank them for all
The defences they gave us,
Give them the burial they deserve.

Manifest a new wardrobeEmpress
Of gracious attire
Befitting our potentialities.
Clothing that reflects
The selves that we become
With each step along the path.

We beggar ourselves
When we clothe our selves
In garments which are no longer ours to wear.
The great challenge of life
Is to discard our rags
And learn to dress with dignity.

Images are taken from the Rider-Waite tarot deck

Farewell Old Friend

Amanda at sunset

Farewell old friend
For although your days have been hard
You have taught me much
(Of course, how could I doubt it?),
And you have taken me
(Oftentimes dragging me, scared and unwilling)
Along daunting and challenging paths,
Through the lands and places I needed to see.

You have shown me many marvels
(Although from up close I may have called them perils)
And you have made me stand witness
Not just to the world through which I travel,
And to others on journeys of similar or dissimilar ilk,
But to the world within from which so much flows
(And hides and hurts and fears)
To know all possibilities, of every measure.

And although I stand now still in childish ignorance
(And arrogance and incompetence),
I see glimmers of a land where I would like to dwell,
Where simplicity, awareness, wisdom and compassion
Are not just clever words half-formed from immature ideas
But are fully formed, of both light and weight,
Deeply lived from the inside out
Providing sustenance which flows ever in circles.

So farewell again old friend
And thank you for your many gifts,
And welcome new friend
Whose gifts are yet unknown, unguessed at,
But which are to be accepted gladly,
For they are given as befits the receiver,
And may one day lead, whether by short or long route,
To the land that glimmers so.

Bruno at sunset

To Be Both Bound And Free

locked blue door

We are…

 Bound by inevitable forces
Of this life, this time, this place.
Destiny, inheritance and the light
That comes with us from some place before.
Upbringing subtly shaping us,
All those patterns we have copied,
Learning, unintentionally,
To be happy, scared, manipulative or brave.

 It is likely that some of those forces
Will win an epic battle,
Ensnaring us to become
Vessels of joy or depression.
Kindness or cruelty
Could be ours to master.
Yesterday’s rejected babe
Is devoid of love tomorrow.

 Any outcome could be more likely
Depending on the tide,
Chained as we are to ourselves,
Most of us with eyes wide shut.
No idea we are locked in prisons
Of our own and our ancestors’ making,
Oblivious to how our lives and selves
Have been shaped, twisted and warped.

Maybe some of us manage
To rise above such things.
Tireless journeys on the long road
Having kindled an inner flame.
And we can hold it up high,
Bright beacon in the dark,
Emitting empathy, even though,
We were denied it as a child.

But most of us lack such history
Of the soul’s ongoing passage,
To resist the colossal waves
Of our earthquake fractured lives.
And we grow up, still children,
Who never learned who they are
And were never taught to seek deeply enough,
Or see clearly, with eyes wide open.

gate open

And we are…

Freed by the knowledge that these things
Are but time limited concerns.
They will come and they will go
At the will of the universe, or God.
Wherever we find ourselves
Is simply where we must be,
And the moment we accept this
Is the moment we become free.

To see with eyes wide open
Just how small we really are,
We are not the giants we mistakenly
Believed ourselves to be.
As the universe takes a single breath
We live and then we die,
Little specks of nothing
Barely dots upon the page.

And yet, somehow, we all exist
Whether deserving life or not.
And, somehow, in our tiny lives
Lies meaning, fathoms deep.
We are part of something greater
Amidst this unknown multitude,
And it is freedom beyond measure
Just to say ‘I am alive’.

Somewhere, somewhen, else
We may be asked to become something other,
The persecutor may take the hero’s turn,
A few steps down the path.
The why’s and how’s we cannot see
In dark and barren valleys,
But when, at last, a mountain peak we reach
Understanding clothes the land.

The things that really matter
Are the simplest things of all,
To be humbled in our nature
And grateful for the fall.
We are here to learn such wonders
From the night and from the day,
As we walk both bound and free
Through the mystery of our lives.

gate and tree