Learning Love

A caged heart once

forgot how to love

loosing its skill under

thought, distance and time.


Who and what deserves love?

The world is hardly the place for a person with principles;

an environment where the ugly proliferates

and acts of kindness and love are treated as risk

but no risk is seen in losing love,

the lifeblood of the world I want to see.


Love lives deep in our being

so deep in fact our surface stiffens

– use it or lose it –

and lost it we have to calculating minds

which sever mind from heart

and elevate mind beyond recognition

in a world that needs heart to survive.


We claim that love comes,

treating it as granted inevitability

when in fact love is a practice;

to be practiced in each gesture,

word and the treatment of others.


We are trapped because our love is trapped

in structures that tell us

how to love one another,

who to love, when to love, for how long

what appropriate love is and what isn’t

and where love belongs.

Everywhere!

At home, in the street, in school and at work

(did you recoil when you read this?)

(did you recoil at my image of love which differs

from the twisted idea of patriarchally sexualised love

which we hold as the only Love?)


We must un-twist love,

reshape and form ourselves to its untwisting

so it may flow through us,

– the great torrent –

which flows through each of us

should we permit it.

The Spider

Waiting.

For what?

Hanging like spiders

blown by the winds,

the waves

against which we plan precarious futures,

spinning out webs in the ebbs and the flows,

spinning out webs,

spinning out.


First Wave

Second Wave

Third Wave

How many Waves?

Still hanging, the spider

blown by the Waves, the gusts,

sharper, becoming

sharper still as our loneliness echoes

louder and louder with each passing month.


How many months has it been again?

The texture of time at this point so foreign,

priorities different

from the momentum of lives we once had,

the forces disturbed, seeking new balance

negotiations at play

between what was there, now impossible

and the possible not yet there.

Not yet.

Individualists in insular cities full to the brim,

crowded, spaced out, further still

by the vastness of this solitude

grappling with our totality,

grappling with it more than before.

Is the spider still there?

Is she alive?

Is her thin string still holding her,

rocking along

with the

First Wave

Second Wave

Third Wave

How many Waves?

Paul-Linke-Ufer, Spring ’21

Traffic of humans and ducks

by the water

filling, bulging the buds

hanging in strings,

pearls

off branches of willows

weeping for friends long unseen

and lovers unlived.

Smiles from strangers

and laughs at the dogs;

life in the air of a city

losing, lost

longing

to leap in the arms of those strangers

and return to admissions of lust.

The surface in shine,

sun and friends there no longer unseen

emerging desire and welling up spring

in traffic down by the water.

The Felt Unseen no Longer Unseen

Deeper still

(snakes shedding their skin)

restricted, no longer

existence through spring

expansion demanding from

(inward to outward)

the self,

my-self,

your-self,

breadth it-self.


Childlike, I fear

the unknown

ubiquitous vastness;

all the knowledge not known

all the prior unfelt

all the felt unseen

no longer unseen.


The arms of my fear cradle me

surrendered

to swelling,

(it all starts from the base)

free in the fire that burns in that base

which life begins and existence contains,

raising the world, vision and might

child to child, the cycle passed through

forces prior unfelt

now felt unseen

no longer unseen.

How may reality turn so palpable?

How may it have been not so before?

How may we live through it all

expanding in spirit,

bathing in light,

like nature in spring

existence by fire so bright

permitting it swell past fear’s shell

wound ’round it so tight?

My heart is not with me

My heart is not with me.

It is out there, somewhere, with you.


It wants to break out, be free but

it stays out there, somewhere, with you.


Ensnared by your eyes,

the smile and glimmer they shine when upon me.


Release me, free me,

return my heart to me.


I cannot continue to live with

a heart that’s not with me.


I need my heart here beside me.

I need it restored, from doubtful thoughts drawn.


My heart is not with me.

It is out there, somewhere, with you.


Release me, free me,

return my heart to me.

The ponds of one’s sameness / energies of no outlet

Stagnant and drifting

in the ponds of one’s sameness

where frames never shift

but shrink all the same;


tight round one’s neck and

one’s heart and


one’s thinking

lost in irrelevance & languidly foolish;


a layer tight blanket

tucking the chest and

disturbing what’s left of ubiquitous rest.

Sweet, what not,

mostly not

– not much remains;


no sparks but far days

as a week brings in time

a whole month’s heavy strife.

All these discordant energies

– up, then down –

then up and sideways and

then down again,


fluttering thoughts and actions

of restlessness brought.

I don’t know what I want or need anymore

(how many months have passed again?);

only left here with feelings of being

severed, singular, static and torn

apart by these

building energies of no outlet.

A note from last summer

Since, he has appeared, approaching me at our friend’s birthday which we celebrated sprawled along the bank of the Langer See. As I was entering the lake alone the second time around, the water felt cooler after I’d been sitting in the shade of the trees for a while. I took my time, lingering in the shallows as I allowed the water to climb up to my belly button. He was hanging off the branch of tree submerged in the water and asked me how the experience of getting into the lake was going for me. We picked up a conversation – nice, easy and fun. Lost in it, I didn’t notice as a group of his friends arrived around us, emerging like sprites of the forest or nymphs of the lake – young, attractive, cheeky. As one of them (long, shiny hair and the humble confidence of toned cute) dove into the water right in front of us, his trunks slid down and the rest of us chuckled at the smooth, scrumptious shapes he uncovered. We moved around one another and spoke in a way which cast spells of the young who have missed each other; who are keen to play but are now careful how quickly they approach.