Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘consciousness’

The minutes crack open and bleed cold.

Breath is chapped and hesitant in semi-quavers, a minor key.

The hawk is ice that hunts unrepentant the mountain heights.

Slay complacent warmth, the fickle needs of small hearts.

The flutter of joy, cackle of crow.

A silent field: whiteness extends to the very mists of deep mind.

Carved walls at the edges of space, words written there:

We are extinguished and free.

Read Full Post »

ALDER FOLD

Singing severed head

Folds and puts away

The blanket of space,

Rolls away time.

A comfort against poisons,

A comfort against memory.

Sunlit is the hall,

Spacious with birdsong.

The sound of the sea

In the sound of the words.

And there is no greater magic than this.

By the shore, by the river,

By the evening light,

By the dividing of the roads.

One gasp and it will be gone.

Floating down stream,

Lodged in the mud

Of a new world.

The root of the tongue.

The cotyledon of sight.

Read Full Post »

RIVER WORDS

They do not say

What they sing

For your listening

But for their own joy.

No will of their own

But to find the deepest

And return.

Where streams meet:

A birth of spirals.

By the bridge

The patterns hold steady.

Acquiescence to the way.

We think we know them

By their names we know them.

We know them by their names.

You name the river

‘Destroyer of the children of men’.

I name this river

‘Gentle mother of fields’

The river calls itself:

‘Longing for stillness

In the deep’.

Read Full Post »

THE ROSES

The roses

They have been in bud

For months

Through sun and rain.

Now they open,

Bloom for a day or two

Giving joy to all,

Then fade and

Fall apart.

The roses.

The roses.

They throw off their beauty

Like dancers.

They value more

Their roots

And their thorns.

The blood red hips,

The hard won strength

To go on.

Read Full Post »

THEIR NAMES

Their names are the doors they wait behind.

Dreaming, dreaming, they thus dream us.

A silver moon scythes the snow fruit that admits us.

Timeless is the round dance of breath.

There is constant war in heaven, and hunting,

And fast, hot seduction.

How else, otherwise, could it be here?

The stars pour themselves into the hills.

There will be ice upon the marshes.

Read Full Post »

RAVEN IS POET

1

I have built my nest in the billowing cloud.

My phurba beak subdues the demons of hunger and despair.

This bright eye measures the generations of worms

And the oracles of shattered bone.

I ride the cracks between worlds on the wind of stars.

Does not my voice peel back all illusion?

What wealth is there here but the wealth of memory?

And I am not unfeeling.

I remember all their names, all their reasons.

Their genealogies are the forests of my delight.

A gathering at suppertime where I cloak the unseeing

In a sheen of knives.

My philosophy, you see, is alchemical, pure and simple.

I shall eat all suns, steal all warmth, reveal all truth that is lie.

There is no sin except satiety.

No song that is not beautiful.

No poet that does not dissect the foolishness of the world

And feed off it.

A long-shadowed cross, I am nailed as a sacrifice and a hero.

Fast, my deep is deeper than all skies.

My deep is the deep within.

Navigator of the impossible, I have the voice of icebergs,

The gravel of continental subduction.

I am generous with praise:

I will laugh joyous at the capers of poets and the drunkenness of heroes.

I wheel and turn patient as the stars,

Wait for the sickle moon to bring it all down to food.

The eloquence of continuance.

The continuance of dreaming.

Consume and consummation, it is all one to a raven poet.

Laughter is the weapon of last resort.

2

Snow on the mountain.

Hazels flower in the valley.

Still no signs of any wisdom.

Snow on the mountain.

Silence after the last battle.

The world again

Shall fill with birdsong.

3

Spin in gorse-bright light.

Dance of black cloak, black knives.

Exultant raven warriors.

4

I am Dark Mountain.

My wife is Midnight.

My daughters are Hunger Sated and Sleek Breast.

My sons are Piercing Hunger and Arrow Straight.

We are descendants of Snow on the Mountain

And Utter Darkness.

The Well of Memory and The Blasted Tree

Are our dwelling places.

Soot Black

Ocean Depth

Bright Brow

Radiant Ash Tree

Thief of Knowledge.

Turner of the Wheel

Season’s End

Hunger Abates.

Wind and waters name us thus.

Mountains name us,

The vast sky names us thus.

5

At the end of the universe ( or at its beginning)

There sits a raven-headed god on a stone throne.

I have seen it. It is so.

He has one eye that sees all things.

He has three eyes for the past, present and future.

He has four eyes that roam in every direction.

He has five eyes that glimmer in the dark and see all things.

He it is who makes the eggshell curve of the sky,

The white light of day. I have seen it. It is so.

When the sky was broken open and the earth fell out

That is when the ravens were born – in the space between.

6

From the bird god’s breath there comes a warm wind.

Let it blow the seeds of destruction away.

Let it extinguish the embers of hate.

May the needful dead fall ripe to our praying beaks.

A thousand ages is his out-breath.

A thousand ages he will breathe it all in again.

Sky and land and the holy air

Will wrap in silence about his dreaming.

We shall be named one by one

And nested in the cliffs of his gaze.

7

There is sufficient death.

