Jonathan Livingston Seagull

“They are saying in the Flock that if you are not the Son of the Great Gull Himself”, Fletcher told Jonathan one morning after Advanced Speed Practice, “then you are a thousand years ahead of your time.”
Jonathan sighed. The price of being misunderstood he thought. They call you devil or they call you god. “What do you think, Fletch? Are we ahead of our time?”
A long silence, “Well, this kind of flying has always been here to be learned by anyone who wanted to discover it; that’s got nothing to do with time. We’re ahead of the fashion, maybe. Ahead of the way that most gulls fly.”“That’s something,” Jonathan said, rolling to glide inverted for a while. “That’s not half as bad as being ahead of our time”.
Richard Bach
Jonathan Livingston Seagull

The Seagull Speaks Creative Commons Copyright

Creative Commons License
Original work on The Seagull Speaks by Michael A Wride is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Finding God In All Things

...This is an account of an experience I had in January 2014...

"I'm in total, total my whole body. Full body bliss from head to toe. I'm literally shaking with the intensity of it. I can hardly type. I am overcome with such deep feelings of love and connection. Now I know how sand feels when it is melted in the heat of a furnace to yield crystal clear glass. Perhaps to make a crystal bowl or a goblet from which to drink nectar. And I yield to the flames. I yield to the metamorphosis, the alchemy.
On the way in on the train, I was looking out at Dublin Bay. The crystal clear mill-pond-still-waters. The Stena-Line ferry floating along the surface towards her port, gliding with grace and ease. What a difference to last week's tremendous storms.

And then an older silver-haired gentleman gets on the train and sits diagonally opposite me, across the aisle. He takes out a small scarlet-covered booklet. Is this blood red cover a reflection of the fire at the heart of the furnace I am at the centre of?

And the title of the book? "Finding God In All Things".... My God! My God!... In All Things.

For the first time perhaps, I really get it, I really see Him, I really feel Him. Tears come again. Release of pent-up emotions. Water flowing from my eyes down my cheeks like streams. But, no chance of quenching this fire inside the furnace....

Thank God!
My God!
In All Things!

.....including me :) "

Friday, January 17, 2014

Purcell's Ode to Saint Cecillia

Purcell's Ode to Saint Cecillia where he glorifies the music of the universe in motion....

The full piece

And part 6:  

"Thou tun'st this World below, the Spheres above,
Who in the Heavenly Round to their own Music move."

With thanks and appreciation to Mayesvara das.  


2. Hail! Bright Cecilia, Hail! fill ev'ry Heart!
With Love of thee and thy Celestial Art;
That thine and Musick's Sacred Love
May make the British Forest prove
As Famous as Dodona's Vocal Grove.

3. Hark! hark! each Tree its silence breaks,
The Box and Fir to talk begin!
This is the sprightly Violin
That in the Flute distinctly speaks!
'Twas Sympathy their list'ning Brethren drew,
When to the Thracian Lyre with leafy Wings they flew.

4. 'Tis Natures's Voice; thro' all the moving Wood
Of Creatures understood:
The Universal Tongue to none
Of all her num'rous Race unknown!
From her it learnt the mighty Art
To court the Ear or strike the Heart:
At once the Passions to express and move;
We hear, and straight we grieve or hate, rejoice or love:
In unseen Chains it does the Fancy bind;
At once it charms the Sense and captivates the Mind

5. Soul of the World! Inspir'd by thee,
The jarring Seeds of Matter did agree,
Thou didst the scatter'd Atoms bind,
Which, by thy Laws of true proportion join'd,
Made up of various Parts one perfect Harmony.

6. Thou tun'st this World below, the Spheres above,
Who in the Heavenly Round to their own Music move.

7. With that sublime Celestial Lay
Can any Earthly Sounds compare?
If any Earthly Music dare,
The noble Organ may.
From Heav'n its wondrous Notes were giv'n,
(Cecilia oft convers'd with Heaven,)
Some Angel of the Sacred Choire
Did with his Breath the Pipes inspire;
And of their Notes above the just Resemblance gave,
Brisk without Lightness, without Dulness Grave.

8. Wondrous Machine!
To thee the Warbling Lute,
Though us'd to Conquest, must be forc'd to yield:
With thee unable to dispute.

9. The Airy Violin
And lofty Viol quit the Field;
In vain they tune their speaking Strings
To court the cruel Fair, or praise Victorious Kings.
Whilst all thy consecrated Lays
Are to more noble Uses bent;
And every grateful Note to Heav'n repays
The Melody it lent.

