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Sky Boat of the Durotriges

There now, let them rise up: the dark voices, the light voices,
The feathered, the fervid, the iron road of truth is a road we must go down
And the boat of morning and the waters of night.
We are three of indeterminate form:
Too fast, too patient, too vast to keep a single shape.
We are three, is all you need to know, the indicator of splendour.
They see us who know us, they know us who see us.
We glide on shadowed moments, in dreaming time,
On pools of blood and pools of passion.
Words that approach silence ornament us.
They say it is a boat, a barque, but it wavers as a reflection does,
As a path in shimmering summer air, as firelight in a drunken hall.
For we ride beyond the waves of light, on photonic tides,
A boat that is not a boat. A promise scratched on stone.
There are three, and that is all you need to know:
The door, the lock, the key.
A boat of gold riding endless, sparkling darkness.

The Durotriges were an Iron Age Celtic tribal group in the South of England centred on what is now the County of Dorset. They produced coins of silver and gold, often with similar designs. They are abstracted and difficult to read, though they would have been easily read by those familiar with the imagery at the time. Celtic coin imagery follows the key design features of the Mediterranean prototypes, but always playfully morphs them to subvert the message or to ‘own’ the message as part of tribal identity. The Durotriges were seafarers, familiar with the estuaries and rivers of the Dorset and Hampshire coasts. This design ultimately derives from the main features of a profile head (crown/hair, eye,nose,lips) but is usually seen as a boat of some kind with three occupants. In most versions of the design the three beings have the same characteristic shapes, suggesting they are three specific and distinct characters, that might be read as male, female amd child. The fact that there are three is a clear indication of sacredness, if not divinity. Whenever groups of three appear in Celtic art, supernatural power is signified. At th moment I am working on a series of sculptures derived from this image, and so now and then new possibilitis of interpretation arise. Of which this is one.

Brighter Things

BRIGHTER THINGS

the wriggling of spirits
or the
mutterings of mitochondria
or
the pulse and heartbeat
of greater beings
upon whose breast
we sleep

or the echoes only
of winds and rivers,
a shared
but not immortal soul
journeying
the infinite spaces.

thought:
It a sign
that we are inhabited
by brighter things.

Four Short Pieces

Opening out.
We saw a bright place:
Summer stars, birdsong.
The language of a landscape.

Bright Spring day.
For a moment
Nothing else matters.

Home through snow.
Getting lost –
Other people’s footprints.

Winter trees:
You can see
what they are thinking.
Weighing the memories
of years and seasons.
Squeezed thin
between the bright veins of light
And its decay.

Good Friday

GOOD FRIDAY

from the mist: the hills.
clouds attempt the memories of things,
but fail and find instead broad brightnesses.

there is birdsong in the valley (may there ever be),
and ravens in the cascading sky.
a wash of calling sheep, heading for food.

we feel the older weaving, thread-worn, familiar,
a whisper of what it was, (though still greater than us).
it is in the blood: this dying and longing and silence,
an intimation of the beyond coming closer,
the hidden web knotted together.

the sure, gnarled fingers of compassion,
patient Mother Spring
and the story of the son.

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Cwm Graig Ddu

CWM GRAIG DDU

Yesterday the ravens were dancing.
Now, this east wind has scoured the skies
To a perfect frozen blue.

Dark, bruised by cold,
Cwm Graig Ddu, sunless, looks out,
Dreaming of rivers.
Its sheep: philosophical rocks,
Waiting for Spring.

Bitter cold.
Bright sunlight.
Trees dream
In the dark valley.

Hours pass.
Gazing out.
Hunting words.

Calibration of sorrows –
A mountain view.

An empty road
Still finds its destination.
All music sits upon its silence.
A sweet sap comes after winter sleep.
By slow breath the cauldron bubbles.

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Sing Out

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SING OUT

Singing hymns to emptiness
Sound disappears with meaning
The instant it leaves the mouth

We need gods to sing to,
Something of the familiar,
But made more important,

As if worms and weeds
Had not silently shaped
All we are and will be.

It is what rivers and stars do,
It is what sheep and birds do,
Sing out to each other
That thin, frail line between
Life and death and life again.

Greedy gods and good gods
One by one supplanted
Though their lives are aeons.

Fed by song, happy in their given shapes
Until the singing stops
Where they forget their names,
Hatch as butterflies hungry for nectar.

There are the great and there are the small
While the song is sound and silence.
The void: a pause between movements
Where the audience wonders if it should clap
But remains in stillness, held within
A lovely diminishing resonance.

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The Wonders Between

THE WONDERS BETWEEN

The words of the golden-browed gobby boy,
Next to madness, filter down to aquafers dark and fertile.
Sublime its nonsense, sentient and spinning as golden suns
On the fenceposts of oblivion.
Meaning hangs from barbed wire, black rags breathing their last.
A hundred forests there are growing from the root of his tongue,
And each tree branches bells and shouts and battle cries of intelligence.
These fermenting druid visions ever guarded from nightmare by monsters.
There can be no place for a soul to find peace who sees the knot and rivers of becoming,
No place but at the very edge of things and at the very heart of things,
Where none think to look or go, on the folded lands of jet and fresh waters,
The bowl carved with care nibbled by prayers and the slow songs of sheep.

These words just mists transfused with light,
Threaded translucent edges shadowing other landscapes.
Bubbles wrapping spiraling air, compassing a skin of life.
An edge around itself, composed of itself, born before shape.
Perfect its round reflection, itself its own surroundings
The world its skin, invisible but for rainbows and radiance.
A glide of light on a perfect arc.
It is by what it reflects that is not is.
Ungraspable, a perfect world of brightness.

Mydwyf taliesin dery:
Gwawt godolaf vedyd:
Bedyd rwyd rifedau eidolyd
Kyfrwnc allt a hallt ac echwyd.

I am ardent taliesin:
I present song to the world:
Praises of the world’s bounteous wonders
Between the high place and the sea water
And the fresh water.


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