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Posts Tagged ‘cold’

WINTER SONG

Storm words roar from the north.

From oceans of ice the sanity of cold.

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The pines here bend and shudder.

The birches here shimmer light webs.

The waters here grow thick and silent.

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Time, its old fire wan, weakens limp.

Nothing can be done, its slow moments congealing.

Nothing can be saved, the precious mirrors tint and spall.

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There is no way out, no way in.

The roads all spattered, batter edged.

Small beasts bear the burden hearts or give them up to rest.

Small beasts melt into the shrines of singing stars.

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The clouds ring loud, the earth an anvil, cold steel hard.

The sun has three days stood still,

It stutters on now, but in new pain.

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The days of winter are a long entrancing poem.

It has a recitation hypnotic, unyielding.

The wind shouts it, the north wind, the song of winter long.

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And winter still to take its deep bite on the warm world.

Day by day the dying are heading west,

They trail their names and their memories, river dreaming.

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What is left are bones and the teeth of night.

Harsh goddesses who lust for flame,

Older stories than the ones we know,

Older by far, in the language of soot and coupling.

A cave-deep heat lit by animal scents.

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These first roads are etched on our palms,

Red, in the alignments of circumference.

From here, the silver rivers;

From here, the stones that sing;

From here, the roots reach downwards;

From here, the seeds are gathering together.

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NIGHT RIVER

Hush, now, hush.

It is the night river rush

In the cool stumbling dark.

Echoes of dogs twist the silent wings of stars.

It is the thrum of moments being born

From the ground sighing upwards.

Orion and his prey:

Every night the same story

But we never tire of it.

The roads we follow to make it right.

The roads we tread to follow on behind.

Night river, going and staying still.

The night river lullaby in its blanket valley.

Tucked away and breathing dreams.

Tucked away as the heat evaporates,

As heads empty of thought,

As bodies drape and forget themselves,

As breath joins the river snd leaves, and leaves.

Night river, the cold as smooth and sharp as stalking cats.

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EXIT STRATEGY

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Easy to make reckless plans with full bellies,

But many hearts sank in silence amid the wild enthusiasm.

To drag us all into darkness is the destiny of heroic leaders,

And it is they and their names will be ever remembered

By the sleek, sleazy poets collecting their nightly gold.

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Of course, there were plans and there was strategy.

Of course, it was not immediate – that dissolution

Into the suffocating mists of isolating fear.

The poets’ make clear that there was some fine history there.

But we went into the great design believing we brought light and honour

And hoping quietly for at least a little plunder to justify the slaughter.

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No one had told us that the air there would be sharper than our steel;

That our proud bellowing voices would be snuffed out

Only by the weight of the unutterable silence of that place.

That the chains that chaffed us, ( the poet’s said), were the very sinews

That held our bones and breath, our only strength, our only continuity.

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We shall be mocked and sneered at by any who survive,

Even refined orators driven mad by the senselessness and broken screams of it.

These bright heroes dragged dizzy from the conflagration of hearts,

Goodness sold for pennies or twisted into shields to refute incompetence.

Greed disguised as quest. That tomb will not be opened.

No triple spells to cajole the lost towards a familiar banality.

No back to normal as the ghostly voices weigh down the thin air

With starved dreams and the corpses of tomorrow’s children.

Nothing but worms, now, of glory.

A heroic sunset it was, and now the cold darkness is creeping in.

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snow night now

Snow now, falling without degrees, silent as night is.
I shall become night, standing still here,
Starfilled and let go of all, dying slowly,
Imperceptibly cooler, waiting small sounds
and sight to clear, the shapes of other’s thoughts
Falling white and falling white
To settle without degrees and blameless.

The words tumble, some mine, some from elsewhere,
Which is which and why distinguish?
The small noises of the night
In snowfall and starlit dark.

The stars, nothing more patient
Nor sorrowful, watching it all blink
And change, blink and vanish,
Blink and sleep.
World’s bones grow cold
So far from fires
So far from fires.

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SMALL THINGS

To die on a winter’s night
And know that your last breath
Will be eaten by a million
Cold and hungry stars.

These flakes of furred life
Curled around their small souls
Encircled by great horizons
That ever suck the warmth
From fast-beating hearts.

No hardship, though, in letting go.
In leaving the fury, in leaving
The dawn cold to other hunters
And the sharp songs in bare branches
And the sharp eyes longing to peck.

To need no need now, to rise and fly,
To become incorporeal, incorporated
In the memory of an ever-loving world,
The blanketed round and sweet murmured world.

