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Frank Valentyn


Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

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Sculpting Forward


Frank Valentyn

Neatened up the papers on my desk
smallish pile this time
put an elephant on them
not the ebony one - after a moment's hesitation
but the larger one in verdite
thought: "in verdite, veritas?"
stood there with its silent trunk
on my e-mails
and the article on Planck-length
obeying gravitation
two stony dents for eyes
and one foot slightly lifted
in an eternal first step forward

Need a thicker skin I thought
turned him so that he could trumpet
out through my open study door
instead of against the wall -
if he ever felt like defying his sculptor

Rare Trim


Frank Valentyn

Those quite dead spiky bits
from which all thriving life
has withdrawn and evaporated
are quite unyielding
anthropomorphically obstreperous
when I snip them from between
the green luxuriant pliancy
of remaining foliage
on my room-corner yucca

It came to me
that I suffered from yuccatitis
and it from humancy
and that opaquely unbeknown
to both our strange workings
there was unquantifiable mutual assistance
in the translucent need
to remove dead irritants
making room for new growth
and carefully brave snipping



Frank Valentyn

We discovered to regret
shortcoming in cerebrated tenet
despite momentum of our training
entrenchment of academe's ambition
shriven in exact tradition
gaining analytical excellence
in depetallising and depistillation
defoliating and de-stemming of the flower
lay not the secret power of the experience
of its dawn-dewed scent

We loved, loved not, loved
lent our expertise and dedication
and what it was we loved not, loved
to excess, the ontological consideration
of sleep in an empty skull
and there we met conflagration
of our desolately voided vision
with an imagined fullness
requiring perhaps further, calmly chalked decision
succinct overnight memo specifying the co-ordinates
one more precise incision might yet reveal
a kitten's fluffed suckling dream
kneading our surgical reality
but in strapped paws
metallic crown of electrodes
and unnecessary tail's tinyness
no longer played elusive kittenness

Parameters of the experience
escaped raw daily hammering
and having carried Mount Fujiyama away
bucket by bucket with great discipline
they recorded not encountering
its height or sacredness
and in the street below the lab
a stray tabby pads away
leaving no imprint of its passing
carried further into mystery
its tail proud question mark

Comment on the research on cats and kittens performed at the University of Lyon, France by Pompeiano, O., And Swett, J. E., with the aim of further discovering and analysing neurophysiological mechanisms of sleep and dreaming. These animals have selected cerebral structures surgically removed, undergo mechanical and electrical stimulation and are monitored by cranial microprobe-connected electronic equipment. I directly took the title of their research article as the title of the poem.

On the Non-existence of Carrots


Frank Valentyn

Within these well-defined layers
consensually structuring comfort
lie names undiscovered
chemistry no longer biochemical
far evolutions of connectivity
developments of interrelation
over-familiar constellations of mystery
that appeal as rigid and chewable

There's star-stuff here
encrypted but undisguised
fractal blends of infinity
metaphysics-salad microcosm
whispers of an Atomos in
inverse reductio ad absurdum
rather: prorogatio ad confusum
definitely orange, easily evidenced
and completely imperceptible

Bite one of these things
(if you wish to use that verb approximation)
with those homologues of Saurian equipment -
explicate principles of toothness
modernised and miniature:
gently attack, shred
crunch, crucify
mundanely unify
essence of selves
bonding phase of common destinies
but wonder what newly pulses
in the transience of your carotid pressures
where it came from and what it measures



Frank Valentyn

Be grateful that you missed those golden opportunities
those junctures, whatever reason you appointed
all those rearward beckoning moments, chances,
the ones you never took

Perceptions you had of divisions in contingency
that you never explored further
inclinations you wished you'd had at those times,
which weren't there

Stances you could have used so fruitfully
but could not realise in the spectrum of your attitudes
the "if I'd only said" and "only done" and "only seen"
which you did not - and could not have because you didn't

You thought you saw the path
but the path did not see you
You thought you knew the outcome
but those outcomes knew your absence
You wished a determined cause and course
but the one that took you was the stronger

Do not regret the way that became you
the thought that moulded you
the sight that saw you
the course that preceded you, unseen working
the compass within you - that you knew not
the you that had to be - and had not recognised

And when you wonder who you are
why you are the way you are
the when and where and whence you are
allow the All to reason
greet in free, fearless and friendly recognition
the sense and need that shaped you

Shaping of the Wing


Frank Valentyn

I take back all the tears
the years of tainting tearing
retrieve all invested vulnerability
unwound my wounds

I undo all negation and diminution
all deprecation and accusation
misperceiving of intentions
catch-twenty-two declensions

I take back my battered heart
my craze-crumpled spirit
undo the darkness
that disguised itself as light

I dare flap my ungainly wing
fed but never stroked
berated in its striving
to altitudes beyond your imagining

I take back sacred light
barely glowing
aim towards the bright
unhide within self, love's clear sight

Wedding Song


Frank Valentyn

With my heart I thee wed
my soul I blend with thee
and as I would lead
so would I be led
and through your eyes see bold
as you through mine would see
the beauty of becoming one
and our one-being in this world

With my whole being I thee wed
my thoughts, dreams and intentions
with sacred honesty
I rescind all pretensions
and know that in the music of our life
as in all music there will be strife
tensions that in their resolution
offer golden opportunity
to higher harmony and love's solutions

With depth of knowing I thee wed
in unending discovery of your endless depth
possessed by no earthly ocean
and I, mere mortal human, intend godliness
in my every moment's reverence of your wealth

So I wed thee with all I am become
and shall become still in our bonded future
and thirst to nurture thee
as thirst I to be nurtured
and know quite beyond promise
the betrothal of my life's melody

So with hope and longing
with patience and endurance
with aim to beauty's highest destiny
with sacred conscience and covenant
I wed thee with my inmost nature
I wed thee, love
in constant plea
to my highest self's endless striving
to be for you
as I wish you to be
each the other's sacred completion

(Dedicated to Colby and Trisha Johnson - may you know true fulfillment forever)

The Question and its Answer


Frank Valentyn

A voice arose within me
whispering with a thrust of thousand tides
it asked: "Will you trust me, trust me?"
It was voiced by trees stroking the wind
by petals unfurling in the glint of dew
brushed by waters in melodic pursuing
placidly their counterpoint of singing rock

and so lent I attention

The voice arose anew
within it a Sun's ascension
and horizon's comment
again asked: "Will you trust me, trust me?"
it spoke tropical forest haze
and cool maze of glaciers
it emanated from eagles' cries
and the music of transition
as all dies and births again
in infinite variation
and the soft cadence
in the first opening
of wings

and so lent I my vision

Again the voice perfused me
asked freshly new: "Will you trust me, trust me?"
it spoke stars and planets in their changing orbits
sang of far-flung fluorescing nebulae
whispered of my flesh and veins
and the heart that pulsed me
it knew of the infinite wave within
and infinite wave without me
it was at one, yet separate
from the voice that spoke me

and so lent I my being

"I am," I touched the voices deep within,
"an aspect, a reflection
of this boundless weaving
I dare with my intention
to trust all which I become
and see beyond the cleaving
your own intuition's tending
to trust in me
as you become
and both of us in mending
extend the weave, each
our voice the other lending"



Frank Valentyn

Reality is quantised
you are quantum
your individuality discrete

Yet the cosmos is continuum
you are child and parent to all other
and no doubt the continuum unfolds as it should

Enfold therefore within you
all Joy
and Sadness of all other
strive toward the greater love
which you transduce
of which it is reflection
and you, its predilection



Frank Valentyn

Bred to the deed
the statistical average is fifteen minutes
although with strangely inverted compassion
those selected for the acts of bravery
are allowed an extra year of life
compared to the consumables

Matador, picador, banderillero, muleta, faena
a whole science of entertainment
with over-lunch terminology
to spice discussions of greatness

I always get this wrong
I seem to remember, but
to me there's such a cosmic elegance
when the bull feints
with his reddened nape
and the matador embeds
a horn deeply
and rips out those arrogant entrails

Kosovo Shepherd


Frank Valentyn

Behind him lies the rubble of his youth
name of his home, his tears
name of the struggled years
name of the joys and wondered justices
deeper gains and losses of his ancient years
themselves named collateral target
cloaking dark an overburdened frame
impossible pain on grief-strained features
he walks beyond hoping to sense progress
hunches meagre shoulders against cold
far greater than a coming winter
inclines his head in fate-stricken obeisance
unable to name a witnessing beyond destruction
eyes guiding but unseeing
an unknown destination moulded
by a path of least devastation

Angled in his arm attests his shepherd's crook
summation of a life, gnarled hook
clasped like a babe, a precious wisdom, icon
of direction leading a following of guidance
he is without sheep, this man
carrying a forgotten lamb
through shattered pastures

For This


Frank Valentyn

To be hand in hand with you
walking Point Petre's rocky edge
knowing completion
within each other's gentle guidance
feeling each ripple's future beckoning
stepping ancient wave-rounded stones
hearing our breath reflected
in each rolling sheen's tiding
tenderly laving its oceanic destination
for this I live and give heart's beating

To entwine endlessly patient fingers
watching sunsets on Outlet Beach
miles of ageless sands everfresh
flowing past time's glittering
wandering with you
in the Great Lakes' depthless reflections
of each other's eyes
for this I tide and give soul's breathing

To embrace your infinity
arm around your slender beauty
mystically at the railing of Scott's Mill's bridge
ineradicable traces
of your grandmother's sidesaddle
lingering their motivation still
in the water's ever-changing constancy
for this I essence in my being's reason

To bring lilacs limitless intended fullness
in the radiant aura of your hair's caress
on the sunbright shore at Rossmore
polished driftwood caressing
future memories
the bridge to Belleville's beckoning
seeing nature's celebrating elegance
in your every gliding step
for this I strive godliness within me

To nurture your lips with mine
your being's soft nourishing
dancing me within divinity
to know the infinity
of your head resting on my shoulder
sustaining you within me
rebirthing within you endlessly
enveloped towards entwining destiny
for this, for this my all exists
and designs humbly votive
my every breath
my heart's inmost sacred motive



Frank Valentyn

There is only this present moment
and within it an orientation of intentionality
believe me

And yet this is not true
in the multi-parallel, timeless connectedness
of the quantum domain's underlying weave
believe me

There is pre-determination of tendency's trajectory
and its modulation by the constricted freedoms of will
believe me

And yet this is not true
with the power of pure creation
believe me

There is inheritance from the future's unmanifest
and also from past's unborn potentials
believe me

And yet this is not true
as truth itself is continuous creation
believe me

There is just one force-complex
and its binding love is one with it
believe me

And yet this is not true
in diffractedness of perception
the drop still drop, at one with other drops
within the fluid's self-sustained variety
believe me

And yet this is not true
for some
as within others I am at one
believe me



Frank Valentyn

So these initiatives are not just our own
coincidences, not just coincidence
equiponderance of insight lightens
where ambiguity's edge brightens
in gleams far beyond senses' incidence

There, in mystic confluence
merge origins of tendency
moulded in tranquil storms
intuitions exceeding norms
intending to completion's infinity

So we shall meet, You, I
rivulets from distant sources urging
in gentlest flowing each, consistent, endless
natural being in extending reach
answering each other's question in our merging



Frank Valentyn

One was there, inscribed:
"Some things have to be believed
in order to be seen"

Yet another bore the script:
"Some things need be rejected
before they can be proven untrue"

But they were walls
I passed them smiling by
and danced on between them

Into a clear and fresh transparency
that walled all round, I surged
ahead my own wall summoning

It simply read:
"Behind, all truth contains untruth
Ahead, all untruth, truth"



Frank Valentyn

Windchimes' gentle comment
on the coming shower
distant contemplation
noble elegance
notice of transformation



Frank Valentyn

A bee examined me
but decided I was not part of its task
was it part of mine?

