Writing as catharsis

My center, unearthed

Posted in Poetry, Prose by Lachlan R. Dale on February 26, 2013

Ash fieldA dark wind sweeps across the plain.
My center, unearthed,
Lays bare the compass of my soul.
Both desert and oasis; mountain and fields of ash,
We oscillate between these poles
Until your field tears me from
My orientation.
Careening wildly, cast from orbit,
Drifting freely within the ether,
Great plates begin to shift.
Beneath the crust an inner flame is born; promising both
Creation and desolation.


Mantra of stone

Posted in Poetry, Prose by Lachlan R. Dale on February 22, 2013


The figures oscillate around the centre; heads
bowed, faces shrouded in coarse cloth.

They utter a deep, unhurried mantra.
Their voices catch on worn vocal chords
as the gravel of their ancient words
fill the room.

Their steps would be imperceivable,
if not for stray grains of rock that
give slip of bare feet on ancient stone.
In the chamber their masonry din seems
as if a persistent, weathered roar.

Theirs is a prayer eternal;
a devotion to echo through the ages;
an example to all entangled in life’s web of irrelevance;
a redeemer of the human soul.

The earth begins to darken and cool;
the core maintains its pulsing warmth.
The figures drone on,
timeless in the light of the dying sun.

(NB: this is a revised version of ‘Figures’ from January 2012)

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Dreaming of a black wolf

Posted in Dreams, Prose, Ranting and rambling by Lachlan R. Dale on February 22, 2013

“Unconscious wholeness therefore seems to me the true spiritus rector of all biological and psychic events. Here is a principle which strives for total realisation – which in man’s case signifies the attainment of total consciousness. Attainment of consciousness is culture in the broadest sense, and self-knowledge therefore the heart and essence of this process..”

– Carl Jung.

In the spirit of Carl Jung’s Dreams, Memories, Reflections I’ve decided to record and analyse my dreams as much as I am able in the hope that my slumber might unveil aspects of my psyche that are otherwise inaccessible. Here is my recollection of one such dream.

Black WolfI found myself in a farmhouse which partially resembled that of my Grandfather’s. The room had the amplified dimensions of a rural property free of the confines of the city, with floors of a beautiful polished wood. I sat in a leather chair near a window, overlooking a grand countryside that more closely resembled the Canadian wilderness than the dry hills of western New South Wales (it is not uncommon that dreams take place in bastard chimeras of various familiar locations). Two hounds lay contentedly beside me, one a rather muscular looking black wolf, while the other reminded me of my childhood border collie. In peace I observed the majestic expanse beyond me, struck by the beauty of the landscape.

Suddenly a fox scurried into my line of sight. With a gaunt frame with a coat matted with filth, it was obviously starving and scrounging for food. If it found none it would soon die. I was struck by how pathetic it looked. As it turned to look at me I saw that, despite the appearance of it’s body, it’s face was that of a beautiful Ontarian Red Fox. In the gaze of those deep eyes I was struck dumb and my entire being welled with pity.

Red foxMoved, I stood and opened the window in front of me – what my intentions were I could not tell you, but I wanted to do something for the poor creature. I called out to the fox. It eyed me warily. Then – disaster. The black wolf jumped through the open window and pounced upon the lesser hound; snarling, growling and snapping it’s jaws, it monstered the poor creature. The size difference was immense; the fox was rendered a plaything in the jaws of this huge predatory beast. The scene horrified me.

As I helplessly called on the wolf to relent I was overcome with guilt and sadness that my actions had brought such misery upon the fox. I had not wanted this, but I knew that I had done this.

We cleanse our souls in the light of distant stars

Posted in Poetry, Prose, Ranting and rambling by Lachlan R. Dale on February 14, 2013
Give up. Throw your life away. By Pat Berry

By Pat Berry

The blind cannot recognise the earth as their father, nor the expanse of the sky as their mother. The two represent our essence; the pure, whole manifestation of mind and soul. The sun above warms the engine of our body, while the plates below provide a foundation for our life’s endeavour. The night sky gazes into us with eyes of the eternal. We cleanse our souls in the open air and in the light of distant stars. As we bask, we are reborn.

Give your awe to what can be perceived; surrounded as we are by impossible beauty and infinite scope. The fact so many close themselves off to reverence is astounding. Embrace humility when confronted with the monolith of existence.

Do not be so proud as to refuse to bow your head. If a true wind blows you should have little doubt that you will be severed from this plane. The abyss yawns after you, and void will be your home. When the earth reclaims your body, the iron of your blood will fuel it’s blossom.

Awaken the see the world as it is. Refrain from sealing yourself in vast tombs of steel – your soul will suffocate from lack of light. Many wander the earth as if preempting a return to dust. They are dust men, stone-faced and swarming across lifeless slabs; the monotony of their lives grinds their bones.

Feed your mind steel and you will become as the grey as the slab you lay. Sow misery in the veins of the earth and the cold snap will grip your soul. These tombs cloud the heavens. The sun is forever obscured and we starve from the lack of it.


Posted in Poetry by Lachlan R. Dale on February 7, 2013

Ripples of joy and sadness shift our earthly lives
The wrong procession of either can lead to early demise
From smallest moments of elation,
To plate-shifting negation,
We feel we are blessed, though fragility is our essence,
For it takes but a single wind to blow
To cast us forever down below

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