Summer Solstice 2020

They placed a test within the breast

Of humans, who go round and round

To gaze on fullness, once, and then

Descend, with scent and sigh

From gold on face to black

And back…

So little held, this joy of June’s

Delight and softest night with dawn

A moment’s slumber distant

Long grass between the fingers

Petals’ kiss, a fleeting bliss

A setting sun.

Son of the Sun whose outward star

Then cycles down, withhold the frown

And hide, with pride, regret.

For you alone can see the whole

And shepherd in and out without

Fragility, your true nobility.

©Stephen Tanham 12June2020

The Mouth in Red

There are colours so deep, so pure

They drop beneath the colour word

Into a hue of inner meaning

—-

There are some reds

That are not red, but blood

Not spilled, not end of life

But beginnings

—-

When the red that is not blood

Speaks through the blood that is not red

And spills our life upon the opened palms

Then it is wise to listen

—-

With a listening that is so deep

That red, alone, dares speak

Its name.

©Stephen Tanham

End of the Line

Take me out in darkness

Where the only light is black

Like a railway platform leading

To the forms that end the track

⦿

Let endless trains of thinking

Pass, ghostly, through the night

And cease their whistling thunder

In a silence turning bright

⦿

Let what I am-not die there

On the empty, singing rails

As sleepers are run over

As tickets blown in gales

⦿

Within St Stephen’s radiance

Let me feel the tingling dawn

And pay my all to face it

At the station of St John

⦿

©Stephen Tanham 2020

Stephen Tanham is a Director of the Silent Eye School of Consciousness, a not-for-profit teaching school of modern mysticism that helps people find a personal path to a deeper place within their internal and external lives.

The Silent Eye provides home-based, practical courses which are low-cost and personally supervised. The course materials and corresponding supervision are provided month by month without further commitment.

Steve’s personal blog, Sun in Gemini, is at stevetanham.wordpress.com.

Heartfire 4 am

I sometimes wonder if the fire is kin to what I am within

Is skin to what I am within – when darkness lures

A hiss of icy night and eyes too tired to find delight

The swishing of the white tail, paws on icy grass

⦿

The tiny crunch – dark whisper, pulls me there

The velvet black surrounds – foolish!

My skin protests the frozen kiss

With breathing centred in the crackling heartfire’s hiss

⦿

I cling, my life this warmth… I, Eye – against

The icy tip of calling blade that taunts from glittering sky

Its hand so far away, yet present like a god; not yet!

His thin-lipped smile, my heart a stream of icy, chanted breath

⦿

The distant eyes so bright in deepest black

Perhaps… not yet? they feint with deeper cold

I parry – breathing in, retreating – and blood-red heat renews me

The icy point withdraws to star. She-dog finds the closing door

⦿

Frozen out-there glitters on…

Behind us, warm and crackling, the embers of the last log linger

Within reflecting glass we salute implacable fire

And, turning, copy both their smiles.

I sometimes wonder if the fire is kin to what I am within

©Stephen Tanham 2020

Stephen Tanham is a Director of the Silent Eye School of Consciousness, a not-for-profit teaching school of modern mysticism that helps people find a personal path to a deeper place within their internal and external lives.

The Silent Eye provides home-based, practical courses which are low-cost and personally supervised. The course materials and corresponding supervision are provided month by month without further commitment.

Steve’s personal blog, Sun in Gemini, is at stevetanham.wordpress.com.

The Opening

I know the words

The long-learned words

With which this view is framed

These slats of wood I crafted round

The Opening…

Yet there it lies, unshut before me

The rawness of the world

Behind my words I kneel, now

Afraid to stop their flow’s intent

In widening my wood

One day the words will be unspeakable

The splinters brushed aside

By the eye beyond the Opening

And we – the world and it’s child

Will speak in unbroken silence

©Stephen Tanham 2020

Stephen Tanham is a Director of the Silent Eye School of Consciousness, a not-for-profit teaching school of modern mysticism that helps people find a personal path to a deeper place within their internal and external lives.

The Silent Eye provides home-based, practical courses which are low-cost and personally supervised. The course materials and corresponding supervision are provided month by month without further commitment.

Steve’s personal blog, Sun in Gemini, is at stevetanham.wordpress.com.

Big Bubbles

Once there was an ocean

A bright blue ocean

That shone shimmering gold

As its waves crested and fell

And the bubbles danced with joy

Then a bubble grew bigger

And gathered other big bubbles

We’re not bubbles they cried

We’re a cluster of bubbles

And they rose to the top of the waves

And flew off into the bright sky

Higher thy flew

Towards the burning sun

Which turned them to steam

Which cooled

And they fell and fell

Landing on the single bubbles

Who were dancing below

Together

It’s good to be a part

Of something

It’s better still

To belong

To something

Real

©Stephen Tanham

Somber not Sad

A second on an icy breeze

A chill that fears no coat

A fading colour unafraid

Of its own transition floats

From the order of formed green

To the falling of bronze

The collecting whisper

Is the voice of the colder wind

North of the east and south of the west

Nothing turns bad

Culling life-magic, living no death

Is somber not sad

©Stephen Tanham

Half day, half night, half nothing

Along the edge of darkness lives delight

A silver, shining, running stream

A place of soul’s respite

Where questions rise unbidden

And answers tease and tide from hidden

A flow so all-embracing that the third:

Not day, not night, is briefly seen.

©Stephen Tanham

The Blissed Hand

Like a flower the truth is swiftly hurt

Perfection is the gentlest thing

Touched only by inside seeing

Fingers’ secret is caress

Engaging deeper self

A sacrifice to one alone

Blissed hand holds essence of rose

Its fading leaving room for another

Its silence an invitation to a third

©Stephen Tanham

Harlequin Solstice

Harlequin solstice

St John Kin

A picture in the fading sun

A race of fingers, digits

Of solstice long earned

Short departed

How little

How sadly

You are understood

Your music the struggle

Of madness

Made harmony

Until this moment

When kings detach your strings

When single song

Descends

Towards the dark arms

But brighter eyes

Of St Stephen

©Stephen Tanham