David Whyte, Haunted

“Haunted is a word that denotes an unresolved parallel, a presence that is not quite a presence; a visitation by the as yet unspeakable – it is also emblematic of the longing for incarnation, of an unbearable substrate of wanting, of not finding a home in this world or in the next, someone or something that walks the halls of our house or our mind looking for what will help to lay its own self to rest.

What haunts us is something that seeks its own disappearance, it wants to become fully itself and so depart. If we feel continually haunted over time we begin to become ghost-like ourselves and roam with intent whilst not quite knowing the object of our intention. Looking in the mirror, our face begins to look like our not quite incarnated life. We walk not exactly existing in the world we visit. Like the spirits and half-beings we imitate at Halloween, we roam the streets as if looking for an abode on this earth we are unable to locate, demanding tribute from those who dwell within. The exorcism of an unwanted spirit is consistent the world over: an invitation to return home; for it and for us to find our way back, to cease our restless ways and to quit disturbing others lives or walking their houses by night.

We cease to be haunted when we cease to be afraid of making what has been untouchable, real: especially our understandings of the past; and especially those we wronged, those we were wronged by, or those we did not help. We become real by forgiving ourselves and we forgive ourselves by changing the foundational pattern, and especially by changing our present behavior to those we have hurt. A fear of ghosts, or a fear of our own haunted mind is the measure of our absence in this world. We cease to be afraid when we give away what was never ours in the first place and begin to be present to our own lives just as we find them, even in facing what we have banished from our thoughts and made homeless, even when we do not know the way forward ourselves. When we make a friend of what we previously could not face, what once haunted us now becomes an invisible, parallel ally, a beckoning hand to our future.

We banish the misaligned when we align with what we are called to, we become visible and real when we give our gift and stop waiting for the gift to be given to us. We wake into our lives again, as if for the first time, laying to rest what previously had no home through beginning to speak, beginning to make real and beginning to live, those elements constellating inside us that long to move from the invisible to the visible.”

— David Whyte, ‘HAUNTED’ From CONSOLATIONS: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words

Creator of Light

To your riverbank
the sun, moon, and stars
flock to drink
and be born in light.
The nebula,
the primal dust
drank from your skin
and thus the first worlds were born,
and with them the first stars,
the possibility of life.
Color touches you
and whirls,
a Sufi gone mad,
a Sufi in love.
Color emanates
from the thickness of matter
and that emanation is you,
the inner radiance of the world
that keeps it throbbing
like a poem singing love.
Where a flame burns
its roots are struck in you,
rising from the wells
in the deeps of your heart,
burning in the grace
of your sacred oil.
You are the world’s
inexhaustible radiance,
the secret that confounds dawn,
that most solemn witness of light.
In you the world
is an infinite mandala
of light jumping into light,
light rubbing against light
as the principle that generates
the radiance of existence,
the purity of love.

Free Verse # 331 (opening the gates of fire)

Come to me on my deathbed,
ask me if you’re too late,
I’ll look at you and smile,
kiss you with my last breath.

~

Photographer unkown
Photographer unknown

From the nooks of her neck
my poem draws its breath,
a bird inhaling
the expanse of the sky.

~

Forest deep,
with pine needles
inking the moonlight
into her skin,
rivers gushing womb deep,
poems like moans rolling
white unto my lips.

~

I love her with the violence
of stars being born,
with the softness of moonlight
sipped in the cup of dawn.

~

Photographer unknown
Photographer unknown

Opening
the gates of fire,
against your breasts
the soft press
of poetry,
two flowering moons
shaking full of mead.

Everything is waiting

Everything
awaits your arrival,
the flowers trembling
perfume themselves
each dawn,
the green leaves burn
as though a hidden fire
was lit in their veins,
the wind intoxicated
combs the land
like a lover’s fingers
run his beloved’s hair
in starry rivers,
the birds
have forgotten their songs
and are practicing your name,
casting it into the doorways
of heaven and earth,
even dawn itself
in his deep silence
utters your breath like a prayer
awakening all to its fevered motions,
and the sun and moon and stars
whose bond was born
with time itself
now bow before
the oncoming echo
of your footstep.
Everything, everything is waiting,
and the poems feeling your scent
are doing the unthinkable,
revealing themselves
down to their sacred core,
saying what cannot be said,
and life and death
since eternity dancing
now halt and gaze
at the light
that is about to shed
the peel and skin
off existence itself.
Everything, everything is waiting.

Free Verse # 330 (her skin is the book of genesis)

Photographer unknown
Photographer unknown

We danced like this
alone
in the darkness
where no one sees
even when we were
in a crowded room
full of prying eyes

~

Photographer unknown
Photographer unknown

The exquisite pain of fire
curling along her fragile neck,
the unbearable gentleness
that brings each poem to tears.

~

I gaze at her like a bird
stares at the sky,
under his wings
her fiery love calling him
to fly and never return.

~

Even light is shy
when touching her face,
even water
and all the natural elements.
At her feet all resides,
and her skin is the book of genesis.

~

Pen obsession…
inking her skin,
trails like rivers
coursing,
rising and falling,
indelible marks
of tears and years
soaking wounds and scars
and tumbling deep down
to where it all begins.

~

His touch…
tattooed
with invisible ink
into every fiber
of her skin

~

Like pilgrim birds
her breaths
amid my ribs travel
venturing far back
into the virginal land
that bears her name,
the source of my flame.

~

Like a moth
caught in a flame
all my life
in fiery rivers
is running to you

~

All my poems
inked passion bottled
and drifting through the sea.
When you wake at dawn
to a skin laced with dew
know, it’s me.

~

Afternoon coffee…
I sip it with you
dreaming of your eyes,
the rain outside joining
your breath and mine.

