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SNOWON THE MOUNTAIN

Snow on the mountain.

When will fools be silent?

When will the wise speak out?

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Snow on the mountain.

Raucous sparrows

Wake a fragile sun.

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Snow on the mountain.

An empty train crosses the valley,

Keeping its promises.

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Snow on the mountain.

Cold wind knocks on every door

Seeking shelter.

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Snow on the mountain.

Murmuring flocks

Sheltering the newborn.

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Snow on the mountain.

The broken tree

Still with new shoots.

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Snow on the mountain.

The coal-house latch

Burns cold.

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Snow on the mountain.

It is always the clever ones

That save us, then destroy us.

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Snow on the mountain.

Blackthorn in the valley.

War is never far enough away.

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This piece consciously echoes an Early Medieval Welsh poem that begins each stanza with the same line. It also has a flavour of a haiku sequence. It was written in early Spring this year.

Wild Hunt

WILD HUNT

I am lost

So I am yours, Gwyn.

Driven mad, worn thin,

By the fickle certainties of man,

The lies of the blood

In the lees of trust.

To slip and wriggle

Into cracks and crevices,

To numb as many seconds

As we may.

Kneel down in the soil

And weep.

You are clay that knows death

And have learnt a mechanical time

So as to watch its coming.

The whispered “This is how it is”.

That is a lie weighed down

By the phantasms of others’ dreams,

Souls worn wan draped in dust.

If we are not reborn

Then where does this yearning come from?

If we are not reborn

Why does music bring so many tears?

If we are not reborn

Whence the joy, whence the sorrow?

If we are not reborn

How do our desires arise?

Whence our dissatisfactions?

If we are not reborn

What purpose does hiraeth serve?

What purpose the stirring of the blood?

The bones of trees

I turn to small hopes.

Collect your souls, Gwyn.

Scatter them into a new Spring.

The minutes crack open and bleed cold.

Breath is chapped and hesitant in semi-quavers, a minor key.

The hawk is ice that hunts unrepentant the mountain heights.

Slay complacent warmth, the fickle needs of small hearts.

The flutter of joy, cackle of crow.

A silent field: whiteness extends to the very mists of deep mind.

Carved walls at the edges of space, words written there:

We are extinguished and free.

Alder Fold

ALDER FOLD

Singing severed head

Folds and puts away

The blanket of space,

Rolls away time.

A comfort against poisons,

A comfort against memory.

Sunlit is the hall,

Spacious with birdsong.

The sound of the sea

In the sound of the words.

And there is no greater magic than this.

By the shore, by the river,

By the evening light,

By the dividing of the roads.

One gasp and it will be gone.

Floating down stream,

Lodged in the mud

Of a new world.

The root of the tongue.

The cotyledon of sight.

River Words

RIVER WORDS

They do not say

What they sing

For your listening

But for their own joy.

No will of their own

But to find the deepest

And return.

Where streams meet:

A birth of spirals.

By the bridge

The patterns hold steady.

Acquiescence to the way.

We think we know them

By their names we know them.

We know them by their names.

You name the river

‘Destroyer of the children of men’.

I name this river

‘Gentle mother of fields’

The river calls itself:

‘Longing for stillness

In the deep’.

BHAIRAV (THE WEIGHTLESS WEIGHT OF AIR)

Air.

Flowing river from mountains cooled,

And the passion of stars

Piercing the bow of Time.

Air.

Layering droop and singing yet

On the long slope of dawn.

Air.

Tinted blue yet.

Twisted warm and wan.

Twisted slow, rolling.

Air.

Dreaming pulses

As reasons’ reflection

But vague yet.

Vague and languid,

At edges stalled.

Moistened in sleep,

But not.

But not.

Air.

Piled deep

Down to the stars.

Life sways hanging, drifting.

Trees with their hair

Loose and swaying

Singing, singing,

Down to the starlit voids

Hanging the tidal edges

The endless full innocent darkness.

Air.

The trees shape

Single syllables

Howled whisps of vowels

Finding froth from feeling.

Air

Patterned, pressured, punctured

Parcelled.

Air

Twisted and released,

Spread out and stretching,

Tidal current

The vapours caress

Their gradient glacial moments.

Air

Sun bright now

Shifting shimmering.

It suffers all thought.

Turning about

Returning it to silence.

Air.

Sun-bright now,

Spirit-filled

Song-filled

The tongue of gods

Hungry for this and that.

It will not

It will not.

It will

It will.

Invisible lover of every surface.

Air.

It stretches, it pulses.

Gods are born from air.

They flow in and out,

Grow fists of nothing.

They flow in and out.

Gods born from

The turbulent throbs of air.

Movement shiver shafts.

Silence

Silence.

Bhairav is a well-known Indian raag of the early morning. I have only recently grown to love it and its variations. Perhaps the tense sharps and flats put me off. It has the energy of cool space, of heights, of growing light, of distance, of precise wing-tips, of soaring wings, of the dip and soar of red kites. This is a sort of verbal alap – a slow exploration of the moods and directions of morning air, here in the mountains.

The Roses

THE ROSES

The roses

They have been in bud

For months

Through sun and rain.

Now they open,

Bloom for a day or two

Giving joy to all,

Then fade and

Fall apart.

The roses.

The roses.

They throw off their beauty

Like dancers.

They value more

Their roots

And their thorns.

The blood red hips,

The hard won strength

To go on.

A SUCCINCT PHILOSOPHY

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Language

Localises

Mind

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DRUID CURSES THE KILLER

May each life you carelessly extinguish diminish your days.

May every mile you force your way beyond compassion and sense

wear you away like ice in spring.

May your certainties turn on you.

May your silence empty you.

May your people turn on you.

May you disappear forever.

May you never find a home again who has destroyed for no purpose

but your own dream of endless hunger.

May the poets rise up.

May they one by one

Untie the knots of your body,

Untie the knots of your wickedness

Untie the knots of your breath

Untie the knots of your heart

Untie the knots of your senses

Untie the knots of your history

Untie the knots of your futures

Untie the knots of your desires.

May the poets rise up.

May your shadow diminish.

May your shadow turn against you.

May you fade nameless and lost.

May the gods abandon you,

the demons turn away, laughing.

May silence be your pain.

May silence be your end.

May joy fill the world.

May the sorrows you have made

never leave you.

Their Names

THEIR NAMES

Their names are the doors they wait behind.

Dreaming, dreaming, they thus dream us.

A silver moon scythes the snow fruit that admits us.

Timeless is the round dance of breath.

There is constant war in heaven, and hunting,

And fast, hot seduction.

How else, otherwise, could it be here?

The stars pour themselves into the hills.

There will be ice upon the marshes.

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