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Posts Tagged ‘Bardic rant’

THE SHOUT

1

Anchor my mouth in the sun

and let it roar the world’s width

to wake the dreamers

and to find the tides

to race the weed and wrack

and sweep the land clean once more.

A hook is my word

for to catch the shining, leaping warriors.

It is cast out in the waters of the air,

in the brightness of the morning.

It is laced with gold and the promise of blood,

the crunch of bones in the jaws of wolves and foxes,

the ravens collecting the last fading visions of the slain,

The souls, brave souls, looking for new forms in the wild hills.

A hook well tied to reel in the strong eels of wriggling passion

Well knotted to call them back for gold and glory and another day of war.

Deep rooted my tongue in the synaptic shudders of the past.

Deep rooted my buried word grasping the chambers of stone.

Deep rooted so as to throw out long whip-branches

And a sturdy trunk with a thousand branches of meaning.

It is a shelter to the people, a roof and a feast hall.

This tree of persuasion, a fleet sent out by breath,

Each a vessel of contingency, an unassailable fortress of intent.

2

Battle boar sits on my head, roars though my mouth.

A bright god, bright as sun, bright as moon, springs from my tongue.

Its mind and my mind are united.

It is the circle of the land we are sworn to defend.

The circle of time we are to fulfil.

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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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connla’s well

to bend and break the smallest thing.
to lust for endless yes and no,
an absolute reckoning, soul shredded,
monotheistic, the lie of ultimate truth.
bright and rainbow bright
are the poisoned slicks of connla’s well.
persistent petrochemical degeneration,
a vitriol squirming to return to peace,
to a simple organic hush,
the breathless pall of surcease.
dark and bodiless in perfection,
a simple voice unquestioned,
a greasy fire emitted,
the burning of all things
superstitious or holy.

and deeper yet: a spark not found in stars
acidic and relentless, demonically proud,
an unholy perfection eternal.
anathema, contrary to all things,
a mistake unretrievable,
adhering to all beauty
with a most perfect destroying jealousy.

these things do the foolish wise bring forth.
these days and nights of eloquence do they refuse.
these they will rue, though still persue the poison of power.
they will become the unnamed, the cursed, the wretched,
though yet will they delve and dive deeper into death
and deeper yet, lost and seething, dissolving, rotting,
ruining all, ruining all.

Though ‘irretrievable’ is correct, i prefer ‘unretrievable’, seeming to sound more final.

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Buried for thousands of years, poisonous suns below the ground. What logic determines the acceptibility of detritus that will kill generations and remain longer than even the memory of all our past civilisations? What arrogant genes have promulgated, what insouciance in the face of such terrible stupidity? No wonder the sages shrugged and remained silent, no wonder Lailokan and Merlin raved in the forests – what is learned at great cost ignored, what is gained forgotten or ridiculed.

Apologies for another bardic rant. Out of the news, out of mind, the people of Japan again silently suffering from the arrogant stupidity of “experts”. The tsunami of radiation will not retreat like the wave of water; it will not stop at national boundaries; it will not dissappear in a little while; it will not get better; it is a breath that carries everywhere, that keeps on as close to forever as we cqn conceive. (There is some hope on the fringes of science for remedies, unexplained, ridiculed, misunderstood ideas and technolgies: the ghosts of Tesla and Brown screaming unheard from the unfashionable beyond). I do not give up hope for viable solutions, but it is hard to imagine the tsunami of motivation needed to shift the vast inertia generated by a handful of complacent super-rich who seem to have their hands down the knickers of our ‘leaders’. THis satire is for them…..

Dance of Death
Danse macabre…
woodblock print, wordless,
unerring.

Breugal, Durer, Gya,
Marvell, Donne, Tallis, Byrd,
dear sad Dowland,
the generations of
beauty borne from the midden –

As ever,
the food of the world,
the forgotten,
lost in dirt, unnoticed.

A curl of boxwood
by the sharp burin made.
Passion and despair
carved, the only posterity
in ink and paper
as flesh fals off the bone
in the oven of years,
stripped of all softness
of all flesh.
Yet the heart of compassion remains –
a bitter laugh sweetened with tears
for the lost forever.

Here a bishop led by the nose,
bony fingers clack,
a castenet of dry laughter,
a leer of inevitability

Here a velvet lady,
snake-wrapped, bone-hard lover,
breathless, heartless,
gropes.
She, dreaming,
distant,
oblivious of inevitability,
of immanence…..

The same old justifications:
sharp swords and blunt logic…..

Marching locusts of the willing destroyers,
who have all been
promised forgiveness,
promised righteousness,
promised guiltless sin,
guileless depravity –
absolved of responsibility
by the eloquent poisoners,
the insane rhetoriticians
of respectability and honour….

Even the gods weary and die
after a thousand,
hundred thousand years…..

Earthquakes are no problem:
a shift of balance,
of perspective.
They come and they go,
readjustment, normal death.

Tsunami are no problem:
they come and go,
a breath in and a breath out,
sweeping clean a thousand memories,
leaving a tideline of grief.
Readjustment, normal death.

But now we, disbelieving in spirit,
disbelieve the power of the invisible:
our arguments faultless,
our safety margins appropriate,
our risks accaptible,
our doom inevitable…..

Setting a sun to burn for centuries
within the earth,
destroying universes to keep us warm.
Like gods, burning their children,
their children’s children,
warming their toes
on the withered hopes of the future.

Endless momento mori,
unasked for:
Suns of dying universes,
heavy as the depths of space –
heavier even,
a stain of arrogance
buried like a bone
“out of sight…”

A satire I place on the heads
of our stupid torturers,
dying gods
attempting to swamp
the sweet smell of rot
with attar and excuses…..

A satire I place on the eyes
of the shifty power-mongers,
the ones who forever
eat their offspring,
ignore the warnings,
doubt-free and glorious.
Dying gods
who believe it is all worthwhile,
a rosy future
no payment required
free credit…..

GAR.
I throw the spear of Odin
over your heads.
You are his.
Forever the fodder
of One Eye.
Sacrificed
manure,
food to all the jealous gods
who squabble
and rip the fabric of peace.
May his ravens,
ravening jaws of his wolves,
find your human heart
naked and open to the
laughter of the universe,
stripped of equations,
purged of clinical excellences,
the formulae of the demons of despair,
blown to dust,
the dust expunged of millenia of excuses,
naked, peerless, radiant, original.

A satire of the thunder of reality
I place on your tongue.
My bleached bones
and the fine white bleached bones
of our descendants, the white
soft, small skulls of our children,
the clacking bones, the tender bones-
they are my witness
they are my justification.
Eternal, adamantine bones,
invincible, patient,
relentless…….

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