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Posts Tagged ‘consciousness’

I take my instruction from rivers,

My constancy from the weather.

I endlessly catalogue shadows by their song

And tremble before cracked mirrors.

It seems I fear endings more that anything else,

And the golden dust of victory’s wings.

This debris I accumulate for oracles,

And read meaning into what has gone.

The light of life is an unbearable weight,

Longing so long for irresponsibility.

Silence ye your ghosts

So that you might hear a simpler melody.

You are a moment’s dust gathered

Around each slow breath.

Savour stillness.

There is no war other than this.

Stretched between joy and sorrow

Is where you grow strong.

Attaining emptiness

The world can fill and empty

And fill again.

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FAINT BREEZES

Faint eternal breezes between stars

Where the gods have walked.

.

The door-hinge between worlds screams

And time is changed. Your names are of no value here,

Nor your skills.

.

Your future has been stolen

Because the past was not understood.

.

All roads dissolve at the misty edges.

This forest is your accuser.

This forest is your river.

.

The dance between two and three,

The vanishing one eclipsed.

Umbra, penumbra, chorus, echo.

.

The table of utter silence.

The taste of grey iron chain,

Grey as morning, neither this nor that.

.

Four stories long the seamstress works,

Head bowed in patterns, the needles

Darting in and out.

.

Blake and Burne-Jones naked on the shore,

Collecting the teeth of dragons,

Barefoot in embers and sea wrack.

.

The sky boat reflected in the moving waters,

The stallions hobbled, too wild, even, for war.

.

It is the gentle who are moulded

For vengeance and bleak reply.

.

And still the future is mute but growing.

It will be bright with accident,

Possessed with skills of no use whatsoever –

The arts of distraction and decay,

The sowing of grief and duty.

.

Do not look for any meaning in the words ( they say)

The key is not the door.

There is no lie in winter.

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AN ARTIST DIES

There will be one this morning

who walks out on the hill untroubled

by the mist and the rain.

Watching with a new eye the bright lichen

on the slick rock, the bobbing wagtail

by the water’s edge.

.

Who will wonder only a little

At the acheless knees, the easy breath,

as he climbs the high ridge out of the oaks.

.

Who will never forget the beauty, nor the love,

but who is still drawn on by a certain brightness,

Like something long forgotten now returning.

.

There is a distant sea of weeping and emptiness,

A yearning somewhere far off beyond the day’s glint,

somewhere where everything is still the same,

though somehow veiled and trammelled.

.

And he shall walk among his sheep

without them lifting their heads, even.

And his dogs will wag their tails,

then look around bemused;

and the cat will stare and stare,

blinking once so very, very slowly.

.

And what was unfinished there

in the studio,

now seems utterly complete,

even so.

Good enough to leave untouched,

good enough to say what needs to be said.

The careful line, the hint of colours:

there is no end to this work.

A brand new sketchbook,

open and white,

is waiting.

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LOST 1

My white winged soul is over the sea,

Low over the silver waters,

Far from sight, for duty

And the hope of peace.

Gone from this world,

Gone from the next,

Spiralling down to earth

To scour the debris of other’s joy.

There is some small joy in loss,

But not this loss.

Settled and content were we,

As rocks on a sun-warmed hillside

( the popping of gorse, the dust of heather,

the impermanent river of skylarks).

Settled and content, rippled in sheltered shade

(the hum of bees, the dance of gnats).

But each change brings irrevocable change.

Worlds end at every whim,

The ruins dreaming in emptied desolation.

Time, a syncopated stutter

To relive or forget in themes.

The moment before death –

An unravelling of strategy and excuses.

Something pure there, something silent,

Something wrapped beneath the pain and sorrow,

Something unutterably sweet, something eternal flickers

Before the moment and the light dies.

Before the terrible glorious cauldron darkness,

The seething dice thrown before dawn

Where we have lost our voices

And must learn to sing again,

Sound by sound.

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N THE BLOOD

How long does it need to be in the blood

Before it becomes poetry?

How long must it seethe ‘til it yields

A single drop reflecting new truth the old way?

How long mirroring, remembering, discarding,

Disregarding its own and other fashions

Until it forgets the watchers and turns in

To be just itself alone?

A single gnat swims unevenly

Through a still midnight room.