I flew off again
with renewed curiosity



Frank Valentyn

I sense usefulness in myself this morning
the purpose and meaning of a blade of grass
small streak of cloud against blue sky
a bending with the wind
deep movement

Walk on the beach


Frank Valentyn

At my green deep again today
after such long absence
my blue-green deep
and its infinite quiet
greeted there my breaking wave
and saw into its sighing
felt the quiet rhythm birthing, birthing
in my own soul the healing tide
picked a tiny glimmer from the sand
left in greeting by froth-laughing glide
moistly transparent, a diminutive shining
echoing my hopeful tears
my pounding fears unbroken
what was it that was born
and lived and died
in a thing so vanishingly small
and how did its lesson find me?
Oh, how I care
so deeply care
within the flood and the tide and the quiet
the quest and the shell that bind me

within my green deep to mend again
to stay perhaps a little while
my blue-green deep
greeting there my breaking wave
and to drink of an infinite quiet

Walt Whitman and the Astronomer


Frank Valentyn

You came undoubtedly intrigued, in fond expectation
perhaps there, you would see those boyhood skies
star-studded, dusted beyond glory, dusted with your dreams
and find in human illustration an expansion, perhaps mild explanation
there, in that gathering of finite minds, enclosed and roof-blind to those heavens
I'm sure you wished a deeper glimpse into the infinite
and humbly patient, there you sat and heard just human explication
one-dimensional explanation, calculation, derivation
wondered no doubt if in that room there was a single poetic soul
with grasp of grandeur beyond equation and wished them in that moment
an epiphany, a revelation, desperately you wanted to break into that cerebration
and show projected on those bare walls your memories and visions
but silent, lonely, you stole away to write a poem expanding mystical experience
enveloped at that tiny spot within the infinite variety
that stood, walked, glided with you under those mystifying stars
within the cool night's freshness
there spoke a thousand thoughts, some gently resonating, others raucous, foreign
perhaps you understood with forgiving predilection the sanities of editors and author
the poetries of the childish wise, joys of different, diffracted visions
and some poems never spoken



Frank Valentyn

Backdrop a village in Sudan
half-destroyed huts, military wreckage
he stands facing the camera
as if itís another inexplicable happenstance
not looking at the insistent interpreter
No, he doesnít know how old he is, he says
but his mother would know, he says
shifts the Kalashnikov more comfortably
across his thin shoulder
barrel pointing at the chasing soil
Yes, he has fought many years
and there were killings in the last one
he is the mother not interviewed
holding the unhuman shrinkage
to her unhuman empty breast
and the thousands looking out
through her empty vision
he is the general in the next vision
he says: we have commanded Jihad
it is necessary that we fight holy war
and man that dies fighting
has god on his side
he is the weltering teak forest
concessioned to the arms dealer
vultures flapping away from the blown-off soles
fattened on profits legally bequeathed
by the beastís nature
he is the essence of the telegram
that somehow found its way
to the brothers in the temporary camp
that impossibly met up after the thousands
and could not stop embracing
itís from their father
he says: it says
we are fine
but we have nothing

There is a winding silver river at dusk in the last scene
Iím sure he must have walked, or swum through it sometime
but I donít know whether it struck him as full or almost empty
or whether it washed him
itís always there I suppose, to go back to
if he can remember how
and needs to drink from it

(Impressions from a television documentary)

Strange Aim


Frank Valentyn

He was a stranger crossing my path
Where is it you go? he asked
Where is it you aim?
Could your purpose be the same?
Do you know the answer to this road
we travel and why it is we met?
I hunched down and sat beside him,
he looked so content within the mystery
that I thought some ray of insight
might suddenly design to impact
on my mind.
Iíve known him since he was a kitten
Does one ever know a cat?

The Care of Conium Maculatum


Frank Valentyn

And when all is said and done my friends and we gave them fair warning,
When weíve poured out heart and soul they will still refuse the dawning
Reaching out from inner core the hand of deepest friendship, selfless
Expect then not allegiance to a truth beyond their vision, helpless
Then dare to stand in humble solitude of purpose true to your design
Forgive them with the love that they so need and could not find
Allow then in their meagerness and littleness of sight the surfeit
Of purpose in this universe that quested, questing in so many minds
Against all common celebrated reason and reigning disposition
Pursued in flight, accused of heresy, divine dissent and treason
To realise the seeding tide in the face of inquisition -
Humbled in the knowing and taking then serene contentment
Quiet peace in scene of urgent zeal without contrition, unrelenting,
That those who stand with struggled cry of simpled condemnation
Have greater need and ever breed opined self-preservation
Allow then such divine convention, you and I, diverging
To find the sense of greater merging, greater being in cognition
Recognising self in other, wave of infinite, divine and mystic birthing

So seasons cycle


Frank Valentyn

So seasons cycle in the soul
first questing blossoms burgeon
towards new nourishing
while roots denied
winter in tame discouragement

So reason cycles in the mind
orbiting phases of fickle focus
in circularity of argument
around an origin of needs
ego would exceed in locus

So in the heart lie seasons blind
to logicís rhythmic reasons
and there such blossoms bleed
as would flower deepest needs
beyond intention or design of purpose

Revenge of the Mountain Serpent


Frank Valentyn

Grandfather had called it Inkanyamba
great monster snake
and she can hear him in the primeval of her youth
eyes glittering at the great uncoiling
and the awakening tail's thrashing

He told her, Elsie said
that it lived in the dam on the mountaintop
fiercely protective of its child
ruthlessly defensive, instantly destructive
violent at threat to its diffusely spectral offspring

When it awoke to the imminent peril and intimidation
un-rooted itself glistening and steaming
separating in boiling froth from the unquiet heaving
it was fear and anger, Elsie said
and her neighbour Nesta swore it was the whites with airplanes

The sergeant reported seeing it cross a farm dam
angry tail flailing in smiting thirst, lightning diamonding its raven crown
and absorbing half the quaking volume, darker in new moult
punishing the seething earth and all its unsafe havens
and Nesta knew it thought the planes would take its child

She told reporters that such anger could lead to annihilation
and was not surprised when in thirteen minutesí decimation
it took a hundred houses, splintering succour and safety
ravingly slithering, warning with injury and homelessness
rearing its swaying serpent head gazing from shattered clouds

Migrating to new refuge for future children -
I tend to believe that it did not look back
as army troops swarmed into Harrismith
and reporters learned the actual truth and motive
adequately proven by the havoc and so easily forgotten

In these unsettling and disturbing times so homeless of tradition
Inkanyamba reminding of respect for natureís silence
totally dismissive of the roar of small needs reflecting
off the towering kloof walls and mute sunset crags
and rolling across the ancient grasslands

From a newspaper report and interview of locals in Harrismith after the Tornado of Sunday the fifteenth of November, 1998 Ė I warrant that Iíve taken some minor licence with the intervieweeís observations and sentiments and do not pretend to speak on their behalf Ė the essence of their reports is accurately reflected though.

More than beyond


Frank Valentyn

If I ever lost you
lost the sense and meaning
gleaning from such sweet connection
this mingling, melding, dreaming
there still would be no end of love
no dampening, no fleaming
of its continually birthing source
still unendingly blossoming forth
the reason for my being

If I ever lost you
your tenderness, your seeing
of our world, bold, firm, courageous
in fusing strength with gentled care
then still such love its thought would dare
pursue still ever altered aiming, rare
wondrous touch to realise the soul that bonds
intent and leaning, cause and meaning of
the reason for my being

If I ever lost you
your enfolding words, the gentle teasing
the infinities of such music leading
all simple noise to higher meaning
in a mystic melody of mutual choice
speaking in all my world singularly your voice
there would still continue healing
beyond all brokeness your sigil sealing
the reason for my being

Oh, if I ever lost you love
your depth and heights, those interconvolutions
complexly simple in their delight
your touch in mine now, infused, adopted
resonantly birthed in endless fronding
radiant, flaming in softpetalled passion
calm stretchless soulbeach, sunseason of heart and mind
beyond all lesion, there still would you be, endlessly
the reason of my being

Non-Definition of Non-I


Frank Valentyn

Time and distance separate
yet conjugate a connection:
all that is, is not me
but an alliance relativates,
makes relevant
those approximations of gnosis
that flee and scatter through this protein
that thinks that it thinks

There was a single trilobite in the Cambrian
that died as soon as it hatched
a fly in amber
a mite sublimated, atomised in lava flow
and a thousand hectares of mangrove
in Cochin China
that were not separate from this node
that thinks it writes
while converting part of the biostratum into norepinephrine
spiralling around a nuclear fire



Frank Valentyn

Two ibises flew over glittering roofs
in the limpid middle distance
halfway to the hazing summer limb
cawing their observations
blending familiar with the unknown

I heard one say:
'Believe your good fortune!'
and the other answered:
'Fly in the direction of your belief
with strength and patience!'

