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Taliesin Revolves

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TALIESIN REVOLVES

The Living and the Dying:
Dipping in, dipping out, spinning, turning, returning.
This string, this blue cord, this mysterious line.

Slipping past the gatekeeper of dawn and sunset,
The dream rim, horizon’s cauldron.

The answer to crafty questions.
No one survives the heroic ideal,
Except transformed, ploughed back into and out of Time,
Through the door of the fortress that turns.

These ancient watching animals in the stream
Of the constellations, time creators outside of time.
Watch the movements from the physical to the ethereal.

“I underwent transformations, I circulated.”
Time is his landscape,
The bardic occupation of weaving the past into the present,
Kneading the present back into the past, the past into the present.

I was alive.
I was dead
About the aeons of the fortress,
About the one’s like kings,
How long their dwelling place.

I slept on a hundred islands,
In the seas of heaven, the firmament.

I mutated, I went around,
I am dissolved and passed through,
Strained and purified.

He passes through. He slices through.
The darkness, not understood until death comes.
Cian, Afagddu, Gwiwan.

O dyfynwedyd gwawt

The deep speaker, the speaker from the deep,
Passionately brought forth.
Not the quietness.

The deep ones emerge in the voice
Of the bard and the audience,
A flow above the shining drink.

The deep one becomes flesh

Dwfyn dyfu ygnawt

The shapeshifter,
Singing his own deathsong,
Uther, dead and singing,
Becomes Taliesin by this voice.

Nothing but skin and bone.

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Bitter Truth

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BITTER TRUTH

Set a kindling of words,
A small shattered pile
To see what warmth, what light
(on this dark, fog-grey morning)
May catch and roar out loud.

To burn up and blaze tedious dream;
To set a new road (on an old path);
To feed the slumberers in the blood,
The wraiths in the mind’s halls,
The hollowness in the heart.

A small chirped dawn chorus
In the flat, windless, icy air.
Slow fire under a cold cauldron,
Where the names mean nothing now,
And the maps, blood-sodden, dissolve.

Deceit has left us starving.
Calculated dissembling in the cities.
This is the last war –
The war for honest words.

Trilithon

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TRILITHON
(Three great stones upturned, strange, wriggling things beneath them)

Bright Browed

The truth is a severed head
telling tales to the mesmerised
survivors of a world disappearing.
As simple as it is, it cannot be circumscribed
by any answer.
The bright sun rises on a land, still with frost.
Over the horizon night falls and the
white winged soul of owls hunt glimmering,
and the children whimper in their swaddled sleep,
the dogs by the fireside and the dancing shadows.
Dawn is a spark that burns what went before.
The river is a crooked woman dancing on shivering hips.
We become bright-browed and ancient,
shunned and out of step, the harmony misunderstood.

Ssh! Pass it on!

The wise, as ever, steal their wisdom from the lips of others.
Too smart, they exult in escape from the banal.
Too fast, they run from the slow lurch of time.
Too full, they shrink and burst leaving nothing to itself.
The mouth is a cauldron cooking the unsayable,
bringing to life the exposed silent ones,
the cloaked, watching, single-eyed ones.
It does not say and need not say:
the seed we have become will die for the tree to live.
For the tree to live the seed is forgotten.
Turn around, this is not yours ( nor ever was).
Perfect, you must dissolve into one thought.
the one never before, the one pillar that upholds the sky,
the silver-headed beast, the clutch and shudder of love,
and know its name, and know when it was born, and for what purpose.
And never, ever, ever, say.

Cauldron

The bard’s mouth is a cauldron that cooks the food of heroes,
That will not suffer the fame of fools.
It will bring the dead to life, though they can never speak for themselves.
It will feed all, no matter how great the host.
It will wriggle endlessly through time
But will never escape the timeless, spiral woman who turns into herself.
It will come out of the sea. It is the way to within and without.
What is not yours , you will come to love,
If you are wise.
A war of words clothing naked souls.

Taliesin Sutras (2)

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TALIESIN SUTRAS 2

7
(Landscape)

Late Wanderings
Food from Annwfn, one grain before death.
Honour the pot, the boiling cauldron,
The simmering burden.
I shall digest the words
Served up hot and fast.
Caught, threaded, herded
Towards an inevitable end.
What is scattered?
The winnowed chaff.
Wind and water,
The soul, pale and sleeping,
A mysterious thing.

(Down into the boggy water,
Thrice slain in the holy way,
My burst body bleeding its
Mist-white soul along the causeway,
The teal, the mallard messenger.
I will not forget: straight into the sunset
With my tongue of prayer,
My skin of supplication.)

These images,
These words drawn in colour.
These maps, these directions.
Overlayed on what is not,
What is.

(Landscape is what I have become.
Tongue of soil, skin and nail, wrapped root,
Spread out as hill, my throat this river
Quenching all, my eye: horizon wide,
Drinking star patterns, eternal web.)

Bardic circuit
Of the tenuous ellyll.
They who become outside themselves,
Soul wanderer, wraiths, elves.

(Without our body, woad-cleansed warriors,
We live heartless in a different tune.
Though love still, in a vaster way.
Fuel for deeper worlds, the fabric stretched
And folded, shift, shroud, swaddling.
We, the mist between your breathing,
Your silences, your shoal thoughts.)

The real dream dreamed.
Do you know what you are
When you are asleep?

Taliesin asleep on the sea
Travelling through words
As if they were worlds.

What comes out of the ground
Is never what went into the ground.
The seed is
dead, the leaves are green and growing.

In house of earth, bound by blue iron
Self and not-Self shackled in a mound
All for dreaming.

Afagddu is soot (besmirched smith), the remains of wood and fire.
Ceridwen, the crook of the sky, thigh of the river, tree bowing down,
Crouching woman, cauldron hunched, the squatting one.

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THE BLESSING AND POISON OF GOOD WORDS

no moon, but a single
sickle call of an owl
in the deep valley

cold stars are winter’s eyes
as warmth leaves the world
and darkness wraps all up
as close to silence
as one can think.

by rivers and stars are we lifted up.
by rivers and stars are we brought low.

silent voices dipped in cloud.

I shall sit in darkness and dissolve into light.

dissolve into endless light.
dissolve into light.

Lost Haiku

LOST HAIKU

Autumn leaves.
The path ahead obscured.
That is why I am so late!

Only one leaf left
On the old tree –
And that is a bird.

(Basho on biophobia)

The old pond.
A shopping trolley pushed in.
Profound emptiness.

Midwinter road.
Around the corner:
Sunshine.

A half moon sunk low.
In the valley. Listen!
The river, shivering.

The past turns haiku.
The valleys dissolve in rain.
Dissappearing light.

To culture silence
Become that grey backed heron
And watch unhurried.

Dark water
The ash bows down
Reflecting.

The smallest day.
Mosses, lichen, drip their own green light.
Darkening woods.

Foot in mouth
I walk words
Tasting damp leaves.
The spiral of green moments.

Longest Nights

LONGEST NIGHTS

the smoke of owls
and the sparks of their prey.

the howl of darkness
and the howl of the dawn.

mist tumbles off the snowline,
jaundiced is the air.

fields lie fallow,
their farmers large as hills
and dark, watching for good time.

tumbled clouds tangled
in the sallow valley.

Scarce enough warmth
to go around the village,
scarce enough words.

a golden light within
everything, though.
pooled translucent light.

a river story blessing.
a famous birth
and a death that disguises glory.

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