Four Degrees of Freedom

Infinitely infolding the stencilled outlines

of myriad hints projected on to unprotected space.

Whither shadow thoughts, which edge rebound?

Colder now, but lighter.

Not sinking, not drowning.

This point at which by volume sheer

We fight and dagger pointed, strike to pierce the heart

Where formless void lies broken-backed

In its rich tumble of bicarbonate fluorescence.

But the bubble where joy is mirrored to sudden birth

Is this bright, slight shiver of delight

Here, now. As fluid links decouple and we turn to rise up

Crystallising inter-dependence that maketh our soul’s skin


Water is a miraculous substance. Without its properties life would not be. It is unique. Water as liquid carries memory. It is unique in that as it cools it reaches a point – at 4 degrees celcius – where instead of getting heavier as it cools – it starts to become lighter. This means that ice crystals form on the surface of liquid water – allowing life to grow below. Each and every ice crystal is unique. Different from all others that ever were or will be. Each crystal was born somewhere near Zero degrees centigrade, but the gestation began earlier at a turning point of 4 degrees.

What does it feel like as infinitely connected but edge-less water starts to rise toward crystalline separation with edges that connect in a giant structured lattice?

Water is a miraculous substance.


Ivor Culture

Hey P


I haven’t heard from you for a while? Anyway I was reminded of you because last night I saw this great Mark Morris show to Ivor Cutler’s music and poems. I thought of you there in Glasgow. Have you ever been to London? What a great place. Saw an exhibition by Paul Klee (hadn’t crossed my radar before.. blown away). Somehow Ivor and Paul seem to belong together – an unlikely couple I know, but there you are… maybe they’re in the dog haus together?

By the way, 3 years after your birthday I’m still working on my present of you – or your present to me (Now? ha ha?). I’ve put a recording below. Don’t know if you still read my letters, but if so hope to hear from you soon.



The Corridor of Now

Dear P

I was also sitting in a coffee shop this morning. You came to mind, because I was pleased that I had obeyed you and was not in a faceless coffee chain. The barristars did their work (yes they’re that good at Peter’s Yard) and I mulled your last missive.

What is quietness? What does it allow. Thought, or experience? I opened the copy of the New Scientist you sent me – with the article – Does Now exist – and a question came to mind.

What is present? Surely it’s a vanishingly small thing. If you play music you need the notes before and after the actual one you are playing in order to add context. The note alone does not have harmony or meaning except as part of sequence (call that melody). So the Now of music at least stretches a little bit into the past. The whole piece – with it’s over all (Now) effect takes time.

I have found that it really helps to live in the present – and exclude worry about the future(s) and pollution from the past. But the Now that we live in is a kind of corridor, with a small piece of past and future in order to add context to the infinitely small present.

(I do understand that being present is a different thing from being in the present).

It occurs to me that one way in which we can define our life is the width of the Now corridor in which we live. Ultimately focussed and we are living in Zen. Extremely unfocussed and we’re tossed about in the material world created by time.

Is there a happy medium in which we can still enjoy a good tune?



In it to Win it

Dear P

You sound like Dr Seuss. Remember – the waiting place? But how can this be – from you, who extols the po’or ‘o the ‘noo?

It may be that the best insights into existence come from the media – film and tv – your world. So how about the underlying reality of “let the force be with you” and the UK lottery end-line “you’ve got to be in it to win it”.

All as in – purpose is everywhere, sewn into the fabric of time and space (even the coffee shop waiting space?) – the force that we can tap in to. Does it come to you quietly? I don’t know, I’ll try being quiet and see! For me it’s more.. in the thick of it to win it?


Coffee Barrister

Dear D,
Sometimes I get swept horizontal by the meaningless of space, space as in “a” space. This coffee shop. And though I feel uncomfortable talking from myself, owning a perspective, I’ve come to understand, or believe rather, that meaning is in the concentration. Meaning is in individual and collective purpose. This space, this coffee shop, is a make up of intentions. The music was chosen, the barristas are here to earn money, the coffee drinkers are getting a fix, having a meeting, waiting for someone. Sometimes I feel purposeless, I come unstuck in time and try and become part of the space rather than owning intention. But the space itself is meaningless. It’s like I’ve thought of spaces themselves as holding a kind of shamanistic ambiance and if I’m quiet enough, it will tell me what to do. But I can never be quiet enough. I am always blocked out by my own straining silence. How do you listen for quiet truths whilst not forgetting your own powerful self?