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Posts Tagged ‘ancestors’

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DHRUPAD 16 (samhain slips by)

We thrum year long year long inescapable inescapable echoes
they say as if as if as if there were something
eternal ineffable about to be spoken though now we wait and
there seems to be nothing but a small wind and the river’s sound and the hiss and hum in the fire of time cascading changing leaving leaving
the door is open the door is closed the draught of it moves the clock’s hands a little ever so little towards a midnight midnight
sitting quiet and upright shawled in stars looking for language taking futures from strands stranded past the pain still listing twisted too hard to let go of too hard too preciously golden edged.
Names all their names uttered at once a storm river
the trees reach sway and sea march inland between the salt grasses one or two feathers glutinous congealed no longer for flight but maybe sharpened pointed or word
the scrape on vellum
careful careful
meaning will pounce and the size for the translucent thin gold
to hold haloes and beginnings where the saints heads roll down to the deep well’s echo.
That is where it all leads the dust the dirt the glory down down down to the soils end
to the speaking dreaming rock that quakes and shivers under angels wings all under angels wings.
Mixed is their histories and their passions and their stories and the endless excuses and the smouldering lusts and the hope for more or something else or more
or more
or more in a heartbeat it flows away
ungraspable music the night slays the flow the midnight bell the round horizons ring and the warm throbbing stones and the shift of roots and the heads rising rising up with eyes in the fast rain cool and flowering here now here we all are again
now quiet yourselves quiet yourselves
and we shall clothe ourselves in your passion and whisper futures to you while you while you breath and twist and curl upon the dreams we dream the same dreams still in the same voices and the same curses and the same blessings as our heads roll
severed into deep holy wells and slaked again our thirst slaked and fathomed and fold the wings so silent land lusts pure and everlasting as cleansed as
the dawn the dawn of tomorrow pale and thin and growing out from the slumber of it
seeded and uplifted grown mighty and tender.
Dream and dream and wake and sleep think thoughts and songs
we know all your words and in the order you speak them and in the lilt and muscle of your standing there
for we do not go we do not go we are not yonder we are not yonder slow the hours as ghosts we wander.
A shimmer of breath and a heartbeat that fades we dream we dream we dream between each breath and harvest.
Give what we must get what we can a festival of small flames and a sweeping of stars we plunge into the earth on every horizon map the paths you walk see they are our paths our places named and unnamed naked and smooth we bite the moment and walk between to greet you to
greet you to greet you our lovely dreams
our lovely dreams our swaddled babes our dearest wishes we greet you sigh and fill all space go nowhere go nowhere listen listen listen our lullaby lullaby lovelove
love we thrum yearning year long echo echo echo a small wind in the long night and a midnight door swinging open open shut but not locked never locked the fire is lit always always and tea is on always always
you know the path and tea is ready tea is ready in the birdsong afternoon by the shady trees and the distant sound of children playing and the hum of bees and something something something to remember to say, something to say.

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THE WORDS WE COLLECT

It is the whispers in the walls,
The ghosts that breath upon our lips.
We dissolve, lost in sounds from elsewhere,
From rooms, from halls.
Left, empty enough, losing attention,
We step out of ourselves
And for a moment become monstrous,
Glorious shadows in the winds
Of strange, bright mornings.

Though none of it speaks for us:
The silent, swirling mists, nor
The resounding, thundrous deep,
Nor the wells without light,
Nor the stars without memory,
Nor the movement of seconds,
Nor anything of the vastness.
For all these are constrained
By our sound, and uttered unbeknownst
By those guilty of innocence.

Left dancing on air, breathless,
Pierced, spun to a fine point, examined,
Cast out, then disregarded.
Swimming in an ocean of shadows
It is hard to know what is of value.

I shall put my ear to the door of the earth,
And listen to the ones never dead,
A music not of our blood though equally holy.
Even its echoes dissolve flesh and name
In the round chambers, skull-domed,
Grass-topped and nibbled by sheep.

For the extraordinary rests upon the ordinary,
As sound rests upon its own silence,
The known is upon the unknown
As birds rest upon tall oaks in evening.

