Tanya: a fragment (four chapters)
You dare talk to me of Christian thoughts, of
Veils looming the dark sunk hail of night wings -
When I wake in seething tombs of darkness
Hurt by rosary beads of moonlight -
Cut by uhtceara, a face swimming
Ripening without the thoughts of decay ~
The world necessarily boughs its tears
Of Twining leaves and willowy dreams, hushed
By the speaking of my awaking eyes
Coloured with the fear of imbibed nightsongs
And a beast barking into the chest of night.
And spiralling into
the spine breaking, softly,
Into plasmas of lost bones, hunting for
New locks to love. I wonder what it is
To hurt the soul that hugs me, right around ribs
Of descent. I wander into the wasteland of dead thoughts
Raised like ghosts on pedestal signs, symbols
Rafting through the twilight of kami dreams, wailing
Through glass stars and heavy eyed nights,
To reach me. Shattered in my own skin of sleep,
Arising to wash myself in Lethe beads:
Plucked like rosaries out of the midnight mouth
Placed in the juzu, stitching, crystal dreams.
To rise you must leave something behind -
Because I know you are there, somewhere
Between the stars the and the ceiling, crooked
And silent amongst your webs of stardust
Memories, spilt over into the sink
of lost dreams, calling for their tanya to
Rinse them up from bubbled bleeding tars of
Letters and scriptured toenails, spiralling like dust
Into the psuche of the Faravahar,
Stop. Stop this grivelling grouching descent
Into things you could not know for all you wish
To think yourself into desires of ragg'd
Homophony, raised silent and stilled rage
At serenity's peaceful light, swivelling
Into cultured dreams. There is a ripeness
Here. And Inari avatars, sunk in
Borderline bins, stifling the wet mist air,
As his soul rises into the puke of sprouting day
Sheathing new darkness in arising shadows,
Whilst past lives grope at unseeing corners.
Read her, if you dare know what secrets lie
In the crux of night's wings and wining sleeps.
The words twining like forest leaves on the
Wood of paper dreams, lost in cutting eyes.
She reads like epiphanies and religious mantras,
Hung in the candles lit by twilight scandals
Blooming with another kind of death. Read
The sacred texts, from generational
Gravitation into levity, born
From Jordan's rivers, the water spirals
Curried and cropped by Inau sticks, who knew
The pater would stand in the ethereal
Clasps of Oceanic air, tinged by quartz
And sapphire sunsets, globed by opal dreams -
Whilst the Ainu tribe looked into the crying
Fire, trying to see past its scathing flames.
And, though we read from the same page of Holy thoughts,
She cannot be found in one tongue, one eye,
She flits between - lovers of diff'rent nights,
Who see shades of blue recalled into blur'd
Shards of light to veil themselves with. They see
Only the lilting rhythms of starlight,
And not the sundial.
They saw her, in the eternal return
The Kami that would carry her from Jordan
To the Thames, and the Brooks of Israel forests
Would thrive in its veins of spiritual words,
Haunting him like ghosts, seeing the fire he was born from,
In the pit of oiling cascades sweeping
the dreamland of husky names and visions
From the immortal overlooking mind.
A Zarathustra in the dust of sky,
Or a phoenix in pillared corners, hunted
And swallowed in the sap of Amber sea.
Hopi skywriter with their stilts of lead
They rise as they write,
The Tanya gutted onto hearts coiled
Around timber and wooden meanings
Shaped in different strands of old, wool threads
A way to fulfil the spiritual vacuum,
And resolve our spiritual moral gape
Upon which Grace as a power for good
Made her foundations for our sullen soils
Forming our secret gods in caves of mind,
Closed by the ringing of a steel stick beating
With a chest only fire could furnish
With the light of a fake Zarathustra -
Gone, we go to outward blazes where air is
Swollen and damp, unnatural, breathing
Tombs of coiling toxins and eyeing the
Unbelievable cut of civilisation -
As buildings scrape sky ceilings, bruising wombs
Of flushing clouds, what is left for us to
Breathe? The moral torpa turned upside down
With us facing new gods up high, made of
sulking spineless glass
That splinters us in its graceless fall,
As we wonder where to turn when faced with
Our own sovereignty.
