By Eric Nicholson


Sometimes there's treasure to keep
but you have to dive deep.
There's nothing to lose
except the mask they gave you. Retreat
to find your own Seat.
Today you can choose

your own journey and track 
where the lines in your mask crack.
Today you can stand on the brink -
walk the convoluted road -
abandon your heavy load -
watch the gaps between self and other shrink.

Here, the ego no longer defends -
here, suffering ends.
Let go of all trouble -
each bite of your past tastes bitter -
cease biting to make life sweeter!
Live a life which is noble.

A Grain of Truth

A Golden Shovel after William Blake

On his death bed my uncle managed to
speak and help a hundred neighbours to see
a thousand golden buddhas in a
mustard seed. A miraculous World
shimmered and dazzled in
an inconceivable liberation. It wasn't a
mere miracle: it had more than a Grain
of truth in it. A generous demonstration of
the Way and a line drawn in the Sand.

My grandma emptied her house and
stored all her furniture in a
tree, rent-free. A heavy tree touching Heaven.
She told me our minds too were in
a state of ultimate emptiness but a
long arduous struggle with Wild
beasts is the price if we wish to Flower.

I remember my grandpa would Hold
me and I'd climb towards Infinity
while listening to tales of giants and goddesses in
rivers, lakes and mountains. Miraculously the
palaces, princes, ogres and luxurious palm 
trees appeared on grandpa's head. I'd see scents of
magnolia, sandalwood and jasmine; he'd say 'Your
buddha-realm is in your own hand.'

I knew my aunt was an ordinary buddha and
that she cultivated lotus flowers in Eternity.
When she chanted, flagrant flowers fell in
my bedroom; then she'd appear as an
elephant to show me the way each hour.

The Pan Book of Horror Stories

foul deeds indeed
the horror in the lonely farmhouse
an eye for an eye
a severed hand raised
a monster on the cover raising a coffin
only hairy hands and razor teeth 
my father raising more than an eyebrow
swearing an oath
and later bruising
words such as loathsome
misshapen obscene monstrous
sprinkled throughout punchy prose

Eric Nicholson is a retired art teacher and prize-winning poet who resides in the NE of England.

One thought on “Treasure and Other Poems

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