I went back inside
into the coolness
the familiar and utterly unknown
studied her from the middle distance
and blended my flight with hers

'Strength, patience!'
I still heard them calling
gradually receding
'Believe in the direction!'
and knew that what guided them was love

Close Friends


Frank Valentyn

There they joined us
restaurant table, comfort clutter
with already half-empty beers
open menus displaying balances
of hunger versus expenditure
under the false grapevine
mass-produced silk-green foliage
requiring imaginary weekly watering

Close friends, distanced islands in mirage
sat down, shared surfaces of being, smiled
manifested thoughts they allowed discontainment
afforded from ego-galaxies forever hidden

Good friends and addressable common memories
discussed, projected into conjectured futures
awarenesses of subliminal approvals and indictments
in inclination angles of heads and hands
instinctive interpretations of facial micromusculature
specifics of food morsel rearrangement on cooling plates
profundities of intervals between speaking and chewing
small protocols of information negotiation
and observation of observation of reactions to observation

Old friends in culture-moulded dances of occasion
the unsaids remaining unsayable
the small planned and unplanned deviations
from permitted steps of thought and communication
chat-rehearsals of map-interpretation
of the common, half-familiar roads into unknown
splitting the bill into each accountable component
that flotsamed transiently nurtured islands
as the current split us, carried us away

The Pessimist


Frank Valentyn

Perhaps that's the message:
don't like anything too much
don't love it
don't hold anything so precious
donít be that vulnerable

I've created a next generation
a phylogenetic vector
so what's left now?
my biological function
my complete observation of duty
in optimisation of probabilities
in the survival of alleles
has been done

The planetoid's philosophies
cutting edge of consistent neolithic sciences
transcendent religions and mythologies
all this spare intellectual capacity
this evolved emoting
simply overlies primary objective:
depositing the correct load of sperm
in a suitably attracted female
at least one, that is
unless meiosis itself
became infected
with religiomaniacal dogma
blind paradigm
and shallow conventionalism

Pray to the incidental god
of your geographical area
you, Lover and Forgiver of all Mankind
start another Jihad
about incorrect interpretations
of the Prime Motive
or the price of oil
or the traditions of obeisance
with your wife, son or neighbour
come, I challenge you
give love where it's not allowed -
to those other others
so contemptibly different -
where it's not understood, or wanted

Ah, said the clinical psychologist
but we live on so many levels!
Yes, I said,
and the most manifest
is that of sperm and ovum
retrovirus, micrometeorite
pre-targeted megatons
and then spare intellectual capacity
to ensure correct vectoring
where advanced spiritual psychodynamics
is part of the vital hallucination
to give imagined sense and meaning
to the recycling of cosmic dust

It's all such a learning process, isn't it
the psychic pains and agonies
the physical traumas, cancers and amputations
those complex autoimmune diseases
that can turn the product of your womb
into a self-mutilating monster

Trust me, said the universal intelligence
and I answered:
that is my continued intention, you misbegotten bastard
I'll still like tulips and freesias and vaginas
even if my cytokines rebel
and my HLA complex makes me sneeze
at airborne pollens

The Optimist


Frank Valentyn

Politely attract your attention, ma'am
note: anthropologically speaking
there's only one species
Homo Sapiens Sapiens
twice clever
and beautiful by design
their gods, fashioned in their image
of perception

There's underlying unity
of aim and inclination
and therefore single thrust
towards perceived purpose
ah, do not question, do not question!
it's meant by design
to be a sacred game
played beyond your understanding

That's not rape, murder and pillage, see
but satanic turpitude
don't hold Him or Her responsible
for bending to temptation
it's one side of a dualistic coin
comfortable from one side only
unless you pay in full

There's teleological justification
in cause and effect relation, see
there's a sweetness purely
in its pseudo-random distribution
or even, its absoluteness in fluctuation
and, which is cause and which effect
is legislation by inclination surely?

It all makes sense beyond
and beyond, and beyond that
I personally guarantee
as voluntary mouthpiece:
darkness is purely absence of light
play the game -
the Chalcedonian decree
is obdurate on the scale of hardness
it applies solely to divinity
not you, not me
who only have total dominion
by appointment

Listen to the distant birdsong
it has ancient beauty
there's no diffraction of soft echoes there
when you comprehend Fixed Action Patterns
no duality, or even bi-unity
truly seen beyond the phase of blindness

From "Edgar Cayce on Reincarnation"; Gramercy Books, New York: It is difficult today, when one wades through these laborious arguments between the Eastern and Western branches of the church over the divinity of Christ, to realise the manic antagonism they aroused in both camps. The Monophysites [rejecting Origen's teachings on metempsychosis, reincarnation and believing Christ to be wholly divine] continued to provoke strife and discord until the year 451, when a specially summoned Church council, loyal to Origen's teachings, split Christ into two separate natures, human and divine. The well-intentioned decision known as the Chalcedonian Decree, while protecting the teachings of Origen, became, in effect, the launching pad for all the black mischief that followed. Indeed, the split between the Monophysites and the Vatican eventually reached such violent proportions that "one of Justinian's first public acts was to make the patriarch of Constantinople declare his full adhesion to the creed of Chalcedon" (Encyclopaedia Britannica). This constitutes solid evidence that, prior to Theodora's arrival on the scene, Justinian was in complete sympathy with the Origenist leanings of the Church of Rome; yet in 453, at Theodora's urging, he permitted a local synod to discredit and condemn the writings of Origen. Very much as the hero of Orwell's 1984 "purified" the public files of the newspapers by rewriting political history and eliminating all reference to previous "Big Brothers," Theodora now pursued a campaign to obliterate all and any passages from the Bible which might reduce to absurdity [all clear reference to reincarnation, which had previously been an integral and canonical part of the Church's teachings] her hopes of instant apotheosis upon departing this life.) [All square bracketed comment by author, FV]

During, After


Frank Valentyn

Before I knew it
tears streamed down my face
after, it felt wrong to wipe them
wrong to let them freely dry
yet right in having cried them

It was a thought that gripped me
and I in turn, reached out towards
and like lovers not to be
embraced each other needfully
tender wildness in our parting

That momentís entanglement
short mutual capture and surrender
seemed free imprisonment
liberating rapture
dream of an imminent intent

Feral depth enfolded fragile delicacy
licking of a cub or mate, entwined
wounds, a strange completion
joining in an instantís instinct
towards an unknown healing

Looking at Looking


Frank Valentyn

Itís not that you just look at them
but you look in such a way
as if youíd like to do something
she complained

Itís qualitatively different
from looking at any other beauty
(this I surmise that she surmises)
Iím free to stare and ponder
at yonder-blues of crag and cleft
skies, seas or cerulean woods
get lost in them even

There was forgetfulness
for some moments
of the uninstinctive fact
that I belong less to this world
than to her instincts

And there I saw entirely
a different kind of beauty

Thoughts, Feelings


Frank Valentyn

There was that kiss again
whispering against my lips
in an ever-freshness
pressing shyly, gently lingering
sweet, deep promises enfolded
and a parting moment
timelessly extended

What forms that bond again
now, so much later
flown years, time lost in changes
must be her soft perfume wafting
from those breeze-stirred flowers
or the blue, as it quickly deepens
just over and beyond the mountains



Frank Valentyn

The mechanism disappeared altogether
there was just Beethoven
a Sonata with some incidental wood
and a form in front in of it
extensions of each other
that in their interaction produced
what Ludwig had intended:
keys to something deeper

there was one quick distraction
transient vision of an ear-trumpet
and the recognition
that I no longer needed it
in hearing this the first time ever

To an Indirect Acquaintance


Frank Valentyn

I hear that you are twenty-four
that you are so strikingly beautiful
that men and women both
pause speechless in beholding
when you enter

I hear that you have deep sensitive concern
for all that lives
give of self selflessly uniquely own
loved by all whose path you touch
with empathy and tender dedication
lifting with mere aura of your presence

I hear that you are married for just six months
knowing him ten years and one
before committal and officialised bonding
seen already across schooldesks
and teeming playgrounds

I hear that you are unscathed
excepting the small round hole
in your temple
and that they continually will find you
in the bathroom some yesterday
that lasts forever

I hear a cry primeval
from fathomless within
and hold your soul within my hand
gently tearing
entangled in timeless time
declare myself your brother
father, child, sister, mother
commit to choice unique our driven own
as you have done
as you are doing
ten eternities and one

In Passing


Frank Valentyn

I discovered as they taught by rote, by force and invitation:
I had three hours only in that room, perhaps some seconds more
Friend and enemy I knew in fond tradition, new familiar faces
Three hours only, to live and love and poorly ration
all I knew and felt and learnt of life and self and other selves
in this, a room of fixed dimension, a room of wondrous life
There I lived and loved by seconds, hurried by imposed intent
Dimly seen two doors perhaps there beckoned, a third through which I'd come
The loudest were the ones in pointing, exchanging labels on the doors
Overwriting, shredding, folding, smashed other's labels on the floors
Two! One! Three! they shouted and killed another,
in divine defence and sanction, their knowledge certain, never doubting
Reams of staunch didactic writing displacing living space, in gore
Vaguely I saw them take their absence, joy and terror in abundance
some sublime
some confident
some discourteous in their parting
others clinging, hold together fast deteriorating tatters
Dreams and tasks and deeds undone, severely uncompleted,
one by one they cast their sentence, surprised at their new nudity
leave their worn old clothing scattered, sweep towards created portals
flickering in imagined haze
Spoke to one whose eyes were loneless, I asked diverse opinion,
asked: But surely this cannot be the only, only chance of seeing, being?
can we not apply our learning, avoid the same mistakes repeated,
work towards divine forgiving from the ones we learned to love,
wounded in self wounded wounding, can the healing not sustain,
surely we can come again? Surely we can try again?
But busy with a ritual and deeply frowned in joyous magic
intoning imprecations, intercessions, implications,
casting clear and conquering sky-given revelations
humbled in the prideful function, sole-appointed by some temptation,
speaking desire to unify, kind in learned differentiation
said: One pass only, my dearest friend, one dijudication,
listen to the wisest here, they know what they are thinking
there are but two, ah, it spurs me so, two doors alone in choosing
one marked Heaven , one marked Hell, now go and in your kindness tell,
all others of your choosing

Core Fusion


Frank Valentyn

I felt the core saying through my mind
give me the endurance, the strength, the determination
the drive, commitment
to the necessary resources
I have the need, the dedication

The voice came back:
Strange - are you asking for this?
I thought you wanted to do it
All by yourself.

I heard the feeling:
wherever it comes from
I thirst for it
if I must ask
consider it asked

I said:
You're not really that singular cosmic puppeteer
they all seem to think you are
seperated from own creation, are you?

My eyes focused narrowly on the region:
No, I'm actually just one atom
In this bathroom tile.

