Confession – a poem by Jay Ramsay


for Deborah & Diana


An empty room I didn’t realize was there
in the centre of my being

where I am with You.

So many other rooms, a palace of faces
but without this

there’s no well inside,
above and below.

So in my innermost heart and soul
I must say I am that I am

I can surrender,
and I can command

I can say
I love you, I am sorry, please forgive me
to this heart

for creating a reality separate from you.

And so I bow,
and because I can bow
I can command.


I am lying in a river
underneath your hands

on heart, on brow.

The healing is now,
the table floats.

Running glissandi of above and below,
the healing is music in the cells

that we have never heard out loud.

It is birdsong without conversation.

But I am speaking
words I do not recognize
come to my lips
in a rapid whisper—

like pouring sand,
tumbling over each other
precise as cards dealt from a hand.

A language I remember, but do not understand.

So call that language poetry
call it healing
call it speaking in tongues

uttered in the in-between space
of stars and desert centuries;
of earthenware jars broken open

of our secret being within.

Deeper than personality,
devoid of ego
the lips, the tongue moves
like a kiss.

We lie in this little London park
like an oasis
surrounded by swirling traffic
desert sands beneath,

a honest Biblical living.

And now
our way is resurrection,
where the whole of this life is with You.

1 July 2017
the crypt, All Saints,
Uplands, Stroud

Jay Ramsay, who co-founded Angels of Fire in London in 1983 with its Festivals of New Poetry, is the author of 30 + books of poetry, non-fiction, and classic Chinese translation (with Martin Palmer) including Psychic Poetry—a manifesto, The White PoemAlchemy, Crucible of Love–the alchemy of passionate relationships, Tao Te Ching, I Ching—the shamanic oracle of change, Shu Jing—the Book of History, The Poet in You (his correspondence course, since 1990), Kingdom of the Edge—Selected Poems 1980-1998, Out of Time—1998-2008, Places of Truth, Monuments, and Agistri Notebook (both 2014). In 2012 he recorded his poetry-music album, Strange Sun. In addition, he’s edited 6 anthologies of New Poetry—most recently Diamond Cutters—Visionary Poets in America, Britain & Oceania (with Andrew Harvey:, as well as many collections for other poets, also under his own pamphlet imprint Chrysalis Poetry. He’s also poetry editor of Caduceus magazine, working in private practice as a UKCP accredited psychotherapist and healer, and running workshops worldwide (


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