A man’s fate is a man’s fate
And life is but an illusion

How is your husband? –
The face in the street smiled.
He died, last week
While a small hospital
Of no repute was bombed

Every writer has their cause
Where words without the warmth
A Winter sun secures
No experience drips, as frost
From a leaf when warm breath
Casts itself from itself
And the child-man smiles
Atop the bleak sequestered hill
Where snow folds with silence:
Every bomb is a clue
While children cry

A tyrant’s whim was only a whim
Since he at least must die
But an idea’s fate is an idea’s fate:
They seldom die
Lying like pain in wait

The old woman cries
While she lies in her bed awake:
For sixty years her care carried her;
There was always the house,
The children, the neat garden trimmed by a hedge.
Each Sunday would be real
And they would sit, enjoying the warmth
Of their world.
He died, last week
Before the leeches sucked their house

“In a Home” the face like her youth said
“It is warm, and in Winter we will come.”
Oh my daughter what have you done…

Every person has their Cause
When deeds drip like blood
Just as every City is a snare

Can you remember you who skirted
That path and walked like Leonidas
Can you remember the warmth
That drew Cities from Stone?
Is there no forgiving for the dreams
Of our past? No remembering of skulls
Cracked to help those cracking
To remember a question, just one question
About Life?

There is no goal worthy
For which a City might live:
But, I remember the City
We might build to the stars

DW Myatt

Here I have stopped
Because only Time goes on within my dream:
Yesterday I was awoken, again,
And she held me down
With her body warmth
Until, satisfied, I went alone
And trying to remember:

A sun in a white clouded sky
Morning dawn yellow
Sways the breath that, hot, I exhale tasting of her lips.
The water has cut, deep, into
The estuary bank
And the mallard swims against the flow –
No movement, only effort.
Nearby – the foreign ship which brought me
Is held by rusty chains
Which, one day and soon
And peeling them like its paint,
Must leave

Here I shall begin again
Because Time, at last, has stopped
Since I have remembered the dark ecstasy
Which brought that war-seeking Dream

DW Myatt

Dirty Work

Weary and sleep inclined
I watched the pools of rain
Upon a roof below a corridor
White, quiet and quite empty.

A calmness of concentration came
As I aimed and made the kill, again.
There, a bleeding body
While, somewhere, trees buds were bursting
With the Spring.

I had killed, knitting in space-time
A synchronicity since it was only
One family’s loss
But civilization’s gain.

The choice was never hard
Since Thought can never act
And in Action without Thought
Lies a perfect bliss.

But the Dragon stayed
While only I moved on:
They – the politicians – could still cry
For they forget our memories,
The things that we did in their name.

Yet our eyes betray our loss
For we few who survived are forever
And always

DW Myatt

One Grief

The worst and the best – these feelings of love:
Great, profound, best in their beginning
Yet worst with its ending
When we pace our small room
As outside the warm Sun of Spring appears
From cloud that brought such an early morning

Now, we look out toward where those flowers of Spring
Push upwards from the plush green bank
Beside the lawn that I trimmed
Only one month ago
For the first time
This year.

Beyond, sunlight caught,
Those hills whose treeful slopes
Are greener now that I am sad, sadder, saddened by a grief born
From her losing:
Such life, around – such promise filling this air
With song
As birds proclaim both territory and pride
While I, Bach-hearing, resist resist resist
That temptation to kneel
As dark anguish heavily descends to cover such life as was my life:

For there is no God now to help as when I the monk
Toiled with hands, feelings, desires – until Thought surprised me
With the perfume of a woman
And shook me to take me far from the Monk’s Garden, the cloister, that warm Summer
Of warmful Sun –
Took me, far beyond myself
To where a female deity
Was born.

