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PSYCHE/BIOLOGY/GEOGRAPHY

Bone words articulate me.
I clothe myself with wonders,
taking to myself the wrappings
of delight. There are strange beings
with familiar names folded
into memories, the voices from
drowsy Sunday afternoons.
We have cast off from mystery
searching deeper cauldrons
to feed us and make us whole.
There was never one moment
when our insistent shadows
did not mimic us. Starlight,
moonlight and the silence
of hills, our rills and rivers
cannot abide, but must tumble
and roar like warriors into conflict.
The finest webs that have caught us,
giving us names and constraining us
we have overlooked. The whispered voice
upon our skin, a breath we abide within,
a quiver of light, a curl of
reflected brightness, the jingle
of harnesses
in an old
story.

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DHRUPAD 5 (bluebells)

Shimmers so
there,
unlikely unsky
sky,
woven down by green air
in the water washed wood
and the cherry sound
of chiffchaff chiffchaff,
chaffinch, twig twitter song.
Glory, glory, the deepest blue but not,
but violet but not,
but smudged heaven taste beyond eyes,
cell washed deep sound,
a sound even lying on it all,
lying across it all.
A sky blanket sun dipped.
Kingfisher blue, as if,
sudden flash blue, as if,
floating violet pink haze blue.
There
not there.
In passing flicker flicker from
a deep seen somewhere else,
from a silent safe mind springing up
with smiles.
Language unwrapped,
unfolded, spread open,
smoothed
there now, there now,
sun at last
sun at last,
sun, at last!
we shall push on push up
take colour become
come ring sound
and swing down singing
down the slopes,
a tumble bells sighing sound,
swaying dance a deeper dance,
down down the deeper sky,
sunless starless moonless,
a sea sky
footsteps
footsteps
the wooded
wooded
bluebell
way.

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Sapphire

SAPPHIRE

Evening hills
cracked sapphire.

Gods made them so
in the peace of sure weightlessness.

A north wind, though,
that clears the sky

and will make these shorter nights
moon bright and bitter,

will hold the bowing bluebells
in bud a day or two yet.

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DHRUPAD 4 (windy day)

Green rain, green air,
wind cool with doves,
cooing with doves and,
it could be, cuckoos,
it could, it could be cuckoos
between the mother calling
and the lamb’s reply.
A slide down to the sea
is the river task,
the river fast brown rain full
spinning away downstream
daffodils fading, cherry blossom confetti,
bless you, bless you,
and the blackthorn a rimed white now,
a pure white now,
a white that clears and seals the eye, now.
And the surprising green of elm seeds
hanging high and leaning down the road,
wood elm, secret elm, mountain elm.
And a new day ripped with blue,
healed with rain and healed again.
The light and soft
racing the dips and darkened woodlands.
And in the valley it could be a cuckoo,
it could.
And the dip and rise
and screech of swallows’ circumference,
their wheel and compass
the round wind and blue sunlight
and a deeper height to it all now,
a dancing deeper height to it.
Open blue winds,
the opening, the year, the seed.
The brighting day
in this flurrying
wind rush.

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DHRUPAD 3 (blackbird song)

Blackbird rain, blackbird river,the rich so rich evening cool air, evening rich scent air, blackbird still river standing cool. Pines whisper the breeze the breeze the slide knife heart song thrills, mellow knife heart knife song. Rounded world voice river now ripple now voice. Apple rounded, juice voice, drip drip drip voice, echoed stone voice, remembering voice, saying floating cool rain voice. Golden smooth and jet black shiny voice. Rain split, rainbowed wrapped twist thread, weaving woven gold and gilded through and through, this warm this cool this water clear air song voice moment. Stopped and started time held and space thrilled, sun and moon and stars all, all named together, one river named, one moment twirled named, this river sorrow joy river, this eye opening out, vast vast this throb, this little throat, this heart, heart full, rain washed, cool washed, all washed, voice river, named.

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DHRUPAD 2 (night)

Slow now, night now, moon now, night now. The eye shadowed, land shadowed, mind shadowed, night now, owls now, in mind shadows and moon mind too. Cloud shadowed and fine mist light drifting wood ways, the river sky, the river wood, the river mind, the moon a drop. A drop down, suspended, held drift the night words outwards, upwards, slow now upwards, star and drift and dark shadow and cloud upwards along the light line the shadow mind cool cool in moon and deep drowned one mind slain and and and no more lost no more moon no more slope to sing the river forest sky rain cloud ways slow now, slow the moon now, the deep now the silent now the shadows. Now.

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DHRUPAD 1 (mountain air)

slow now, slow the grey cool,

slow
the
way
down.

The gods love this – space free of souls,

no
weight
of prayer.

Small thought light as wings, light on light,

shimmer stacking cloud.

The journey is one breath belonging to horizons
all ours.

They hover here,
hover here,

endless attractors
the cascading distant waters,
the air breezed
from
high
ice
centuries abiding in white.

Slow now, the in and out

suffering little from its movement,

revolving an axis honeyed.

If there are words, they become smudged distance. If there is

sound,

it drifts cloud and misty vapour,

sand, grained and free,

slipping
sift
away,

slow, now, slow.

I have been listening to a lot of Classical Indian music lately, especially rudra veena and surbahar that are instruments ideal to interpret the ancient style of dhrupad. Dhrupad is a vocal devotional music that slowly and thoroughly uncovers the notes and patterns of each piece. There is a lot of repetition and sequences, and although words are sung, it is the emotion within the notes of the raga that creates its profound effect. These poems take some of the rotational effects of dhrupad and its exploration of motifs and rhythm. Originally written as a continuous text, they will best be presented in an open arrangement so that the eye intuits the timing of its narration/reading by the various groupings of words and phrases. (I do not think I will be able to accomplish it very well here within this page structure, but hopefully there will be some of the flavour I intended). There may be something of e. e. cummings, and something of Harold Budd, something of the word patterns of George Macbeth and something of the helter-skelter pace of Dylan Thomas. But most of all, I hope, the slow savouring of sound and image suggested by the alap and jhor of dhrupad.

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