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Posts Tagged ‘bardic stuff’

SHINING WORLD

(MANANNAN’S ISLE)

Glass-smooth the sea,

Its light a silk knife

Whispering sighed names:

The hidden islands.

Bathed in rainbow words,

There and not there,

Not to be focused upon.

To be rolled upon the tongue,

Tasted and weighed,

Melted to a honey meaning.

Sung in fickle keys

Near impossible to memorise.

A world away, here between breaths.

Suffers none to name it

Nor clothe it in anything

Other than it is.

Unknown by knowing,

Reached by rudderless boat

Through mist to sunlit sands.

Their mouths say one thing,

Their eyes another,

Their hands dance around,

Gestures in hypnotic weave.

Hope is not there,

Nor is it elsewhere.

Those who want shall

Never be satisfied.

To remember perfectly

And to forget perfectly,

And to continue, nonetheless.

That is how to belong there.

From the lands of eternal dreaming

We seem here to vanish continually,

Swept away,

The tides of joy and pain,

Doomed and mortal.

But without time

What can be done?

The perfected go nowhere,

Nothing accomplished.

Sun and moon and stars hold still,

All roads vanish in the mists.

Wordless songs.

We dream of them,

They dream us,

The in and out of breath.

A golden chain,

Link needing link.

We must dance together.

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UPSTREAM

As the tides flow in and out,
the voices, withering and young, flow around.

We ride the oldest of things against the flow,
back up to a source where the stolen thing
is hidden unknown to any, unknown to all.
Forgotten forgotten, unnamed even,
taken before three days seen, even.

All these places are places and more than places,
more than time, more than ciphers, more than mystery.
Follow one thread of meaning and you will, for sure, tangle the cloth,
lose the weave, the weft and pattern.

To hold in your hand such a bright wriggling thing
and stop yourself from any grasping, from holding it steady,
from pressing the life and scintillation from it.
Mud and leaves it will turn to, where now it is dancing gold and laughing.

A pattern pressed into mud: perfect impression.
But breathe too hard, even, and it will smudge and dissolve.
That is how fine our truth is, how the names and places and tales wriggle.
Take one road but do not forget the others.
Take one small thread end and tease it out, like smoke, like water,
like the music of gnats.

Neither too big, nor too small, you must dissolve everything you are
and quietly wait, memorising the names and their genealogies.
How snow falls; how fire and promises are one;
how darkness carries its weight;
how the gods mould themselves and learn new dances;
make promises that will never break –
singing bones and feather dust in dark halls.

As soon as you are sure of something, let it go.
Do not hold on to what is not yours ( and nothing is yours).

To know what is, you must know what is not.
To know what it is not, you must know what it is.
Lose sight of this and you will fall down long centuries wondering why.

As soon as it was named, it became lost.
As soon as it became separate, it was no longer known.
Moon tides swing to the bright prison where the river bends,
the crooked one, the turning wheel, the water road.

Say the words, say the words, until the words grow wings and fly away.
The sound of their whistling pinions will diminish, diminish, diminish,
and now the wind will rise and bear you up into oceanic moonlight.
If you call me by my name, you do not know me.
If you call me by my name, how can I answer?
If you call me by my name, you have learned nothing.

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