But, yes, there are tears now, as if the centuries, calling
Held me with the cries of those who long before my birth
Had suffered, cried, mourned, and died –

So many tears, so many, taking me far beyond her loss
To where some future peaceful place, Sun-warmed, and rural as an English Summer,

If only – if only I, we, were there
In that Paradise serene
Where even my desire, my yearning, becomes stilled
As it was not stilled with her
As I restless even beyond myself despite my best most noble hopes
Filled her with sadness, sometimes,
Until the slim thread holding us in love thinned and broke
Breaking her down in a sadness of grief, bent over her bed
Those hours when words failed as words fail
That day of rain and Sun where light from her window beheld her clinging
To the sheets of her bed, her pillow wet with tears.

There was, is, nothing for me to do now
I am sorry, so sorry
But live – or try to live
Remembering: for the centuries, calling
Hold me with the cries of those who long before my birth
Have suffered, cried, mourned, and died,
Thus urging me with such remembering to make some goodful godful use
Of the time remaining, here,
Far from that un-causal Paradise
Which might – should – be ours
One day
When the crying, our hurting,

DW Myatt

Here I Am, Waiting

Here I am, waiting, while the cold night grows ever darker
And the thin crescent moon

Those were the moments of hope – of excuses
As to why she did not call
But the hours, the slow hours, dragged them away
Until he was left, alone, bent, desperate but not desperate
Because unwilling even then to fully believe
His loss.

He loved her so much; he had loved her so much –
She, of the weeks, months, of passionate new love –
And he held, again, her card, reading, reading until the tears came:

To my darling, I love you

What was there left? Where was the future they shared, deeply
In those weeks when three decades of mutual sorrow, loneliness, hope
Came together through embracing arms, kisses
And that intimacy of touch?
Where the joyous desire that left him trembling
When he had stood at her door, waiting,
And she, arriving, threw her arms around him
Holding him so close with her passion, her love,
That he closed his eyes in tears knowing, knowing, his dreams were there
Embodied within her flesh?

Where now the promise promising so much that never was
Never now could be

For she was gone, taken, killed, by an accident of life
As he became taken enfolded by sorrow
Until, broken, the life left him
To leave only the shell, only the physical shell
Longing for death.

What would, could, should he do?
Only exist, ambling, alone, in some wood, on some hill,
Seeking no comfort and finding no comfort, uncaring of himself –
Except when the hills, the clouds, the Sun, the trees
Their life
Came unto him as he the bearded tramp waited
For death,
For then for a moment but only a moment he might be at peace
Amid the life that was their life.

DW Myatt


Decoration by Bombs is an Art

There is a comfort here, a Winter sea breeze,
A quiet time to mould from present possibilities
Future patterns
While each will creates by being just a will
Each possibility of Thought:

There is no being that is real
No authentic Way
While the act that might have linked
All presents to their past
Becomes enfeebled
Like waves breaking on a beach

Decoration by bombing is an Art
And for each thought
That is a connection between our present
And our past
Ten thousand fruitful dead

Each tree rots, in the ambience of Time:
For each forest a silence
For each tree its allotted span;
What forest furnished your fuel
What soil your wheat?

There is good in all
The Buddhist says:
But, hell, that those bastards burn,
They started it

For decoration by bombing is an Art

All heroes die
That others might forget
And, while blood spurts,
A financier crawls across a perfumed lawn:
Berlin, Paris, Rome – it makes no difference, let others die! –
The same smile
The same golden god

Once, each people knew their gods
But now are too bored for gods
Or too relieved

Dear lady, how elegant
You look: so many jewels.
Give them a spectacle, some sports,
A passion to bleed their brains to death

For each dross, each pitcher of dross
A thousand helping hands
Keen smelling rats the lot
While the words that might have
Unpossessed those possessed
Are lost
Buried by blast and blood:
Decoration by bombing is an Art

There is a comfort here
That only war itself will break
As there is a passion among those possessed
By ideas that are not their ideas
As gutless financiers are possessed by their god.

But who will break the Seal
That delivers us to ourselves?

Little Esther’s plight made millions
And made even more men sick:
Ten thousand years, for this?