Born again, we doze for new Mithras myths
Upon which we parade in a spiral
Of light and perpetual joy. All is
Fresh in its pomegranate fertility,
Blooming like stars in the cups of sky.
Half sunk in twilight idling,
I twist myself in strands of thoughts
Strangled in their bitter stench of soulless
Memories, a ghost without a God to bear it through.
Dreamless corners hide spirits in mists of
Vapid waters with a skin to cling when
The Coming dawns, but we have no palms to
Receive them. Painted faces hide vulgarity
In wooden kachina dolls, who do not
Smile to see us break like Challah bread, old and stale.
We run off like broken rivers who cannot thread
Their seams of sparkled water that ancestors cry
Through, and Inari Avatars creep to
Lick their wounds in the wells of sleeping life,
Fractured and impaired
Like veins cut that bled through into opal
Drooping grass, whilst diamonds peek from a fox's
Moonlit eyes, seeking Gods to hunt by night,
Spearing through water that bleeds into its
Coat of poached arteries. Inau men spin
Their larrakitj in mists of spiralling waters,
Lost in its eternal gleam bending to
Breezes; the kami look on, puzzled, swarming
In flusters on the silver skin of Zamzam fleets.
I quininifty my way through cold handed
Veins, rooted in the gaps between clouds and skys
Without losing the manna of Lourdes -
A greater thing is spewing here, more than
Eyes can possess, my kokedama heart
Grown in palms of soil that kissed foetus roots
And blessed them with balanced lives, only for
The green, straggled plant to be strangled by
Dying air and a strange land coughing its
Own poison. Anthologies born out of
Irises, deadlocked daffodils not yet
Lost to the wind cannot speak out of garbled earth -
So we seek our strengths in new forms, or retrieve
What we once knew -
A twilit humming shakes the spines of Crystal leaves.
Hallowed be thy name that sinks in holy veils,
Never to return to the violet cusp of day.
Shades of Japam avatars greet us out
Of dawning coastal flumes, and tints that know not
Where they sit. How to reconcile the real
With the spiralling reality, caught
In tendrils of nebula moulds and stardust
Beyond us. Inspired by spirare
Clouds easing into the depth of wintry
Cold hands, and breath that sharpens on cut ice.
How to find a way to live in the blood
Of ecstasy, light stripping back panes of wood
From shelled earth, whilst retaining our dignity,
Even men could not have the genius
To harness the genius loci hid
In this bounty beneath our feet, we sit
Too grandly to look at. Are we consigned
To wait a thousand years, boned and battered
Before star eyes open themselves up to us,
And hail us as their Gods? We cannot be
Mortals forever, yet here we sit, waiting.
I am, I will, I Amaterasu,
I will let eagles glide on my wings, breathe
Water droplets to drench my skin in the cloth of night
Unravelling my tapestry of day.
Although the son seeks faith in me, maybe
A little more from the highs of pagan gazing,
I have nothing more to offer than the
Universe cupped in my beaded hands, swollen with stars
Stitched into my sky skin. Let air gasp, cloned
From mountain peaks, sawn by the uhtceara
Of day swimming into night, flower-like
As halves ripple into one another,
A ying yang of the sky shining in a
Heaven I will never know. Agni is
Holding her last dance as time passes into
Itself, and Zarathustra holds the flames for a new ⛩
To kiss the heads of plants and daysunk light
Flitting into corners whispering lost
Sounds no longer discernible. It is
Nataraja hailing in a new August,
Blazing in its crust, whilst Fenghuang marks the end
Of the day, and with it the falling of fools
Into tragedies of crooked spells,
Theatres crumbling its backbone against
Pagan rituals and Bible massacres
Preaching holy vowels stolen from the stars.
