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Posts Tagged ‘awareness’

St. DAVID’S DAY

sunlight drifts lazy, slow, over hillsides
like the thoughts of man
and sleepy gods.
hunched low, these wild Cambrians
hide their own
merciless uplands with steep green:
ascending oaks and the downward rushing
waters that name the valleys.

there is there.
a studded look of clouded rock horizon,
a descant of filtered light.

turn round, though,
and you will see
the high, dark wavered line of the Epynt,
shrouded, begrudging light.
a mystery of mysteries in smoke-wet valleys.

and here now,
the ravens flying from one to the other,
from glowering dark to shining light,
swimming across sheep-sprinkled valleys
all green even now at the end of winter.
the farms all gathered for lambing
and the cherry plum awakening
with the snowdrops and daffodils
and all.

St. David’s Day it is.
he who is a saint of the edges,
a decentralised saint,
a saint of hills and horizons
and sweet, cold waters
and the birth of Spring.

look here: a bright benign unfolding.
look there: a towering roar of grey-blue cloud,
toothed and grating the hidden darkened slopes.

a march between contrasts
a choice of choices
that become nothing
but a roll of change as it changes with the wind,
cold then wet, a speaking of days,
a laughter of uncaring bliss
and an end to certain righteousness.

so this cold wind has March on its edge,
a kiss of rain and mist and a hope of sunlit moments.
this world is a landscape
made of whispers.

the proud man is his own fool
who cannot see.
the humble know they breathe
the breath of others,
the echoing chambers, the sighs and footsteps.

this world, hung upon the cross as our deliverer,
and we, hung upon the cross of its directions.
one given to the other, mutually mixing,
a melting of forms and of thought,
A landscape made only
of whisperings.

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THE ART OF SILENCE

folded breath
a volume of murmurs
that is all

an understanding
discarding options
so as to mimic peace

to sleep, dream or wake.
to turn away from friction –
a wishful free flow

to harmonise, to disappear.
the River of Milk,
our mother’s beneficence

for this dream
the old man, the prince,
the returning journeyman,
rise quietly in the night
to gaze at the moon

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Sure of this Sorley has spoken
His sweet scouring gravel words
Pure paced, precise grey grinding stones
Pouring splendid golden grain,
Eloquence of earth.

Though few have heard
Or paid him heed.
Old, tweeded, sharp-eyed scholar
Wandered, windblown on
Steep lined western shores
Between deserted croft
And sand-scoured macha.

His mountains named
One by one,
His steadings remarked,
His memories buried safe,
All buried under stone,
The language of remaining
Despite scorn and spittle.

A path half-made
Through hillside rocks,
The prints of deer,
Silence is the heather.
These winds whistle
Through an empty heart.
These words, a whisky
For the tongue that is parched,
A decent medicine
Against the clean sin
Of city streets,
Their promise to forget
Cold and weather,
An unceased consumption
Of time and art and loveliness.

Without the cry of curlew
Without the wheeling hoodie
Without the slap of salt wind
We think ourselves gods
Who are short, soft animals
One moment from bleached oblivion.

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Hours slow and stutter,
Stretch and scatter on the summer hills.
This lent breath pauses.

A sun enthroned throws flame
Against a wide horizon
But melts to mist, cools to blue distant hum.

A flicker swallow dives low.
We barely skim the surface –
A month or two before forgetting
What we came for.

In glistering dark
We become our own ghosts.
In sharp-edged day
Weighed down we are
With longer shadows.

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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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Book of Voices ( This Sky: part 2)

Each cell voicing its own obituary,
Each mitochondrial Neanderthal fire-watching,
Knapped sound, flint words, held, tapped,
A feel for languid, mushroomed word
( so much glory hidden tangled beneath a milk stream
Of holiness, food, fingered, fluvial through substrate,
A healthy holy rot).
All with voice, all with dawning chorus of song.
An evacuation, a cacophany profane, blessed,
A golden urgent urination ( just so),
A mineral-rich, arcing satisfaction, an urge,
Urgent, unguent, a chrism (even), an eventide
And morning of the first day.
Smudged, succumbed, scumbled, it solidifies
And whispers itself out.
Such clarity cannot hold, a boiled ferment bakes dry,
Returns to sleep, mist rises in the valley,
Stars become acceptibly few, named, blink in and out.
The voices turn to their own dreams involuted,
A cochleal murmur suspended,
Slow revolving wrapped sleeping in spider-webbed tranquillity.
Sleep whilst you can, sleep in unity, in slow breathing
Revolved planetary orbits. Sleep pretty and woven.
Eyes lidded now, eyes lidded.
(Words, fragile as insects, scurry iridescent
Into darkness.)

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Book of Voices (This Sky: part 1)

Let us say: this sky, as pink certainly as warmed skin.
This, an indefinite and infinite blue, as those eyes.
And as close,and as distant, as God.
Let us say: there will be again,as ever,one voice that begins,
A clarion clear and moon-bright,
One stirring uttered echoing on the valley flank
Or deep on the sacred golden wood,
Cloutie-hung with shredded prayers,
(Shellac shined black ink careful lines on white silk,
Vehement, scratched curses on lead, tight folded,
Hidden in crack and crevice, utterance to vengeful ones
To do it, do it for me).
A shower of seasons tattered reasons,
Shattered, smattered, sculpted, howled to mothers
( hungry and cold in the dark, glint of light
And voice whispered behind the holy door).
Like this, almost exactly: one clear star
Glinted, marked out, a definite oneness,
A line, a shaft, a rope to upness and downness,
Dimensional isness, a road to stick to.
But as eye accustoms to deeper delved
And shrinking edge of silence:
One more there, and another, and so another
Until the sky is dark with inescapable stars
Vying for eye and patterning the mind with yes
And yes, a plan, a map, a purpose, a chorus
Of foamed ejaculate, a tide ripped and roaring in
Upturning pebble feather flotsam bone and tattered weed
( a flap of iodine, a wriggle).
Let us say, this close to madness
Is this close to revelation.

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