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Posts Tagged ‘Abergwesyn’

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JUNE DRIFT

I am as blurred as the cleft of Cwm Dwfnant shrugged with cloud,
shunned in its darkness, up hanging from the heights, silent as a hawk.

like ladders the thistles grow, straight and high, and the sedges hustle
the grasses, cropped short, and rain-laden.

the woods, a hushed audience, wait for rain
that is as welcome as the sun, as welcome as the long, pale dawns,
as welcome as the naked starlit evenings.

sallow seed slides and drifts, amnesiac angels, bounced on warm air,
and shallow cool down by the gurgling river’s bank.

and the globeflowers at Nant Y Bran bursting and butter-bright as suns
on their long green necks. and yet they still cannot look into tomorrow.

where shall be ever planted the sweet heads of valerian
and the meadowsweet foaming up through the coming of another summer.

light drizzle rains down, slowly drifting east. a cuckoo mist, a cuckoo silence.
I am blurred as the sources of all rivers are, nominal, approximate.

this white drift is a moment that now dissolves the hills
and clarifies by shimmer and shade the valley’s deep and every fold.

the unknown and the known are not new dreams to us.
they clothe us and wrap us round, swaddled and held still, a long lullaby,
sometimes with words, sometimes with sounds,
sometimes with a warm breath
that is itself no different than love.

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The long song

1
Pwll Bo, where the waters swirl the colour of trout,
As brown as deep sunlight and the taste of peat.
Shadowed is the heathered hue ( whose voice
White as lightning sings to the oldest of things,
Though few may know it except the ghosts
Of wanderers lost and found by starlight,
And the fastness of owl-bright silence
And the stillness of hills in their watchfulness.)

Pwll Bo and then the Washpool and then on,
Down to the church and then the town.
Everything murmurs in its own language.
The river’s accent rushes from wild to soothing
To wild again.

Clouded, the eye of this precinct night
Lost in dream that seems to be remembrance, but is not.
A doppler drift of slow, utterly endless forgetting.

2
Singing the long song
Pwll Bo roars white and whispers.
Water turning hills to soil.

3
Pwll Bo
Spirit song
Mountains to soil
Sunlight to trees
Water to life.

Weaving sound
A throat of rock.
White, roaring water.

Hollowed rock
A mouth of song.
Thunder whispers.
Sunlight and shade.
A rivered voice.

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SUN SET 1

Rock throat

slaked sung.

Water song

white til

mirror still.

River light licks

slick grey rock.

Cotton grass

nods spun

iron red pools

Raven crags,

stern chapels,

catch last light,

song sent

down cools

river throat,

Spin then

whorled, a thread

white song.

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PWLL Y BO (continued)

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There are streams and there are pools,
Gradients of speed, time and temperature,
A swelling and a cascade of moments.
Phenomena to clothe attention,
Voids to place memories within.

The paths of scent and heartbeat
Wander through landscapes,
Unseen but persistent:
They mould the seasons of emotion,
The tides of joy and despair
We think we seem to own.

How came the spirit to Pwll y Bo?
Born was it from scoured stone,
Water tongues speaking water language?
Inchoate become cadent rhythm,
Song become meaning become message,
Whispers mirrored, hollows filled.
There before, or only after, the wept
And lost wondering?

There is a quicksilver veil,
A something shimmer that,
Once touched, ripples forever.

So restless a wanderer,
The dew of his holiness on every meadow,
Churches sprang up in Dewi’s footprints.

This dream so unlike that dream,
Remembered backwards, becoming familiar:
His prayers, her tears, wellsprings,
Mouths of howling and hymns, stones with mouths.

Just so and more
The glow of set suns on warm earth,
A day begun and gone,
A day to come through long night.

We become our own pool, haunted,
Becoming vague, portenteous,
Oracular as thunderstorms.

Flowered feet, rooted stillness,
A mouth full of blossom.
His feet, our feet,
Her tears, our tears.
Owls in the valley,
Blackbirds amid cloud mists.

As every river knows,
We are not what we seem to be,
Not so steady, not so constant.
A permiable impermanence,
A vessel unable to choose its content.

To taste, shape and let go,
A flow of song, a chorus,
Cascades of little moments,
But enough to shape mountains,
Enough to flood oceans,
A silver rippled pool dissolving time and space,
A breathing landscape generating names.

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Pwll y Bo, “Pool of the wraith”, is a wooded, rocky cascade of the River Irfon on the road up the Abergwesyn valley, a few miles from where I live. Downstream, stranded now in silence, but once the heart of Llanwrtyd, the old church site of St. David’s on a small spur of hillside around which the ascending road curls. Saint and spirit, a confluence of notions.

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PWLL Y BO (1)

Mountain air threads mist in valley sleep.
We dreamless lie, cherishing weight.
Up at Pwyll Bo, I suppose, the lean, green larches
Will stand roaring down the dawn winds.
The oaks, staid grey and still on their slanted hill.
The otter shall sink and roll, melting to water.
Mossed rock wet, endless white the tumble.
Ever hollow spans the spirit’s song, a haunted bridge.

The winding path to delight is to be walked not run.
Time given to sliding slow eyes, side on side,
To stop and to forget.
This breath the church of all gods,
The heart’s Holy Ghost light woven.
Time enough for long blue days
And the dead slowly revolving
On the hillside church
Wriggling back to earth and seed.
Their heads now risen green, unfurled,
A dappled Trump each last and every day.

Unknown things travelling down
Are woven, whirled and worded.
Skein thin spirit clothed and given sight.
A voice, even, from rock and worried water.
Grasped and clothed its essence sings,
The illusory cling of names forgot,
The savoured winding sheet of waves
And pillowed, folded rocks.
It says, it says:
The confluence of all rivers is the ocean.
The confluence of all words is the heart.

Shall it cleave to the warmth of sunlight,
Wood avens and violets on the bank?
Or shall it bend into moonlight,
Emptying all in cool rest, the starlit air?
Or long longing, wait for drifting careless breath
Warm bodies dabbled, absent stares,
To speak heard and unheard,
Noticed yet unrecognised?

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Aeons of fast skies
Have worn smooth these hills.

Chosen colours have rubbed in,
Silence folded into sound.

These lacing waters,
These rock dark ribs.

A breath of rain,
A consideration of leaves.

A subtle exchange,
A movement towards earth.

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