Poem: Ten Thousand Million Atoms Deep

Matariki, or Pleiades constellation.

I’ve often gone through periods in my life of rising in the early morning or taking respite in the late afternoon to write with pen to page. Often these minutes are a way of emptying the endless-seeming thoughts in my head on to  a page, captured where I have no fear of losing them. Recently my head is so full, I fear if I was to pick up the pen I would not be able to stop for days.

People sometimes ask me, the difference between the thoughts I publish in pixels here and the thoughts that remain private, locked in paper. How strange it is that pixels can now never let me down, but my most secret self lives in frail paper and ink. It could succumb to fire, water and age. Attacked by rats or if I was to fall into a moment of rage or despair I might tear them up. I’m writing those journals of my deepest self in the hopes by the time my mind is old; some lover, child or friend will find my true self remembered there.

Writing on paper leads me to silence; silence of the clammering head. Like listening to music without lyrics or tapping out a rhythm without melody; it makes a liminal but precious space. In that space I cannot speak, cannot write but all of myself reaches out into the Universe longing to be heard. I highly recommend you open this link to the beautiful music of my friend Derek Mount. I invite you to play it while you read the rest of this post. Yup, do it now. That’s it, there you go. This piece is called ‘You Have No Idea’ from his project Brique a Braq. Just give it a second. Breathe it in.

I imagine in these moments every one I ever loved somehow feels me in their spirit, without touching. That everyone I ever embraced feels me in their blood for a moment and all that is good or bad or wise or true in me hangs like moonlight on stars and in the dust of the Universe, on the breath of the Earth. Somehow in that moment, listening for each other in the great Silence and making a beautiful fingerprint in the world, both compass and constellation to navigate by.

Ten Thousand Million Atoms Deep

Shh and

listen to me now

really listen, beyond clammering head

eyes closed and all your atoms

stretched towards me

feel the electric hum of

my atoms reaching for yours

listen with your whole body

for what touches without touching

names without naming

that remarkable thing within you.

Forgive me the frailty of language,

my incompetent hand, hip and tongue stutter –

were I trying to convey words

on a page my fingers would fly

instead my lips frozen without breath

but listen to me now, straining towards you –

remarkable you.

I concluded there is nothing to say –

but my longing is you to hear me, wholly myself

in the dust of the Universe

giddy amongst inverting stars and moon we share

in the air and blood of me

ten thousand million atoms deep

wherever you are, say without speaking

shh and listen to me now.

 

 

What do you think?