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Posts Tagged ‘belonging’

The Doors of Midsummer

A breath of cloud moves east across Y Garn’s face.

Words are as scarce as swallows in a cold summer.

Anyway, anyway, they only grow from dream to tangled lie,

flowering like the bindweed covering all beneath,

Weighing down, weighing down until nothing else remains.

The doors have opened in every hill,

An invitation to join the dance and summer’s feast.

But we are taught to doubt generosity,

To look for the trap in openness and goodness

(nothing is true that comes so free and easy).

River and clouds are the rulers of this world

and they move on in their own time, unbidden.

Tune to a key that sings of endlessness, even though

no one here knows anything of that song.

For emotion is born from time and loss:

In timeless halls is no such thing.

No such thing but endless dance and bliss.

If the summer never ends

It will be a hard winter, here.

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DESCANT

Sullied though we are,
The earth shall take us back to itself.
They remain, these fading memories,
And the scudding light over far hills.

Certain is our fate, and always has been:
Summer moves graceful on winter’s bones,
The dancer and the music of the dance.

In desolate darkness is the night,
Where the ashes fall, where the pines fall,
Where the oaks fall, owl-filled, moth-filled
By the slightest light of speeding stars
Through a roaring of winds, the river mind speaks.

And in sunless cwm the shepherd’s house.
Brown light as thick as honey,
Walls sullen and the ticking clock.
An accumulation of sorrows and a life
Of small dissappointments nested in dust.

Belonging is the key to it all,
The only pause in a precipitous dream.
But clinging is not the same.
Wrapped around the web of memories,
Too rent and uncertain to give much comfort.

What is that name we have given ourselves?
And where was the road we turned off to get here?
I have forgotten the names of stars and trees,
And the clarity of goodness and of light.
Above all, I rely on whispers from clouds
And the words flowering from the oldest books.
For they glimmer, (do they not?) , with what has been lost.

All the doors stand open, as they ever have.
All the maps spread out and referenced.
All the ways well trod, all the paths tended.
Yet we move as if none have moved on before us
As if nothing else mattered so much or was so dear.

But the earth shall take us back to itself,
And we who can not forgive
Will be forgiven.

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The Blossoming Magnitude

I step out.
Thick darkness
And above night fog.
A few stars come and go.
This world
We cannot ever leave.
Every inch of us
Reeled out from its heart.
Made to stretch
And grow and fade
Between each breath
And each stillness,
Between each moment
Of presence and absence.
The world pushes through.
Wherever we might go
This world, too, shall come.
We are seamless
And utterly loved.
A fragment only
In strange fragmented minds
That do not realise the utter silence
Contains the voices of all.
The utter silence that answers us
Is the blossoming magnitude
Of the simple ground.
A round flicker of star,
Tasted, acknowledged, named.
Never are we severed,
Never lost, nor alone,
Though the angry, hungry tide
Of voices may say it.
Our science is love
And our gravity, delight.
Obedient to our breath,
We come and go,
Remembering how it all goes.
A bowl of sky.
A bowl of earth.
Enough food there is
For all things.

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A PARTICULAR DEVICE

When we look so close at life inside us,
it simply becomes a tree of madness
where ghosts host and catcall,
swapping bodies and their nightmare mysteries
( from which we have never, ever, recovered).
Such strange animals. So many hands.
So many dances. So many attributes.
A collective deity ( or a pan Demonium).
There is a clue in it all somewhere,
a clue, a clew, a thread, a maze,
a spider, a monster, an eater of the charming ones,
a hungry axis, a deliverer,
a coin on his eyes and on his tongue.
The rite of the Opening of the Mouth,
escaping gravity through the small angled shaft,
homing on the singular, most singular star.
Dust to dust. An assay of hearts
before the animal-headed ones.
We are Jongleur, kindly admit us.
Remove our head. Give us the bliss of love and asses.
Return us whole to the world without end.
And let us cease to burn.
Let our mouths be filled with the cool waters.
Seven rivers from the Garden.
A lascivious sprouting of leaves, a splayed, secret hand of fig.

