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Take away the words

( that give stories to the silences of doubt)

And there is still the song of the river,

The roaring in the pines,

The light rolling over the ever-changing hills.

Mist rises and the clouds roll past.

There is no need to fill the seconds,

That are already so full of mystery,

With anything other than this.

We are ghosts

Unless we feed on this glory.

We are starved of succour,

Only feeding on our own reasons.

Offer your silence, now and then,

In the early morning, in the dusk.

Now and then, listen

To how eternity sings.

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Because of their words:

A quantum entanglement.

Whether equation or story,

The ripples vibrate.

All metaphor is truth.

All truth, metaphor.

So said Euron.

So said Eurwys.

They wrap the bones

Of space in pictures.

Weave timelessness

With heroes.

By means of language

And of matter

They fashion magnificent trees,

The span of universes,

A melodious ocean.

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BLESSINGS OF THE MOON

What are the blessings of the moon?

Return, return.

What is worn away,

What is consumed,

What is lost.

Returned, returned.

No diminishing of light.

No perturbation of path.

Return, return.

Is the blessing of the moon.

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LANK GRASS

Lank grass leaks light.

Meagre is the wan sun.

The hillside’s low shudder

Shoulders a cold wind.

To and fro the white flocks weave.

The black flocks waver, settle

And disperse in fields.

Time does not pass

That is not sweetly savoured:

Cloaking us in eternal radiance,

An infinity of brilliant shadow.

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WAR CAULDRON

Though they came back

They came back silent

And haunted are their eyes.

The ones cast into the cauldron of war,

An endless source of sorrows.

Silent from what they see.

Silent from what they have seen.

Silent lest the heart break again.

Silent lest the bones become dust

And the dust, the taste of death,

And death, not the worst of it,

And the worst of it, the endless lines,

Moving to the front to die.

Nothing learned, nothing gained.

The drum, the drum, the drum.

Eternal war feeds the cauldron

Dragged from the depths

Where it should have remained.

As if there were not enough sorrow

In this world already.

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DARK NIGHT GARDEN

In the dark night garden.

My throat scratched

by the ice light of stars.

.

Owls soothe the blackness

As best they can.

.

The drip drip of water

Is the passing of eternal time.

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GATEKEEPERS

Sometimes, sometimes, and maybe always,

The doors can be so big

That they cannot be seen.

There is, they say, a wall

At the edge of the universe

So far away, so far away

That light from there has never reached here yet,

And never will.

It is neither winter nor Spring.

The year is a troubled child, roaring.

You know how I write:

I wait for words to come.

I do not send in dogs to flush out the birds of dawn.

I wait, to the souls of rivers and owls, to the world’s breath,

‘Til one by one, they come, gathering lightly,

Bright buds, whispers from the old roads.

And they may dissolve again.

They may dissipate, the offerings of time and waiting,

Just not enough to stay or settle.

The giants were called obstructors.

You might say, doorkeepers.

You might say, guardians.

Huge enough to carve out universes from their skulls,

Rich enough to give a thousand conflicting cosmologies.

It shall be storm all day today.

Waters bubbling down

From the cauldron of the hills.

Clouds dark and eloquent as Afagddu,

Dark as a cormorant preening on his pylon.

The layers of darkness arranged

For a perfect dive into silence.

The world has tipped.

Its weather spills out across the globe.

Excess and extravagance

Eating the hearts of the poor.

We await a new inoculation against greed.

But all our heroes of success

Only hasten destruction.

And so, I bow to the obstructions of giants:

The doorkeepers who block the way

And ask the riddle.

What skill do you possess

That you think would allow you to pass?

What quality, what virtue, to ensure

Any continued existence here?

What is the art that will not destroy?

What is the craft that we have never encountered?

What reasons can you make sound reasonable,

Sliding your guilt out of sight as if it were not yours.

Can you learn harmlessness?

Facing the storm you have raised

Can you abide at ease in the flickering light

Watching the helpless ones be swept away,

Swept away.

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STONE AGE

Snow clouds drift below moon and stars.

The river roars its long distance.

.

What can can we do

But breathe in the warm smoke of fires

And huddle down into the skins of animals?

.

In this way

We become the world’s eyes

In long winter.

.

Hunters of stories

In the mists.

Recounters of the long herds

And the cunning wings.

.

Sustained by the strong life of others.

So we may sing their praises

And with our hands

Shape amber and jet

And flint and bone.

.

Beneath the one tree of starlight

And dancing, rising sparks.

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INDWELLER (Gwyn ap Nydd)

Tell me the first thing.

.

The first thing is fear.

White, empty, formless, unknown.

That is the first thing.

It boils up in the fist of battle,

In the first and last breath,

The whimper of why,

The sigh of receding pain.

.

And it is alive still, this fear.

I am the white hedge of between.

Death, Winter, Hunter.

These, but not these.

.

In the far North

They say the gods that made creation

Were formed in the gap between things.

The first instant, the impulse, the breeze of doubt,

The white vertigo, the doubt.

What is?

What is this that is?

And is not me?

And who is,

And why?

.

My red-nosed hound that hunts

Is a hunter of reasons.

To know why.

My steeds, ever moving on,

Are clouds.

My purpose is unclear,

My definition is to be,

But not to be located,

Nor known, nor named.

Or do I yearn for that ever after?

To be fixed, and simply loved for that?

Like everything else with a place, a reason,

A name, a history, a cause, a story, a remembering.

.

Without the words, when the words are not enough,

The white mist descends and I am fear, utter and complete.

.

And the forgetting.

The breeze stirs the waters.

The deeps that cannot be measured,

Nor named, nor traversed, nor left behind, nor excluded.

Void, or Soul.

Senseless or beyond sense.

Named I will be diminished.

But diminished, I shall be known.

.

If there is something greater than this.

That is the hunt.

To sift through the clamour.

To contain all colour.

To return to the white empty fullness.

This cliff edge.

This between.

I dwell.

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A RAINBOW WALKS

A rainbow walks the yellow hill.

Small birds know that Spring is coming.

The wide-winged hawks, too, wheel and watch.

The rain has reached us now,

Tapping the roof.

Our skies yawn wide here:

From the Radnor hills right round

Through Crychan forest and the hidden dive

To the Sugarloaf and the low lands beyond.

Epynt is the wall of centuries behind us,

The deep valleys of the Cambrians, an uncertain present.

The old stones have been removed,

Or lost, that pinned us to hope.

The roads run thin and crumble.

If you live forever, all this is of no consequence.

If you live one year, or two,

This doubt and uncertainty is extravagance.

Many hereabouts conjure their own futures

From a past they grasp as if it were theirs.

As well to leave it be, leave it be.

There is no power here but a rainbow

Walking, for a moment, the yellow hill.

And the flow of wind and cloud across the horizon

No one can see beyond.

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