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New Year’s Morning

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NEW YEAR’S MORNING

Martin hums a tune from the old country,
For the soft ghost of his wife, for his dogs,
For the world that carries on.

It is the first day of a year
Builded upon a sea of memory alone,
And slow light swum from a pale winter sun.

It is quiet and still, as only New Year can be,
Uncertain but content in itself,
A grey, growing brightness sufficient for the moment.
No need to rush, no need to hurry.
It shall taste of yesterday soon enough.

An old tune the world hums to itself
To soothe the soft ghosts it once loved,
And loves, and will and will.

Taliesin’s hangover

TALIESIN’S HANGOVER

We are the ghosts,
And the demons dance
Roaring in our blood.

The holy and the profane-
The weather of our tastes.

Better would be silence
Than a thousand poets
Limping their rhymes
Through barren landscapes
They mistake for freedom.

Bitterness shall wake us,
Beauty put us to sleep.

Cold Lake Day

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COLD LAKE DAY

Rust red are the fingertips
Of the dead, scraping at the edges
Of the day. They shall seek to admit
Just a little more light, a little more
Where the hills hesitate then vanish
(They are remembering the very
Oldest of names, hollowed as tombs,
Frost-bright, distant).

In storm wind
Trees and crows sing dancing. Endless
Fields the sheep wait patiently,
Wait patiently turned away from rain.

It is a hard day hung upon
The crosstide of the seasons.
Brief and battered, a smudged world
The colour of old dried blood and bruises,
The colour of steel and verdigris,
Of sodden soil and seed slumber.
A wind ripped thing pinched with rain.

Sorrow is a cold lake in the mountains,
A grey heron waiting to feed.
Joy is a cold lake in the mountains,
A grey heron waiting to feed.

Bitter, Even

BITTER , EVEN

Am nyt vo nyt vyd
Nyt vid am nyt vo

Since it may not be , it shall not be;
It shall not be since it may not be.

A bard would waste no time, waste no words.
(A flaying knife of quick tongue
to buck up the drowsing drunken lords.)

Forty years thrown away for one curious look
Beyond a dusty door.

The balm of forgetting ( the long war over)
The balm of art and of companionship
Shattered in cold salt winds.

The little island storm-wracked,
No pilgrims given shelter.

Proud Arthur unearthed the protecting head –
He thought the land needed nothing
But force and brave bluster
To keep it sound and sovereign.

Manawyddan turned cobbler
Who should have been king.
He chose a small, good life
Rather than justifiable strife.

And the bard knows,
The bard knows
That the future is a waste land, forever unmade.
And the present, only the hiss of foam spray
At the very edge of an eternal ocean,
The roaring, ever-flowering, accumulating past.

Boet gwir venhyt
Dragwynawl byt

Let there be true joy
In the sorrowful world.

Motionless

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MOTIONLESS

storm grey, the hills crackle.
intense, the colour of the day,
but still the trees catch flecks
of sudden golden light.
and a hum from the distant town.

Wang Wei sits motionless;
Li Po walks through his own eyes
into the landscape;
Basho hunts for a word
that carries silence;
Chuang Tzu remembers, laughs,
forgets again, laughs;
Buddha puts on a kettle for tea.

the day is the same as any other day-
a jewelled and a fragrant passing.
but few will notice even that.

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CWM DWFNANT (2)
(Our geography)

It does not dwell here
It does not stay.
Coming and going in mists
Dissolved to spirit
Absently haunting
The green valley quiet.

Its wings are white shadows
Milk dropped in pools
A cleft, a demure device,
Dark and luscious mystery
Hovered near madness
Far too far from reasonable reasons.

It dwells otherwise, a dark language
Spoken backwards.
Returning time to itself,
A rotating quern of years and miles.
A mighty sign at the corner of the eye.

Blessings to the world-weary
That strip the meat back to bone,
Break the bone to feed on sweet hidden marrow.

The lick of mist, the lick of its still wrist,
Far-flung, a throat of words
Pushed back deep into the hills.

Soil of a New Heaven

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SOIL OF A NEW HEAVEN

The bare trees bend.
Birds bob and float –
Words of a haiku
Searching for a place to rest.

A single beam of sunlight tracks the valley floor
From a sliding sky-pool of bright gold.

The last few leaves have fled
And there will soon be rain.

A fragrant savage despair –
Like love, but not love.
A bitter yew red dust wedded
To ash and water,
Sprinked jet, sprinkled amber.
A language hugged and big as mountains.

The words of Taliesin sucked in through eyes,
Turned, fermenting in a cauldron heart.
Spat out in a limping century,
Adrift in baseless magic,
Amongst debris of another false economy.

Strike this hard sky-grey flint until the sparks fly –
Then the river words shall flow torrenting
Pulled by a centre true and weighty:
Inescapable earth, the spinning fort
Where all yarns are woven up, mataté and mill.
We shall be ground yet,
Ground down and ground up.

We shall become grist and whispers in the ears of playing children
Who do not know anything of us, not names nor actions,
But threaded on the same hopes,
The lilt of a language as natural as falling asleep.

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