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A Roar of Summer

A ROAR OF SUMMER

Of what shall we sing
In the ringing silence,
In the hushed ocean forest,
In the crow morning?
These ghost words haunt
The sway and shift,
The weight or lightness of moments,
The scented full and falling roses.
How can, how shall, the shifting pulse,
The dark and light cloud,
Stray highly, voiced onwards?
The dead sigh, roaring in the winds,
Rasp in the trees.
Their songs push and spin this world,
(As we might hope to
For ears that strain in summer dawn,
For futures and reasons and signs
To hope for goodness and good dreams).
The limp honeysuckle, the weaving bee,
A masked eternal glowing.
To be shriven and rid of this
Wasteland drab, dulled down leaden.
A golden storm is coming.
Hush. Summer’s engine.
The smallest cloud
Is greater than all this.
The light rain from the hills
Shall send us deep sleep.
The dreaming ear
Catch, but not hold,
An answer.
We are not what we were,
Nor shall be.
A pall, lifted.
Edges blur in oncoming rain.
We shall become slaked,
Unquestionably whole,
Purely hollow,
Of lightness and vast,
Perhaps,perhaps.

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Hours slow

Hours slow and stutter,
Stretch and scatter on the summer hills.
This lent breath pauses.

A sun enthroned throws flame
Against a wide horizon
But melts to mist, cools to blue distant hum.

A flicker swallow dives low.
We barely skim the surface –
A month or two before forgetting
What we came for.

In glistering dark
We become our own ghosts.
In sharp-edged day
Weighed down we are
With longer shadows.

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A Hard Rain

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A HARD RAIN

The one ring roars in the mountains
Cracking worlds in idle curiosity.
Nonchalent, malevolent, intelligent cities
Breed hungry ghosts who howl and tear and are never satisfied,
Though everything holy is in their grasp.
Silence floats naked and alone
As the dice shifts this way then that.
Helpless are those
Who have been taught right from wrong,
Helpless the nights in the face of relentless light.
For sixty years now the screen
Has flickered from prescience,
Restless souls doubting the wit of the future.
By increments the images breath and take life,
Jumping dreams, shadowing into being,
Sparks from each fire, windblown,
Begin to eat their own existence.

In this year
All mirrors became broken
Or smudged to smoke.
So enchanted, we could see
No longer what we had become.

In this year
A growl of wind
Scattered the minds of many,
Leaving them empty singing hymns
And rhymes from childhood.

In this year
The very bricks and stones
Of our homes became soaked in sorrow,
So it seeped into each shadow
And downcast each ray of light with dust.
Laden heavy, we shuffled about,
Having lost all will to sing
And all skill to speak eloquence.

In this year
A great plague of demons political
Infested the homes of the nation.
Whatever was tried, failed to oust them,
Until despair weighed heavy on the weak and helpless.
Cities rang hollow with empty eyes.
Rapacious beasts lived in the high windowed buildings,
Though few noticed the slowing of time
And the long shadowed echoes,
So dismayed were we by our long ignorances
And taken up with dreams of bright illusion.

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Echo and Decay.The concept of the overlay of events and times, the repetition of events, same old stuff, images of decaying vegetation superimposed on extracts from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, which recorded each year’s major events in England from the sixth to the twelfth centuries, and Anglo-Saxon poetry. Not complete pieces but trials and try-outs.

SUMMER LONG

This elder splashed world, this rippled bourne,
A thousand round cream horizons
Stretching to light’s limit.
Sunlit words scatter on green tongues,
A bee wind, rose-scented, wavers.
This land breathes its hills and hollows,
The folding and unfolding of Time.

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A Pearl Day

A pearl day, smoke shaped.
A lick of mist this river’s voice.

Hills turn cloud, clouds become all.
A single dreaming moment
Explains everything.

More precious than breath
It lifts weightless, turns and dissolves,
Sky colours leaning out.

What was golden dulls to dust.
An aching tumble of sweet May,
A thorned white wave enthroned.

A season’s birth heavy laid,
A full descent, a grace,
An offered all, begun.

A DEMON’S ADVICE

But trust not your sighs to angels, ever.
They shall take each warming gust of breath,
Snatch and sew them swiftly to their own leaden wings.
So booted with heavy lustre and drunk on praise,
They hardly rise, flapping fiercely,
Singing golden geometries, scattering fiery alphabets.
Phosphorescent spinning flies,
Web-caught in luscious word.
Spider He bejewels them, soft and silk wrapped.
Dumb and fearless, a multitude of choiring gnats.

Only one thing the gods themselves fear, and that is disbelief.
And laughter, maybe, certainly, laughter.
And a free vote.
Not big on democracy are these deity.
No countenance for suggested alternatives.

If it’s a viewpoint you want, a demon’s your man:
All the angles, all the catch, all the numberless ins and outs.
Tried them all, tested, weighed, annotated, risks assessed.
Goat footed and fleet, we nibble nimbly across the cliff-faces
Of most portentious Glory, around the storm-flared nostrils,
The beetled brow, the forest eyebrows.
Ignoring the ineffable, we lick the salt of the particular,
The delicious and peculiar answer.
Down to earth, most rational, mathematical.
Solomon knew a thing or two, and that he got from us,
Smart man. You could do worse than converse.
Here’s a taste. A word or two in your ear….

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MERDDIN WYLLT BY THE FIRESIDE ( from Book of Voices)

I wear my clothes counterclockwise.
My shoes on backwards.
I know the squint.
The footprints, sprait and scent
Of demons and angels,
Know the words for weed and herb.
I tread with care, can recite
The tree of ancestors, the cries of beasts,
The line unbroken back
To warrior gods and giants.
And yet I cannot cast from me
The dream of endless cities,
The cantankerous clamour
Of the multitude, dull and deceitful.
I am good and bad with art and skill
Yet cannot unpeel from eyes this
Pall of paltry appeasements,
The children of lack walking
Endless square desolation
Who know too much,
But in the wrong ordering;
Whose priests draw paper gold
And silver dust
From bellies disbelieving and gnawed;
Whose bones grate chalk and sleepless;
Whose days neat piled and numbered,
A clarity of vast apathy, bright coloured
In flicker cold fires.
Stumbling through floods,
Warring ever the wrong foes,
Unbelieved, unbelieving,
A roaring tumble to consensual void.
We shall slam, it seems, to senselessness,
Yard by yard, ungrow, untend, untread,
Grow slim and thin and lustreless;
Leafless in Spring, sapless in dawn,
Know neither sun nor moon;
Shun light, fear dark, ignore warnings.
The stories new and feckless
Repeated endlessly, a lullaby
Of excuse.
Eaten up, burnt, gagged on smoke,
A scum of oil, a bitter silence,
A wormwood of tears.

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( The Book of Voices will be a work of pieces arrived at by chance, words floated insistently at random times, other voices, mine or from elsewhere, who can say…)

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