Posts Tagged ‘awen’


The words of the golden-browed gobby boy,
Next to madness, filter down to aquafers dark and fertile.
Sublime its nonsense, sentient and spinning as golden suns
On the fenceposts of oblivion.
Meaning hangs from barbed wire, black rags breathing their last.
A hundred forests there are growing from the root of his tongue,
And each tree branches bells and shouts and battle cries of intelligence.
These fermenting druid visions ever guarded from nightmare by monsters.
There can be no place for a soul to find peace who sees the knot and rivers of becoming,
No place but at the very edge of things and at the very heart of things,
Where none think to look or go, on the folded lands of jet and fresh waters,
The bowl carved with care nibbled by prayers and the slow songs of sheep.

These words just mists transfused with light,
Threaded translucent edges shadowing other landscapes.
Bubbles wrapping spiraling air, compassing a skin of life.
An edge around itself, composed of itself, born before shape.
Perfect its round reflection, itself its own surroundings
The world its skin, invisible but for rainbows and radiance.
A glide of light on a perfect arc.
It is by what it reflects that is not is.
Ungraspable, a perfect world of brightness.

Mydwyf taliesin dery:
Gwawt godolaf vedyd:
Bedyd rwyd rifedau eidolyd
Kyfrwnc allt a hallt ac echwyd.

I am ardent taliesin:
I present song to the world:
Praises of the world’s bounteous wonders
Between the high place and the sea water
And the fresh water.


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By Breath

Awen, awel, gwen, gwyn.
By sound they collect, though not by derivation:
A poet’s excuse.
Biological etymology, a bloom of lichen,
Mutually supporting, intergrown,
What is not the same becoming
What is not different.
Inspiration, breeze, white, so white.
The mist effloresces, it becomes name.

The hunched woman, the crooked woman,
Behind it all, birth and death mother.
Ceridwen, overflowing awen, bright river racing.
Energy of remarkable stimulation, disperser of the seeds of wisdom
(The soot black severed-head seeds of alder,
The fine feather floating of willow and poplar, careless Gwion Bach).

Fresh water mixed with jet.
We shall reflect upon it, upon its depths,
Upon the mirrored world it shows,
The membrane, the drum skin,
The roof of the sky.

By breath from Ceridwen,
Hunched over, tight focus, mind sharp,
The cauldron within Annwfn.
The place where things are true and of themselves.
In the world
It is not the world it is, the most of the world.
The inner world, the deep, the profound.

Perception of patterns
(all that perception is, after all)
Ogrfen in awen, a phase of awen, a part,
Patterns of the world in the breath.
Witnessing the deepening of things as they are.
The Ideal peeking through the ordinary.
In a chant, in a repeating, in a breath in and out
And the sound between. Again and again.

I sing awen.
I bring it forth from the depth.
Awen in annwfn weighs and judges the worth.
Awen brings forth annwfn

Deep awen – ddofn awen
Deep awen of deep memory,

The deep, deep within the breath.
And what will it turn out to be, after all,
Except this: annwfn is the memory
Of all things, unreleased, unchanged, unforgotten,
Piled up, sunk down, absorbed, soaked through.
A saturation of patterns, a pathway etched,
A river chiselled, a dance dreamed in the heart
Of all matter, what matters, what holds together.
Between the two cataracts of the wind, between the
Song of the lungs, the heart fortress and its salt tides.

Not the words, not the tale.
The weaving of sounds, the way to go beyond
And beneath the meaning,
Lost in the music, the meanings trail behind.

Eiliad – the composition of poetry,
one second, one woven moment,
A weaving in time.
Rhythm defining time
Moving through time
Harmony created to memorise, remember.
The thrush singing the world away
Revealing the underlying presence of sacredness.

This high throne, this chair, this rock: a place of song.
Worlds reflected in the sound and rhythm,
Mirroring, transformed, switched.
A seething mist, a sunlit hillside,
Sound of distant traffic.
When time has run,
it gathers itself up
And remembers
And by this
Becomes free
From itself.


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(Three great stones upturned, strange, wriggling things beneath them)

Bright Browed

The truth is a severed head
telling tales to the mesmerised
survivors of a world disappearing.
As simple as it is, it cannot be circumscribed
by any answer.
The bright sun rises on a land, still with frost.
Over the horizon night falls and the
white winged soul of owls hunt glimmering,
and the children whimper in their swaddled sleep,
the dogs by the fireside and the dancing shadows.
Dawn is a spark that burns what went before.
The river is a crooked woman dancing on shivering hips.
We become bright-browed and ancient,
shunned and out of step, the harmony misunderstood.

