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Posts Tagged ‘Cambrian Mountains’

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NOTES FOR A PAINTING

Sunlit meadow
Hidden river singing
Road winding into the mountains.

This road with the colour of itself roams and dips from pink to purple to the brown of a hunting dog. Laid as a wish upon bucking stone, a river of hope for dry feet.

River song
Singing heart
Road into the mountains.

Hidden river
Singing heart
Road into the mountains

Each footstep song, a rhythm of itself repeating with breath and sight, the same view, the slightly changing view, the folding and unfolding view.

Sunlit meadow
Somewhere the river
Singing to itself

This meadow slope lighted with its own green, radiant aura, hovers between dark wood and bright water. A vacant illumined shimmer.

Empty mountain road
Winding beside a river
The sound of sheep

Sheep on the hillsides
Sunshine on the meadow
Empty road.

The mountain faces are copper and lead. They yearn, as mountains do, to fade to mysteries invisible, and clamber towards unreachable towering midnights.

The road and I
Following the sound of the river
Into the northern hills.

This narrow road
Wanders into the hills.
The sound of the river.

The river, a sound of laughing sunlight, uncatchable as eels. We know it by what it is not. The colour of sky and leaves and earth and rock.

Aimless we both wander,
The narrow road and I,
Into the northern hills.

Narrow road –
I do not mind where it leads
Following the river’s song.

These bare branched trees, hazel and alder and oak down there with the birches. Lines drawn across time. A language of balance and holding still. They float more certain than the solid ground.

It will be autumn soon.
The narrow road lost in leaves,
Winding beside the river.

Narrow road and I,
Forgetting where we are
Following the river into the hills.

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REMEMBERING OF A SOMETHING

I shall not remember this,
Nor shall be remembered for this.
And yet for a moment I am here,
Settled between grey hills in slow rain.
My love, still sleeping, her dreaming breath
A slow mist down by the river.

Where did it begin?
Moving on, just so,
As a shifting sunset.

Stone stretched thin until it admits hollowed light.
Dark cliffs wane, and here we are:
Saints as numberless as sheep,
Sheep as numerous as clouds.
Clouds piling to heaven then whispering to nothing,
Pushed by hills older than themselves.
The river runs thick and dark, naming each stone.
It is as easy to forget, sometimes, as to remember.
(Bitter ashes, black soot, husks huddled that once had faces).
How fast the grass covers it all, takes away cause and reason.

Here we are:
A silted green valley down to the sea at Llantwit,
Where the giants watch a slow eternal game of gwyllbwydd,
Playing out to itself between the ruled lines of cliff and ocean.
In the sunny town, eating pizza, we watched the wheezy trucks
Squeeze between the kissing buildings.
And the church bedded there, clutching the old stones removed
From rain and birdsong, mute and sullen awaiting uncertain resurrection.

Palaces of remembering are the storehouses of forgetfulness.
Dust and regret and time running on empty.
Familiar roads have become strange,
For we have wandered too far, and run out of words.
Nor have we yet forgiven the fools that led us here,
Nor the fools that followed.

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Sunlight and whispers,
Bright rolling silence.
There is no confusion here:
All things fall fearless
Against the movement
And the stillness
Of hours and their dust.

Footsteps all forgotten
(Puddle, pool, stream, river)
Nothing but the distance of the past
And the distance of the future
(And the skylark remembering both).

The diagonal slide of sun and moon and stars,
Tides of light and shade,
The constant abrasion of the wind.

It hardly breathes, so still it is
In its rising and falling distances.
The silent rolling hills of heaven.

These uplands spread out
Like God’s own hands
On the first Sunday,
Sun-warmed skin stretched pale
Over rippled knuckles,
Bone resting quiet,
Muscle and tendon singing.

Sky-touched, the first moments,
Cloud thoughts, the pale waving grasses,
This click of warming rock.

—-
The Elenydd is the old name for the central uplands of Mid Wales, known as the Cambrian Mountains. The southern border is effectively the Irfon Valley, where I live, though in actual fact the valley is bordered on its other edge by the Mynnedd Epynt, a very similar landscape.
The Elenydd is a very ancient mountain range worn down to a high bog and grassland plateau cut deeply by streams and rivers

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View From A Mountain Garden ( part)

2

Of ghosts,
a splendid architecture of ghosts
Do we make our habitations.
From the heart and sinews of seas and forests,
From the ground-down aeons of mountain muds,
From river stone, from oak shadows….

this waiting house,
a world reconstrued, once
laid low to dust, now breathed
and built up once more…

a nest for sighs and whispers
wrapped in birdsong
wrapped in leaf…

making no choices, though shaping all.
says nothing, mother and grandmother,
mam a mam-gu of the land.
dressed in their wild and neatly stitched green lawns,
their tidy beds, their hasty gates and tumbled yards…

they all rest in their own weight,
watching the come and go.
an anchor for time and space,
intimation, imitation, even, of eternity.
our own cosmography outliving us….

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Looking towards Carn Wen at evening.

To watch the pass
of light and dark
and how they each
shape these hills, this way and that,
is all I wish now to do.
we live, we die
as the distances reveal themselves
then vanish with the pass of a cloud.

if not to fill our time with beauty,
if not to see the world as it becomes us,
then what?
a flicker of pain, a flight upwards of joy
and the rolling of light in the valleys.
what other instruction
for a being of discernment?
what other lesson but this?
and to count the days
’til cuckoos and swallows.
and to keep to the constellations
of sheep and the openness
of lambs.

we shall end again soon enough.
peace is here
and it is sufficient for a whole universe.
and to watch the clouds pile
and drift at the setting sun.
and the smell of dew
on grass.

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View from a mountain garden (part one)

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a house is there,
below the dome of mountain.
in days past
it might have been said
that it nestled ‘neath
the beetling brow
of raven-dark crags.
it is where
the high lands,
the sky lands, stumble and slide
in rough, grey steps
to crouch, dreamy eyed
on dappled sunlight in grassy pasture,
no longer scoured bald with fast airs,
nor woven grey in slow fog.
just here, now, they open slow stone hands,
release the waters, silver and peat-brown,
in streams and bogs and falls.
a tumble of white rush, an ache
of distant noise between
silent rustling oaks, lost in
deep and distance that is measured
and marked by slow drifting sheep,
the pools of sunlight scudding east.

it is a long time staying still, a dwelling,
piled up, re-walled, obscured, uncovered, re-used.
a pronunciation of name, a genealogy of comfort
and shelter, hope and hopelessness, a garden
and a rusting, a perch between here and heaven
and a bell to the beyond beyond that.

these are the colours of a day.
a day before Spring with cold winds
and a sun remembering warmth
and the palest of blue,
fragile blue,
mist-filled, hazy skies……

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Raven Wind

Eight from the cliffs,
In groups of two and three,
Flowing into the light,
Into mist and mazy weather
Buoyed on distant sight
Sharp as ice,
Bright as water,
Wing-tips singing,
A smudge
Of unbegrudged blessing.

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