_

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the year sweeps seasons
like a passionate cloud
from these soft hills.

and the bitter cold is here
and the turbulent waters
and the fire that talks loud and soft,
singing of snakes and angels in the grate.

and the hush-now, hush-now of cars
speeding past to work in the draughty town.

the trees dark and bare
sliced in thin moonlit night.

yesterday, the deep, blue-shadowed snow.
now, a knifing wind, a fast melt
and word of valley floods.

bless the bones of things,
though they may ache and ache.
on bitter slope the memories slide.
it is a thin sinew
holds everything together.

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TO WAKE IN WINTER

To wake in the long darkness
And feel the slow cold seep in.

To love, and to war against those
We do not love, is not enough.

Drained and wan, the ache of it.
The decay of worn roads and reasons.

The ravens are silent as they push
Against the folds of cloud.
The hills ripple but they do not rise.

We miss the touch of sudden sunlight
And a simple purpose to go on.

Is patience a curse or a virtue?

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Solstice stars.

Stand still.
Take stock.
Light is short,
The cold is long.
No matter how secure
We are only ever one breath
Away from death.
From becoming fallow earth,
From falling frozen onto ice.
Take heed
Stand still.
The small time.
The long night.
In darkness
The slow drips slow,
Then stop completely.
Stars watch
And sing
Though offer little warmth,
But the way home,
The way home.

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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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Verse 13

Guenin igodo, oer agdo rid;
Reuid rev pan vo;
Ir nep goleith, lleith dyppo.

‘Bees in cover, a cold covering has the ford;
Freezing frost comes when it will;
Despite all evasion, death comes.’

1
All withdraws, thrall to frost, that covers all.
Fast it holds cold windings.
No one, no world, can wriggle free.
So we become still, a huddled, humming tribe
Unable to forage, to find food.
A cease of movement
Falling white frost covered, frozen.

2
Nothing can prevent a fall of freezing frost
Falling on all: the hive, the water, the hall, the blood.

3
Bees in their halls, drowsy and dreaming.
The tribe is huddled, hungry and silent.
The ford is wrapped in cold, a bleak vein,
Mist-chilled, brings no succour to the valley.
Ice teeth tears its edges.
Fogged with frost, water turns metal,
Metal turns ice, cold shrouds all flesh now,
Or when it may, or in the end.
Wriggle or writhe – no escape is there anywhere.
The white winding cloth awaits, none can avoid.
A fog, a mist, an icy frost, it descends on all.
It is as it is, a bleak thing maybe,
But sharp enough to wake a tongue to song
With honey words, a rippling stream of song,
A lullaby to the living, elegy to the dead.
We all await a Spring, a way across the water.
To be led homewards, the priest’s plainsong,
The warrior’s dance, the summer flowers blossoming.
The watchful wake, the blessing of silence.

4
Rimed, it will collapse
Regardless of wishes,
Of urgent wriggling.
All the living become silent
In the end.
The ease of winter:
Ice, frost, freezing when it will.
Effortless, it falls on all.
Bone white with cold teeth,
With sharp tongue
It sucks marrow
From a broken world.
Lord Winter commands
And stillness falls.
Rasp and murmur,
Our ice breath chatters,
Edged at darkness
A distance from the hearth.

5
A cold flow it is,
Draining warmth from blood.
Frost-hollowed, fog-bound,
The valley river, a tusk.
Sudden or slow,
Ice will eat us.
A falling frost freezes all,
Moving or still.
We tumble wordless
Earthwards,
From a bleak
Empty sky.

6
In the perfected chambers,
In the golden chambers,
Silent the queen,
Silent all the host
Drowsy and dreaming,
Hungry, huddled in their halls.
Through and within
Is an echo
With the single moment,
A cold breath,
A wandering , whispered ending.

7
The stars in their millions
The forest’s edge
The river’s roar
The cold darkness,
The ice air.
Muffled is the coming
And going of the ford.
Weighed, constrained,
A limitation of frost
Crust cold, heavy
Sliced iron moments.

8
It shall stalk all halls,
The stars, the cells,
The covering dreams of all
Whilst we sleep, whilst we walk.
Neither frost nor snow,
Not in anger, nor in carelessness.
Within the song.

9
From these strict geometries
Our dances express wriggled sweetness,
As if it were possible to dream away
The stillness behind it all,
The cold between breath and heartbeat,
The petal bloom of mist
Flowering on frozen air.

The way across is covered.
Lost perfection falls
And will not tolerate us.
So we must dream, be still
Or break and burn,
Then crystal clear, rimed, lost.

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