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Initiation - by Adrian G R Scott

The hug you gave me in that first moment
of diagnosis was vice like, sob racked.

Type one diabetes, at sixteen
a hammer blow and a terrible fear
realised in the time it takes
to go and out of the surgery door.

Now you prick your fingers every day,
that sharp droplet touched to the blue strip,
a trill pronouncing the amount
of sugar sweetening your blood.

Then the second wound, insulin in,
to the flesh of your stomach,
a place I once made raspberries
with my lips to make you laugh.

Initiation the ancient art
of wounding the boy,
teaching him that his bleeding could
become a place of wisdom,
that he needed to learn to weep out loud,
to wield his new found strength
in the service of something larger,
that he was part of a greater story.

What kind of a Dad do you need now?

One who has done his own bleeding,
who is not frightened by his own shadow,
who can call time on his own ego.

A man ready to start the next chapter called your story,
an on-going narrative that he will leave before it ends.

But Son, in the time we have left
can we embrace again like on that day?

Connected as men, sharing our pain
at sea on a strange ocean,
initiated by all this unasked for suffering.

Distinct - your journey not mine,
yet for a time in the same boat.

Carried by the true tide of courage to a shore
I want to reach first and wait for you to join me.

From Arriving In Magic, by Adrian G R Scott.


Breathing Under Water - by Carol Bieleck

I built my house by the sea.
Not on the sands, mind you;
not on the shifting sand.
And I built it of rock.
A strong house
by a strong sea.
And we got well acquainted, the sea and I.
Good neighbours.
Not that we spoke much.
We met in silences.
Respectful, keeping our distance, 
but looking our thoughts across the fence of sand.
Always the fence of sand our barrier,
always, the sand between.

And then one day,
- and still I don't know how it happened -
the sea came.
Without warning.

Without welcome, even.
Not sudden and swift, but a shifting across the sand like wine,
less like the flow of water than the flow of blood.
Slow, but coming. 
Slow, but fowing like an open wound.
And I thought of flight and I thought of drowning and I thought of death.
A while I thought the sea crept higher, till it reached my door.
And I knew then, there was nether flight, nor death, nor drowning.
That when the sea comes calling you stop being neighbours
and you give your house for a coral castle,
and you learn to breathe underwater. 


See also this beautiful short video based on this poem.


10-minute poems

Take a pen,
set your minute timer to ten
and catch your words like fleeing dreams,
new butterflies in this child's gentle net 
meeting for the first time friend to friend,
already beautifully grown
but not quite finished yet,
still awkward,
still a little wet,
summoned to your party unprepared;
even you don't know what you intend.
And when the clock runs down
play darts or walk the dog.
Come back tomorrow to redact.
Let today's words dry in warming sun,
the introductions over,
the hardest part now done. 


Sky jazz


Tired of speaking sweetly - Hafiz, 14th century Sufi poet

Love wants to reach out and manhandle us,
break all our teacup talk of God.

If you had the courage and 
could give the Beloved His choice, some nights, 
He would just drag you around the room 
by your hair, 
ripping from your grip all those toys in the world 
that bring you no joy.

Love sometimes gets tired of speaking sweetly 
and wants to rip to shreds 
all your erroneous notions of truth

that make you fight within yourself, dear one, 
and with others,
causing the world to weep
on too many fine days.

God wants to manhandle us, 
lock us inside of a tiny room with Himself 
and practice His dropkick.

The Beloved sometimes wants 
to do us a great favor:

hold us upside down 
and shake all the nonsense out.

But when we hear 
He is in such a “playful drunken mood” 
almost everyone I know 
quickly packs their bags and hightails it 
out of town.


(The Gift – versions of Hafiz by Daniel Ladinsky)