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Posts Tagged ‘Bardic rant’

I DREAM THE DISEASE OF INSISTENT TRUTH

We have already lost the world

We have already lost the world.

But we go to a world where it still is.

.

Filling the bright circle

With a cadence of whispered names.

.

It is not this.

It is not this,

Where we step through to brightness.

Going nowhere, we turn,

Become pillars of silence

Against the metred songs of a warrior god,

Sung in a warrior’s language you hardly even know,

Built for grey walls and bitter days.

.

A circle of leaves

In a sacred number

To build a door in air.

.

The knots are tied and untied

To measure the moon’s dance,

The stones moved round the circle.

.

The one who was lost

Is a clue to the thing

That can never be found by looking.

.

All our friends who are not with us are dead.

They are remembering other roads

Beyond the shadows of trees and the towering fountains.

.

We dance with mathematical precision,

A syncopated falling.

.

Small white flowers shall puddle

In her footsteps

Though the bones of the snow

Spell cold on the mountains.

.

We cannot tell if your bleak holiness

Shall heal yet, or simply dissolve our duties

To leave us standing mute and shelterless.

.

We fall into the roaring gorges,

The broken roaring overhung,

The dark, weeping trees.

.

It is a battle whose sides

We once understood.

.

Through a silent circle of leaves,

Holy in number,

We shall step and take new forms

That wait for us

Winged or furred or fluttering,

Whispered or yearning

We shall slide between

The rocks of certain truth.

.

Stones will shatter for our gentleness,

Worlds cave in and crystals crack,

The dark shall fill with pulsing light.

.

The impossible sky

The impossible sky

We will dance within.

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TALIESIN’S HANGOVER

We are the ghosts,
And the demons dance
Roaring in our blood.

The holy and the profane-
The weather of our tastes.

Better would be silence
Than a thousand poets
Limping their rhymes
Through barren landscapes
They mistake for freedom.

Bitterness shall wake us,
Beauty put us to sleep.

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BITTER , EVEN

Am nyt vo nyt vyd
Nyt vid am nyt vo

Since it may not be , it shall not be;
It shall not be since it may not be.

A bard would waste no time, waste no words.
(A flaying knife of quick tongue
to buck up the drowsing drunken lords.)

Forty years thrown away for one curious look
Beyond a dusty door.

The balm of forgetting ( the long war over)
The balm of art and of companionship
Shattered in cold salt winds.

The little island storm-wracked,
No pilgrims given shelter.

Proud Arthur unearthed the protecting head –
He thought the land needed nothing
But force and brave bluster
To keep it sound and sovereign.

Manawyddan turned cobbler
Who should have been king.
He chose a small, good life
Rather than justifiable strife.

And the bard knows,
The bard knows
That the future is a waste land, forever unmade.
And the present, only the hiss of foam spray
At the very edge of an eternal ocean,
The roaring, ever-flowering, accumulating past.

Boet gwir venhyt
Dragwynawl byt

Let there be true joy
In the sorrowful world.

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BARDIC REPLY

Our art is not about sanity.
You, who have learned neither name nor edge,
Who insist there is one word, one view, one meaning.
You can know nothing of this glory, this defeat, this wonder.
Whose life must be pleasant above all things,
despite death and all its monsters, despite the shadows, the whispers.
Trained neither to remember nor forget, muddling through.
Oh the mirrors are sharp and they are fine, but they lie.
That is never your face that looks out -just a trick we
Have become accustomed to, knowing no better.
Staring into dark pools hypnotised, dissassociated, becoming
Numb, drained of decisions, drained of moments,
the buzzing of summer flies, the click of electrical circuits.

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THE WONDERS BETWEEN

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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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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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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