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SHADOWS

These lines – the chiselled shadows of words.

Consonants moth-whispered, vowels, lichen-grown.
.

A sunlit porch and laughter.

.
Light swings round the mountain

throwing a cooling shadow

across wood and field.

.
Ghosts do not tip-toe here.

As if they own the place, as if they always have,

Squeezing us between regret and reminiscence,

stained by poetry, small life blooming

on cold fallen hearths.

.
Their lilt of names and

who lived where

and who they loved

and who they hated,

whose sheep on which pasture,

whose son left and lost in another war,

whose daughter run off to a bigger life.

.
Pipesmoke and murmurs,

paraffin and oiled rags.

.
The long light stretches between October trees.

In the cities the streetlights flicker on.

On the farms ashes raked,

Cold stoves chivied back to life.

Small lives shadowed by greater things.

.
The chink of tools, the warm scent of sawdust.

.
A gentle downward slope into night.

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Rests Lightly

RESTS LIGHTLY

My heart rests lightly

on this wind.

It dips and bobs

and lets go

tumbling in the passing light

rolling off the gradients

of the seasons.

Fragments of rainbows come and go

piercing time with beauty

– a reminder.

The leaves too, dance and let go,

and green slides off the hills

to settle in sheltered places.

Bracken turns quick gold

then long reds.

Air spiced with things losing names

becoming something else,

becoming earth.

The willows dance,

the poplars dance all silver,

the birches, gilded.

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Tumbling

TUMBLING

My heart rests lightly

on this wind.

It dips and bobs

and lets go

tumbling in the passing light

rolling off the gradients

of the seasons.

Fragments of rainbows come and go

piercing time with beauty

– a reminder.

The leaves too, dance and let go,

and green slides off the hills

to settle in sheltered places.

Bracken turns quick gold

then long reds.

Air spiced with things losing names

becoming something else,

becoming earth.

The willows dance,

the poplars dance all silver,

the birches, gilded.

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RESTLESS

This mountain sails through its weather

just as it moves through the centuries.

Magnanimous, it shelters all under its shadow.

Infinitely patient, it welcomes all,

Folding their tired dust into that long gaze.

The mountain, settled in its own weight

Breathes whispering streams and roots.

In the garden a robin sings in light rain.

The autumn winds curl the edges of leaves.

Dogs bark, uneasy from their white walled farms.

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THE TOWERS OF SUMMER

clouds roll

mixed with sunlight

slowly down

the side of Y Garn Dwad.

the hay is in now

so let it rain a warm rain.

now, now, everything green

reaches upward in one great exhale.

the towers of summer stretch out, bow down.

there is thunder

in the distance, so they say,

and the rivers will soon be filled again.

the surface of Llyn Berwyn though,

shall not be troubled for long:

it will return to its quiet reflection

of hills and cloud,

the brown trout

hardly noticing

a world

that cannot decide

between this and that.

held firm it is, unperturbed,

the lake that lies

in earth’s firm

folded hands.

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Nine Ripples on the Lake

NINE RIPPLES ON THE LAKE

Will it take your names, all your histories,

your reasons for and against?

Will it hear them while it gazes,

timeless, at the timeless changing skies?

Unless you remain in the depths of it,

unless you lose the skin and bones you love,

unless you become welded, wedded to the flow

of remaining still, staying silent,

you cannot know anything of it

but what it is not.

What its eye beholds: an endless upward gaze

of shaping ancestral cloud.

It is an open mouth modelling syllables of ripples,

the sweet rain and beating grey hail.

This steady rest is your antithesis,

O comrades who dig and delve,

who shape and mark out and name

and lose, slash and burn and wonder why

loss is loss and always so painful.

Painful enough for songs that will not be forgotten,

the badge of emptiness and of dogged continuance.

Though you are beautiful in your ways,

you are not as beautiful as this.

Though you belong and hold on, tenacious, to that belonging,

you cannot belong as much as this mirror-edged bright shimmering.

Sit here and do not move. One century, two centuries,

a thousand years, the centuries before forests, before the lands drowned,

before ice, even, as the blackbird pecked the anvil to a nut,

as a stag became tree, and the oak watched as the salmon flicked

its rainbow waters.

The rivers locked and singing here in silver chains, in golden chains.

The lament you hear is your bloodrush, your heartbeat.

The sorrow you feel is your food and your sustenance in darkness.

Hatched and growing, you will swim and wriggle across the oceans,

the rivers beneath the sea ( its orchards, its plough boys,

Its bright jingling chariots, its proud, proud horses in the morning.)

Knowing nothing and knowing everything.

This is how water is, how the lake is.

A metaphor for everything else.

Shimmering mirror memory.

Look down into the highest heaven.

The moment it is reached for, it disappears

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Tumbles

TUMBLES

The year tumbles fast now

towards its closing.

Dragon’s breath swathes the hill

In the middle of the morning,

and the grasses lie damp and lank all day.

The sun is distracted, its thoughts elsewhere.

The rivers race through the night with the rumbling stars.

Our moon flicks its light

from dim to sharp to dim.

Days of storm follow days of cold still calm.

Growth stutters and halts,

the trees reach for their golds and browns.

Plans compress or are abandoned.

What is not done, now can wait.

The fires are lit in dark mornings now.

The fires are all lit.

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