Becoming a true city Liver


A few days after an urban retreat with fellow South West of England contemplatives, sensitively and gorgeously lead by Cynthia Borgeualt from The States, I am energised again to become a true Liver in this my city of home. To take hold the call to embody all outer and inner complexities, to have a tenderized heart towards the human folly and wastefulness, the clamour and the one-eyed nature that fills our bellies and minds, our gullies and ground with extraneous clutter and junk.

I feel moved to show love for this Bristol urban sprawl, to unravel my arms and cherish the empty crisp packets and KFC bargain buckets, the smiling faces and stress filled waste skidding by, like plucked feathers upon the city’s deep-fried breath.  Affluent effluence, only curbed by pavement edge and the ever-changing boundaries of road works invisibly labouring to still the revolution of rubber on a million VW diesel engines spewing stationary while raging for space to park their precious egos.

I feel ignited again to awaken the collective throbbing generous Heart, to engage in the wild ride of internal contemplation, to dive right into my chest region, to cough up hope to ingest fumes and to seep out goodness’s that I know already somehow flow in the elusive internal sanctifying citadel within.

To be guided by Eckhart as above and Borgeualt and Rohr and rivers from the now, to embody and allow such goodness to melt in and flow out from this sliver of light, this hidden gate. And yet more, to be

‘washed clean in contrition, heart filled, made ready, in longing made worthy,’ (Julian of Norwich Showings, Chap 39).

to fully embrace the onslaught of daily clinging to city centred passions.

To resolve to evolve.

Indeed, to go further, to microscopically, internally begin again and again to slowly grow the becoming’s of a true new Liver in and within these boundaries called home. To quietly sift  through the Avon sea salting rhythmic crest and flow, to raise up and shift asunder, to ingest in unseen, untold, unhinged Bristolian fashions and in such limited human passion to sail deeper, opening softly internal organs to sing and singe within the fire-fuelled South Westerlies.

To fill up inside-out lifetime surges of wantage, unskilled non-frilled wilful wastage and in respite to welcome all upon such purposeful blood, upon and yes despite such and such longstanding chest breath clots of sadness, to wish release-full-ness, to draw You in.

Yes harvest deep to worrisome spleen and moving on to engrain in layering’s of stomach stretch an ardour of floating bloat that slowly creeps through intestine small and largely bubbling in half-digested forms, to boil down and to Transform all this living gnawing grind into a purse perfectly formed and gently divine, honestly held until at such a time that all is well, and all is well and all re-joins this Earth sublime.


‘A (wo)man goes upright and the food of the body is sealed in a purse full fair; and when it is time of necessity, it is opened and sealed again in full honesty.’ (Julian of Norwich, Showings, chap 6).

My cups running over


‘A person who knows that he does not know and who opens himself to the truth without pride in his own personal capacities and without personal ambition may indeed experience the desire for contemplative freedom arising in himself unobserved.’ T. Merton.

He goes on to ask how can the disposition to contemplative freedom, to openness to natural signs of spirituality, imagination,originality and freshness of response to reality, be grown within the current technological world?

This was written in the late 1950’s America when the main technological interloper was the humble TV. How much harder can it be can it be to find ways to this stillness and peacefulness, reflection and restful spaciousness today. To slow down to allow, enable and encourage floods of freedom to wash freshness into our complicated city lives.



my home town

with your creative verve pulsing

just below the surface

just beyond

the no thanks Big Issues of

metro mayor council cuts  

sofa surf and sleeping rough

to the lying rhythm of

‘affordable living.’

to the laying out of

browned duvets in

darkly disappeared

shop fronts.



to all that’s becoming

encased within the bright

vacant glare of this new

shabby chic, this

industrial avalanche

of coffee chains

swallowing up

our Barista youth, our

shiny spare cash in

flat white swirls

and naked burgers for the waist

sweet potato chilly chips

warming mid-mornings

with fleeting fullness.


And Bristol

what the heck

I’m sure my genes can squeeze to

the double -whip

chocca-mocha caramel slice

displayed haphazardly beneath

your cake laden

cathedral domed glass frontage.


And the smart phone fairy dust still

doesn’t fit the bill.



in the diesel haze

of this sunny September day

you clutter me, you

raise me unknowingly towards 

a caffeine fuelled

hec-tic-tock, an

unreachable sadness of

non-specific anxiety

threatening to

distance me from coming home

to the glory be

enmeshment of dulled throb

simplicity and peacefulness

falling home within

the abundancy of expanding

flesh and thinning aging brittle bone

discovering Mind Kingdom


and on such short wing to

flutter brief and set

contentedly upon

The Silent Heart’s

communal ground.