There is a comfort here
As Destiny seems doomed by The Lie.

But even seas change
Given time

DW Myatt

In The Valley

In the valley each rock
Is reduced by rain –
It runs, as small stones
Which will be soil
As I and all that I carry
Will be dead.

Was this valley a hill
Before water weathered
And each sheep trail was worn
Between fern and heather
And steep fern?
There are no people, today,
No noise lying like the dead crow

But there are gods,
If one knows where to look
And can tread the steep slopes
Of this hill.

Every road intrudes
Upon slow thinking rock.
Who tastes the silence that lies
As each Summer’s green
Upon the broken rocks of rain?

Here, near Narnell’s Rock
Where Thor’s hammer struck
Many a startled tree
And where dead men lie like seeds
Is neither day nor sun
Rain nor rock –
There is only the essence that exists
Because essence must:

There are no answers
Because no questions can exist –
Just as I am the rock which is me.

Yet there are gods, still,
If one knows where to look
And can climb the steep slopes
Of this hill

DW Myatt
(Written c. 1984)

In A Foreign Land

Hot, this sun while it breaks
As I sit quite still
Beneath cloud
On a white bench watching
Flies spiral for shade.

My head is at peace
While the body waits
In this Park
Where each shade of Summer green
Becomes real in this light
And trees speak, slowly,
Of their fears of being
Half alive:

The chanted tuneless hymns
To the god of Noise.
I met this god, once:
I was young, inexperienced, while he
Tall and unspeaking
Pointing to the deaths, the madness,
He had caused.
And I: I smiled, a little sad,
And walked away to seek
The human warmth
Of love.

For years, a war in my head
While I saught to find
A dream:
She was never real, my dream

But there was magick, I found
In sitting silent
While beams of Sun become filtered
And fractured through leaves:
A joy in watching while clouds form
And break, casting
In their myriad ways
This Sun’s gift of life.
There is ecstasy in walking
High upon hills while wind cries
Or thunders:
No suffering, except hunger,
While I wait for my Dark Daughters
Of Earth;
No pain of dreams destroyed.

Now there is rain to make me
Take up my sack and walk
As a wanderer in creaking boots
To where the Spirits of my waiting Woods
Will sigh:
Without his dreams,
He would be nothing
And I shall smile while, hot,
The Summer Sun breaks briefly
To dry my rain-soaked back

DW Myatt

(Written c. 1978)


Apple Blossom in May

There is a reality about Spring
When grass grows green with the sun:
Days lengthen bringing the warmth
That reassures and one is pleased
To run a hand where wind moves
And blossoms have been blown:

Every hour is unique
When rain stops.
In the town – three hills
And a valley to the left –
Music slithers from a shop
While people rush,
A drill strikes stone
Where youths gather
Sneering at people who pass.

There is a pleasure about Spring
When free grass grows in the sun,
A slowness when wind rushes tree:
The curlew and lark
Where sun glints
Upon rain sodden earth:

How are you today, Mr Hughes?
Oh not so bad, you know –
Better for the sun.
Aye, will dry the ground
So we can seed.

Over the fields –
White clouds making faces
In the sun

DW Myatt
(Written c.1979 CE)

Earth from Space
We Love Unsuspecting

A quite relaxing day, for me: a day of unexpected sunshine and September warmth after so many dull and rainy days, and I spent most the hours of the daylight morning in the fields, or sitting by the large pond listening to the song of the birds, watching the Dragonflies, the Butterflies and the pond life, with the afternoon spent in gentle gardening, and then just sitting in the warming Sun.

There has been thus moments of pleasure, peace and joy, as of those remembered times when one’s distant gentle lover comes, if only briefly, to stay with one, again. Thus was I, thus am I, brought back, or moved forward, to just-be in the flow of Life as Life flows, slowly, when we gently let-go of that perception which is our small and often selfish self: to feel, to be-again, not apart from Nature.

