Interdependency

Did the powerful waves erode the rocks to make this little bay ?

Or did the land itself entrap the sea ?

Listen to the forest music ! Trees

Without the wind are silent

And wind without resistance

Makes no sound.

The splendid sun himself

Cannot, unaided, form one little rainbow.

And those best-loved, enchanted hours

Of dawn and twilight

Could never be,

Without the tender, lingering, sensuous play –

The joyful, free embrace of night and day.

Subject and object die

And phoenix-like,

Our liberated one consciousness

Arises.

Together, we embrace the world.

Accepting and accepted

We are at once most creative and most at peace.

3rd/4th April 1968

 

Nothing Is Enough

Nothing is enough.  After long silence.

Have we seen and understood enough yet ?

The crocuses trampled on to tell us

That a little boy has been hurt –

Another necessary death demanding response.

Have we heard enough of the refectory sounds ?

Day after day, the same re-echoed sounds ?

We have seen so much – too much ?

It crowds in upon our senses,

Distorting perception,

Making the balance between ‘objectivity’ and spontaneity

Almost impossible.

Too much insight can be dangerous.

Words become carefully controlled, measured –

Until the expression of truth

Becomes merely intellectualisation.

Irrationality is necessary too !

And regression is not always weakness,

Nor exaggeration dishonest.

Autumn 1967

 

 

Alienation

Between the world of knowledge

And the problems of the world,

Between the day of indifference

And the detachment of Enlightenment

is the shadowland.

From justification through Art

To a need for atonement for sin.

From the vision of despair

To the affirmation of life

Is not so far

As from inauthentic existence

To any alternative way.

Between the world of the beautiful people

And the ‘cult’ of clinical concern,

Between the powerless intents of pacifism

And the disillusion of diplomats,

Between grievance demanding revenge

And tolerance of fallibility

Is far enough

To keep us talking interminably

Of the alienation of man.

Between the words I vainly say

And their meaning to another,

Between my most significant gesture

And its interpretation,

Between the intensity of my cry of pain

And the futility of its impact

Lies the division of the world.

Resignation is not enough

And stoicism, an escape to another illusion.

To stretch across the brink

Has some meaning.

And death itself is vindicated

If it opens the way for others

To cross the divide.

October 23rd 1967   [ Just after arriving at Keele University]

 

 

Towards Freedom

Tell us not once, but often

That we need no further exposition,

Books or cults or emigration.

Tell us again that the shadow cast on the wall –

Is the other side of beauty.

That to touch it brings no danger –

There’s no need to fear the truth.

But we’re slow to claim our freedom.

The dependence on our bonds

Has been nurtured by our loved ones

And projected on our gods.

So, be patient with our questions –

With our need to chrystalise.

Don’t let us vegetate in symptoms,

We will never be content with lies.

For ever, as we dimly see

Our hearts and minds confess

That this is near the truth to which

We can at last, say ‘yes’.

July 1967

Learning the Therapeutic Lexicon

What ho for group dynamics !

Lots if underlying panics……

Do not overlook Projection –

The best method of protection.

Don’t let them guess you’re paranoid

Or how involved you are with Freud !

And if you aim to keep afloat

Join in attacking the group’s scapegoat.

It’s fine to talk about obsession

But don’t get involved in releasing repression

If you have any common sense

You’ll not forget the best defence –

Talk of other’s neuroticism,

Implying that you are above criticism.

Speak of the principles of your profession.

In correct procedure, express your aggression.

Learn the necessity of lying –

And the fearful danger of Identifying.

Don’t get involved in frank conversation –

There’s too much risk of revelation.

In other words, be wary and cool,

Then nobody can call you a fool !

1964

 

 

A ‘Voice for the Voiceless’

On almost any street, at any time

Encircled by indifference,

Jostled on every side by indications

Of an altogether different way of life –

We walk enclosed in the Satanic Order of Fear.

Half grateful for a crowd that does not care, ?

Half longing for just one glance

Of understanding.

How long is a life time

When day follows day without meaning ?

And how much use is the pain

When half-seeing the way to liberty –

There still remains a barrier ?

The responsibility of breaking through is too great –

But the silence of non-communication is almost unbearable.

We cannot ask for what we want –

Partly because we do not know our need

And partly because we cannot bear any more disappointment.

And so, from behind our safe, sad enclosure

We send unspoken pleas for someone to break through the barrier

(But not too fast, and not too far).

O, if you come at all, it must be slowly, gently.

For more than anything we fear your domination.

You see, there is so little which we can control –

So do not take away the independence that we have .

And if you come – be patient –

We have never learned to trust

And we don’t know how to give.

But most of all we ask that you

Will not give  up. –

We are so afraid that we will give up ourselves –

But believe us, we don’t really want to.

We long to be like you and join with you

Freely in loving and giving and sharing and living.

We would never really say all this –

But if we could, we’d say so very much.

Help us to talk………just a little.

Although we’ll never admit it, we wish

That somehow we could let you know

That we do need you –

Deep in our unbelieving hearts, we pray

That you will not stop trying

And will not go away.

 

For Susan – Spring 1966

 

Human Fallibility

We expect too much of ourselves.

We expect to find in ourselves

The good that we want to believe is in others…..

And when at times we do not find it there,

We still hope to find it within ourselves.

Most of the time we can justify our motives

Mostly our reasons can sound pretty good.

But there is one time when there is no justification,

The time when we are stripped

Not only of our outward mask of honour

But almost unbearably of our lost image

Of our own integrity.

When we see disillusionment  on

The face of someone who trusted us.

When we finally understand our power to hurt…

And so often it is too late

Or we think it is too late,

Which amounts to the same thing.

The universal fallibility of all

Is a concept hard to accept.

It is hard to forgive in others

But harder in ourselves.

And yet, the realisation of our own weakness

Is the acceptance of it in others.

And surely when we have accepted their failure,

Then perhaps, we can forgive our own.

June 1966