The Devil’s Secret

October 16, 2009

 

The following quote comes from ” The Conference of the Birds”   a beautiful Sufi Persian Book of Poems written in 1177 by  Farid ud – Din Attar.

During the 1970’s it was adapted into a play by Peter Brook and  Jean-Claude Carriere which Brook took on a tour through parts of wild Africa and performed in the streets and later to Western audiences in New York, Paris and in Sydney. I was lucky at the time because I was living in Sydney and saw it. The play communicated at a very subliminal level in that it didn’t really matter if you understood rationally what the actors were saying because the “meaning” was transmitted almost viscerally through the movements and the sounds that emanated from the stage.

The devil’s secret:

       God said to Moses once:  “Go out and find                        

       The secret truth that haunts the devil’s mind,”

       When Moses met the devil that same day

       He asked for his advice and heard him say:

       “Remember this, repeat it constantly,

       Don’t speak of ‘me’, or you will be like me.”

       If life still holds you by a single hair,

       The end of  all your toil will be despair;

       No matter how you prosper, there will rise

       Before your face a hundred smirking “I”s.

                              The Conference of the Birds 

Conference_of_the_birds

“Manteq at-Ṭayr” (“Conference of the Birds”)


I’m a Holy Man

September 9, 2009

I wrote this rhyming “poem” on a day when I was pissed off reading stories about gurus and fake “holy” ones who have expensive cars and luxurious life styles so that they can smash the stereotype that the “sacred” is somehow tied in with voluntary poverty. You don’t need me to point out the orange and the lemon people, the boy swami who smiles with a diamond glint from his teeth, the guru who teaches prosperity while touching up sweet  boys and girls.

I know, it’s not just the New Age types that do this, what with paedophilia and rampant materialism in the church, the synagogue, the mosque and the temple.

Getting back to my “I’m a Holy Man”, I know that I wasn’t cool and detached. In many ways it is a childish rant but, hey, that’s OK…..here it is >>>

====================================================

I’m a Holy Man.

Sitting on top of this icy mountain                              
my eye gazes on this dicy situation.
Nation on nation fall in rotation
while I’m on my long vacation,
here in my last reincarnation.

I’m a holy man, that’s what I am.
Don’t  need  no  mama  to  hold my  hand,
just need a mantra to be what I am,
cos’ I’m a holy man, the only man, oh yeh!

Liberation is here in my corporation
sign off your isolation with a donation.
Give me your adulation and veneration,
I’ll guarantee there’ll be no more damnation
here in this holy reservation.

I’m a holy man, that’s what I am.
Don’t need no mama to hold my hand,
just need a mantra to be what I am,
cos’ I’m a holy man, the only man, oh yeh!

If you freak out in this wasteland
you can sneak out to this dreamland.
You can howl out what’s been unchained.
You can throw out what’s been retained.
You can swallow what’s been profaned.

Yeh, I’m a holy man, that’s what I am.
Don’t need no mama to hold my hand,
just need a mantra to be what I am,
cos’ I’m a holy man, a holy, holy man,
the only man, a lonely, lonely man, oh yeh!

phil_at-the-gurus-feet


Fortune of Unloaded Hips

August 23, 2009

 

This is a set of song lyrics I wrote ages ago. I looked and looked for the cassette recordings of all these songs I recorded with a bunch of mates, all those years ago and I can’t find one! It’s sad because I like to hear what I sounded like singing these and other songs, along with the music my friends made. They may not be the greatest songs written, but they are mine. Oh well, at least I still have the words and as you know I’ve been posting the lyrics from time to time. Below is a scanned script of my written lyrics.

Fortune of Unloaded Hips


Searching for Ithaka – C. P. Cavafy

May 5, 2009

The following quote from the Greek poet C. P. Cavafy resonates deeply with me.

I was 48 when I returned to my place of birth, Ithika, Greece. It was strange sensation being a “tourist” in Athens. After I visited my relations and saw my birthplace ( a little stone cottage with a dirt floor, that was uninhabitable and about to be demolished ) I felt more and more as a fellow Ellinas (Greek).

There are photos of my journey through Greece on this blog. I may upload more later. Anyway, Cavafy’s beautiful prose poem gives another dimension to my late return to my mother land. Australia is my home now, this is where my wife and children reside, though my heart at times feels Ithaka is where I belong.

Of course, Ithaka, can also be metaphorical and the quote below is a universal statement about seeing that the journey itself is what the search is about and not the finding. Ithaka? Heaven? Shangri La?

cpcavafy

Searching for Ithaka

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.  Arriving there is what you’re destined for. But don’t hurry the journey at all.  Better if it lasts for years, so you’re old by the time you reach the island, wealthy with all you’ve gained on the way, not expecting Ithaka to make you rich. Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey. Without her you wouldn’t have set out. She has nothing left to give you now. And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you. Wise as you will have become, so full of experience, you’ll have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.

cavafy ithika

C. P. Cavafy


I am sanctified . . . . . . . . .