That is what life is, usually.

The wind outside, a faint electric hum,

The tick of clock and cooling fire.

The words sink down

A mulch of debris.

Nothing can be returned now.

It must move on and feed others,

Seek new flesh, bend new tongues.

It will pulse,

A thin capillary pull

To go on its way.

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ON THE HILL OF ARBERTH

Shall we climb the yonder green mound?

Expand our view to the wide unseen horizon,

See wonders, see the unattainable brilliance?

I shall tell you a story where the darkness shines

As bright as the glory of day,

Where the horror shouts loud enough

To wake the doorkeeper between worlds,

Where the pictures come as clues to other strange things,

Where places reconstruct in cellular aggregations

Down the spine and the tides of new air

Tingles with the riddles of a new way

To lose certainty and find a better truth.

Rest now.

Time and space is full already with this world.

Watch as patterns shift.

In shadows and slowed moments

Other worlds can show themselves,

The other that is not the other.

( the woodpigeon’s grey cool song

And the deep green wind between the hills).

It is so full, so full.

Let go the river downwards.

Just below, just below the known

Are the vast halls of golden brocade,

The sapphire cool pavements, as it were.

Wait, unframing, un-naming.

Roads are small patterns of consistency.

Mingle the words of in and out.

Lay one on another without choosing.

Climb the green rise and see what might be seen:

Distance, shimmer, dazed,

What is there is elsewhere.

Soften and dissolve the sight –

That is the way, ( a voice says), to see outside.

The mirror ripples, water turns to rock.

The slow creatures stop to dream,

The warm air chants with bees’ hum.

One step without moving.

There is an art to it akin to drunkenness and despair.

Waiting, not wanting control, dissolving slightly,

Wavering a haze of possibility.

Silence. The deep is the dream

That dreams you here.

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Two Bowls

Two bowls

The wind blows out the daylight

Which, anyway, was grey and blurred.

The rain coming and going

And the logs keeping us warm.

The way time starts and stops

Depending on whether

You are looking at it, or not.

A world tree and a spell,

Two bowls that I have carved today

That I will feel in my muscles tomorrow.

These dreams are my offerings to a world

That dreams.

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CRAZY OLD MAN

We will not know

how great or small

our gods are

until we have searched

through all the rooms

of this house, uncovering

all the angels and monsters

that live there.

What we are,

in silence,

in the bright darkness

of the eternal starry night.

Whether nothing

or everything,

a spark or a whirlwind

or a bitter flaming tree.

They have left ripples

carved in rock.

They have put up

gateways of stone.

They have veered the hills

around the sunrise.

They have left songs

in the soil

that shepherded

the seeds there.

Dreaming, dreamer, dream:

a dream of awakening

does not bring any

dawn closer.

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A LULLABY AGAINST FEARS

Do you not see the doors swinging open, swinging shut?

With each breath in and out, the breeze of their coming and going.

.

Cold is the mountain and the white snow will wake you, will wake you.

There is only a moment to know more,

Only a moment to remember and forget.

Until we know what it is to dream it,

We shall never waken.

.

We thought we had removed from ourselves

The scent of death that followed us down

Through all the long centuries.

.

We thought the posy of politeness had done more

Than mask the fear.

As always, it is the smallest of things

Breaks open the delusion

Of genteel comfort.

.

Every room, every landscape, every moment,

Has a door that, should we walk through,

Would take us into other places, never to return.

They swing to and fro with our in and out of breath.

.

A door of leaves, a door of grasses,

A door of breezes, a door of riverbanks,

A door of whispers, a door of praise,

A door of sorrow, a door of breath.

These doors coming and going

Between the world you know

And the worlds you do not yet know.

How many have changed you beyond recognition,

Forgetting the song you were singing

To get lost in a tune unfamiliar,

That better becomes you?

So many doors, remembering and forgetting.

A door of small things, a slight imperceptible door,

And you have gone to be elsewhere,

In sunlight unsullied, in radiance of starlight.

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PLAGUE DAYS

The silence grows with the lengthening days.

We may yet learn how to breath in

And how to breath out with simple joy.

We may yet sit still and listen to birdsong,

Settling into the world we almost lost,

And now have the chance to find within us,

As it has always been, as it has always been.

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