~

As a moth
drawn to a flame
I concentrate
all the fire of my being
into one act of consciousness—
merging with you,
opening, unto eternity.

~

I only have a heart to write her name.

~

Let us lie together like clouds,
our lightening
grazing the earth,
our rain nurturing her,
dissolving in one another
as we become the sky

I speak the voice of love

By the sea at night,
my whole life
washed up by the waves
under my feet…
What am I?
Where has everyone gone to?
What is left and why?
And the waves roll,
blind, awesome, voracious,
the billowing breaths of infinity
casting us as dust in the wind
for no reason at all.
Here, at the most distant edge,
stripped bare of everyone and everything,
here, unspeakably solitary,
I speak the voice of love.

Look at him!

The noble person loves in such a way that nothing encroaches upon his love, that his love becomes the very content of life itself, down the blood and marrow, outsurging from the very source from which his life flows. Nothing anymore is outside of it, and everything — everything, past, present, future, memories, scars, losses, every great and small thing, every moment and heartbeat and breath of life — everything is inside of it. It becomes the very shroud enwombing life in its entirety, the very waters bursting through the seams of existence and sustaining it. Like a moth driven to a flame the whole fires of his being he concentrates into this single act of merging with his beloved, this single act that opens him unto eternity and roots him there, a reed flowing with its waters. He grows, yet his love remains, youthful as at the moment of its inception, growing younger even with each day. Look at him; you can see it in his face. The fire has consumed him, and his face is a fountainhead of light. Look at him!

Free Verse # 329 (plucked from your ribs)

Ending the workday…
reading poetry as I sip
the light of her face

~

On vaporous wisps
of tea and coffee
between us
an ocean grows

~

In each breath
feel me opening you,
spreading your heartbeats
as a flower’s petals,
your mystic core radiating
a sky of impossible colours.

~

Grazing her skin…
each kiss with religious fervor
splashing a puddle of fire
and expanding inside,
trickling to her womb,
between her thighs

~

Coaxing her pearl
to moisten my poem,
each flick of a tongue
with burning insistence
invoking her musk
to spill in rivers.

~

Her hair is a river
longer than the night

~

Cendres et miel…
au bout de ses lèvres
le feu des poèmes

~

Photographer unknown
Photographer unknown

Her skin
in the night wind
a script of ache
kissing each breeze
into a ribbon
meandering the sky
searching for home

~

Uneternal Sleep by Geo Arcus
Uneternal Sleep by Geo Arcus

At dawn a feather
plucked from your ribs
from the dewed ether
glides into my soul
and I sigh knowing
that you exist

~

She likes to disappear
and not even the wind knows
where her footsteps fall

Free Verse # 328 (a thousand lifetimes converged in one)

Between your fingers
let me be the pen
scribing the silence of your heart
in words we alone
could read and sigh

~

Through my ribs
nocturnal winds blow
and your name like incense
rises to the stars

~

Passion was a simple flower he placed in her hair.

~

My heart is on your altar,
do not show me mercy.
The hammer in your hand, use it!
Crush me into a million stars
to impregnate the sky!

~

My poem in her womb:
birdsongs in a forest,
small flowers in the rocks,
and the heat of a simple fire
bespeaking home.

~

One image at a time
distill my silence
into the chalice of your lips,
drink my wine.

~

Afternoon tea…
rose petals steeped
in the red chalice
of your lush lips

~

You touch my heart
and I am a titan
rising from the deeps
of emerald seas,
you brush my lips
and I am a rose
wet with the dew
of eternity.

~

Night in a flower
this poem in her hair
a womb of stars

~

He gazed at her
the way a burning candle
gazes at the night,
with a heart of infinite softness,
melting, filled with love…

~

You breathe
as inside my ribs I feel
the tremors of your breath

~

Your lips on mine…
this breath exchanged
is the breath of life

~

All my longings…
the curvature of silence
along her aching lips

~

Long before we met
our breaths found each other’s skin,
enwombed each other’s bodies;
in each other we loved and lost,
secretly grew, oned…

~

Whatever is in her blood
Streams through my veins;
Whatever flames her breath
Pulses in my heart.

~

He looked at her
with eyes made of longing
and her fingers trembled
like the light of a star
that traveled eternity
to find home in this touch

~

Embrace me into you,
between your thighs,
over your breasts,
a poem exuding
her starlight into you,
drowning you in a sea
of immemorial love

~

Morning,
the tide ebbs
and we recede,
our untangled bodies
two curving shores
littered with stars and seashells,
the promise growing in our souls.

~

In this breath dissolved,
fashioned again
from the soil of love;
you write,
a poem in my heart
is penned;
I cry,
your cheeks
burn alive.

~

One breath at a time
lacing her naked body,
dressing her in a poem
made of light,
a vibrating sea of love
wearing her skin tight.

~

His love
a sea in endless waves
lapping over her,
in the heart of night
unfurling her,
starlight poem,
womb of fire.

~

All the silences I wrote you
the glowing moon
in your ears whispers

~

Red orchid between her thighs,
a well of secrets leading
beyond space and time,
a sacrosanct whisper,
the heart of poetry.

~

My heart’s blood
I wrote into the moon,
as it sinks into the sea
it rises in you,
sacrosanct love,
its prayer book.

~

This touch
in your womb will grow,
a rose wider
than the widest sky,
its perfume
all the fires of the world,
its colour
the sum of its blood.

~

This thirst is your water
and I’ll leave you parched,
that is,
soaking deeper and deeper
in my passion fire
until you break open,
bloom, a sky.

~

One kiss from your lips
and I am born again,
a thousand lifetimes
converged in one.

~

In the darkness
the shape of her soul
inside my ribs

~

Our breaths
write the skin of night
a love letter unfurling
between our souls