10. In vain the Am'rous Flute and soft Guitarr,
Jointly labour to inspire
Wanton Heat and loose Desire;
Whilst thy chaste Airs do gentle move
Seraphic Flames and Heav'nly Love.

11. The Fife and all the Harmony of War,
In vain attempt the Passions to alarm,
Which thy commanding Sounds compose and charm.

12. Let these amongst themselves contest,
Which can discharge its single Duty best.
Thou summ'st their diff'ring Graces up in One,
And art a Consort of them All within thy Self alone.

13. Hail! Bright Cecilia, Hail to thee!
Great Patroness of Us and Harmony!
Who, whilst among the Choir above
Thou dost thy former Skill improve,
With Rapture of Delight dost see
Thy Favourite Art
Make up a Part
Of infinite Felicity.
Hail! Bright Cecilia, Hail to thee!
Great Patroness of Us and Harmony!

Words by the Irishman Nicholas Brady, 1692.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

This Morning

Here is a podcast of me reading this poem:

sunrise over Killiney Bay

This Morning,
I lost myself in the sky. 

Expanded, clear, empty,
But immersed in fullness. 

Swimming in a diamond candle lit cave,
Pervaded by deep pools of blue wisdom,
Within music.

Flowing forms like water,
Taking the shape of trees,
And fusing up into the lightening sky,
Dappled by red tendrils of flying lightforms,
Enriched by blackbirds,
Dancing on roof ridges,
For fun.

Jan 8, 2014: As I was leaving the house this morning, the sky was amazing.. I really opened up to it and allowed it to immerse itself in me for a while..a deep dark blue in the west and a subtle light blue undergoing slow, but steady dynamic change to slightly lighter all the time...then some clouds flecked by the beginnings of the tendrils of sunlight growing from beyond the horizon....

It took my breath away. ...

...And then when I got home here after dropping the kids at school, a blackbird on the ridge of the roof of the house, then joined by another one.... they chased each other all looked like great fun... Beautiful! 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


Here is a podcast of me reading this poem:

I'm a bird locked up in a cage, 
In a season when all my dreams fade.
I'm a King shut up in a tower,
Looking out on a land over I which I have no power. 
I'm a lion curled up in a cave,
Afraid that I'm not quite so brave. 
I'm a man floundering in a drowning sea,
Thinking how circumstances have overtaken me. 
I'm a skater slipping along on thin ice,
But you know?
I've already fallen through these cracks twice.

This poem is an old one written sometime 1986-1990

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Ragged Bone Man

Here is a podcast of me reading this poem:

The ragged bone man comes,
And ragged does he stare,
On faces black and bleak,
With sweat and pain and tears.

We run to meet him,
Smiling, blank, and cry,
His memories haunt,
His eyes,
Are dark and deepened pools of blank,
In which we swim.

He leaves and loves,
Or does he?
To wave us, "Goodbye".

Or beckon us, "Come!",
To his land,
Where the ragged, bony, scragged men
Lie bedraggled and broken black,
In ditches.

And dear old time wastes us,
Ragged, scragged, black.

He knocks patiently,
Until we leave,
With him,

This poem is an old one written sometime 1986-1990


Sunday, January 5, 2014

Lost Youth

Here is a podcast of me reading this poem:


They all laugh, 
At nothing,  
Wonder at themselves.  

Why don't they know? 
Why can't they see? 

They are young and lost, 
Frightened by things, 
They don't understand.  

Clinging to themselves, 

Written during a period of homesickness, while in my Hall of Residnce at University in 1988

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Starlit Message

Here is a podcast of me reading this poem


If only more of us bothered to think,
Made the effort to realise,
How much more there is,
To what we see. If only more of us took time as a helper.
If only we were to stare up at the stars, 
We would realise how insignificant we really are. 

All of you who are full of yourselves, 
Look at the sky on a starlit night.
Then you will realise,
That we could all disappear, 
In just one of those flickering pin holes up there.  

That is why there are stars,
To convince men of their mediocrity. 

But why are there men? 

Sometimes I wonder.

This is another early poem 1986-1990   

Friday, January 3, 2014

I am the Sea

A podcast of me reading this poem is here:       

I have slept in my frozen bed for millennia,
I have been present with the stillness in the silence of my dreaming.

For eons I have stretched myself across the shore of this bay,
A million waves have lived and died within me.

I have smiled upon and pounded the pebbles,
And I have shimmered and danced in the sun and the sand.

I have plumbed the depths of chaos,
And I have looked for love flowing within my heart.

My dreams have flowed up towards the surface of my skin,
And I have become crystal clear again.

I have waited patiently for you to appear,
And now I see your silhouette on the horizon.

You are walking gracefully towards me,
I reach out to you........