February 20, 2009

 

My heart is being stretched. I am sanctified after being petrified. I’ve lost everyone’s tomorrows and have found my own. The sky above is my sky. Never before have I owned the earth, never before has the sun burnt  through my shadow to enlighten the crevices of my brain. I await no one and no one awaits me. I dip my finger into the Aegean Sea and taste its salt. This same salt is in my blood, and yours, yet my life had lost its savour, until now. Hidden eyes in my skull open like blossoming flowers to see my nakedness.

Kiss my eyes, kiss my mouth, kiss my hands, kiss my feet, kiss my heart, for I am now sanctified. I’ve leapt into the abyss and it’s nothing, like tomorrow is nothing, like yesterday is nothing. The abyss is none other than this moment, the Today of my life. I’ve let go my fears, my hopes, my wishes, I only breathe and feel the pulse of here and now. This here and now is not limited by a circumference of a clock and hands that tick and cut like a knife each moment. No, this now is the Present of my whole life. In this Now, I am being conceived, I am being buried in my grave, I love, I hate, I cry, I laugh, every moment of existence is here and now.

I no longer need to believe, I’ve crossed the threshold of belief.

To what?

The great Unknown.

stavros


Time Travelling with My Ears

February 9, 2009

 

Rimbaud: “I dreamed of crusades, senseless voyages of discovery, republics without a history, moral revolution, displacement of races and continents: I believed in all the magics.”

 

A few months ago I was stuck like a shipwreck on my bed in my living room. I was stuck there, 24/7 for two months. I was there because of an accidental fall at work. I broke my leg and tore a cartilage in my hand. This means that I wasn’t able to use crutches to get around and when I visited the doctor and the physiotherapist I used a wheel chair. So, my “senseless voyages of discovery” had become mundane wheelies on a chair. I was not down and in fact time seemed to buzz by quicker than ever. Yes, alone on a bed, stuck in one place for two months and all seemed well. Of course, being shipwrecked with a beautiful, caring wife helps a lot. I couldn’t ask for more in a woman who shares my life. Jane is totally giving, loving, warm and has a natural joyousness which lightens my life – even while I was stuck there.

 

So much for my body. Yep, it was immobile but my mind wasn’t. I began doing some amazing time travelling while I was in this space. Time travelling? Let me explain. I was surfing the net and buying music from eBay. I found a seller who offloads very cheaply, CD’s without covers and art work. More often than not they are CD’s of LP’s I already own but because vinyl is so 20th Century and I couldn’t be bothered trying to find a new needle so that I can play them on my turntable, getting “Exile on Main Street ” by the Rolling Stones on CD for 50 cents is fantastic. I bought some music I

haven’t heard for decades which I could listen to.

 

Each time I listened to these songs, reminiscences flowed unchecked – memories, dreams, faces, body entanglements, old acid trips and dope hazed twilights, smiles and tears, hellos and goodbyes…all streamed by as the music played. Each favourite song became a lane, a street, sometimes a highway to the past. I listened and watched the thoughts that arose and watching the thoughts, sometimes I felt. Felt what? It didn’t really matter, a feeling arose, then a smile bent its way across my face or a tear traced its way down my cheek. Old friends appeared and then I wondered, “Where are they now? Are they still alive? Are they happy?” Old lovers appeared and I remembered our embraces and promises we made to each other. My heart broke and then healed with another song. I loved all. I love all.

 

Time travelling with my ears.

 

Below are lyrics of a song I wrote about remembering a long lost lover:

  

Do You Remember?

 

Do you remember the time,
our paths first crossed the line?
Composing phone numbers
on the palms of our hands.
Do you remember the hour,
when we first made the vow?
During reason’s truancy, without sorcery.
The gypsy keeper’s hand of fate
undid the knot of empty space.

 

 A circle and a sphere can’t trace
the shape of a falling tear.
The comfort and the fear can’t chase
the cape of another year.
Do you remember?

 

Do you remember the moment
rumour’s arrow pierced your intent?
Through the line between your eyes
a flame kindles your alibis.
It burns through precious flesh and bone,
the memories you wish to disown, by and by.
We sacked the empires of illusion
to save the key to eternal union.

 

 A circle and a sphere can’t trace
the shape of a falling tear.
The comfort and the fear can’t chase
the cape of another year.

 

Do you remember . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . me?

 

stavros


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