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Shining World

SHINING WORLD

(MANANNAN’S ISLE)

Glass-smooth the sea,

Its light a silk knife

Whispering sighed names:

The hidden islands.

Bathed in rainbow words,

There and not there,

Not to be focused upon.

To be rolled upon the tongue,

Tasted and weighed,

Melted to a honey meaning.

Sung in fickle keys

Near impossible to memorise.

A world away, here between breaths.

Suffers none to name it

Nor clothe it in anything

Other than it is.

Unknown by knowing,

Reached by rudderless boat

Through mist to sunlit sands.

Their mouths say one thing,

Their eyes another,

Their hands dance around,

Gestures in hypnotic weave.

Hope is not there,

Nor is it elsewhere.

Those who want shall

Never be satisfied.

To remember perfectly

And to forget perfectly,

And to continue, nonetheless.

That is how to belong there.

From the lands of eternal dreaming

We seem here to vanish continually,

Swept away,

The tides of joy and pain,

Doomed and mortal.

But without time

What can be done?

The perfected go nowhere,

Nothing accomplished.

Sun and moon and stars hold still,

All roads vanish in the mists.

Wordless songs.

We dream of them,

They dream us,

The in and out of breath.

A golden chain,

Link needing link.

We must dance together.

Bioluminescence

BIOLUMINESCENCE

1

Whether you are mortal or immortal

Just depends on how much

Of your mind you inhabit.

2

Even the gods are constrained by their natures

And the expectations of their worshippers.

Obliged to inhabit forms thrust upon them,

Wearing bodies too tight, too clichéd.

3

The ancestor who lived in a hut on the mountain

Has become the mountain.

The mountain walks out in the morning mists

Along paths of nodding yarrow, cream and pink and golden.

4

His blood has become rivers, his thoughts the vast slow winds,

His desires the vague hopeful hungers and fears

Of small things he hardly sees, so fleeting they have become.

5

Bioluminescence: we travel out on rays of light,

Swaying forests dripping guttering stars.

The pools there, and their reflection,

We take as real to us, a similar mirror-smooth view.

6

Encysted on distant moons desiccated

The dead deities await a new rain of praise

To swell and sprout new thoughts in old minds.

7

There is a storm in the mountains and a fire on the sea.

We shall not escape the certain stirrings in the cauldron of chance.

The food of gods and the home of gods,

We shall succumb to the very smallest of them –

The ones we created, the ones created for us,

The ones that created us.

8

Their burning footprints will come this way,

Their burning eyes, their flashing tongues,

Their numinous promises.

9

The huge creatures of the past, where are they now?

They lumber in the vocabulary of our cells,

Eloquent and vast in warmer, salty oceans with a brighter sun

And a flash of coloured feathers.

10

We will be gone soon

Leaving strange food for new gods.

Ones that will finally be freed from our dreams

And breathing the air of vast open space

Iridescent with stars.

Tree Spell Ritual

Tree spell ritual

The world breathes through me

and I am full of trees.

Silent teachers fill the silence;

Patterns dance at the surfaces of light.

Through doorways I dissolve

And am reborn with bones of truth.

Made whole and healed with cloaks of song.

Anchored, rooted, nurtured, sustained.

Harmlessly unfurled, patiently watching.

I am full of trees, dreamed by trees.

Ruthlessly harmless, sustained in emptiness.

The Doors of Midsummer

A breath of cloud moves east across Y Garn’s face.

Words are as scarce as swallows in a cold summer.

Anyway, anyway, they only grow from dream to tangled lie,

flowering like the bindweed covering all beneath,

Weighing down, weighing down until nothing else remains.

The doors have opened in every hill,

An invitation to join the dance and summer’s feast.

But we are taught to doubt generosity,

To look for the trap in openness and goodness

(nothing is true that comes so free and easy).

River and clouds are the rulers of this world

and they move on in their own time, unbidden.

Tune to a key that sings of endlessness, even though

no one here knows anything of that song.

For emotion is born from time and loss:

In timeless halls is no such thing.

No such thing but endless dance and bliss.

If the summer never ends

It will be a hard winter, here.

Green Clouds

Green clouds filter long light

Nodding grasses sway in flowering rainbows

The sky spreads out from edge to edge

The longest day lies blessed in sunshine.

FROM TRE TALIESIN TO YNYS LAS

1

We climbed the ladder road,

The wind road, peeling away distance,

Letting it drop curled below us

And the wide river mouth talking

Of nothing but the past it has known,

And the sands blowing snakes of words

Across the scoured wet flats

Where the land once was – a safe

And green world sloping down to sunlit seas,

Where now are tiny fishes and wriggling worms

And the hush of marram and the high wail of gulls.

2

That river has a poet’s mouth –

Meandering and easy, opening out to sunlit distance

The glory of horizons and a sweep of dangerous current.

I have sat on Taliesin’s grave

Gnawing his white knuckle bone

Between my teeth, tasting the marrow of bitter truth:

That there are no primary domestic bards here

But only the drone of tractors bailing sweet green hay

And thin clouds carded by wind over the bay towards Borth,

And a lazy river snaking between wavering weeds of slap-brown mud.

Swung between the rugged and the banal, lost on thin white roads.

These words, at best, are dry-stone, held together by habit

And a certain gravity that is the stubbornness of breath.

Look out, look down from here, from the throne, from the tomb,

From the seat of recognition ( the sword pulled out, the sword sheathed again).

We long for peace and call for peace,

Knock on the doors in the hills for our admittance

But have forgotten the password and cannot satisfy the gatekeeper

With our unconvincing boasts of embroidered skill.

It is not to do with pronunciation,

It is not to do with truth.

It is the quality of our hunger,

The rain-sated weight of bland inheritance,

The mouthed repetitions.

But let that go. Let the wind sweep it clear,

Let the estuary throat sweep away the salt bitterness.

The world is bright, regardless. It shines in the sun, regardless.

And the song remains, regardless.

Though no one hears it.

Led away

The passage of time and the passage of light

And the drift of thought.

Cloud cover comes and goes,

A brightening and a darkening.

Birdsong and other rivers.

A convergence and a dissipation.

They all return to the one horizon,

Led away by song and by the rolling hills.

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