And we both laughed
and got on
with the soap
richly lathering



Frank Valentyn

In the town of Mattox
a differential incremented readily:
the wealth of Sewelaís family
size of her house and dustily enthused traffic
grew as they prospered steadily
by means transparent to the two hundred

Very old already in her proud brick house
they leered from unloved thatch and corrugated plate
with smouldering hate smilingly disguised by daily politics
questioned her age, their youth jealously less productive
knew that this unnatural trade and commerce
was crafted by occult means unknown to the two hundred

Leaning heavily past tracking TV cameras
tear-streaked, grey-faced, bent Sewela
said she had lost everything, felt very hurt by circumstances
behind her, still occultly glowing in secret places
her smouldering past smokily races, thin flame
old embers waning, mistily disarmed by the two hundred

Shuffling towards equality of small nearby hovel
sparsely supported Sewela proudly proclaims
that she will not be tamed to the village of the banished
unlost, proud ancient fire unblemished, un-sundered Sewela walks away
while in flickering background accusing shadows busily stray
nightís unrequited witching descends on the two hundred

(Inspired by TV coverage of this common incident, September Ď99. There is an entire village of banished individuals, all of whom are accused of unfairly and unethically gaining wealth by witchcraft or having caused injury, death, disease or mishap by occult techniques. Most of these accused have had their property destroyed by fire. Many of them are blamed for the incidence of fatal lightning strikes on cattle, humans or property that are fairly common in this area and quickly sentenced by a convention of the accusers. Sewela was fortunate to have survived the incident, some are not just burnt out but are corporally punished or executed, sometimes by being burnt alive after partial dismemberment. In almost every case the victim is noticeably wealthier than their immediate community and often this wealth is traceable to simple agricultural industriousness, a gift for manufacture or trade. The name Sewela is pronounced Seh-weh-lah, quickly spoken.)



Frank Valentyn

I felt:
Let me get it right
get this right
get it right
whatever it is.

The bathroom tile questioned:
Do you not know what it is then?

I felt:
Does anyone?

The source answered:
Some seem to think they know
and even, in some honest focus
know that they think they know.
Why is it you cry so much?
Why not channel that energy
into moulding the future
vector it towards a stronger self?

I sobbed, hesitated:
How much truly
can such future be moulded?

Steam rose swirling mistily
droplets condensing
runneling together
sliding down
when heavy enough

The source smiled:
Are you placing limitations
On me?
Or on yourself?

Some droplets on my hand
magnified detail
I could not tell
where they ended
and I began

Teleology in the Shower


Frank Valentyn

Why canít you let me go, I asked
what do you want of me?

The source trickled on
I felt it wanted to gush
but that somehow I was impeding it

Why canít it be over for once, I asked
I need the rest!

Two drops coalesced in one
and joined a third, trickling
down the tile, meandering
star-stuff in angling rivulet

What would the world be
without these drops,
the source asked,
are you any less important?

I washed my hair
as ritual ceremony
cosmic in its import
exactly how I belonged to it

Nautical Holograph


Frank Valentyn

It happened then
when I least expected it
breath of freshness stirring
at the moment
when I was prepared to reef the sail
after such long waiting

I went away
and came again
to the same place
but with different vision

It was my setting of the sail
that had been defective

Going with the Flow


Frank Valentyn

You understand this question of turbulence?
asked the source

Yes, I answered confidently
from within the new, comfortable gestalt:
created when there is resistance,
when resistance is offered to the flow
as I was so expert at!

Excellent, flowed the source

And I
could feel its velocity increasing gradually
palpably in the course of new event
become the flow
horizon still insistently receding
part of the infinite frontier

There was a misty haze
as I deconstricted the internal aperture
of the hot-tap
and adjusted the temperature for comfort
forgotten pain sublimated
in a shower of fresh thought

Anytime now, Jenny


Frank Valentyn

Dance Jenny, dance!
Dance across those floors you carry
Dance through the room that you contain
Dance through the world you created
Dance in reflection of your heart, Jenny
Oh, dance Jenny! Dance!

Dance Jenny, dance!
Dance through the door
You've hesitated opening
Dance in the flow that sings to you
Gently, insistently calling
Dance with power, Jenny
Allow the greater trust
To discover the beauty
Of your dancing thrust
Dance Jenny, dance true
And know that no-one
Dances such as you

(Dedicated to Jenny H)

Love is


Frank Valentyn

To see you walk
To see you touch things, simply
To know the purpose of life
To immerse in your depthless eyes
To lose my self entirely in your kiss
To be at one through you
With the divine

Encrypted Cry


Frank Valentyn

From unknown depths
I felt it rising
controlled and measured it
modulated a thing primeval
cry of wounded mastodon
forgotten child
ancient, instinctive
arising newly born
I aimed its welling upward
and to the outside world
smiled, said:
"Thought I heard something"

Semaphore from Ego to Id


Frank Valentyn

Simply understand the mechanics of the caution
they amount to this:
there may be no true unification
neither true separation
only time-honoured observation of somewhat-agreed ritual
with halfspread wings
tied to strings of expectation
accountable to the design
although you have the difficult freedom
to selectively resonate
with disconcordant islands of definition

Secrete the requisite hormones, therefore
at the right time in correct proportion
but realise that your only true compass is my intuition
whether in spite or because of your mundane genetic clockwork
I will not resolve
but it is there, in intuition that I reside
and hold my honour

Burning Bridges


Frank Valentyn

Leave the scorched earth
abandon fallowed lands
where remaining hands reach out
with the power appointed them

Cross the bridges one last time
burn them decisively
and in that momentís heat, heal
translate their flaming
into new lightís comfort
illumine the chosen pathís meanders
flow with the questís dreaming
but gather some remnant planks
splintered, scorched perhaps
small deliberate burden
lay occasional casual crossings
to those early causes
witness there what formed and moulded
what in higher interpretation of those vistas
bore the more consonant music
that sings inside, liberated
and accompanies the flameís new power

Marimba Beetle


Frank Valentyn

He came back from Mozambique
with several things animate and inanimate
gifts, physical constructs
that had in their making been subject
to the psyche of the area

There were two light-rough-wood ketches
with off-white, well-shaped, wind-longing canvas sail
which he had bartered for food
as the best intersection between abundant local materials
hunger and natural talent
is foreign visitors
and their suspected intentions

There were kilos of crisp calamari
in still-frozen watery blocks
in interesting plastic bags with portuguese cryptographics
flown out with the chopper
after the three weeks of saving flood-victims
and dropping WFP foodpack rations
those went into the freezer and to neighbours

There was a very playable marimba
with elongated oval, hardwood bars
two sticks with mallet-ends carved from truck-wheel tyre
with fascinating little feral facets
each bar resonating in graded gourds
that had yellow-orange moss-like discolorations
and a fine, trip-dancing hoarse tone
gritty with a damped little fluty resonance
like a knock-tone followed home
by whistling against the edge of paper
the whole construction tightly strapped
with thin untanned strips of grey-white hide
and I call it a marimba here
as I only later learned that it was a traditional timbila

The most intriguing gift
was the surprise occurring only four months later
when, some calamari still there for neighbours,
small conical piles of fine micro-dust appeared
at select spots under the marimbaís bracing frame
and at the back too, under a soft-light-wood member
for a while I considered whether continuous playing
would anaesthetise or force them to evacuate
but it made more sense that it would habituate
and perhaps make the piles grow faster

They crawled out after the insecticide
applied with great reluctance
two, small dying things, specialised, no wings
defied classification with my limited entomological education
I just called them Marimba Beetles
careful observation proved no further pile-generation
and resonant hollowing of structure
that might well have made stronger
instead of weaker, perhaps, Iíll never know
how they were meant to play their role
but thereís definitely something missing
in that marimba, although itís mostly there for show
under the masks from Kenya and Malawi
rarely played by glancing passers-by

For Alex

The Saying Of Nothing


Frank Valentyn

Oh Zen!
its ideal book
without title
and blank pages

Pandoraís box -
so much to say
that error is avoided
by quietude

Van Gogh's Poetry


Frank Valentyn

You would well recognise her, Vincent
as the nun
who in her bitter loving habit
advised you cold bath watercures
when you felt it coming
and with her sombre smile
declined the gift and its spectral insights
because nobody bought them anyway

You recognised her, Vincent
in those you cried to in desperation
severing who would not hear
to put them at safer bloodied distance

And finally you recognized her
in the aim you applied yourself
painting, at last, the indigestible
at its centre
and letting it work its cathartic ways
processing their opinions
(timelessly entrenched in paradigm
anticipating standard potatoes)
as self-moulding gift
carefully answering their expectations

Unlived Feelings


Frank Valentyn

Is denial itself, an avoiding pretense
desperate level of defence?

Are those feelings crying out
unaddressed, suppressed
excised, steered safely to an edge
of heart and mind, rejected gifts
unparented children?

Disinherited, unaccepted, uncared for
unlived, unloved, unguided
they grow unkempt orphans
consuming peripheral debris
until their adult stance
underfed on spiritual jetsam
confronts in demand for recognition
children still, flotsam of the soul
begging to nourish the denying heart
towards acceptance

Dancing Ray


Frank Valentyn

My son, my son
where I was once intentioned
fragile bough, vector to your budding
how solitary this awareness now
cloudlets in distant scudding
glances of imperfect recollection
condense, then sublimate
tears, laughter, re-inspected stances
attitudes towards attitudes of inclination

My son, my son
all separates in this dream's continuance
to confluence again in different ways
fresh tributaries and dancing rays
exploring the unknown familiar
to there illuminate or tenebrate
shade, shadow or enlighten
may, in those many futures of guided choice
my own spark sometimes brighten

My son, my son
time is simply notion
a motion of the infinite sustaining variation
to realise in overtones of eternal transience
urge of primeval cause in dances within dances
where all our I's are singularly indivisible, ringing
oneness within a self-whole changeless changing
all fractal endings birthing new beginnings
love in all its timbres, resonant, singing in sinless sinning

For Alex

You just donít


Frank Valentyn

I know you donít, but
Joe Whatsisname really liked her:
said that she had something
that deeply appealed to people
even though she may not have been
technically perfect, I was told

I asserted
that to measure by majority appeal
was reflection of a most average
and that eclecticism in taste
automatically placed you in minority
but that in striving towards excellence
at least there was professional integrity

You just donít like Joe Whatsisname
and heís excellent at what he does
she frothed accusingly

I worked out an apology
in self-perceived oversensitivity
quite granted others their opinion
but felt something sacred slip
in the threat to compromise my own:
it wasnít absence of technical proficiency
but over-exploitation of that voice
on arduous Wagnerian severity
that wore down and broke the machine -