Hence I am again but one life slowly dwelling in some small part of a rural England that I strive to keep within me by the slow movement of only walking, or cycling, along the country lanes, and which never takes me far from the meadow fields or from the hills which rear up, wooded, less than half a mile away.

Thus has there been time for that calm thinking that arises slowly, naturally, as the Cumulus cloud arose this morning, early, to briefly shade the Sun before they, the clouds, changed so slowly to leave me where my horizon of sighted landscape ended, far beyond the farthest trees, hedge, and hill that I could see. And thus was there a slow thinking about, a dwelling upon, your question of balance…..

Do you find you are still unsatisfied as to path? Or did you find/are still finding, a synthesis between the many? It’s the Balance I find that I seek, and hope for.

…..and yet, for myself, I feel it is more a question of change than of balance, as if we, as a species, are poised, caught, between the past of our animal ancestral nature and the future that surely awaits us if we can change, evolve, into a different kind of being, perhaps into an almost new species. Thus do I sense us, now, as in transition and yet mesmerized, held-back, even imprisoned, by the things we in our hubris-like cleverness have constructed: by the words, the terms, the very language, we have manufactured in order to try and understand ourselves, others, and this world.

Thus do we now interpret others, ourselves, the world – Reality – by abstractions which we project: which we have mentally-constructed and to which we assign “names” and terms, thus obscuring, hiding, the very essence itself, and thus mistaking such manufactured things for this essence.

Thus have we and for example manufactured a concept called a “nation” and a “State”, and have theories of how to govern such constructs, and manufactured “laws” to ensure some kind of abstract “order” within such places, as millions have given their “loyalty” to such abstract things and fought and died and caused great suffering in order to “defend” them or bring them into-being. Thus have we given “names” to differences among and within ourselves – based on some outward “sign” such as skin colour or on some inner sign such as a perceived or assumed “religious” or “political” belief – and thus dishonourably, un-empathically, used such “differences” as a criteria of worth and judgement, and in the process often or mostly behaving in a quite inhuman way. For all such abstractions – however named or described – seem to me to obscure The Numinous: obscure the simple reality which is of the connectedness, the acausal unity, of all Life.

I am as guilty as anyone in having done such things, for – for nearly four decades – I believed in or upheld some such abstraction or other, and used such things as not only a measure of the meaning of my own life, but also as a criteria of judgement, just as I often used violence in pursuit of such abstractions. It did not matter that I sincerely believed my inner intentions were noble and “good”; what mattered was that all such abstractions caused suffering for someone, or some many, somewhere. For such suffering was a natural consequence of those abstractions, constructed and manufactured as such things were by us in our vain arrogance.

Of course, many have understood this, or felt this, over the millennia – as some Ways have been developed to try and move us back toward the reality of connectedness. But always – always, it seems to me – over causal time, the simple unaffected pure meaning, the suffering insight, becomes lost in the words and through dogma, especially through dogma, and in particular through our very need, our very desire, to strive to “attain” some-thing, or to follow some-thing, or someone.

Perhaps only in music, Art, literature, poetry, a personal loyal love, and such-like emanations – in those things which wordlessly capture if only for a moment the Numinous itself – there is and has been a reminder of what-is, of what can-be. Of what we have forgotten and what we have glimpsed or have the capacity to glimpse, to feel, to know.

It seems to me, finally, that there are no answers, because no questions exist; we only impose questions upon what-is. For we have this need to make complex what is simple; we have this Promethean irritation within us. Certainly, this inner irritation, this inability to be empathic with Life (except perhaps in moments) brings us or can bring us joy, ecstasy, and can move us toward a different and at times exhilarating existence – as I know from my own not inactive, woman-loving, and sometimes warrior-like, life. But such a living I sense and feel is only a stasis, a repeat of our often barbaric, animal-like, past, and not the change, the evolution, we need and which surely is possible now, from the understanding the past five thousand years or so has given us.