We meet,
We touch,
We caress.

You slowly undress,
And enter me. 

You warm me and melt me,
You swim within me.

I welcome you,
I surround you,
I caress you.

 I am opened,
I am filled,
I am complete.

I am the sea.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The View from Here: Killiney Hill

Here is a podcast of me reading this:

I'm sitting cross legged on a layer of brown leaves... soft they are, fulfilled and expanded by the winter dampness that pervades this wood. To my immediate right a slab of granite is exposed....caressed by green moss.  

I realise that I also sit on another huge granite rock who wears his leaves as a crown... a King in His Woods. Blue  tits jump around restlessly on the twigs of the trees above.  Their staccato song fills the cool damp air within which I have my Being.  I am truly alive here.  My bare feet Earthed in the leaves, my eyes scanning the stark bare branches above that are dappled by the in-streaming, cold January sun. 

To my left, a wise old Beech tree slumbers.  An old friend, dozing. She murmurs to me in her sleep..... dreaming this wood into existence. The wind tickles her branches and they move in free flowing patterns of evolving forms. The slender fractal twigs at the end of her reach, extending like antennae upwards towards the sky. Could it be that she is listening to the voice of the cosmos flooding in to her reverie? Is this the source of her dreams?

And down, down, way below, the inexorable sea at high tide alights on rocks... singing a song of serenity, of rhythm and flow and real power trust and patience... the cold blue-grey winter sea. Enjoying the way her fingers, the waves, stroke the beach. Just as her song flies up from below and reaches my ears and the heart of the beach tree too. 

I'll meditate in this place for a while and on all of that, all of those spinning thoughts and intuitions, and then I will walk away bare-foot on the cold damp leaves lining the pathways and corridors of the wood like magic carpets. I'll be feeling refreshed like the beech tree after her sleep.

The Storm Speaks: St Stephen's Day Storm - Tipperary

 Here is a podcast of me reading this piece...

There is a tremendous storm building here... I hope to go out in it later and be buffeted and invigorated by it - to experience what it is to be a Storm. To allow the storm to express itself within me. To become filled by the storm as I expand into the storm. To raise up my arms into the night as if they were the branches of trees. To hear the whirring screaming wind at the centre of my head. In the core of my being. To feel the power of it in my heart and chest. To explode internally, to be blown apart and reassembled as a new me. A catharsis from both within and without. To be washed, baptised by the punching rain. To truly live. To truly love. That's all. To experience those things like storms and darkness and fierce wind that the others are terrified of and avoid...out into the stormy night....I go...I go...

......I ventured out into the farmyard as the storm continued to develop. Such intense energy and sense experience. No allowance for control with a storm. Water whipped up from the puddles in the yard. Water as rain punching me with pins. My face feeling like it's bleeding, my eyes watering up and flowing. Immersed in a water world I stood. The wind the expression of the sound of a waterfall and fountain all in one. I was squeezed upward and downward simultaneously. My body and mind stretched as I struggled to hold on to some semblance of reality... Up? Down? No gravity... Floating, flying in wind in water in spray..... Winded, breathing in short sharp intakes of compressed breath. Cold damp air in. Cold damp air out. Feeling my way in darkness. Shadowy forms flying at me... My tumbling thoughts shimmering within the night as this storm appears within me.....and outside me. A paradox that is truth. Where do I begin? Where do I end? Do I have boundaries? I am an open vessel now... Filling, filling with darkness and wind and water.. Overflowing with this intense energy... Within, without, tick tock, tick tock time disappears I am lifted off my feet and sucked up up up into the swirling darkness. And then some light, a stillness, quiet, unexpected serenity as I transcend the immanence of this experience. The light. The love. At the heart of the storm. Liberation. Acceptance. The storm is. I am. I return to me. Ears whistling. Damp face. Back to the warmth of the fire.......   

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Evening Comes

Here is a podcast of me reading this poem:

Evening comes,
And I Am,

This hill again,
Spring mist rising down below,
Hazy shadows are bushes and trees in the fog.
It's cold and I'm damp.

The sun is huge,
Glows a fiery red,
'Laughing fat man's head',
Slips down and leaves heat,
In the Earth,
And the skylarks cry,

The haze rises,
This mist mutes all sound,
The skylarks fade,
And I'm still cold,
Swimming inside,

This mist is like a lake,
How these moors were before,
Men and drainage came.

The sounds have gone,
Dampened in the shadows,
As night comes and it gets colder.

I sigh and I leave,
Because I try,
But I still don't understand.

Written on 'my favourite hill' overlooking Tealham Moor, Hozzard, Wedmore, Somerset, England
Sometime 1987-1990