But now sheíll just never believe
that I actually quite like Joe Whatsisname
whose complex expertise lies in financial systems
that break with different modes of wear
with the remotest commonality of criteria
suffering repeatedly from transient dissonance
instead of incessant tear and entrenched cracking
although they also often forcibly retire
with an exhausting lack of dignity

Shifting Shadows


Frank Valentyn

There are those nights then
when the world comes to an end
precipitously slowly
as if consciousness jumped out
from the eyes
to physically grab the forming drop
on a tap, improperly closed

Something aboriginal arises
that urges a welling chant
to make eclipses end
with sheer psychic power
audibly moans in its travel
and to the point of impact
which is strangely conjoined
with an antediluvian rhythm
a heart-umbilical

Then thereís lost hope
but not gone all at once
it seeps, like the shadows
of a lunation
and a wishing for clouds
to lessen its witnessing

Not Here


Frank Valentyn

I stand here talking to you
and yet the I that is, am not
and not wholly or only here
then, what I speak is not of me alone
or by me only
neither are you wholly absent
except in the profoundest way
in that it is yourself that you hear talking
with me accompanying in comment
and in the talkingís resonance, acclaim and dissent
thereís purely a connecting wave
where it came from and where it went
belong not here
but are an incision in the circle of intent

Plato and Protagoras


Frank Valentyn

You were so right, Plato
it is indeed a kind, a manner
of inspired madness
removed by definable degrees
from the principle of Universal Good

But perhaps your fundamental premise
took predilective, a too severe account
of just one side of the coin of Formness
that in its weaving through human minds
avoids interpretatively the void of formless

And in Protagorasí axe, gently cleaving
the undulant and vacillating nature
of the truly free and the determinant
there was preceding counterpoint
that was not politically expedient

Was it just one step, Plato
that you were removed from the platonic?
when you were persuaded to apology
did you remember the justified ontology
of exiled drowning?

Undoubtedly, in opinion of knowledge
there is knowledge of opinion
and before and after that
a strange connectedness, a dynamism
an unstoppable circle of reason

Perhaps youíd agree after all
that the ultimate form beyond all
is the form of the ultimate all
and the resonance of selective chase
a haste of unique dedication

Finite Impressions of the Event


Frank Valentyn

Tail-rotor with gearbox still attached
lay some hundred meters away, he said
at the seven-o-clock
from where the main body pointed
other assorted debris-assemblies
another thirty meters
at the eight-thirty or nine
and those falls roughly dispersed
in a triangle, long axis parallel to the dirt road
and although he searched for smoke
amazingly there was no fire

Pilot and copilot were lying outside
other bodies too, thrown clear on impact
but my assumption was corrected
when he assured me that the copilot
freed himself from that flattened wreckage

After the urgent casualties were flown out
occurred my second most unwished for:
he said: there was one who, in his stretcher
started convulsing, blood-foam frothing
on his mouth, moaning, but upon complaint
the damn medic insisted he was allright
then flying out those for whom time
was neither sequence nor consequence

I wish I played no part but Iím his dad you see
still wonder how I always knew heíd be a pilot
ever since I noted:
"A wing, a word, a flying bird on our horizon"
in the lullaby poem I wrote before he was conceived
but after I conceived of him, in sequence
then, the most unwished for:
inside, when now he had time to look
the young girl captain he knew, dead
that weight and impact of the engines
flight engineer, whom, he said
head bent forward on his chest
had a grimace and other dead
and that smell of open flesh and blood
becoming more than memory
and the photo heíd taken of them all
that morning, friends, crew acquainted
and indelibly vital in that contrast

"Bet you thought Iíd crashed the car"
he said, phoning to confirm his safety
before TV coverage could stun and disconcert
but my spine went quite primeval
when he assured his crew was also fine
and I tried focussing on reported details
then, "Iím coming home now"
and there was no detectable tremble
in that voice, a wing, a word
God, how I love my pilot
held him long before he returned
wish outstretched to my horizons

For Alex



Frank Valentyn

How I pity those that speak of god
as though they understand her
prate sciolistically about the divine
in complete and excellent knowledge
thrusting their urgent limitations
on all they would mould
to inherited templates
of own truncated receptivity

Dilution of essence
their branding tattoo
noisome fanfares of diminution
personally appointed mouthpieces
on self-erected altars, in self-adulation
mis-phasing the pure
filtering the absolute in misconfraction
through uninspected apothegms

Diapered in chafing, infantile spirituality
untenderly invoking bleating revocations
of their incipient regurgitation of the un-divine
staining selves in own misunderstood innocence
blind to self-bequeathed opacities of purpose
suckling still, would feed their far horizons
with unrestrained prosyletism
admiring of small curds within the unseen infinite

Verily, I would not say unto them
see not intrinsic deity in babeís eyes
the connate divine in all base and ordinary
the common in the illimitable and boundless union
hear not extended tone of natural godliness in supernatural
feel not ingenuous interpenetration of self and tiniest flower
know not self in other and in that other shine as self
aim not, align not highest within, it enacts already, gentle in its patience

Longing's Demands


Frank Valentyn

You attack and confront continuously
yet demand succour of reassurance
but cannot offer comfort's haven

You reduce and criticise
minimise, accuse and derogate unceasingly
yet wish yourself to be assuaged
enveloped in a love demanded
from the breaking broken
unhealed by continuous stoning
forgetting, denying
that in all broken form
there is child
longing for stroking
as you yourself too, would be stroked

Who will it be
to unthrow the first self-aimed agony
who bigger, not than other
but greater than former self
lay aside self-injury
by injuring the other?

Pogo in the Jurassic


Frank Valentyn

Itís in excess of twenty-five meters
weighs a hundred tons, this sauropod!
I said excitedly, fascinating
upon the two-dim representation
and imagining its thunderous stomp

What does it eat, this Solopod?
she asked, while doing dishes
with the splish-clatter
of a Jurassic rivulet
commenting on the neatness
of our cave and its artesian font
fronded pond with faint tinkling

Well, mostly its main concern
is locomotion with that single pod
(I said) it needs a good wind-up
of five-ton quinticeps that quiver
with saurian exertion
followed by a let-go
a single hop, a bop
clawing at dizzy atmosphere
and altitudinous gymnosperms
before stomp-landing again
and precarious rebalancing
before bending gently down
and taking tiny nibbly bites
of ferns and other thinglets

I donít believe you, she said
tinkling away

Replied: "OK!"
and carried on reading
the cave inside its familiar garden
well-bounded and comfortably secure

Derekís Monster


Frank Valentyn

He knows things growing by other names
such as the word "lawn" for Kikuyu
and "weed" for many of the vital herbs
sangomas would gather with due care
and his own tribal name which he does not mention
as tradition knows these unpronounceable
and avoidable in the protocol of gardening

"You know", he said while at the concrete washbasin
rivulets of summerwarm water streaking his dusty browns
"thereís a big problem:
I saw on TV yesterday, a boat
with the head of a lion and hair like a goat
and the body of a man, growling
and it made much nonsense -
it is all caused by this year two thousand"

"First," he said, his eyes still watering
and scrunched up in an infinite focus
"there was nineteenhundred
aní now itís going to change, everything
you canít expect things to stay the same
when it comes, this two thousand"

I sensed it would be impolitic to disillusion
and denial of vital insight and opportunity
he knows perfectly defective things:
pulled up valued bushes once that he clearly recognised as weed
in his survival inventory
proudly too, their opposites:
defends the necessary artistic duration
and drip-wet repetitiousness of brush strokes
in painting garden walls homogeneously -
shook and nodded respectfully at his smiling worry
and his dry observation:
"This why two kay, she's got no answer"



Frank Valentyn

She left again this morning
confess I heard no sound
no shower running
no clothing rummaged through
no front door closing
not the higher tone
of a reverse gear down the driveway

I fell in
with the dayís determined framework
did bed and washing up of last nightís stir-fry
somewhere in the Himalayas
fresh snow-glitter and banks of white mist
still sceptical of Peter OíTooleís hoisting
of that torpedo without it exploding
and why the mission nurse preferred
the older barge driver
to Murphyís pilot-mechanic dash

I thought: the hell with it -
habit brings secure frustration
thereís total absence of creation
in rearrangement
thought about gently ambling
down the road, as if in sightseeing
nude, like an unaccustomed alien tourist
with the UFO securely parked and invisible
but the outcome would be too predictable
an hour or so now before sheís back
just time to have a shower
and to think up thirty lines
of inestimably foaming poetry
with the sponge as meditational object
forgotten all, no doubt
never to be written
time - caffeine dose
and naming tributaries of the Orinoco

Visions of sitting drip-wet
at the computer, trying to remember
and Murphyís last "Jaysus"
as the waters close over him
- why it was Palestine
and not the natives of Venezuela
visited, only indirectly by missionaries
catalyzing a zealous smallpox
perhaps: to bestow acquired immunity
relieving an ancient naturalness
like wet tracks in the thick pile carpet
when coming home, loincloth
and three speared fish
from the wide river



Frank Valentyn

Verbal attack, emergency
in the accusing fingers, angry hands
she does not like that poetry, she says:
why refer to me as a She?
This ĎSheí is too anonymous
and this reference to ĎShe left againí
- doesnít begin to tell what I leave for:
to earn some measly coin
so that we can continue

I abstained from any pure defence
lamely said that what is read
is hardly ever what is meant
and what meant, perhaps
written for despaired recovery
more than vicarious discovery
of the unintended

She doesnít lay forgotten hand
of forgiving tenderness
before she goes
a single tremulous kiss
on my absent temple, eyes closed
does not linger
before she goes
neither the warmth or press
of her pliant body
no infinity in those eyes
drives any longer into my gaze
before she goes
no healing touch or whisper
warm sibilance of breath
or fall of shielding hair
enfold me
before she goes
no long-agoís are recognisable
no longing just-awoken tones
of far yesterdays, dream
through my pain and depletions
stilled waves, moonless ebbtide
suck at eroding shores
before she goes

Twelve poems, I wrote about you!
I insisted, raised my voice to urgency
warned of my impending insanity
but with all my scabbards empty
there was no hint of the poetic
just rankling rattle of defending accusation
competition of dilemma and exigency
and I was alone, still hopelessly explaining
when she had gone

Conventional Vows


Frank Valentyn

It is my declared intention
to implement this promise
on continual and uninterrupted basis
constant against all variables
known or undiscovered
never contradicting
its parameters or import
and as here applicable to primary purpose

