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A Particular Device

A PARTICULAR DEVICE

When we look so close at life inside us,
it simply becomes a tree of madness
where ghosts host and catcall,
swapping bodies and their nightmare mysteries
( from which we have never, ever, recovered).
Such strange animals. So many hands.
So many dances. So many attributes.
A collective deity ( or a pan Demonium).
There is a clue in it all somewhere,
a clue, a clew, a thread, a maze,
a spider, a monster, an eater of the charming ones,
a hungry axis, a deliverer,
a coin on his eyes and on his tongue.
The rite of the Opening of the Mouth,
escaping gravity through the small angled shaft,
homing on the singular, most singular star.
Dust to dust. An assay of hearts
before the animal-headed ones.
We are Jongleur, kindly admit us.
Remove our head. Give us the bliss of love and asses.
Return us whole to the world without end.
And let us cease to burn.
Let our mouths be filled with the cool waters.
Seven rivers from the Garden.
A lascivious sprouting of leaves, a splayed, secret hand of fig.

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Red Hill

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RED HILL

that open hill crowned with light.
this dark valley lost in winter.
patient oak and purple birch,
and the fast, grey river.

folded and hidden is the road to Troedd Rhiw,
between the cliffs of day and the cliffs of night.

a cold wind and a cast of rain on the red hill.
at the rivers’ meeting are round silent pools,
the small sands, the worn, smoothed chambers, in the lee of the flood.

a roar, white as cloud, stretches the skin of green rock,
squeezed between the knees of Craig Clungwyn and Rhuddallt.
a mouth of water it is, a long name, a summons,
a history of welcomings and fare thee wells.

the withered sedge counts the hours and different ways,
dreams on the cliff’s edge of new green days.

and this I wanders between the thin weathers
watching the light stray as slow as sheep,
marking the orange and the gold on this fine day,
and a grace of blue sky hung for a moment
slung between Craig Du and the steeps of Pen Rhiwbie.

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THE WATCHES OF THE NIGHT

satin smooth,
the slip of minutes.
a thrum of rain, softly.

tumbled from skies,
dreams like the Towey,
slow, meander seawards.

a wide forest sleep
sighs, a symphony.
owl and fox, conductors.

wandering through.
a trail, footstep words:
small, moonlit puddles.

a dark plateau.
a dusted sequence,
trespasses unforgiven.

even bodiless,
adhering to habit,
cambered causeway.

a bridge suspended.
dark the waters
shimmering cold beneath.

sung by a shape of words.
mountains named,
a throned reciting.

an intimate decay.
a clock of heartbeats,
a lilting, familiar nod.

sideways and down.
subtle the shift,
the weight of dawn.

draped about,
falls discarded.
gathered in, forgotten.

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Only This

See how the sharp edge
of the moon
is a whetstone to the wind.
worn down, nail thin,
by heaven’s river.

keen, I suppose,
will be the waters at Pwll Bo.
focused, brown and roaring curses,
squeezed between rocks
in the ringing, whirled pools.

there is only this:
sudden mystery rippling
waves of grass;
a dog barking
as the hills come and go.
the waves of their edge
breaking deep
to the green valley’s bed.

last day of January-
flooded with passion
for things unmade.

and the yews of Aberglasney
will be bowed down
from the weight of stars,
their dark corridors
woven deeply with tingled silence,
a worm’s turn from Spring.

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Sgraffito

SGRAFFITO

Eyelids turned translucent,
The walls of flesh dissolved.

In utter darkness a pool of mercury trembles.

He should place the day upon his forehead,
The moon’s taste upon his lips.
The music of crickets he should place
Upon his ears,
And the music of starlight
Upon his breast.

These veins: bright rivers that knit a certain landscape.
Blood red are the hills in sunlight,
Rust, the slopes, in rain.

Falling beyond breath and beyond sleep.

His two eyes should both behold
His best beloved.
In his left hand, his cares.
In his right, his passion.
Upon his feet
Strong wings of lust.

Small, dark, is the day.
Fevered and wan the sun.
The crow’s wing coughs.
Withered is the hill.

Swells the beginnings and endings, bright burning, dreaming names.

Let him be surrounded
By a great host of angels and demons.
Let him observe as they mutually engage,
Rise and lift, conjunct and consummate,
Until they fall apart slaked, becoming satisfied dust.

This scatter of farmsteads
Glistens white as quartz
Washed desolate,
The cold stream
Of winter’s winds.

In utter darkness an impossible music shapes words.

Light from a billion years
Pours from the sky,
Not casting one shadow.
It sinks to a core of iron and gold,
Filling silent caves to feed a petalled tongue.

In utter stillness everything waits and forgets to wait.

He should focus upon his own coming and going,
The last bright moment of his breath.
The sudden possession of valley roads,
The heralding wing-tips of hill hawks.

His wish is fervently to disappear
From the sight of all men,
So he shall contemplate
The paradox of rainbows.

He shall write his name forwards
And backwards
Until it become a single,
Unutterable line.

Diamond backed
The pines at dawn.
A burning roar,
A stormfront clamour.

Rests within these moments of choice, the fall of dust.

This heart a bowl, a harp, a bird.
Weightless, filled with hope,
An open sky is all it lacks
And courage to give it all away.


Sgraffito – a process of scratching through different layers (clay, paint etc.) to reveal what is beneath.

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Scarecrow

SCARECROW

this
my transparent, liquid window

give us our dreams
our daily dead
sound without meaning
words without end.

sweep this.
collecting debris
for the sake
of some little gravity.

this shaped pattern:
small notion wrapped in upon
ghosted misted identity

forgetting sunsets
to inhabit the dawn,
a superstitious equation
bequeathed a pulse.

lay it down,
lay it all down,
open and dancing
up to the mountains.

this thread now,
this chariot –
broken star fragment
drowned in salt.

lay the fire to the green fields
flesh in new colour,
frost-patterned, cool.
still the eye, the tongue, the demon.
still the angel,
still the urgent bright ones.
still the whispers,
still the memory.

this house perched high,
this sunlit porch
this upturned story
this dewy claxon.

give us our dreams
our daily dead
sound without meaning
words without end.
amen.

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ARTIST DEPARTS

1
Snow falls down, the dead begin a new dream.
Their words, sweet and bittered breath
Beneath roots of moistest tongue, a tree of old passions,
Cross-tied upon new cardinals
And drooping with melancholy.
The forest shifts gracefully in rumour.
One has left, they say, who chose his own way
And chose his way of passing.
No greater gift than this: to bequeath us his good death
And a long, slow, fading song.
Every language, a mysterious stream.

2
Rain turns snow in darkness.
Across the valley, farmhouse lights prick emptiness.
In the deep below, the ever-river tumbles.
There is news of an old man leaving,
Turning to dream another dream.
His quickening smile, (the birds of dawn
Forgetful of darkness), now the singing sun.
Up the hill the moon sinks backwards, thin and white.
It will linger a while with his words,
Longer than most, will not be forgot so soon
Sunk in knotted bones of generations,
A certain look, smooth-gestured.
Carried on, carried down, the river’s song is the same.
The farmhouse lights one by one blink out,
The stars darkened, the dreamers shift
And turn onto their sides, facing the change.
As the rain becomes snow,
And the river in darkness,
And the song becomes somewhere else to go.

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