An Alchemical Perspective

An Alchemical Perspective

Quite soon our misguided governments will announce a War on Death. Then, having obediently eaten our artificial immortality pills, we will be face-to-face with a nemesis far more dangerous than any traditional narcotic.

In ancient China scholars and poets who wanted to experiment with opium as a tool of consciousness would have to go before a panel of wise elders, a ‘central committee fo the consumption of drugs’ if you like. These elders would decide whether someone was a fine enough poet or a serious enough scholar to warrant an unlimited supply of Class A narcotics. They would also evaluate whether the individual was spiritually and psychologically able to cope with the terrifying addictivity of opiates. I would only agree with the de-criminalization of all drugs if similar arrangements were in place. Otherwise societies will be destroyed by epidemics of dependency among people who believe that by taking strong drugs they will suddenly be transformed into great artists.

But why spend time on the difficult question of enslavement to chemical stimulus (which should really be achieved from within from an alchemical perspective). The poem which follows explores the idea of death as the ultimate psychedelic journey.

Imagine a drug in the brain
sweeping away all logic
coming on like a hurricane;
the body lost, or so lethargic
as to seem nonexistent
yet habitually persistent
in old pattern and routine
as cells dependent on morphine.
And the pining for salvation
keen as a mysterious hunger
like craving for love, but stronger:
the need for transubstantiation.
Overwhelming, mind-amplifying:
the powerful drug known as dying.


Fierce Moon

Fierce Moon

Imagine a moon out of control, its attraction too great, its gravitational pull so intense that it threatens to destabilize a cosmos! This poem imagines such a moon; it references a romance which almost destroyed a world. Words and music by Aidan Andrew Dun, lunar image by Kerry Barbour.

Once, not long ago, yesterday even
you loomed and dazzled, fantastic lodestar.
Just over the north horizon, just gone
you are still an awesome curved presence.

I look at each day in a scientific light, compare
through the powerful dust-covered lens of memory.
As though all experience belonged in the past
I live in the terrible museum of our friendship.

Even now, mounting watchtowers and platforms
to stand in the observatory of real life once more
I remember enormous trajectories, derangements
catastrophic love imposed on so-called freedom.

Planets have been destroyed, whole oceans
burnt off, evaporated in less than half a second.
I was lucky to survive your beautiful proximity.
I trust I shall never see you again, fierce moon.

This poem features in AAD’s Selected Poems ‘Body of Work’.

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