I acknowledge the ritual
official and social aspects
of this process
in my participation
thereby confirming
their influence, importance and effect
as enforceable precedent
and as here applicable to primary purpose

I bind myself to my present utterances
unto practically realisable eternity
whether I shall in future denouement
be loved, liked, disliked, despised or hated
whether consistently abused or misinterpreted
whether deprecated, diminished or derogated
whether abandoned, betrayed or violated
and as here applicable to primary purpose

I bind myself to consensually approved reality
as traditionally entrenched and agreed by statute
updated as and when required
according to changing vogue
and shall translate dynamically
all static construct and shall not vary therefrom
by more than consensual standard deviation
and as here applicable to primary purpose

I shall not let ocular transducers
linger longer than specified tolerable
on any member of opposite gender
or transgress implicit sensibilities
committed to sexual exclusivity
or partake of inclinations or intentions
that may merit, as the case may be, dishonourable mentions
and as here applicable to primary purpose

I shall not redefine
under any circumstances
irrespective of conditions or developments
or loss of sustained compatibility
or inability to meet mutual expectations
or ceasure of nourishing or nurturing
the specification of the primary purpose
and as here applicable to primary purpose

So help me,
antenuptial contracting
administrative forces
continued matrimonial legislation
its historical evolutions
and their consistent enforcement
and all secondary or tertiary purposes so defined
and as here applicable to primary purpose

Compare Wedding Song

Washed By Slow Wakes


Frank Valentyn

Daily shows!
mouldering sign painting their fate:
Chimps, Snakes, Seals - Daily shows!
popcorn and telephoto lenses
throng of scudding bags and beercans

From within his solitary confinement
sodden floor and rust-flaking bars
one of them cannot contain his sentence
his soul already adequately soiled
throwing his own excrement at the yammer, glimmer and glee
his only remaining effective defense
and contemptuous appeal

Ducked anger and scattering amusement
handbags and cameras in inertial arcs
following their owners
I find myself wanting - I would have stood there
even closer
advocate of my race in penitence
attempting desperate and hopeless restitution
with my own hair and tears
at least manage to reduce my pace
to a fast walk
hoping that somehow I will not be sensed
as part of the receding target
his screaming unabated but fading endlessly

Head and neck of a carved giraffe are thrust
through our open car window
a whole herd of them in the roadside dust
traffic slowing in the queue
stopping for the dark one-way tunnel
strong grip on the legs outside my perspective
stained age-gray tee-shirt and the smell of sweat
he will never invest in a crash-course in public relations
I shake my head and the unseeing caricature withdraws
I fear they have all been bought and sold already

There used to be a farm here
before they flooded it
and called it Hartebeestpoort Dam
in the drier years, you can see bits of the farmhouse still
diminutively central
washed by the slow wakes
snarling speedboats
muttering contented progress
dampening waves propagating
through the living carpet of shored water hyacinth
reminding of unseen green depths
and the forgotten that ploughed and birthed there
the Hartebeest do not drink here anymore
although you can still see them, monochrome
heaps of hundreds or more
with a victorious foot placed strategically
here and there
on necks and rumps
but somehow
they never felt that
swamped in slow blind surging

One queue stopping
another starting
into the dark
through the mountain
surmounting the clogging dam
passing spilled popcorn
fading wake
urging momentum
fleeting last views and screeches
as we enter the one-way tunnel

Flesh of Women


Frank Valentyn

The flesh of women is holy
nay, not the flesh but the skin that covers it
nay, not the skin but the burqua that conceals it
nay, not the burqua but the paradigm that enfolds it
nay, not the paradigm but the spirit that enflames it
for that is godly and its command shall not be denied
within us

Therefore we stoned her flesh
and her Ph. D.
bloodied and broke the skin that covered it
unstained and unpolluted the concealing burqua
celebrated the enfolding paradigm
fuelled the inflaming spirit
fed upon the godliness inside us
denied all defence of the satanic

Thus, the rubbish that was left
torn and sundered by divine verdict
was left among the heap
vectors of shame and example
stones blessed by god
thrown by the prophet
unconcealed in our obedience
to the holiest call of all
within us

Truly, god shall teach them shame
for their vaginas
which gave birth to us
need more concealment than their product
their breasts which nourished us
drain holy fluid from those thus immunised
eyes which cleansed without question
our most intimate displays
may witness but not reflect
god resides not there
but commands public exposure
of the descending and fallen
and in the illumined flint we throw
lies avoidance of the light of Sheitan and Lucifer
welling final milk of love and kindness
fathomless within us
deep within our skin

Text below taken from an international petition:

Women in Afghanistan

The government of Afghanistan is waging a war upon women. Since the Taliban took power in 1996, women have had to wear burqua and have been beaten and stoned in public for not having the proper attire, even if this means simply not having the mesh covering in front of their eyes.

One woman was beaten to DEATH by an angry mob of fundamentalists for accidentally exposing her arm while she was driving. Another was stoned to death for trying to leave the country with a man that was not a relative. Women are not allowed to work or even go out in public without a male relative; professional women such as professors, translators, doctors, lawyers, artists and writers have been forced from their jobs and stuffed into their homes, so that depression is becoming so widespread that it has reached emergency levels.

There (is) no way in such an extreme Islamic society to know the suicide rate with certainty, but relief workers are estimating that the suicide rate among women, who cannot find proper medication and treatment for severe depression and would rather take their lives than live in such conditions, has increased significantly.

Homes where a woman is present must have their windows painted so that an outsider can never see her. They must wear silent shoes so that they are never heard. Women live in fear of their lives for the slightest misbehavior.

Because they cannot work, those without male relatives or husbands are either starving to death or begging on the street, even if they hold Ph.D.'s. There are almost no medical facilities available for women, and relief workers, in protest, have mostly left the country, taking medicine and psychologists and other things necessary to treat the sky-rocketing level of depression among women. At one of the rare hospitals for women, a reporter found still, nearly lifeless bodies lying motionless on top of beds, wrapped in their burqua, unwilling to speak, eat, or do anything, but slowly wasting away. Others have gone mad and were seen crouched in corners, perpetually rocking or crying, most of them in fear. One doctor is considering, when what little medication that is left finally runs out, leaving these women in front of the President's residence as a form of peaceful protest.

It is at the point where the term 'human rights violations' has become an understatement. Husbands have the power of life and death over their women relatives, especially their wives, but an angry mob has just as much right to stone or beat a woman, often to death, for exposing an inch of flesh or offending them in the slightest way.

Women enjoyed relative freedom, to work, dress generally as they wanted, and drive and appear in public alone until only 1996. The rapidity of this transition is the main reason for the depression and suicide; women who were once educators or doctors or simply used to basic human freedoms are now severely restricted and treated as sub-human in the name of right-wing fundamentalist Islam. It is not their tradition or 'culture', but is alien to them and it is extreme even for those cultures where fundamentalism is the rule.

Everyone has a right to a tolerable human existence, even if they are women in a Muslim country. If we can threaten military force in Kosovo (in) the name of human rights for the sake of ethnic Albanians, citizens of the world can certainly express peaceful outrage at the oppression, murder and injustice committed against women by the Taliban.

Collateral Damage


Frank Valentyn

She stands truncated
abbreviated by the world
that whirls madly past her
two years old and smiling bravely
they hacked her arms off at the elbow
stumped by political innuendo

Two brave years old
waving her frustration, brightly
at the camera, shyly craving
they allowed retention of her legs
in oversight or specious altruism
where other such angering members
rot on some exhausted road
stepped over by the burdened bold
circled, mis-aimed by the hobbling
unseeing, and ancient children
or float downriver, gently bobbing
votively past tranquil slaughterlands
attracting slow, patient lizards

Behind her, rows and trains
of wheelchaired, crutched, carried and braced
are said to number two million
some grinning prosthetically
understand forgotten horror
reborn daily maimed
in endless continuation
insinuation by attenuation
imputation by amputation
intimidation by diminution

She is, as Plato might have said
a political animal, freshly trained observer
dreamt in her tremble-questing hands, unsure
ever absently immature
may never hold the toys of freedom
or guide the joys of her own childís noise
except in approximation
but her mouth they have not taken
or her growing heart and mind
kind, in dark limpidity, those inquiring eyes
that saw insanity and superior poison
of the intolerable hacked by the intolerant
fleeting appeals of the fleeing and kneeling
seeping tranquilly into pacific slaughterlands
and sometime might seed inner healing
reflecting distantly trickling hope, unquenchable
ever youthful in absent hands

(From a TV documentary on war victims in Sierra Leone)

Definition of the Dog


Frank Valentyn

It's necessary to study the tailwag here
long extinct in humans
although by remarkable genetic circumstance, some are born
with little vestigial bits that cannot be taught to wag

Then, there is its improvement in docking
which humans are expert at
as if by extension of vision
and literal afterthought
that which was amputated swings along at slower speed
and larger amplitude, constant reminder of what could have been
but was augmented by its removal

Strange choice of word, it may be thought
used for the arrival and accurate positioning of ships
at some solid destination for loading or unloading
of things important
and indeed it is the accurate positioning of singular human ambition
symbolised and visited upon the canine hindquarter
docked there as icon of improvement
not on, but of nature

A Neopavlovian response to vogue
genetically imprinted in Homo Speculans
seemingly as automated as ringing-bell elicitation, in some
with its own special complement of surgical instrumentation
that is an extension of the human design
sharp metallic fingers distending the human arm
as an occasional alternative to its standard form
that could play Mozart with undocked ears
listening to something infinitely beyond
yet as beautiful as a distant bark on morning-misted hills

Interpretable Poetry


Frank Valentyn

The simplest reflection
as of self in mirrors
is already lie
a negation, inverted relation
of uninterpretables

Expect rather, foreign correspondence
strange emissaries, exotic custom
dark, glowing festivals
tones and timbres of an uncommon music
dance in rites and mysteries
that have unfamiliar comfort
of movement and energy
beyond accustomed rhyme and reason
celebrations alienly metred
appealing to some common bond
in self-discovery reflected
touching upon a core, dimly perceived
barely suspected

Upwind measurement


Frank Valentyn

She lies there golden
small brown fluffed patch
gently breeze-stirred
on my balcony
watching the trafficís progress
ears pricking up at unusual formants
that are simply a transparent norm
from where I sit in my upstairs study

The railing forms a permeable barrier
between two worlds
this, containing sacred basket
and the familiar smells
and that of the outer adventure
leash-bound or in the wind-thrill
of earflapping and wetnosed leaning
across the sill
of Ďcar!í's open window