We have no need

For the glut of war.

Our falling, floating dance

Inscribes the air.

We tumble towards

Our altar, earth.

We rise to sun,

World-filled cries.

This dance we dance

Is for the dance

Of life and death,

For the bird-headed god

At the end and beginning of all things.

For the drink of it.

For the breath of it.

For the bliss of it.

Raven poet I am.

This is the truth.

This is how it is.

Read Full Post »

WARRIOR PRAYER

Oh Moon-Face. Your unguent drips from my fingertips.

Shades of dead universes flit across the dark sky.

We long for this as much as we long for otherness.

Moon-Face, we construct the spells that feed you,

So sleek and willow-limbed.

This is how we made you:

A womb to hold all the weeping dead.

Born again as owls, as worms, as dreams in blooming girls.

In flowers pushed up through sacred, spiced earth.

Poured out with the salmon spawn and the eggs of serpents.

Split open and oozed in the nests of eagles,

Drying in the daylight, voiceless and crying.

The taste I remember – iron and oceans,

And the slip slop of long tides

And the waking shape of salt.

The taste of footprints and warm belly

And secret clefts and caves of echoes.

The taste I remember of the sharp bright edge,

Honed bright and sunlight, severed

By its arcing swing.

Oh Moon-Face. You eat the seconds so.

You eat the minutes and the moments.

Bound, wired and woven to the haft of sound.

The blade that cuts through space.

The light so soft, it can eat life and death

And never be fuller than it is, than it is.

Moon-Face. Keep your promise

And we shall die again, happy.

We will not forget your sweet hunger.

Read Full Post »

A small breath of wind lifts the mist ‘til more blows in.

Two days, three days frost, has melted

And the birds are in the leaf litter.

The mountain’s voice says

‘Winter is not over yet’

But here in the valleys there is a small respite.

A day or two, perhaps, of gentler thoughts.

The world revolves around us here.

There is lamentation and the groans of fools from afar.

The waves, perceptible and arcane,

Encroach on the plans of contented futures.

But here, for a day or two,

Will be blue calm and the hope

Of buds and roots.

Read Full Post »

NEW YEAR’S DAY

When there is nothing good to say

Then silence is better.

It is a calm day today,

Small rain in a dark sky.

Above the quiet valleys,

A high wind from the west is roaring.

The last day on Earth will be like this:

Resting in its own beauty,

All known, nothing named.

All reasons self-extinguished.

Watched over, cherished, belonging.

Read Full Post »

A lot of my writing this year has been towards an art/word project inspired by The Black Book of Carmarthen, a small, handwritten manuscript containing poems collected over a lifetime by one person. It is the oldest known manuscript written in the Welsh language. A mixture of ancient bardic poems and prayers, it is at once mundane and transcendent, simple and utterly baffling. The words that come to me are either reflecting some of the imagery or subjects of the fifty odd pieces, or dwell on the nature of the author and the continuity of language and writing. The art works I am making mainly combine parts of the manuscript pages overlain with my own woodblock prints from decades ago. There will, probably, be a book that combines text with image. It is in no way a translation of the original text. It is one artist’s reflections of the magical mirror and timelessness of ancient books.

MER KERTEV KEIN (Black Book)

(The marrow of fine songs)

It is a river

Uncurling in caves,

A white torrent on dark slick rocks.

It is a shoreline cave where mystery is born by echoes,

Far from comfort, where opposites couple in the roaring of it.

Spanning centuries each word tumbles combining elements.

Shadow worlds are dressed in time to shatter and rebuild the fragments.

Oh, speckle-breasted thrush,

Thrice the song to sing.

Morning rain.

Rain of morning.

Dawn storm.

Eternal song.

A river where meaning slips like fishes,

A flash, a flank, and gone.

The next ripple, the next wave, the scintillating light.

Umbral echoes.

It dances from sound to sound.

A juggler slipping from stone to stone

In the midstream rush. Where next? Where next?

And the foaming roar of it:

The world dancing elements and prophecy

And the arc of words cast up and caught, too fast for the eye.

A stream, a stream, of passion itself.

Sound clothed in the names of things,

The naked, naked sound.

A river of God’s being,

A bowstring caught and released,

The mouth’s harp

And its breath drum rhythm song.

There are spirits here

There are ghosts

Where I see these landscapes,

Familiar, sunlit, wild

I have never been.

I am haunted by the names

And by the meanings

Within the meanings I know.

Other pages in other hands:

Mirrored, pushing through.

I am become a palimpsest of prayer-

The angels with clawed feet

Offering golden torcs.

A language of waves,

Of echoing empty hills.

My eyes water the seeds of words,

Grow vast forests.

The dance of sounds:

Lost timeless for a while,

We dance and dance.

The memories are not ours

That lodge in our hearts.

My soul fragments to the four quarters

As though I am already buried.

There is a cold wind from the north.

A woman who is not a woman

Moves at the edges of my sight

Whispering rhymes with berry-stained fingertips.

One of Three and Three in One.

Before Eden we quake.

The Tower was too high,

The Tree was too bright.

The Flaming Sword

That drove us outwards

We stole for shovels and mattocks.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: