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Posts Tagged ‘art’

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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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It is the rocks that make the river sing,
The world that gives us song.
Bones creak, branches heavy with snow,
Breath captured must release.
Spring will come.

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ALL THAT GLORY

All that glory, bred from blood and rot.
Ground bones to feed the noble good.
The Myrddin in us turns away.
Our Taliesin mocks the solicitous bards.
The histories of truth shall never be written.
The honest shall be driven mad
And disappear, unknown, unnamed,
Fuel for the mysteries of the deeps within.
This is the fabled cloth that suffocates us,
Memories rich, embroidered, gold-threaded,
Dreaming of heroes and just cause.

There was one who refused to give reasons,
And won by losing everything.
Who refused to be wise, refused to be violent
Who turned the wheel of matter
To become the spiral of eternity.
A simple seed buried and buried again.
Though cut each time it arises, given names and deeds,
Smothered again, tutored and redacted.

The first, the oldest gods, were not heroes.
They were farmers and dreamers, dexterous handed.
They were mothers and weavers, nursemaids, cooks.
Manawydan, king of Britain, best of cobblers.
He knew the loud ones take the power, write the stories.
He knew the land would grow empty, as always,
Drained by strife and pride, good and bad all cut down.
He kept his eye on the corners of things, on the smallest,
On the fine tendrils of futures, on the goodness
Of quiet satisfactions. There is no precedence
As we drift towards the doors of death.
Only goodness or bitterness will remain.
And the smallest of things, the smallest that sustain the rest,
Will do what they must, unwatched, unnamed, unknown
Woven through ephemeral eternities,
The inevitable victory of the insignificant.

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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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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.

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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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Storm Morning

Into the slow heron lift of it.
The storm morning roar,
Like a city train, rattles roof and windows.

Druid trees with one eye shut
Stand on one leg and let go of nearly everything –
That is what their roots, deep as choirs, allow.

On green meadow and crashing hill
We push against a sting of rain.
Lost, but not lost as the ones by the sea,
Watching the waves eat the shore and the harbours drown
And all the long, safe years melted away
In a wall of water and sound.

It is a patient world, willing always to start again.
A reformulation of parameters, season by season.
What is gone is gone, the autumn trees say.
What is gone is gone, says the storm of grey morning.

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