How she tells the difference
is a secret Iíll never grasp
but with infallible judgement
some pedestrians merit a bark
others a mere lifting of age-blonded eyebrows
and assessment by long-distance sniff
as they pass from mystery to mystery
appraising their own barriers

For Lucy

Simple Request


Frank Valentyn

Half-hour's worth of tabula rasa, full emptiness
assorted pencil rapping, tapping, trapping of ideas
the tumbling vacillation and vacuums of unstructured thought
small pleasures and little tragedies
thumbing through the lists and inventories of my mind
Why donít you write something nice to me? she asked

To starboard, greyblue royalcloth of ruffled sea
a yellow weaverbird singly searching
to port, half-reflecting in a hazy pane
bearded pencil-wielding moujik would be me
sea-blown hair, behind him yet another sea
protected soundless echo of unseverable reality
neatly framed and sane selection
beyond again, a course, a direction
choice and habit, ambits of time and testing
manner and inflection, finely tuned reflections
and across from me, light to all darkness
compass to moment's want of known direction
you to whom I would dedicate my navigation
within my calmest depths lives your reflection
and discovers discovery within my writing
suddenly a festive exuberance of yellow wings
ecstatic flight of turbulent sunflecked surprise
mirrored celebration of constant joy awakening
weaving light and brightness through my being

I'll have to think about that, I said, seeing
my pencil firmly hesitant in the knowledge
that I would hardly do justice to the profundity
contained in so simple a request



Frank Valentyn

I had a sudden flash of inspiration
as I crouched on a sun-glittered slope of beach
wind, waves and sand around me
wondering about my inclinations
reasons and reasoning
filtering through my hands and mind
the driftline treasure of the last high tide
the broken and unbroken forms within
tiding into view and gliding out again
I realised with sweet cresting immediacy
that I had been constituted in the deep
and that all broken was unbroken, mending
a tiding purpose, spoken in the cry of gulls
the hissing sheen of rolling thrust within
a sleeping elegance of might, trimmed
to whim and lull of singing wind
intimately purposed in patterned waves
and that all wistful din was interwoven music
I waded gratefully and in pliant celebration
through the waving shallow froth of indeterminacy
knowing that all randomness was just a close horizon
the glittering wind-fresh moisture on my skin
as much a melody of cause as an effectual harmony
something within me, fraction of the sum total
and yet not less, rose from the sand and sang
towards where I could see her just over and beyond
low crest of dune, part of us both
love, gulls and shining sea, handfuls of shells

Fractional Impression


Frank Valentyn

On the dark-stained tar
there was a flowing out of feeling
a dissolving model of the world
last diffuse awareness
dying possum

In that moment
there was an art in my sensations
confluence of distant motivations
resonance within a forest of considerations
small sinuous comforts and self-importance
halted in a ringing counterpoint
of finality and continuation

Astronomerís Field Notes


Frank Valentyn

Several constellations beckon
interstitial blackness, unresolvable
in them, objects of principal interest
encrypted in nebular diffuseness
instinct pointing

What a lens!
honed to perfection
but only one directed choice
now if only two telescopes
or some kind of image multiplexing

Matrix of voluntary indeterminacy
two feminine flowers fleeing breeze
bee flitting
lost in the weave
is there choice of choice?

Ah, Kiki


Frank Valentyn

I thought about you today
and the meanings of friendship
there were so many gifts to say
and lost wounds gently mended

You understood my thirsting quest
healed soft, such pain that tore apart
then gave without the least request
and reached within your heart

I thought about you today
and spent some time in wonder
and see a source that never ends
that friends eternal ponder

For Leslie S



Frank Valentyn

Will they ever understand
that this destructiveness
is self-destruction?

That such criticism
is criticism of self?

That then continued taking
is self diminishment?

That persistent fear
questions consistently
their latent authentic power?

That unending longing
incompletes their adequacy?

That lack of trust
suppresses miracles?

Lighting your Candle


Frank Valentyn

Today was gentle celebration
as I guided your rising flame
fondly recognised your origin
and dream your destination

And though I light it once a year
the light flows in reflection
of your ever being near
in each dawn and dusk's perfection

Oh, Christopher, gently shining
there is knowing beyond feeling
and feeling beyond knowing
of hearts' eternal twining

You know, don't you
the infinite connecting flow?
cycles of souls questing true
uniting separate flames to grow?

We birth continually each other
the care within us striving longer
in sacredness of being mother
to bring the divine in growing stronger

You know don't you, my darling
the infinite connecting flow?
there burns flame beyond extinguishing
brightens gentle in the love we all shall know

For Leslie S

Still-life with Ducks


Frank Valentyn

There is 'duckness ' as Plato said
and the conformance to its ideal form
by the atomic arrangement in my view
in six examples, one hissing
at the dogness on my leash

I came away with Plato edified
feeding Bohm's implicate order
with the small returned gift
of slightly spoiled lettuce
grateful stalish bread
and my own verbalised imitation
of quacked comment on humans
continually compared by explication
to its ideal form

The gene for digestive juice


Frank Valentyn

The cabbage I ate had no valid death certificate
I ate nuts still capable of germinating
A peach that would have realised tree-being
To climb in with opinions nourished
By what they all had garnered from the earth
Attenuating my tenuous connection with its surface
In the altitude of my ethical extemporisations
Themselves an outgrowth of the earth's crust
Growing towards distant starbirth
Going home

Saying It


Frank Valentyn

While I said it
I knew I was not saying it
and that it required speaking beyond language
not a question of time or exactitude
spiraling in on a defined focus
creating a common frame of reference
or the building of contributory concept
nor question of lack of interest or attention
ability to assimilate or glean a vital locus

In retrospect it seems to me
to have been a question of intent
that in a greater focus
external to the participants
guided beyond will or determinism
an as yet unknown purpose

Did You Dream Franz?


Frank Valentyn

Oh, Franz
When you died
Of cold, starvation and fever
Your only inheritable possessions
Your greatcoat and guitar
Unrecognised in genius, unrewarded
In those last moments, did you dream?

Did you dream of your SchŲne MŁllerin
Whom I too fell hopelessly in love with at fifteen?
Did your dreams exceed those chill Viennese plštzen
Cafťs with warmth-wafted blue cigar smoke
Promise of hot coffee freshly guiding you
Your urgent manuscript in hand?

Oh, Franz
When you died
That cold, starvation, fever
Were not the marks of poverty
But yet they were, branded ever in those souls
And in the trembling window and the snow
The silent door and quavering floorboards
Stiff shrouding curtains against a meager world
There were few human compassions breathing
Of love and of farewell

Did you dream Franz?
Could you dream that in two mere centuries
Stages would ring with the gnawing and smashing
Of instruments worth ten thousands of your guitar?
Did you dream
That some would recommend themselves in public
In their sensibility of excellence and duty
By how much music it is they wrote
Or state proudly that they could not read a note?

Oh, Franz
In that ease and fluency of vision
No doubt you saw an ulterior harmony
Felt immersed in the infinite melody
Springing from an infinite source
And true to that wellspring and its calling
Embraced that urgent course

Crass Alligator Doggerel


Frank Valentyn

There was a young man from Parnassus
who among his varied possessions
had an alligator referred to as Crassus
it happened one day
they got stuck on the way
on the highway from Paris to Brussels
in a stampede dismissive of road rules
brayed an assembly of totally mad mules
and in order to flee the melee
without getting surgical
he put his pet vertical
and his alligator he climbed like a tree

A passing monk gave his blessings
offered him sackcloth and ashes
asked if his view from up there was impressive
I really canít tell
said the young man quite fell
Iím up to my alligator in asses

Mists, clearing


Frank Valentyn

Erik, Viking of the mind
what wind and weather pointed you
what tide was it you judged to form
primal impetus of your journey?

Did you see the need as child
the child as needing
feel the uncharted seething
breathing pregnant challenge?

Within that vastness of fluidity
the interchanging troughs and crests
of knowing and unknowing
how was it you felt so acutely
the turbulences and solidities
see through the opacities imposed
soar through frothing irrationality
clearing the clinging familiar mists
thought to be horizons?

Doubtlessly you remained a child
within the endlessly steering mind
playing calmly gentle games and smiling
towards infinite discovery

Dedicated to Erik H. Erikson
Professor of Human development and lecturer in psychiatry, Harvard

A wounded Marine is evacuated from Seoul on 28 September 1950


Frank Valentyn

Nineteen visible here
one with hands in pockets, bareheaded, passive
right leg slightly bent forward at the knee, observing

One with sergeant's stripes
a somewhat commanding angle to upper torso
hands loosely at the sides but held some inches away
baggy creases in his left trouser leg, instructing

The only face turned in his direction
with boots in the act of turning
one foot pointing towards, the other away
from the implied position of the stretcher
in the overexposed whiteness of the grass

Seven around the parked jeep in the middle distance
one sitting on the rear bumper, hand on thigh
looking at the Wounded Marine, patiently unwounded

Three helmeted in the left foreground, relaxed
two of these looking away from the scene
one with pointing arm outstretched beyond the visible, aiming

Two look at the dust-cloud rolling in
bending and half-obscuring scraggy bushes
in the helicopter's flared approach
blades frozen in a static whirlwind
one blade scything in diffusely streaking grey

Four, in two groups of two, kneeling
hunched, feet sucked blackly into blending shadows
the closest one's shirt a white brilliant disappearance
attending, undistractable
and the stark relief of one end of a stretcher pole

Dust-washed barracks below flat receding hills
truck with a bent caging of superimposed crucifixes
damagingly alone, abandoned in the distance

One absent here, only present by implication
never arrived, already left, calmly indeterminate
the Wounded Marine

From a monochrome photograph of the same title



Frank Valentyn

There is intention
(this can be noted)
whether it is here
or there
cannot be uttered truthfully
whether it aims at entropisation
or organised sophistication
is a future retrospect

There is will
(this can be felt)
intentís precursor
whether it lies inside
or without
cannot be spoken substantively
whether it autocatalyses
or recursively self-limits
is a flash of past prescience

There is action
(this observed)
whether drawn by final evolution
or induced by primal moment
cannot be intuited
where there was I
is the focus of a definition
where focus perceives observation
lies convergence of ultimate macrocosm
diverging from unresolvable singularity

Catch Thirty-Three


Frank Valentyn

Two-thirds of this catch
is a baggage that drowns most motivation
in expecting effects to precede causes

but catch thirty-three is more phantom knee
with gymnastic ambitions
after the legís amputation

in expecting the causeless
to be not caused at all
when the effects are not understood to be needed

The Gods of Turbo Engines


Frank Valentyn

The trajectory of 20mm armour piercing
deterministic in equation
lacks any volitionary motion
any conscious notion, surely
except at its causal triggers
but in coincident solution
can elicit trammel and confusion

Does targeting Doppler radar
measure in its pulsing touch
convergence purely of solidity
or questing in translucent turbidity
of mind and matter stuff
in modulation beyond electronic
assess the states of occupants
lives, loves and hates, dispositions
fixed decisions and seminal doubts
meld the calibre of a transient accent
in a matrix exceeding the accessibly human
with a phase of density, engineering of spirit
moulding the infinite to some ulterior cause?

