A certain kind of ghost

For Nittavanh

"Most Honoured One, I have a question to ask you. If sons and daughters of good families want to develop the highest, most fulfilled and awakened mind, if they wish to attain the Highest Perfect Wisdom, what should they do to help quiet their drifting minds and help subdue their craving thoughts?" (Diamond Sutra)

And as you walk
down the street –
the certainty of cold wind
slapping your face –
you’ll remember you wanted

to cure the incurable,
save the unsavoury and
split emptiness
with raw contempt.

And with a mastery you
didn’t think possible:
the certainty you will die,
on a Tuesday.

As if living, you’d made
love possible,

in all kinds of tongues.

Published in Eunoia Review

One day I also will pass – in memory of those murdered in Paris on November 13th 2015

“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism 
or in the darkness of destructive selfishness”
– Martin Luther King Jr
One day I also will pass.

It may be in mid-November, when
the days grow short.

Or after a last drink,
an apéro en terrasse
with friends.

I may be ill. I may be old.
I may be young. I may be alone.

It could happen in Paris.
Or maybe New York.
Perhaps in Rome?

When my candle goes out,
when the smoke dissolves into
thin air, let it be.

But let it be said: I lived.
And I loved.
That's all:

nothing more.


O Antonis 2015

Two hands clap and there is a sound. What is the sound of one hand?

Hakuin Ekaku

What sound does one clapping hand make?
The craft of getting it wrong.
What do I know?
I was never one for riddles, anyway.

The hollowness of the absence yelling back at it?
A sense of hubris at the void – a debt from man
to the stars.

Remember me. I am the salt of the Aegean.
Her organs failed you, not me.
My memory lingers –
who are we?

A body once entwined says thank you
Or good night.
Or good luck.


Talking to angels

I suppose we all talk to angels,
in a certain sense.

The hand, hesitant. Reaching for
the soul searching: off in a puff;
the pain, diminished

the echo of it bouncing down
broken corridors of long-forgotten

Chasing dragons. Turning away,
if you can,

from battles never done?