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Our Geography – Pwll Bo

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Our Geography – Pwll Bo

Pwll Bo

It has a new name now.
Only to those who know
is there a hint of something more than this.
Not even in the old language.
Fit for tourists and a simple direction:
Go on and on the winding road past,
straight past Pwllgolchi where the sheep were washed
And the waters slow and tame.
Go on and on and it is the White Bridge now.
Over the roar and tussle of rock and foam,
the screaming rocks, their bare, penitental heads.
The neat, safe bridge, white balustered and grey concrete,
Where the dogwalkers park to wander through
alder column and larch cathedral and birch,
and back again the higher bracken path
with view of slope and arcing hill,
diving into waves of oak and shadow.
No longer a haunt of ghosts and the lost,
no white shift nor silent scream, the bruised skin
and the lead of loss and madness.
No longer the world baring its teeth
And testing your religion.
No longer the long years haunting the impossible crossing,
but a small, white bridge that leads bone still
between here and there.
Not quite have they been banished, the drifting dead,
but swept from sight into the undergrowth
and up the hillside, their voices lost in the water roar.
White Bridge to the Pool of the Ghosts.

OUR GEOGRAPHY – WOLF’S LEAP

Esgair Bellaf
( The remote ridge)

A rock snout sniffs the air,
a sleek flank shivers from the peeling waters.
By the crumbling heather bank it once leaped
and remains where the Irfon lopes
from its own grey teeth
and spiral spital marks the tight gullets
of feathered stone that sing and sing
of tumbling downward from a midden sky.
It would slake its thirst,
wary on the fine silver sand,
hungry for the lost and forgotten,
hungry for the oak-shaded gullies,
homeward through the humming sedge,
roofed in curlew, roofed in skylark lustre.

Location Of The Hermit

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LOCATION OF THE HERMIT

not far from Despair
and Melancholy,
chapels of cloud
established on the edges.
slow, fast days of lightness
rounded out with vowels of woe.

no doors are visible
yet doors there are,
and signs and portents:
ruins and skulls bleached,
and soughing winds
through sighing grasses.

wan, wan, wan
is the long mile.
wan the height,
dark the cliff
smoked in mist.

where the raven wheels,
some little shelter.

to be in, and of, the world,
and so apart!

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Our Geography –
Nant Crysan

The rowan reddening,
No drop of sunlight wasted;
And the dried grasses to feast on
For finch and siskin.
The blue forest, floating on heat and haze,
Is cool still, the sound of trickling water,
And a breeze far off
On the slopes of Esgair Fwyog.

A row of hills weighs again its thoughts,
The horizon still no nearer.
There, by Spite Inn, the buzzard
Peers from its high post:
Something will stir and food will come.
The world wastes nothing,
Passing on one to another.

The road turns because it must,
Rises because it must,
Falls because it must,
No god complaining.

The rivers of old walls,
The lines of fields left fallow.
And the old names:
The ridge of the runaway,
Haunted still ( the cry of hounds and the drip of fear);
the ridge of the tumbling waters,
Haunted by another sound – of
Gathered ravens and ripped, uprooted, roaring torrents.

This rise and dip of this land
Draped between named places
Always slows and deepens my breath:
The way the hills fold up to the sky,
The way the forests have been patted
Into neat lines at field’s edge,
The way the water of Nant Crysan moves slow
And hidden in the sedge-rippled meadows
Where the black cattle come and go,
The way the fences fall into their own calligraphy
And the gates open always,
always to empty, sighing sky.

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Our Geography (1)

Our geography is mellow and tear-washed,
meandering and mud-stained.
It dreams through mist and slanting rains,
bites its lip and grasps the rooted valley sides.
It sends out messengers and bards
on posts and cries their hovered song.
It wears its history against a fickle, fast future;
views as unbecoming the speed of our own descent.
Though welcomes us back always
to its folded silences.

A Slap of Wind

A slap of wind
wakes the rain.
Its rhythmic verse,
a round choir’s work.
We watch guiltlessly
the dark clouds muster,
dream and dream
the long Sunday through.

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DHRUPAD 12 (cooler now)

The shape curved of silence
in this night round mooned delighted
and cooler by far now the rain has passed
the sudden fast downward drive on roof and skylight
and leaf and gutter the curtaining of distance
the disappearing hills in sound in sound all that has gone now
even the drips gone now and the moon serene through tatters
through arced moments through blackberry shining moments.
The curl of the blade following a line the spiral shaving born with a whisper sound that is that is that is
the beginning of language how silence is shaped and pared away
becoming this and this air held and shaped and let go
the delight of it the song the song the trouble and the maze
refining nothing into something the silent padding cat the sliding silent moon the shining blackberry shining full and the elderberry falling in bunched laughing laughing.
The muscled deep the deep ache and hold and tense holding
the body glides earth soil held by sound and a hum of breath
it is a hum of breath and a sigh of moon and a laugh of shiny blackberry falling falling sweet and sharp and hidden
beneath the skirts of green light the floating skirts of edged cool air
where the nostrils know and feed
and autumn autumn autumn stretches up with smiles
and snapping moments and chains of time split and wired round the dark edges of the wood and the night dogs and the goose by itself on the hill
and the shape of things just so in the silence
and the sound of stirring sight.
Cooler now is silence and the sounds upon it
cooler the steps cooler the path cool the breeze
and the cloud misting valley misting the growing apples sun heavy.
Warm the sun but not as warm as was.
The was warms round and held moments in the round fruits in the swelling fruits and the shapely droop of seed.
The was feeds the is and the is slips silent down watery paths and the is is something it is not.
Becoming nothing but shapes in night silence
night silence now and its press of hum
and silent weight of hum and star thick hum and moon drift hum and blackberry shining hum and the elder berry hum
and the breath of it all and the white hearted goodness of it all
gone and here in a moment.
Cooler now the fires within the fires within cluster brighter cluster sounds and hum and silent shape
and a curve and a curl
and a spin in time
and here and gone
and here again.

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