Writing as catharsis

In a land of some other order

Posted in Poetry, Prose, Ranting and rambling by Lachlan R. Dale on June 13, 2014

Habana Vieja (Old Havana, Cuba) by Pablo Cholka http://cholkafotos.blogspot.mx/

In a land of some other order
Rum soothes the soul while
The heat of the day drains away
Both motion and motivation.

Beasts of iron rumble by as,
Breathless and bleary-eyed,
I walk through streets of stone.

Strain as I might, I see only surface light.

Oblivious to pulse and warmth,
And weightless in my sense of self,
The vacuum of language encloses
Like a shawl.

I drift through the city.

As stray dogs scavenge and
Street hustlers hiss, I hear
Only noise and non-sense.

No one pronounces my name.



Posted in Poetry, Prose by Lachlan R. Dale on December 18, 2013


When our friends turned to enemies
We walked the earth in despair,
Followed by a black spectre
That shaded us from the heat of the sun.
Still, we walked and we thirsted,
And never could satisfy our urge
To shape gods with the faces of men,
And offer up our hopes before them.

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Dreaming, souls ablaze

Posted in Poetry, Prose by Lachlan R. Dale on June 15, 2013
Lomo by Salvador Dali

Lomo by Salvador Dali

We live and writhe inside our own minds,
Dreaming, souls ablaze, our eyes dilute and blur.
We awaken to find ourselves gazing inward;
Searching the structure of cells, at our chemical essence
Charged with electric light,
Hoping to uncover some secret that
Would grant us a spark to burn beyond time;
To carry our heat forever onward
Through the void and into eternity;
To some knowledge that we are not
Abandoned and left to wither away
With the dust and the ash,
To be reduced and swallowed by
The grinding machinery of the earth;
That we are more than our raw material;
More than a chance assemblage of
Atomic particles, that our transitory
Forms live on, somewhere, somehow.
But who are we to challenge the slumber
Of our silent gods? Who are we to
Escape the pull of gravity, to demand
The birth of a star so that we might feed
From it’s light?
Of these things we dream in our deepest sleep;
In the nights in which we can perceive
The resonance within us; the echoes
Of the ancients, the secrets of our
Animal lineage; the voices of trees and stone
That even now pulse within the depthless ravines
Of the spirit, whispering in our ears
Our shared past and inevitable end.
With all our being we seek resolution,
Our yearning enough to disassemble our form.
We must recognise our true nature and
Allow it to burn within our souls.
We must feed our lives with celestial fire;
Surrender to the oblivion of the eternal vibration
Which envelopes us; that can tear us apart
So effortlessly.
To know this, and love this;
To share this with another,
To spend each night basking in the light of stars,
Enraptured, blissful, intoxicated with life; –
This is all that fills my waking heart;
This is the true orientation of my soul;
This wish fills my nights; both those of sleeplessness,
And those of peace.

Aflame; dividing night

Posted in Poetry, Prose by Lachlan R. Dale on June 15, 2013

That evening magenta burnt up the blacks and blues of the mountain;
Thin sheets softened the stark skyline
And flames struck across the earth to divide
The night from the day.

I was there with you, huddled for warmth
And laid up against the trunk of some ancient tree,
Searching the skies for secrets in shadow cast
And wondering why, in the moments before the blackest hours
The world seemed to sheen and shine as if
Suspended in the dying light of day;
Like the sun was giving one final howl before the haze
Ran a chill to our souls.

We dug in a pit and clasped the cold earth,
Gathering clay to lay beside our heads.
Now the sky is shrieking, howling, aflame.
The birds join in; a screeching cacophony
Which reaches an almost unbearable peak.
All seems about
But, instead; a slow fade;
A hastened retreat.

The earth cools;
The lights dim.
And we shudder.

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Under waves

Posted in Poetry by Lachlan R. Dale on June 10, 2013
Lac Rose, Sénégal

Lac Rose, Sénégal

We stumble, we fall,

We chew on remains,

And we do what we can to obscurify our souls.

These silent desolations we wreak

While we hide behind chivalry,

And we bury our hate with our song.

For here we are courteous

Though a courtesy was never paid

And your brutal indifference

Left me under waves.

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Drinking starlight

Posted in Poetry, Prose, Ranting and rambling by Lachlan R. Dale on March 10, 2013
The Sower by Van Gogh

The Sower by Van Gogh

At night we rest in open air
Drinking from the light of distant stars,
We cleanse our souls in giants glow
Burning still from eons past.
We listen, perfectly still,
To the forest carry every sound,
Gathering with it warmth of wood,
Damped by the underground,
Silenced, finally, by the
Canopy and heavy air overhead,
We stare into the skies.

As a thin veil moves across
The face of the moon,
My mind begins to wander.
I retreat deeper into myself,
Venturing with the clouds,
Moving inwards with the waves,
I find an illuminated pool
Streaked silver with starlight.
I form an insignificant stream
And draw from the monolith.

In moods likes these we open up
And let the winds ring inside of us;
We drive ourselves into the earth
To feel the resonance of the soil
And be intoxicated by the bloom.
In other times, in nights of the frozen earth,
We fear still the distant cry of wild jaws
And the pitiless freeze of the winter months.
We sing to warm ourselves
So the cold snap might spare our hearts.

I awaken from this vision
With smoke and ash in my lungs.
Returning from the void, silently
We walk from the forest.
Magenta streaks the sky.
We drive on, fearful of the blaze.


Posted in Poetry, Prose by Lachlan R. Dale on March 3, 2013

We split the earth and reach toward our god,
Feeding from it’s light.

We drink from underground streams,
Or else we beg for drops of rain.

We are ancient, though refuse speech
In time the wind will move us little.

When ablaze we are reduced
And our dust will feed the soil.

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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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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.