Reported in a stage that mocked the earth's
Stare, its levels of highs, betraying human righteousness,
A new reign for false Kings sworn into their nights,
A creak aroused from choking air haunted
By Kami of waterways, as ghosts revive their times in woods
Dainty with their frost, drunk on the smokes of new flames.
Like the Dalai Lama, we rise again
In new bodies untouched, unloved, we learn.
In my warbled daydreams of quicksilver
Drops, shining crystalline onto Hopi
Dallying with kachina girls, mirroring
The starlit gazes of gods chasing girls
From caves of widowed nerves, unnurtured by
Blitzed great mothers,
Who had her own girl thoughts to cater to.
What is Apollonian dizziness
Without the elder to guide it into
Individual hegemony, self-centred
On self-sought values. Lose their Tanya
To the shinto noaidi of Ainu tribes.
Immerse her in satyagraha, it is of Nirvana warmth
Shut in the ripe of night's boiling breasts,
Chilled in the alabaster carriage of chandelier
Stars, stirring in their satori gleams - is
That a manna for her to
Find a shantih from her missing blood,
Shed from ribbons of womb.
You are only a mimicry, but you
Capture the night in your stones, perhaps the
Sun too, with its ethereal blindness.
The planets in your grasp, this beauty in
Shards of stolen light; cutting the edge of
The room with your scattered jewels, you make a
Mockery of the world and look so beautiful
Doing it. This uncouth, corrupt chandelier
Made from exports of grimy oils and false stars
Attracts us, moths to its dying light. This
Attempt to distance ourselves, to adopt
A metal, plastic satori to sweep
Us from anja, how do we expect to
Be happy in false lands? Dislocating
Dreams from clouded mountains, sworn in on swathes
Of crustacean language and old symbols
Found in earth rather than your corrupt, heinous skin?
You dare to soil the lines drawing us together,
Segregating us from greater world
Of roaming myths, finding their roots in plastic ground.
Namu Amida butso: we cannot
Settle in blocks of frozen objects, glaz'd
With false idols, but in the purity
Of silken waters: Nembutsu. Satiate
Our swollen spirits in your healing waters.
Nam yo ho renge kyo. She speaks at last.
Tatitus, how to decide between the
Noble heights of regent garlands, and the
Blissful kiss of cocaine immediacy,
The virtues of being a daughter, writ
In Sanskrit medication; whether it
Is better to breathe the air of cloistering
Halls, or waiver for the fresh leaves of oxygen
Crowns, your lungs filling like lotus plants and webb'd
Hearts stemming from the neck of aristocrat
Flowers, chauntlets from which to sip mosaic
Greatness. In Greece, she decides in schools of thought,
In Rome, she breaks the balance between oaks
Of shattering nobility, scathing
The swollen ribs of sky with her rule. Is
It better to breathe invisibly, but
Tangibly, and healthily, or to smoke
From lilac highs of scarred mountains, lost in air.
Stillness permeates her, and for now, she
Cannot imbibe the crocheted dust
Until it becomes silken in its clarity.
What to be in anticipation of
That moment, she cannot say, for that would
Steal breath she has no sense of. Still she reeks
Of uncertainty crossing the lights of
The tightrope, between humble obscurity
And the dancing waters of mayhem, that
Stuns in its glowering passion. She is
On edge between two lives, two stories,
And cannot make the cutting line fit between them both.
The day's eye peeps into her sinking soul,
Withholding the buzzing light of dawn's heart.
Am I a Dionysian in black,
Sworn in on suits of rue grey, Hamlet’s ire,
Or do I join the soothing tombs of grace?
The brittle bells of kagura hearts leave.
She flowers in trumpets of violet iss.
Is this the way to scream rue, a baby
Sliding out from slips of night, irretrievable
From the bowels of earth that dare bore us?
