I had a very enjoyable evening with Lichfield Poets. Everyone was inspired to produce their own work upon hearing the meditation. I was astonished and delighted at the variety of responses and the writing which resulted. The calibre of poet’s in the group was unsurprisingly high, as was the quality and range of their work. Images which some found reassuring and restful others found threatening and grotesque, a tribute to the imagination of the writers present.
What follows is a selection of their work. If you would like me run a similar workshop for your group please contact me.
Meditation led me to a white deserted beach
and an aqua marine sea, where a porpoise floated
far out with me for many miles, until he left me
to dive down, down, into a dark place
where my senses were non-existent for minutes,
hours, or was it a decade? I have no idea how long.
When I re-emerged the sea had become surreal;
I was surrounded by comical beauty:
Sea horses blowing bubbles and chuckling,
turtles wearing tutus and waving wands,
gold sea urchins warbling in unison;
rainbow trout high jumping over starry shells.
Bells of different sizes started ringing, louder
and louder, until a school of dolphins shouted ”Stop!”
followed by a burst of whistles and clicks.
I was back in the room listening to a soft voice,
soothing music and the sound of my breathing ..
in…and out, as reality returned and recall began.
The apple of my eye
You have been
The apple of my eye
The sea I swam in
And the rose I wore
When I danced
At the funeral games
In Troy, lives ago
I have been a reed
In your papyrus, wood
Burning in your fire,
The knife that cut you
And the salmon
That you caught
In Ireland, lives ago
You were my mother once,
And I your son,
Or friend, or brother,
Lives and loves ago
A thousand times
We’ve lived and loved,
Poured out like water,
Water running into earth,
Beyond memory and time
I’ve loved and lost you,
Loves and lives ago
On the Beach
Yellow, greasy fog of stale breath
From dirty teeth,
Cavities of corruption;
The stink of something rotten,
Not seen but smelt;
Cold dead hands of kelp
Grasping broken rubbish;
A gannet’s thin skull
Shattering under foot.
Waves thrash the strand
To jagged shingle;
There’s broken glass here,
Nails from wrecked boats;
This is a serious sea
That knows its business
Which is to drown
All the dry world
You can strip yourself here,
Fold the skin of yourself,
Leave it with the other waste
For scavengers to use;
As nothing you can slip
Through the tight knit bond
Of water, into such minuteness
Of infinity that you need
Never be seen again.
A Meditation on the Sound of Salt
I drown in an ocean of bad news: war torn countries
and culpability, refugees and the Mexican wall.
Racism, sexism, homelessness and HS2. Too thin,
too fat, crispy roasties cause cancer.
I am deafened by the clamour of certainties,
by a ceaseless susurration of altering facts.
Sedimentary rock on a vulnerable coastline, I am
pounded in my soft underbelly, worn away remorselessly,
dissolved into the grey. For survival, a shift is required.
Stretch out and drift on the swell of the seas and
seek the sound of the salt that is dissolved in the water.
Then will I have found silence in the crowd.
To a place
Where there is nothing
Everything is beyond
Coarse rocks groan
Under the weight
Of my abandonment
Somewhere flotsam floats
Mocking my suspension
In the darkness
Deaf, blind, mute
Only a salty taste
And the tides caress
Safe at last
Within an ocean’s vastness