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CONFLICT (The Old Fight)

The green grasses heaped and peaceful,
as they always are,
Steeped and shaped by nibbling sheep,
bowing, pausing, moving on
Like writers, like painters, considering the sound,
Chewing over the bitter and the sweet,
The limp sorrow, the tight-wound grief,
The bound and binding pain not forgot:
Not forgot though buried deep in heaps across the hills.

The buzzard cries and red kite wheels for the recklessness of princes.
Ancient trees so uprooted, excised, their long shadows lost
And peasant weeds happy for short moments in sunlight once more,
Before the whining scythe of war steals life and land
That cannot ever be owned.

This sorry foreign tongue wanders uncertain paths
Around lost sound and buried names.
Those gone before now hood their eyes to listen by the warm hearth of God.
I await, as always, their sure narration, its flow and lilt as if my own:
A habit of work and weather, of sewing in twilight,
In beer that eases ache of long labour
And puts by for a while the winds of winter
And the haunt-eyed want that loiters,
Hanging its dark shade by every byre and door.

I know where I myself would be
To soothe and polish the grain-edged slate of sorrow.
Down with the world’s roar at Pwll Bo,
Its throat of rock slaked and scoured.
I would be rain-cooled, too, in the smoke cloud of Cwm Dwfnant,
Forever under the big hills staring bare into God’s blank blue face.

I would crouch, nostrils spiced with fern and fir
And the damp drip from the birch, itself turning silver and gold
From each and every early frost.
Below where the hidden boys are ever hunting their courage,
Learning to kill for bitter whim of distant government,
Watched by raven eye and silent nested hare.

All beaten down, we have flocked to the cities to be sold for pennies.
Huddled there believing safety is numbers from the wilds and curves of the world.
All winnings, though, are desolate or requisitioned,
Elbowed out, of course, by the mighty.
Rephrased, remapped, remade,
The hills are worn down by the measuring,
(Though they clutch still their gold, their own cheese and milk,
Their own paths downward to certain golden summer
Where the hounds, red-eared, hunt the dreams of heroes.)

Crouched like God’s old hound, the church of Llangammarch,
Perched on its very own hill, push-toed between streams,
A confluence of dark and light, washed in gravels, the quick dippers and lowing cattle.
There above the porch, cut deep in fragmented stone is carved
The old fight between the four corners of the world and the spiral twist of eternity.

And we look on, tangled in, amazed,
Forever wanting what is neither this nor that.
But listen:
There is no more to fight for
Where we have found our home,
Where we breathe in and out all weathers,
The hills of rolling meaning
And the churchtops of exaltation,
Asleep in sunlit valleys,
Companions with the living and the dead,
A ripened mulch,
A song worth singing.

Forgive the reposting, for some reason some of the like and share buttons did not show on the original post, and I don’t believe it reached many people. I hope this one works….

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THOU ART

this earth
breathed upon
(the warm breath
of love and lust)
holds for a little while
in wonder
then retreats
to sighing earth.
its breath
passed on.
a whisper
in the forest,
a gust
below the rocks
and the high heather.
where the kites
and ravens wheel.
and the sun and stars,
too, kindled, embers,
by that offered air.

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We are living now in a taller silence.
Settled down to a rhythm of hymnals,
Level with the swallow’s breast.
On the edge of long valleys winding northwards
Where the skies divide and clouds battalion,
(The sheep-cleared highlands where ghosted soldiers thunder).

Grey walled are the lichened churches, hunched and hummocked,
Grey walled the farms, grey walled the cwms,
Silver and green the streams under grey spanned arches.

Time turning back to itself, not a straight but a winding road.
Time, as patient as a ripening sloe, taking hues from each twilight.
Time measured in the names of saints, in their prayers and footsteps.

We are living now in subtler skies, rhymed, alliterate, nuanced.
Between threaded rivers: alder-toed Dulas among the sedge grass;
Oak-vaulted Irfon where Llewellyn stumbled never to rise again;
The Bran, the Gwyddon, the Cledan, the Cammarch,
All matched by the paths of stars in the tall, silent night.

The rain sweeps colour from the distance now,
The sun blesses this and then that field with light.
Hills melt and reappear, the ashes sway in a westerly wind.
We settle deeper yet and become still, edged with moments,
Wrapped and whispered, between the syncopated grazings of sheep.

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