Tarot – a poem by Jay Ramsay


(for Caroline)

I have been driven
into the earth. How did I manage
all these years to escape ?
How have we escaped ?

Sadness, grief stands behind us
in a wasted landscape
that past, present. Black figure,
blue planet.

The present is all this matter
that matters, or we do not matter.
The Knight of Wands rides strong.
The Page of Pentacles sits on the ground,
eight discs surround him.
The sword above pierces the crown.

The cards glow on your winter carpet. What now ?

Magic—as above, so below
out of the bowels of the ground !
The Hanged Man thinks with his gut,
the world is upside down.
And there’s a dancer holding
a lemnescate between his hands—
a joyous man, a fool turned wise.

Eternity lies all around,
he knows true life is out of time.

The knight of knowledge stands,
wisdom in his eyes. He scans
the far horizon; turns his horse, and rides.

And up above, in a dream
a lost cup is returned
to a man beneath a tree,
by grace alone, the time redeemed. I do not see
how else it can be done.

Our destiny rises clear
out of the mud. This love. One for all,
and one and one is one.

Dec. 9th 2017

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: www.tayenlane.com), 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 (www.jayramsay.co.uk).


  1. Great imagery. Nice work Sarah

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sarah says:

      Thanks Chris! All the credit goes to Jay – it’s a wonderful poem.


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