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Light-hammered days.
Green burnished boughs.
Always this beginning
Scoured by cold winds.
Here and gone before we know it.
Birdsong too intricate to remember –
This woven life
With subtlest changes,
The dream repeats.
Though you might wish it,
There are no lessons to learn.
All the stories, a foam of blackthorn,
Blossoming suddenly everywhere.
Taste this now, it will soon be gone.
Gone to return, a somewhat different song,
Called out from another valley,
A little nearer, a little farther off.

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SPRING SCATTER (haiku-ish)

Moon as bright as morning
burnished by a cold wind.
Mountain river white as clouds.

Floating mountain.
Two crows.
Spring sun melts frost.

Cold wind.
Bright sunlit air.
These blackthorn days:
Tumbled jewels.

Along the lanes,
blackthorn blossom.
On the high hills:
the bones of the snow.

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Where the Shoots

WHERE THE SHOOTS

The skies are dark and light
and sweep down to catch us unawares,
nonchalent and easy, as the ravens
on the cliffs below Strumble Head.

Change is the dance,
not what or why or how.

Rain and sun and bitter winds,
Then warmer silences
Where the shoots push through.

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LLANLLEONFEL STONE ( our geography)

There is a stone there, fixed there
(though only stubborn fools would try to move it),
that speaks when the light falls right from the small aisle windows.
Not yet worn smooth but mute enough to be overlooked by most,
as the owls were in the rafters.
As old as the crows in the yew grove dark and silent.
As old as the bitter spring that bubbles from the hillside
As old as the view perched high, a respite from season’s battles.
Hidden is Llanlleonfel, hidden in trees, hidden its path,
forgotten its signs, next to the farmyard,
a barn storing memories and lowing souls.
The words slope down, they fall down, bow down.
Sorrowful words in proud stone, like the world itself, like the world.
Hanging on by a thread to meaning and remembering,
a small rippling on the glass hard surface of winter light
long shadows cast between sunlit hills.
Two names named, so well known, now forgotten,
Waiting waiting tight in their shrouds for the day to waken,
To be judged and born again as heroes that they were.
Left here stranded as the roar of history passes by,
Nothing here now but sheep tugging at the hillside grasses.

Here lies Iorwerth and Rhiwallon,
(Yet they are all dissolved now to earth and water, breath and light),
Tightly wrapped in the world’s dreaming shroud,
As they ever have been, as we ever have been,
Swaddled between sunset and sunrise,
Growing and diminishing with shadow fall.
Worn down and away to whispers
to ripples, to silence.

2019/04/img_5547.jpg

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On Philosophy and Meaning

When the crazy juggled balls
fall into a pattern then
meaning holds a steady form.
Like those wagon wheels
in cowboy movies
that inexplicably
stand still
then go backwards.
An illusion caused
by an accident of timing.
Consciousness flickering,
the world holds certain and steady,
at least for a moment or two.

We can be sure of reality.
We can be real, surely?
Of what can we be really sure?

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EXTRACTING BEAUTY FROM ENDLESS SORROWS

A fine Spring day
(though only a city-dweller
would believe that winter is over).
The thrush is singing
in the chapel pines
and on the hills
the thud of bombs.
A woodpecker is drilling
in the valley,
(or is it machine guns
over the ridge?)

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They build up in snake and scented layers, an incense of doubt and subtle weaponry.
There is nothing they do not know ( for they are the most convincing liars).
Few converse with them, and fewer still stay sane if they do.

Shadows that fear to move lest they become something more substantial.
Shadows that flicker and dance, content with no form but imitation of countless forms.
They are shadows of things unheard of, yet nonetheless feared.

A writing automatic. A blur on the stairs.
A soft padding where there should be nothing but silence.
A dark bloom folded up in its own destiny, beyond the tricks of time and space –
a honeyed tongue delighting in other’s poisons
and perfectly, perfectly reasonable.

Ink that slurs and smudges the mind with indelible insult.
Truth that cannot be born again, but must.
All this in the deepest pools of your deepest eyes,
And behind those, too, the deepest engines
Of rot and renewal.

Impossible to weigh, impossible to judge,
Beyond behaviour, beyond rule and law.
Bones congregating, skittering, amalgamating.
A contagion of consciousness.
Ancestral murmur, a tidal surge.
Warped away from our superficial dreams of goodness,
They shall have their way because of our unknowing.

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