We live above the noise, dipped in cloud.
Hearing rumours of the dreams of others,
And building what we can out of that.
Once given a name, believing that makes us real,
Practicing a story sewn from fables.

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NAMES WILL BURST THROUGH

How long will it be before the words form?
And the names, how long til they congregate?
How long until they accumulate weight enough
To press down and hold still and never ever be forgot again?
On lips, on paper, on stone, into the bark of trees.
These names are fragile, finite, unknowable as rivers are.
In their passing we believe we have known them.
A familiar dream. So familiar. So much of a summoning,
A stirring up, a fold and an ache in the hearts,
A fold and an ache in the valleys and on the hills.
The wind will blow them away and the rains shall erase them.
As a long day in sun, the language changes.
What is smooth grows harsh. What is bitter turns to poignance.
(The sobs of the dying, lost in mud- one more ridge, lads, one more.
We shall be remembered in stained glass,
On stained grass, on mud among the poppies of remembering
And poppies of forgetfulness, my love.)
They stretch out and pierce through the noise.
Given any chance they shall strain to matter.
Our dear dead ones and our forgotten ones.
Beneath the skin, beneath the soil, beneath the silence.
Their names echo around our lips as we sleep.
Under lids the eyeballs roll and flutter.
Is it for this, only for this, just for this,
And one more, one more kiss, lip to lip,
Breath to breath, sigh to sigh.
The river sweeping it all away.

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When they speak it is rivers.
It is pines roaring in the wind.
It is sparrows at daybreak,
Swallows in blue open skies.
It is the rain in old gutters.
Vague as mist-hugged valleys.
Harsh as ravens and the keening
Of spread-winged kites.

And yet it fades and falters
Year by year pushed to a further edge,
The language of grass and trees,
An anachronism.
As if it had not tumbled down
From the highest empty uplands.
As if it had not been passed along
The careful tales and whispered spells.
As if it were not that simple coagulated dust
Brushed from God’s own hands.

Jealous of its rainbowed fluctuations,
A by-passed parish, a redundant economy.
It is a sad craft that kills the past.
It is a miserly mind that accepts
No drop of mystery to remain.

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And they are still here
Still beneath the land
Protesting the desolations
As ravens do on heather banks.

And they are still here
Too proud to move or sway
Driven down, weathered and grey
As their own gateposts, slowly
Laminating, word on word,
One purpose losing its one memory.

And they are still here
Though always leaving.
The language of rivers
Muttered on slated lips.
Eyes closed,
Dreaming on hilltops.

They are still here
Initials carved on tumbled stones.
The neat hearth scattered,
Black earth, cold fire,
Comfort lost.

They are still here on
The cool breezed morning,
In dew bright hollows,
On silent roads
Sunlit, full of hope.

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these old poets:
smoke blue hills,
smoke blue clouds.
they rise up so,
they reveal themselves
and are curiously hidden,
conversing with vapour
between worlds
unmeasured, unfathomable.
they loom, nonetheless,
and shape the world.
it is from there
the clear waters fall,
from fell and moor
to feed, to wash clear our eyes,
to fill with song untranslateable,
echoing down the spine,
deeper than eye and brain,
deeper than soul,
into the bowels,
into annwfn,
the dark mysterious,
fecund deep.
rolling, these storm fast vowels,
ancestral to the blood.
this they prove:
there are no new songs.
just old songs
with new words,
old songs
with new tunes.

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Preseli Meditations (Rock Signs)

Eye
Is a palindrome,
As is
Sees.
Voices distant
Speak in tongues
From cracks in rock
Split open by light.

Split open
By light
A heaven swing
Through star roads.
A cloud hymn
And the sing of insects.

The sing of insects
Deep in winter.
Sunlight clicks
Its fingers.
One door opens.
Another closes.

Another closes
Creeps seeps
Through the
Butter of time,
The honey of space.
Dressed in bones
They come
Rolling down
With news
From heaven.

From heaven
Fingers prise
The smallest chink.
An eye blinks
The mirror
Cracked becomes
A door.
Backwards the
Paths lead
Backwards to
The beginning.

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