Monday 10 December 2018

Land Mandala: my new publication

When is a path
Not a path
At all?

When did the
World expand
Like that?

When did the universe
So small?

Dance of death ashes
The flat stone is still
In my hand

A crystal vein
Shining dagger bright
Runs through it

How could I ever be
A stranger
In this land?
Four journeys, one mandala; the mandala of the Awakening Land & the Divine Feminine. Over a period of ten years, the poet travels, guided by intuitive Druidry, a living teacher & an 11th century Tibetan visionary, through sacred landscapes in England, Tibet, Scotland & Bhutan  & discovers that some things are the same wherever you go.

"Barry Patterson has created a trans-continental, cross-cultural series of poems uniting Druid and Buddhist journeys from the Outer Hebrides to Tibet and Bhutan. He takes you there, with lyrical imagery, deep questions about the nature of reality, and a grounded presence of love for the earth and the sacred feminine. A feast of poetry!"

Lama Tsultrim Allione  Author of Wisdom Rising: Journey into the Mandala of the Empowered Feminine; founder & spiritual director of  Taramandala International Buddhist Community.

Read more about it & buy a copy by visiting the page.
I have also reprinted Buddha of the Carboniferous.

Coming soon: a short essay with supplementary poetry to Land Mandala in Ebook form: "A Druid in Tibet." Watch this space!

All my pamphlets are printed by Catford Print Centre, who specialise in budget bespoke booklets & are wonderful.

Tuesday 27 November 2018

Ghosts: Wroth Silver 2018

Video of this year's Wroth Silver poem made by Doc Rowe at the Wroth Silver Breakfast, The Queen's Head, Bretford.

Saturday 10 November 2018


for Wroth Silver 2018 after Gary Snyder

Listen, I saw ghosts:
The ghost of an elephant, a lion, a hyena
A wolf, a crane, a bear & a boar
& herds as far as the eye can see.
I saw the ghost of Liopleurodon ferox
Swimming in a sunlit sea of coiled
Jurassic shell; reptile with a head
As big as I am, beneath our feet, just now.

Listen, I saw the ghost
Of the wild, white Aurochs of the red nose & ears
Bellow on a winter’s morning
Her breath steam, her shaggy ochre head
Raised to the dawn; no mad dun cow she!
Queen of the land.

I saw the ghosts of strong earth people
The great old ones, laughing around their fire
Feasting, dancing, hunting, fighting
Ritually raise their spears to the moon
& stars in celebration & defiance.

Listen, I saw ghosts!
I saw, I heard them! The singing people
Guiding their herds along a ridgeway
Track over the land of yearly journeys
To spring pastures & winter slaughter
Alert to their horizon, to signs on the road ahead
& I saw the ghosts of the first carts & wagons.

I saw men coming home from war;
Weary, many wounded in body & in mind,
Finally achieve their journey’s end;
I saw their loved ones wait to greet them,
To welcome them home to the life of the land
& I saw the families of those who could not return
Bound together in grief, worry & pain.

I saw folk here, beneath the trees in a ceremony:
Folk from The Hill of the Bird People,
The Longtown of the Itchings, the Prince’s Hamlet,
The Upland Where They Grow Rye,
Wulfric’s Town, Eagle Field, The Eastern Field,
Bubba’s Hill, Broom Cottage, Har’s Hill;
Gathered on the Warrior’s Tump
Before dawn, remembering it all.

Look, they do remember, even if they do not see us,
& if only for a moment,
We are one, the living & the dead,
Standing together beneath winter sky trees.
Someone recites the old names in the dark,
They make an offering
& then they celebrate a feast in the morning.

Ghosts from Wroth Silver 1899 are looking at you.
To find out more about Wroth Silver, go here:

To read my previous Wroth silver poems follow these links:
2014: Martinmas
2015: The Road of Time
2016: Wheel of the Year, Wheel of the Land

2017: Eight Decades

Sound recordings of all the poems should be available soon!

All the animals referenced have lived here at some point over the last half a million years apart from Liopleurodon ferox; a pliosaur; a giant marine reptile from the Jurassic period, the remains of which have been discovered in the midlands. “The most awesome animal that ever lived” according to

Thursday 4 October 2018

With Us, There is No Such Thing as Goodbye.

He said:
   “With us, there is no such thing as goodbye.”
        I found myself on the shore
           Of grey wind & wave break
             Before me, a rocky headland,
                To my right dunes, hissed
                  With wisps of grass.
                     Only the sound of wind & water could be heard,
                        No bird called or appeared.
                           I walked the strand,
                              Alone but not alone,
                                 Alone but never Alone.
                              Above my head
                          A plain of strato-cumulus
                        Blanketed the scene with more silvery grey
                     But beyond it,
                 Way out,
             The energetic origin of our atmosphere
          The sun
        Still shone
   I made my way upon the shore.
 He said:
“With us, there is no such thing as goodbye.”

For National Poetry Day 2018

Monday 3 September 2018

My Heart Knows Where I Really Am

My heart knows where I really am,
Here with you
Beloved Ancients

It is a smooth sculpted hollow in stone.

I know that you are never far from me,
But I honour you here, today
In this place

Hard & dark as slate or river red & scallop sculpted

Mother Earth!
You are not what we think you are,
You are deeper than we can know

I do not need to pretend to understand this universe.

The age of the rocks that are the bones of this our land
Leads me to the timeless
Unborn place

My own deepest nature unites me with this jagged shore.

This poem written on the Isle of Man, August 2018. Photos by Barry.

Sunday 19 August 2018

Depleted Uranium

I haven't been very active on this blog this year, but I have been having adventures & writing a bit. I have a poem, Depleted Uranium in the recent Tomorrow Issue of Here Comes Everyone, an excellent magazine containing lots of original poetry, prose & artwork.

From the poem:
If it rhymes it must be lying because it's history
Written by our future rulers, not future Buddhas
Too late for the nucleus or the neutron
Barium, caesium, planet Krypton chain mail
Heavier than heavy earth; mind-metal
The drum solo on side two of the live album
Percussion capture cannot lie but the percussionist can.

Buy it here!

Friday 2 February 2018

We Dare Not Confront the Mystery that We Are

most of what we are is blind in the unseen dark
the abyss between the cell membranes flutters
with delicate breathing forces for which we have no names
we are a mystery to ourselves

most of what we are is what we are doing right now
but we do not know it nor can we, nor can we take charge of it
the wild systems of of our deeper nature
do not recognise what we call a self

most of what we are is a sleeping ocean

that dreams of the world of thoughts & things
which it cannot understand but to which it must try to respond
it cannot distinguish between the creative & the stupid

most of what we are is dissolved in water
stacked in sheets or coiled in the forest networks
of a secret country for which there are no maps
in which there is no sense of direction

most of what we are is patterned in conversations
carried by our uncontrollable blood
& because we are so afraid of this we will do anything
to avoid looking within

so let us fixate upon celebrities, politicians & members of our family
let us fall in love, become angry & then watch TV
let us pray to imaginary gods with our clasped hands & lowered gazes:

we dare not confront the mystery that we are