Ssh! Pass it on!

The wise, as ever, steal their wisdom from the lips of others.
Too smart, they exult in escape from the banal.
Too fast, they run from the slow lurch of time.
Too full, they shrink and burst leaving nothing to itself.
The mouth is a cauldron cooking the unsayable,
bringing to life the exposed silent ones,
the cloaked, watching, single-eyed ones.
It does not say and need not say:
the seed we have become will die for the tree to live.
For the tree to live the seed is forgotten.
Turn around, this is not yours ( nor ever was).
Perfect, you must dissolve into one thought.
the one never before, the one pillar that upholds the sky,
the silver-headed beast, the clutch and shudder of love,
and know its name, and know when it was born, and for what purpose.
And never, ever, ever, say.


The bard’s mouth is a cauldron that cooks the food of heroes,
That will not suffer the fame of fools.
It will bring the dead to life, though they can never speak for themselves.
It will feed all, no matter how great the host.
It will wriggle endlessly through time
But will never escape the timeless, spiral woman who turns into herself.
It will come out of the sea. It is the way to within and without.
What is not yours , you will come to love,
If you are wise.
A war of words clothing naked souls.

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A Cloak of Words
(The head of Bran whispering poet’s ears)

A whole long life he muttered dream charms
In the warm safe hall, in golden birdsong.
This life is a metaphor for living, but is not quite,
Is what he said, till curious, one looked beyond the doors.

The cold sea winds, the mist-white cry of gulls,
The memory stripped, fact bones, dream blubber,
Food for drowned thought, shivered clear,
Born again.

The snow creeps down to the valley floor.
A bullfinch in a flash of sunlight.

The Good Raven is cloaked beneath,
hidden and always in our blood.
And he will whisper, good-hearted,
as bright brows burst with illumined fire,
a convocation of the one, the only, bard in many voices.

A sea of hills, and one mighty one striding through.
It is a downward spiral from there, no good came of it,
Except a good tale dusting sunsets with fools’ gold.
Perhaps that is, after all, enough. As much as
Can be hoped for where women are unheard
And men so willing to go to war for pride.

So senseless is this suffering as to drive them raving, about the forests,
To perch muttering in bare branches, to shun the comfort,
To converse with blackbirds, to remember in aeons,
To weigh the heavy genealogies, to befriend stars.
Brave enough to see and to speak in true riddles;
To confound the self-righteous mind, to spit out the grit;
To fire the dark night with lightning, to sweeten bitterness.

And to go unheard, to go misunderstood, to go mocked,
As the world itself is, as the son of the world is,
To be turned into ghosts to frighten children with,
Unfashionable prophets, an annoyance of thorn woven crowns.

Bright-eyed, the blessed carrion-eaters return
Making the most of the already lost.
Wishing them well with a natural grace.
The beautiful bones pecked clean,
A lean, mysterious perfection
Is all that ever remains.


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In brown light, thick as honey,
A book of instruction lies open that is a door.
Listen now, listen to these pictures.

How the reckless, (and even those we once thought wise),
Rush after what has been lost.
Into the fortress of emptiness,
Into deserted palaces and courtyards calling, calling.
And how they, we, I, reach for a clear golden perfect thing
And in that moment become immovable, entranced,
The fountain of all life bubbling inches out of reach.
The golden chains, (each link a true remembering
Of the one before), disappearing up into eternal blue
That holds the perfect vessel, that is equally curse and blessing.

If it has but one clear meaning, then it is not our poetry.
(A vessel chased and engraved with hypnotic flow,
Imperfect symmetry of ripples on a summer stream.)
If we are not led astray, it is not our poetry.
If we do not forget ourselves, wondering how we came here,
What it may all mean, then it is not our poetry.
We shall become poisoned by it and purged by it,
Blessed by it and made full with it. Stripped of skin,
Made shining and given new names, the names of ghosts long gone.
For the truth is: it shall revive the dead, made perfect again but speechless.
Only through our own voices now can they wander this world,
And we haunt them as they inhabit us.
Memory and forgetfulness.

A patch of sunlight sweeps the hills
And is gone.
These clouds, these hymns, these voices.
For a moment we shall fly upward, then remembering,
Fall down once more below the soil.

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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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