Good Luck Charm

Don’t want a silver dollar
Rabbit’s foot on a string
The happiness in your warm caress
No rabbit’s foot can bring (Elvis)
it’s a both way happiness,
charmer, Elvis, croons of,
that offers the lucky touch
beyond traditional charms.

four leaf clover, horse shoe, key ring.
in Africa the mojo bag of magic.
in China cat with raised paw.
In India a one-tusk Ganesh.

elsewhere the tortoise shell,
a round of Buddha rubbed tums.
or those tokens soldiers
carry hidden into battle.

as I age I’d like to turn
into a good luck charm.
rub me anywhere
cheek, pate, elbow, there…

and the your wish genie
will arise in my eyes.
I’ll morph instant into your
special childhood charm

or into a chameleon
which some luck seekers fear.
lifted off an autumnal leaf,
I’ll perch on your finger.

smuggle me up your sleeve,
snuggle me between your breasts
close to your four leaf chamber,
that other ticking lucky charm.

Boy Buddha on a Swing

bronzed, he rests
on a wooden swing
hung on chains
from an alcove beam
on a stoep. above his head
a string of prayer flags
fly, whisper, flap.

the boy sits lotus,
eyes wide shut,
quiet as the cactus
robed in saffron leaf.
embedded in earth
it rests in the ceramic pot
set as offering before him.

though his palms rise
to shape an arrow Namaste*
he appears to hold
the succulent as
an ever offering
to the fern that climbs
the garden wall.

he, plant and a candle stub
in balance, to and fro,
shift in the morning breeze
that rocks the swing,
not coming, not going.
from zenith to set his cheeks
catch light and shadow.

this one is twin eternal
to the boy inside who
races along the blood lanes
that track his Olympic limbs.
beyond all ageing of space time
one sits, one shifts. we both
breathe, swing, alive in soul sunshine.

*I meet the divine in you

Inspiration for a Poem

Inspiration for a Poem

Flower Faith

the violets in the mountains
have broken the rocks (Tennessee Williams)

what is this infusion of scent-sight
that hues the garden,
flows in the meadow wind
and stocks our seasons?

infused with myth and symbol
the Japanese art Hanakotoba
adorns flowers with meanings
that perfume all poetry.

for Basho, still as a haiku,
the temple bell stops
yet he hears the sound
peal out of the flowers.

in Solomon’s love song
the rose of Sharon,
and the lily of the valley
bloom among the thorns.

Witman’s morning glory
speaks beyond metaphysic.
Wordworth’s daffodil faith tells how
each bud enjoys the air it breathes.

priest poets and singers
proclaim the wild rose
in its myriad variety
as keen as love and death.

poppies for Flanders crosses,
daisies for a marriage yes
and sweet pea sixties songs. arum deaths.
what of Iris , Greek for a rainbow?

my mother loved winter freesias,
daughter sunflowers tracking sun.
sons at Easter worship
at a white rose rich altar.

the one who walks among flowers
taking no thought for raiment
considers the lilies of the field
how they toil not, neither spin.:

is God’s favourite flower
everyone who sheds petals
and rises on a green stem
to become an (in) carnation?

The Flight of the Travel Bag

just home. the new domestic
comes to sweep, wash and scrub.
I search for my upended travel bag,
contents shed on the spare bed.

hauled through seven terminals
dropping out of several skies.
hold and handling dirt, carousel grime
streak the purple cloth of the case.

walking into the garden
above the washing line
unzipped, split in half, I find it
high in a tree put out to dry.

is this bright bird, wings spread
in the upper branches, about to rise
on thermals and sans its owner’s clothes
ascend, migrate and solo fly?

Pure Poetry

Pure Poetry

Immortal Diamond for Maureen

this… immortal diamond
is immortal diamond (Hopkins)

If…when you die
If before me
I’ll fall into a chasm
as vast as Big Hole Kimberley
where as a boy on bike
I pedalled the miles
round its perimeter.

if you rolled a rock
massive as a giant’s chest
down the slope
towards the edge,
heaved it over the precipice
tumbling tumbling,
by the time it hit the water
it had morphed into a marble.

I’ll dredge the depths
shuffle the rubble
mine the grief
till I find the stone.

a Theseus in the minotaur
of maze mine tunnels,
your Ariadne thread
will lead me to the light.

I’ll cut and polish the gem
till in each facet,
sparkling, flashing
in sunlight
I see your face.

I’ll cut and polish the gem
till in each facet,
sparkling, flashing
in sunlight
I see your face.

Wheelchair Walk

to watch a monk’s walking meditation
is like watching a lunar eclipse (Barbara Brown Taylor)

at Plum village a monk walks
in slow motion, bare foot,
the way only humans walk.
heel first touches the earth.

then the arch curves down
as in the lowering of a bridge.
the ball follows in a slow step
dance, with foot two, in tow.

five toes arrive, one by one
to land on the grass,
a royal flush laid on a green cloth,
ace big toe the last to fall.

a woman in a wheelchair attends
to the monk’s amble as she
inhales each subtle shift
In angle, posture, skin stretch.

and the monk’s step instep
enters her lame limbs, and
passes through ankles, pores
down to her quiet feet

in his arrest and mid stride gait
entrained in a moon glide,
her breath begins to walk
among the stillness of the stars.

like the child who walked once
upon her father’s feet, moonlighting,
she no longer knows whose footfall
caresses air or touches ground.

Dorian Haarhoff
August 2O16

Through the Gateway

God is an infinite circle whose centre is everywhere
and whose circumference is nowhere (Nicholas de Cusa 1401-1464)

step out of the maze of streets
where thoughts scream
in a high speed chase
and sirens lure you into alleys
through the arched gate
into the treed garden.

wait awhile till the dead-end
thoughts fade and the skyscrapers
hedging out the sky recede
the stop go robots fuse
as the tick-tock clock stops
leave the temporal for temple time.

your slo-mo feet find the labyrinth.
wend and wind you way
follow the path with the god
the goddess, within without
whose centre is everywhere
and whose circumference nowhere.

shift from linear to circular
spiral out spiral in spiral inbetween
hear the bell breath and the heart gong
where the curve of the world
opens into a giant whorl
that rings the planet to beyond.

July 2017