Quest for a Pure Vector


Frank Valentyn

Hooking onto purpose is twofold action:
identify then dedicate
and self-perpetuating centrifuge begins
causing rationale and rationalising causation -
comfort of the hook beyond restricting freedom

Itís a simple cybernetic principle:
filtering and acuifying of external input
amplification, goal-directed action
loop-stabilisation through feedback and control -
optimum performance of the self-selected task

Yet nothing would be end in itself:
the continuum of primary goals
is self-enfolded and self-compelling
itís easy to recognise that you are hook -
baited with heredity and cultural expectation

Then there is the unquantifiable:
inner connectedness to vanishing source
modulating the first-instance trajectories
of gene and meme in their self-serving course -
awareness superlatively beyond enslaved machine

The vector of true freedom then perhaps:
lies not in avoidance of recognition
or evasion of integration
but in the quest itself -
unfettered, free dynamic resonance

Lost Evidence


Frank Valentyn

The EPR experiment proves light-speed violation
Bellís theorem, non-locality of instant information
Bohmís holographic universe shows us to be fractal
a self woven from other selves in ever larger fractals
and in its non-classical term addition
of quantum potential to SchrŲdingerís equation
proves even the humble electronís consciousness
and infinite connectedness to cosmic self-realisation

FrŲhlich says itís hydrophobic electret polymer dipoles
and gigahertz phonon coherent quantum states
causing the unitary binding of consciousness
that might result in genius or a bratís bumptiousness
and Hameroff and Penrose
who have a nose for this kind of thing
allege coherent firing of cerebral neuronal groups
in cytoskeletal microtubulin-associated-protein

The Vedic macroscope says itís all illusion, Maya
and even Plato rejected sensory empiricism
while Heraclitus could neither step into
or out of his lukewarm bathwater
without transmogrifying into some totally new thing
and obviously thereís no such certitude as self-totality
or indivisible individuality

Even the meaning of meaningís meaning
or tendency of tendency
and non-finality of implication of the ontology of trends
seminally illuminate but make desperate poor friends

Why is it then that we search for lost evidence
feel within our non-existent selves
such cosmic separation and connected isolation?
Where is this immanence of perfect perception
this intimate interpenetration of conscious point-focus
that I used to call my Self, now diffusely sublimated
with that infinite suffusion of the cosmic weave?
Did I really see that marble garden elf
wink subliminally and move with subtle heave?

The Net of Indra


Frank Valentyn

When he shone on that soapbox
appearing less rickety than his foundation
and in himself alleged a godliness
they would have committed him as crazy
denied themselves all such potential instantly
and bifurcated their destinies
at blasphemy and clinically protective doors

When he smiled:
"I have recapitulated all major premises
and come to the conclusion
that the only salient ingredient of choice
is pure creation"
some picked up stones
or spat themselves at him

Some stayed to ridicule themselves
others analogised in their impending absence
that ritual sacrifice was outmoded
played self-horrified with pros and cons of that
or thought of the dayís framework
the nodes of which were still unfulfilled
in a one-to-one-relation

To an ISP's POP's IT admin:


Frank Valentyn

Your connectivity
is a techno-depravity
I've just never seen anything like it

My e-mails and letters
are daily latched in the fetters
of your steam-age mail server's ineptness

Or is that IMAPtness accumulating
in an electronically sludge-loaded panting fit?
Do you feed the damn obsolescent thing, ever
some few electrons at the sensitive end with the little mouldering red plug on it?

I sit here with disbelieving head in hand
organically pondering the wonders of communication
and ask myself with what weird celebration
you insistently ignore my despairing phonecalls then -
in the missing ministrations of a consistently absent and totally disinterested repairman

The accumulating kilobits and clashing megabytes in maddeningly rusty baud considerations,,,*
damn - it's broken again_
now, where's my scratchy old pen, a stamp and a new piece of paper_



Frank Valentyn

Close her photo album
on the bedside table
open at the passion page
where her smile reminds
of the moment you were in her
and she whisper-urged
do you want to go all the way?

Withdraw those tenuous tendrils
questing across the ocean
ongoing in their outreaching concern
somehow more substantial
than transatlantic cable

Love a last linger-kiss
on the satin centre panel
of her silkwhite panties
kept with your pyjamas
then honour them with usefulness
turn them into an incidental -
a duster or polish-cloth
for future objective clarity
and brightness

She's gone now
She truly believes this
Now that's she's gone

Anotherlove purses heart
and her soul beckons
she's thought of you already
as you of her
touched herself already sweetly
as your dreams have her -
thinking of you
and you're being-made ready
for meeting her
as you grow:
gently within each other
as yet unknowingly

The Old Cannery at Waupoos


Frank Valentyn

"I worked here," you wrote
"peeling and canning tomatoes in '68 and '69"
you were twelve and I twenty turns
then continent and short eternity away
across innocence's trusting oceans

You annotated rustic orange, astray in time
brick and paths that knew your skipping
stripping the separated years of their estrangement
old hooped vats and grey slate roofs
and the feeling in me burns
that contingency diverted me
from observing you in youth
and when sweet-urgently you whispered
tremulously against my ear
beings intertwined, hearts near
souls and love-dewed limbs locked indivisibly
"Oh, fuck me, please?" and apologised
for the intensity of your words
and your urgency of feeling
I would have cast our hearts and minds
to mutual innocence, blushing discovery
you and I, impossibly at the cannery in '69
soft satin of your thighs unknown
our eyes locked in the recovery of birth
as in single thought we reached
for the richest fruit
and touched each other's destiny

Single Tone


Frank Valentyn

Deep within, sweet stream is sensed
infinitely flowing
advancing and receding timelessly
with it, feelings growing
in fragile, blossoming connectedness
tensed in turbulent contexts of tranquillity

Towards that sacred fluidity
I strive and urge, too
dare nudge all thirsting creatures
as my being also, is thrust
towards visions of divine tributaries
of souls' unique perceptions

Some towards and some away
from such healing fullness
but whether from the same we drink
entwined in purpose, side by side
or separate slim sources
singular resonant courses join
hearts to destiny's origin
we hear fractions of a single tone
composed beyond our singing

Dawning's Vision


Frank Valentyn

Only dream exceeds reality
forms true intentionality
beyond the daily living lie
higher pure perspective sees the path
deeper insight forms aim-purpose
dragging these daily steps, stilling the cry
lending sense and meaning to pursuit
through this sacred emptiness and its promises

There is horizon beyond this tangle
a cusp of heart, an apogee of soul-stuff
drawing on in restless thrall, an angle
to this aim directing its envisioning
beyond these transient settings of meagre days
beckoning divine dawning

Delicate within tolerance's balance:
clasping of false comfort
with intuition's dream -
grinding talons turn elegant to gentling fingers
surface bloodlessness blushing tomorrow's heart
there strum I strings of dreaming's vision
endless decision, feel Orion turning
towards Big Dipper's sustenance
there my guitar recites its truest poetry
singing gently of reborn hearts

Dream of Flight


Frank Valentyn

I said to her:
"This bird can't fly
it cries in the winds
of yesterday
it's wing unfolds not
untold its lot, sad plot
that leads to paradigm."

She asked:
"Then what would you rather do?"
I told her: "Fly with the love I knew
divine flight in abandonment, true
godliness deep sourced within
a wing of endless beauty
soft intuition's touch
endlessly feminine
continual translating
soul of unending inner duty
to heart's need, fathomless desire
unhiding primal knowing, softly
towards completion's growing
joy in graceful hand and dancing
yin to my yang, cusp to my zenith
sigh of woman to mouth of man
intermingled soaring, coy in simplicity
of teasing tart truths and celebrating tears
dreamy floating ecstacy
undulant in our canting curves
joining of wounds in gentled healing
prayered kneeling to other's sex
a hex of flowered blushing joy
souls' danced interpenetration
lilac glows of season
African Sun, Canadian cooling
pooling of our dews in oneness
indigo Atlantic hues, flight
aiming beyond reason
single exclamation, done-ness
elegant in ever incompleting cry, coming
going all the way to our core's nurtured purpose
white silken gleam of light
bright, heated beating hearts' delight
joined in sacred flight, fervent
lofting wave together, sight hazed
with inner vision clear in common claim
of single aim - love's longing light
shyly shining in its courage, calling
calling on
calling on to true flight's beauty"

Answer to Numbness


Frank Valentyn

You wish separation, isolation
insulation from the turbulent, my son
wanting calm numbness, anaesthesia
against those facets of reality
that cut and chafe unceasingly

Focussing differentially
on duty, responsibility
the spectrum of ideals
striving on delineated path
performances of the task

But island you can never be
cliff-walls, sea-torn, erode and crumble
as beaches shape, adapt, accommodate
unchanged in changing
so too, flow in freer exchanging

The accent that is you
enriched and enriching
remoulding in each fresh'ning tide
continuous mutual choice fairly tending
your soul-essence extended and extending

Know separateness within oneness, my son
privacy in interpenetrant connectedness
contiguity within all boundaries' horizons
allow the easing of that union of your True Self
with all outside, extention and intention of the greater Self

For Alex



Frank Valentyn

These long moments
of silent introspection
and reprocessing of deep hurts
Oh, how tearfully mistaken
we are in not recognising them
as fine golden celebration

I cried in pain
and then in joy
of welling recognition
that event and structure
were in wider retrospection
softly compassionate gesture

Such gain in loss
and expanding self, in selflessness
beauty in its mistaken absences
growth in perceived diminishment
timeless cosmic assistance
soft guiding clasp of the divine!

Poet's Plea


Frank Valentyn

Know, sweet friend
that I express myself
in idealisms and suspicions
hopes and urgent strivings
not ever certain knowledge
aim my questing talents
where gently they might heal tender

Take me then
some little of your time
that in such gesture
and its unending connectedness
beyond these intervals and spaces
I may feel your own heart's whispers
and humbly gain and learn from them