SUNSET 6 ( only one, and not even that)

There is only one moment, and not even that
As it slides between words spluttering the certain.
There is only one breath, and that has left us as we find another
Between noticing and forgetting the wondering of it.
This is the only sunset, and not even that as it rises and fails
Sudden with colour brash and tender.
One moment gone, one breath, all changed,
One colour impossible to name.
Life becomes fragments if it is held still, perfection palls
And is deemed a failure by universal canon.
The word, a particular curse of our natures,
An intelligence of demons. Too clever by far.
All nouns are lies, all adjectives suspect.
All thoughts – an endless twittered birdsong
In a forest of neurons.
All dreams – a continuing rumble of juxtaposition,
A sunrise and sunset, of edge and horizon,
A slipping through gaps.
Avoidance of the void is the creation of pain and of beauty.
Race westwards: eternal sunset.
Race eastwards: eternal dawn.
Each view only as true as its edges.
Each poem, a breath to be neither accepted or rejected,
Not certified nor censored.
A sign of something passing by, that is all.
Cloud banks over a setting sun,
Hills caught golden, pricked out and pounced.
Delineation of the immeasurable.
A noble picture, or perhaps an articulation of foolishness.
A fragment of eternity rushes by.
The emperor sits on his throne and does nothing,
Yet all revolves about him.
The old sage leaves by the western gate.
No one see his ox cart winding down the road.
He whistles to himself between his teeth
A folk song of the river and the moon.
The sun has set now.
The lights of the distant city begin to show.

This life now gone

This life now gone:
A storm of rainbows,
A bowl of fragrance,
An utter song of views.

How to hold the fullness of it?
How to honour the living of it?
How to conceive the lap and swell
Of that one full ocean of sensation?

One eternal unfolding memory,
A tumble of heartbeats.
These every jewelled moments
Are seeds flung back into universal soil.

Never lost, always cherished,
A fuel for dear futures.
They are collected: each breath, each moment.
Valued, priceless passion,
Tears in the bright eye of being,
Tears in the flow of all beings.

Mother, mother, a soft delight,
All burdens borne away,
All pains a cauldron,
A chrysalis swirled
Awaiting new dream
On a new day.



It is what prayers are for
And the memories of drunks,
The dear, tattered fragments of stones.

It will take no longer than the words to describe it.
A moment’s graceful decline as if space were brimmed with light,
As if matter were always blessed in glory.
A graveyard of poet’s eyes, their stumbled tongues,
Overblown or stunned to silence.
Do not take longer than this:
A breath deepened and slow.
One hill, then another, turns golden, then fades.
We become pictorial, the tattered end of day,
A blush of its colours remembered one last time.

Blink the eye, scar the memory, stain hearts with fire
And rekindle love of life.
It is what music is for, to taste the nameless moments,
To delineate the tides of between.
It is not for words that so wrap themselves tight
To squeeze out reasons and meaning.

A sigh to the west for the forlorn and forgot,
A pellucid madness perfected for sinners
Each breath shackled to an infinity without eternity.

It is always somewhere, this passionate moment, rolling westwards
An irreducible heartache, cast clods of cloud and colour
As it skids its wheel in the soils of the next horizon,
Slides through the octaves of light.

Another of the ‘sunset’ poems. They mostly cover the same concepts in differing proportions and different tonal voices. As I re-read and make some slight adjustments I feel slightly more kindly towards them…

Dawn as Blue


Blue as Mary’s robe ripped with tears
A new born sun all night under the earth
Bursts up golden forgetting forgiving all else.
The small things of the wood, the small things of the valley,
Too hungry to watch, praying, breathing, forgetting and forgiving.
The honey waters of heaven collect cool and sing a river’s song.
They carry the names of hills down to the sea
And the blessings of breezes back again.

Sun Set Still

Sun Set

One moment –
Poured out,

un o brid
arllwys allan

drunk on visions
a sunset slurs westwards.
Too mad with poetry,
it splutters and abides
to a more seemly twilight.

a friction of moments set ablaze
dowsed sober and silent,
a splintered, imperfect thing.

Ar Gof 1 (In memory of)


There now, pay no more attention to the lilt,
that may or may not be a fine day to the minds of others.
For it is all an amalgamation, anyway, with slivered choice
except the slow or fevered narration of it.
A voice will step forward, a pen will slide across paper.
(Just make it legible, eh? There is no telling what will
weigh in memory and what float off – much like these hills
that so often vanish into white distance and the leaning rain.)

Start from this place. A certain particular. A landscape of betweens.
North march the Cambrians. South, Mynydd Epynt. Great uplands
that funnel light and wind, two hands cupping the buoyant air.
And between them, two rivers. One called ‘river’,
the other, ‘dark water’. Between them, a backbone of rock,
rising inclining, steady to the sky. A spine, a fold from which
green fields reach and splay. A high road, once named
St. David’s Precinct, now defrocked to only ‘ edge of the forest’.
And so closer now, to the middle of things, by here,
a stone grey hulk of chapel, a beached ark, a barn of piety,
hunkered and silent between dutiful houses
packed close against the wind, west walls shingled,
chimney stacks smoking.

Goshen, it is named by irony or accident: sheep fields
of the faithful, set aside from the urbane and city lights
to avoid any unpleasantness from the uncouth and nomadic blood.
The chancy drovers of old languages tumbling half-drunk with visions
down winding trodden paths,
the sophisticated manners of moneyed gentility,
seen through and through in a side-glanced moment.

A self-chosen people, herded Godly and righteous,
(at least on Sundays, and a sharp eye kept all the days in between).
Stranded, stretched between all kinds of dizzy heights
down the generations, down the piled up, counted up centuries,
Surviving the seasons until the last, sighed breath puts them
tented under the ground, wandering lost and happy as sheepdogs
Amongst summer flocks and the lowing, sleek flanked cattle of stars.
They drift, on this and that tide, but ever anchored-
The painter of faith knotted firm to the chapel door
And the names in stone ‘ar gof’, still clear enough
for trumpeting angels to read
when time comes round to end for one last time.

Water Alder Wood Word



and still
the waters
still and flow.

wild words
wood tangled
green and shaded.

each of us
each floated pattern
in laid out
sleep and bliss
always all ways
to trenched
trembled seas,

these dreaming
deep pools
dissolving doubt.

dust raised
in sunlit shaft
birdsong and a
diamond smile

life thus lifted,
and flow the cool waters
all the waters, all the waters
blessing cool
and washing clean.

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