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I have left

I have left a soft, small light
So as not to wake the ones I love.
Rising in the long and cold
Of frosts and dark morning..

Gone to kindle a new hearth,
To catch with tinder
The last left light,
To warm the space distant as holy.
A bloom, a bud pushed through,
A green something from soily ground.

I have left a soft small light,
Like all those others who have,
In their tumbling watching heavens,
So as to never lose place,
So as to one day, quietly slip back home,
Or at least, at very least, know for once
From whence we, longing, drifted,
Wandered, a dream untrenched,
Not dimmed by mornings.

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LLYM AWEL. Verse 4. Improvisations.

Oer gwely pisscaud ugkisscaud iaen;
Cul hit, caun barywhaud;
Birr diuedit, guit gvyrhaud.

“Fishes’ cold bed, ice sheet a shelter;
Thin stag, bearded grass;
Short day’s end, trees bent.”

1
Cold world.
Sheet ice
A shelter for fish.

2
Ice sheets:
A shelter for fish.
This cold world.

3
Cold world, below ice
The slow fishes shelter.
Gaunt and haggard
Is the stag stumbling thin
Amongst tough tufts,
The grass tussocks stubble.
Day ends sharply.
Short the light
Slewed to darkness.
Not heat nor light enough,
The trees tired
And weep bent.

4
No delight the meagre light
Cropped sunlight,
A short curtail
Sudden day’s ending.

5
Sheet of ice:
At least a cold shelter,
A cold bed for fish,
Safe and slow
Beneath a sleep drift,
A flick, a dark, viscous world.
Above, we turn grey,
Bent thin and fade.
No light,
Heavy the bowed trees
Bent boughs
Thin branches bob
And the stag,still,
Gaunt in grey grasses.

6
No heart to linger on
Bent trees at day’s end.
Stuttered the stag, shrugged thin,
Here and there
Between stubbled grey grasses.
No heart, the trees bent over.

7
No heart left,
The dark trees bend heavy, bowed down.
The matted grasses,
Neither food nor bed,
The thin stag wanders through a starved,
Sudden end to the day.

8
Starved, the thin day fails fast.
No heart, the trees bow heavy.
Grey, stubbled grasses,
No food, nor shelter-
The thin stag stands lost
At failing light.
At least the fish beneath the ice
Find shelter, a cold bed
Of sorts.

9
Cold bed.
Day dims.
Under ice, the river flows.
Cold bed, slow fishes shelter.
Cold bed, but not for the thin stag.
Grey the grasses, matted wan.
Day light gutters,
No heart, trees bend down.

10
Thinned streams divided
A guttering light
Sound of water under ice,
A cold bed laid over all.
Ice sheet, a withering away.

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Motionless

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1
In motionless dark shivered with starlight
A low roar not from road nor wind.
Ten thousand firs in stillness stirring,
Twined convocation a thousand valley oaks
Or little river Dulais its rippled bed piled up
Become two miles accumulated rush.
Or whispered leaving souls rising, losing weight,
Drawn towards new light, free, tumbling
Between branch and bough and cold airs

2
Scoured hollow the heart, diminished in each small death.
Close by the hedge an old dog lain below frosted ground
The weight of winter, time worn thin.

3
Night sky frozen cold
Stuttered shivered stars
Worn thin, restless

These Hollowed

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These hollowed mountains, older than God,
Silent as Sundays, nursing rain and cloud,
And a clamour of downward waters.

Their slopes and sides are vowels,
Gutteral consonant: their crags
And rock-roofed alleys.

Hunched hands, their deep, rooted grasp
Throwing off spin and galactic centuries.
Time themselves do they assiduously weave:
Long blankets of brown and green,
A heathered tweed and bluebells,
Cried through, a thread of kite and hawk.

Long the slope that spits splintered bone.
At evening, those sharp-eyed fires
And the watching dogs that greet and howl
The name of each ghost, every whisper from the wood,
The long and soon dead, the turning, slow, small folk.

Jarred boughs here do never bend in pain,
Tracking sun’s warmth, laying memory in circles,
Pooled and stretched out beyond year on year.
A balance of the in and out, dawn and disaster.

This rise and fall of heaven, slap of compassion,
A weight waiting to awaken, a spark of circumference,
A hedge to the commonest sense.
Ground down to grit and simple soils,
The grey slate washed midnight clean,
Scoured sinless and unexpectant,
Eyes ever upwards,
Each glorious dawn.

—-

Standstill

STANDSTILL

Frown-dark hill

Red kite’s raw call

Still valley wood

Snaked silver streams

Low sun shudders.

Thin flask shivered:

One day moon

Necklace silver

Cool stream sliced

Bedded deep

Winter night.

Advent

ADVENT

Bran’s tousled head hangs eloquent
From every night-burned alder.

Rust red are the wounded bracken hillsides,
Sour the long sedge.

Steep is the road,
All distance vapour.

Every hedge, a calligraphy of secrets
Taught by italic rains, slanted weather.

The trees stripped to syllables,
Each a sharp tongue and a scourge for empty vastness.

All glory hidden,
Sunk into the small, warm hearts of huddled things.

In barn and byre,
A shuffled silence,

Summer days mulled over,
Scented green against the cold.

Anointed, we are, with slow light,
Awaiting an older cermony:

A star in the east.
A sure opening and a soft, certain closing.

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This River

This river
Roaring pink
At sunset.

Drawing down
The woven laced waters,
Undressed the hills
Of their fast brightness.

The road rises,
Rises and rises again,
Shines towards a westing sun,
Winged, borne up.

At his black pulpit hedge
The upright larch,
Ragged golden zealot gesticulate.

He points the path
To John Penry’s home,
Who stirred the cauldron,
Pricked the fat yawning clergy,
Called for God’s word in Welsh
To gather the scattered, downstruck flock.

The old road rises west,
Towards heaven,
A herd of rainbows
Fed on distance,
Fed on sloped green,
And sapped colours
Of an evening fading fast.

It will never end,
Nor will it ever remain the same.
We shall all be woven in,
Embraced, where light
And rain dress pastures,
Where sheep, patient as saints,
Drift into starlight.
This ribboned road,
This river flood,
These veined
And holy oaks.
A consequence of notions.

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