Is this the breath of life we must suckle
To feed our painted faces, tumbling in
Festival spiritualities? No.
What God could bear our breathing sighs, our warlocked loves?
What monster sick enough to place air in sifting lungs
Would live in tendrils of indigo light?
None! And if such a god exists, the cacophony
Of seething nature be upon their throat.
What virtue is there is slugging back stars
Of tight lipp'd night, without sipping the dunes of day?
There is a greater spirituality in nature and dust
Than in the holy rites of maimed services
Held in the fallen glory of old churches -
One beholds, whilst the other taints the saintly soul -
One is created from the afterthought of divinity,
The other from the cusp of man’s pride -
A false fire to light
The clay from nature’s womb.
Even the gahonzo borrows from the trees in its passage
And the ash falls on followers’ faces -
We are simply the lights of Gaia,
Tinkering with ourselves to make our lights brighter -
Consuming the body we have left
Out of sudden envy. Yet it is
The trees we breathe that we worship
In our secret vowels and undertones of thoughts,
Rhythm. Hum. The sacred song we learnt to grow
From earth; worship, with glee, the god that
Begot us in frozen ash, and sin.
There is music leaking from the sounds of
Foxes hovering between starlight and
Thee silk of stolen day, leaving its dust
In pockets of shadows and lightened air.
I do doubt that the ease of passing is
Not worth saturation into its coded lips.
The paths are strewn with death glazers and sonnet
Buddhist mantras seen into the petal
Faces of another dawn. Life and death is
Thriving in this one day, following the
Track of the discordes sun, reminding us
Of the frailty of day and how we perceive
All things alone. No language creates light
Or colour, it cannot tint days with bright
Shades or dull it to the hallowness of
Night, but we can interpret those things as
We were born - alone, knowing these shades will
Never pour into anyone else’s eyes
In the same way, the sole artist of our
Creation - and so the garden, our sights,
These dappled rages and purrs of crumpled light
Belong to us, just as we have as different words of the same song, lighting dead churches
Where flowers breed new dead bodies to feed
The poor, encased by soil and stone. This is
Our new religion, found in the goodness
Of plants singing with a new type of song.
There’s a divinity in heaven, shaped
By watered rights that words - words - cannot sin,
Was it wrong of me to attend this place,
With its sunlit God twinkling over me
Heaven of skies? I know - I think that I know -
No river of sighs to carry me to some divine
Providence etched in the face of the cosmos
Or the watery dreams of hushed torrents -
Buried in the cold womb of chaos -
All thrown into the fruit, with an agency
To guide us by the rightful hand of God -
And yet I do not believe what ought to
Be good to me; my demon eyes blinded
By forceful passages and the forceful vestiges of the church labour, I challenge thee
To thy grave, thou pox-angst box of stealth! Like Rome,
You will fall into your own dust, disintegrate
With noble rites of morality sewn
Into your hearts, but not crafted in your
Actions. Defiant I stand, a roving child against
Your backgammon plots, ready to play Satan’s brethren.
I stand with a fury that rages and
Quenches itself into flames. So why am I here?
Unsettling myself in these trunks of old wood
Made by your cult, long ago? Rome has long
Fallen, so why do I sit, forlorn, inside out -
But there I something to be said for God
In this place, this marrow of time, that makes
Itself transcendental clear to us.
Like glass, I'll scream in shatters of stones.
Resolving itself into millions of shattered words
And find somewhere in me, a scan of starry light,
To uplift dying thoughts from dead words,
Once forgotten, no longer lying in their tombs.
Once I embrace the yggdrasil of this root
Of language, maybe I can heal wounds lost in God’s grace
Resolve ash into a clay to make myself
New with old thoughts, speaking from the tree of life.
Tanya Brown: Born in Beijing and raised in London to a Mongolian mother and an Israeli-English father, I use my rootlessness to encourage words to seep out from my bark of soul like sap."