Thus, my Path now is my Path – which in my temerity I have called The Numinous Way, and which, as it exists now due to the metamorphosis of recent years, represents the results of my ponderings, my thinking, my feelings, and what little knowledge I have acquired from pathei mathos.

Have you found that the seekers path has brought you as much joy as sorrow?

“Always a dream or a memory
Lead us on
And we wait like children
Trusting in the spirits of the Earth.
We love unsuspecting
While they our lovers scheme,
Succour themselves on our blood
And bleed us dry…”

In truth I have found, over four decades of seeking, more sorrow than joy – and yet the sorrow now seems to have merged with the joy to become some-thing which is of both yet beyond both. A new way of feeling, perhaps; or a new way of being, far beyond any words I know, and certainly beyond any and all the various and many Ways and Paths I have experienced and lived. But, of course, there are times – many times – when the sadness seeps back to bring forth burgeoning tears.

All I have from four decades of strife, seeking, searching, questions – of a learning from my plenitude of mistakes – are some tentative scribblings of my own, manifest in The Numinous way, with its Cosmic Ethics, its emphasis on empathy, compassion and honour, and its understanding of how our manufactured abstractions cause and continue to cause suffering, re-enforce our hubris, obscure our connexion to the Cosmos, and distance us from The Numinous.

DW Myatt

(Taken from The Selected Letters of DW Myatt, Volume 1)

Remember the ones whom you killed
You, the poet, in your youth?
They brought a unity, those memories,
A pain that possesses all things
Bringing with their dread remembrance
The field of connection grown
From deep Space:

What was concealed is seen
As what is felt is possessed into Word
Through the possession of the consciousness
That connects all life to itself
Because it is life through the origin
Of growth
And brings the tranquillity of age.
There is remembering: the forgetting,
The little goals to pass the days
Between the next remembering

I see little needed in life:
No books, houses, fine clothes or cars,
Since this connectedness that makes
The poet a child
Makes him a place to rest awhile
Between the troubled strophes of life.
He, the forgotten values, seeks
Only sufficient shelter
Food enough to fill his gauntness
For a day –
All else is insufficient and inauthentic
As he himself is an admission
Of a god’s weakness
For Man.

All life is divine:
Each field, each tree,
And he the poet carries this message
Gently, like cloud its rain.
There is nothing special, unique:
He is only the half-remembered aspirations
Of his age
Forgotten when they to whom connectedness
Was a lie from birth, live in power
Within the boundaries of a State.

There should be no preaching, no faith
Without the connectedness of consciousness
That uncovers divinity as the divine
As there should be no guilt or sin
While the

tireless worker for the Cause
Stalks the streets of the chosen
City. There was a sunset
As he walked the hill home –
A plethora of colours magnified
By cold caught his eye
Briefly, for the wound on his face
Hurt. But he got them,
The bastards, and next time
The Party will be strong

For each Cause defines a Goal
To overturn the gods
Creating illusion in expiation;
There is no connectedness, only division
And divide

Words will not end this
Or any other admission of how we forget
To remember
As sublime music is not a premonition
Of peace.
They are only reminders of what is
As my past is a reminder of what I
Once was;
And there are still enigmas, many questions

There is a natural balance between
The outward challenge
The inward look of age
That decays with each present passing
There is self-survival
The question of inner Space

Words will not end
But only the middle way between
The word and the act
Where desire is the poet’s desire
For passive divinity
Can begin the remembering
Of the connectedness that is divine
Without the ending that is another’s

DW Myatt


A bright quarter moon
As I ran alone in the cold hours
Along the sunken road that twists
Between hill-valley and stream:

There was a dream, in the night
That woke me – a sadness
To make me sit by the fire
Then take me out, moon-seeing
And running, to hear only my feet
My breath – to smell only the coldness
Of the still, silent air:

But no spell, no wish
Brought my distant lover to me
And I was left to run slowly
And wait the long hours
To Dawn.

By the fire, I think of nothing
Except the warmth of my love
No longer needed.

DW Myatt