Human Landscape – a Portrait


in hat


17 July 1999

Dear Poet Philosopher!
you’re an ocean liner on the seas
not a jet plane.

You belong to the Victorian
leisure eccentric class
and you deal in seventeenth century
Dutch gold skies.

You move by hunch, your advances
missing out the modern way.
You are lissome with your romances.
Like a snake they shine, and fall away.

No scrape
has quite the nerve
yourself to drape.

You’re sufficiently moved on the whole, to regulate
your affairs from red into black.
Clearing your daily slate
your warm, flamboyant hand no lack,
nothing piles up

yet in the deep
unruffled, the long drawn out and hidden marge
moves with rabbinic inscrutability –
storms in tilting teacups to submerge.

Your tendency with life
is almost infinitely elastic.
In love with, and un-frightened of your wife,
her naivety sometimes fantastic,

immovably and willingly stubborn,
with a swing of long arms wide, your knack
to welcome it all, is a splash of water borne
from a duck’s straight back.

To wash the dishes and care for the cat
are polite devoted tasks.
You are not touched by any of that,
for deep in your noble squares sublimning, basks
an esoteric quicksilver Knight
whose rhyme into metre quick to appreciate
Castling his King and exchanging port for Poet
‘pon measured modes of black and white
doth square his Circle bright
in such way that patient Lord Yama might,
receiving you into his House, with abashed insight,
himself the Ultimate Question ask –

who Am I?

Dear Poet Philosopher Spouse,
my Alchemystic Solitude
is cradled like an online mouse
in your August Be-At-itude.

Just one turn it takes
of that great ruby Stone
on your little finger
for the knot in your hanky carefully tied,
to forget the ropes and snakes

and know that

all is well,
all is One.
Nothing matters and
who cares?



We were married for about ten or fifteen years, and remain close friends.   Some readers of my  blog will recognise him, as he is held in deep affection by spiritual seekers and pilgrims.  He has an awesome ability to lay his hand on just the right book for a person’s sadhana, or point to a path which will “ease their doubts”.


I drew him dozens of times, and made us both laugh.   Here is a selection from my sketches which celebrate Alan:



My parents are bottom left, at their instruments, with Lavinia N at the piano, while my sister, brother and I build my father’s new greenhouse just above; neighbours drop in, and Alan surveys the scene

And here is a poem by him – circa 1999:

The Royal Game

On chequered squares of space and time
grey shadows dance their game of mime ;
to slay the self is their cryptic aim –
by tricks of mind to heights they climb. 

“There sits the King, and black’s his name.
Proud ego is his claim to fame.
This cosmic game he’s made to play
helped by his dark, deluding Dame. 

“False bishops at his feet do pray.
Marauding knights have feet of clay,
a swarm of puppet pawns at rest –
all forces poise in gaunt array. 

“The Lord of Light is truly blest, 
a White Goddess his Queen, no less; 
with ancient Sages at each side, 
he waits to enter the celestial jest.

“His warriors noble stallions ride, 
maintaining righteous order, wide. 
In silence, rooks withdraw and meditate, 
enslaved to dream of seek and hide.

“The Self wants Ego checked to mate, 
the rascal fights to thwart his fate 
and kill his foe himself, instead; 
we’ll see a battle tense and great! 

“By laws of nature the rules are led, 
peace conceived by Consciousness ahead.
To wage this war in awesome glory
’til black or white surrenders – dead!

“After ages going grey and hoary,
all lie boxed;  the victory was gory.
When WHO created this sport is ready,
a game begins anew:  another story.”

Alan Jacobs

On one pinhead where the angels dance, dear Alan, my Knight jousts your Bishop.  How can Consciousness be ahead of the game, when “Consciousness is all there is?”

Ah, an answer.  Consciousness or “enlightenment” appears to be “ahead” by the construction of our brain in space and time;  but from birth to death it encircles and is our rite of passage.  The heart and essence of a human life is released in full, when the apple falls.  The joy of a portraitist touches that region;  a hem of the Great Garment.

alan & jacob

I shall follow up this post with the chapter on “Diving into the Heart” from The Holy Task – a booklet we wrote together, in the early days of Ramana Foundation UK.





My adventure invites fellow travellers.  I am a poet, an artist and a seer.  I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

This blog is  a vehicle to promote also my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books). Watch this space.

aquariel link

All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012-2013. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address



7 thoughts on “Human Landscape – a Portrait

  1. This is indeed a lovely Love story! Knowing you both it touches me. We are now living in Greece and Internet is the window we have to the world outside. That’s where we meet most of our friends and family.

  2. Such lovely likenesses! You have captured Alan in all his quirky wonderfulness, wisdom and sweetness Love you both so very much!

    By the way, I recently received the ‘Sacred India Tarot’ as a very special gift. It reminds me often of your myriad and immense talents. By far the most beautiful and wisest tarot deck I’ve ever seen, it brings me (and my friends!) great joy often.

    Huge love!

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