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Posts Tagged ‘continuance’

I DREAM THE DISEASE OF INSISTENT TRUTH

We have already lost the world

We have already lost the world.

But we go to a world where it still is.

.

Filling the bright circle

With a cadence of whispered names.

.

It is not this.

It is not this,

Where we step through to brightness.

Going nowhere, we turn,

Become pillars of silence

Against the metred songs of a warrior god,

Sung in a warrior’s language you hardly even know,

Built for grey walls and bitter days.

.

A circle of leaves

In a sacred number

To build a door in air.

.

The knots are tied and untied

To measure the moon’s dance,

The stones moved round the circle.

.

The one who was lost

Is a clue to the thing

That can never be found by looking.

.

All our friends who are not with us are dead.

They are remembering other roads

Beyond the shadows of trees and the towering fountains.

.

We dance with mathematical precision,

A syncopated falling.

.

Small white flowers shall puddle

In her footsteps

Though the bones of the snow

Spell cold on the mountains.

.

We cannot tell if your bleak holiness

Shall heal yet, or simply dissolve our duties

To leave us standing mute and shelterless.

.

We fall into the roaring gorges,

The broken roaring overhung,

The dark, weeping trees.

.

It is a battle whose sides

We once understood.

.

Through a silent circle of leaves,

Holy in number,

We shall step and take new forms

That wait for us

Winged or furred or fluttering,

Whispered or yearning

We shall slide between

The rocks of certain truth.

.

Stones will shatter for our gentleness,

Worlds cave in and crystals crack,

The dark shall fill with pulsing light.

.

The impossible sky

The impossible sky

We will dance within.

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UNFOLDED
(Out of Taliesin)

I have been in many forms
But come back to this one:
Floating wingspread one,
Weightless and watchful,
A feathered arc, a bowl,
A cup of air brushed in
sunlight, wary, joyful.
(The wind has left a dust
Of snow on the far valley
Side, slate the dark sky
And the hills vanish
Like the living do, into
clouds of drifting whisper).
So easy it is to forget – a wonder
We do not learn it earlier.
And remembering: a dream
Patched from here and there,
The glue of emotion
The glue of regret.
A world unfolded from sound
And holding firm, fast spinning.
A potter’s wheel, potter’s hands.
Hollowed is blessed and so
I am hollowed and void.
Blood and breath, clod and clay –
A holy work to keep it
And let go of it.
(The trees bend and roar,
Their thoughts this droning chord.
A chant to the maker, blameless
Of suffering.)
These poets, suspended, becoming saints,
Hanging from the four directions.
Their parts scattered to make new worlds,
Their words taken literally, or buried,
A bed of seeds for Spring days
To play with.

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CONJURATION

He sits by the window letting the landscape go.
A little incense will stretch and curl in the moving airs.
There is welcome rain on pale, misted hills:
The meadows and their trees will green.

The shoals will flicker beneath thin surfaces,
And there is skill in waiting and skill in catching up the glimmer.
Sometimes it is enough to hold one wriggling thing.
Sometimes a light touch will tease a line,
A bright twist into this world, a hopeful humming reel.

There is the holding and the letting go.
A whisper wish to Gwyn ap Nydd
Who hunts these lost ghosts and churns them upwards.

To mark a path only, or to push down into it,
Or to be pulled willynilly in mad rush and see,
See where it leads, traipsing forgetful, curious.
Or but to float above serene and light as hawk bones,
To not become distracted by maybes,
To contain all, to exclude nothing, to lose track of no slither,
To allow a subtle sedimentation – to be that patient,
To become equanimity, geological.

It will be the touch of madness that marks it out,
The touch of madness they shall not forget.
The discomfort of impossible resurrection:
Light that is not there, a bubbling up of echoed sounds,
A mystery of conjured voices, a song of ghosts.

This, the slow and certain engraving of our vanishing lives
Upon your smoothed and cooling brows; etched, hatched and nested within
Your twigged and tumbledown minds.
A thimble of the past to dull each ache of uncertain stitch.
That impossible race to reach each sunsetting horizon.

Between the moment and the madness
Is where the bright shoals swim.

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A Season’s End
(Epitaph for Vicky)

we become more uncertain
and waver by the day,
our past melting behind us.
a change of season, inevitable.

where now that warm pulse?
that voice? that presence?
altered a little into sunlight,
into a vast, bright landscape,
into a bigger heart.

for there will always be beauty,
though no one promised joy
without sorrow.

we have melted into summer
wrapped in cooling green shade.
and some of us have not returned.

here then, the blossom heart of hawthorn,
here, a cowslip sky and creamy elder.
in the forest still are one or two violets
and the sound of running water,
and the droop and sudden flash of bluebells.
the sigh of swallows and the cuckoo misted valley.

where she walks now is all beauty,
and calm, and easy forgetting.
a summer that shall come upon us all.
and a long day, and a warm evening,
and a long, silent, singing night.

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ARTEFACT

We come and go one by one,
or in twos and threes,
waking, sleeping from dream to dream,
handfuls of dust cast heavenwards, taking shape,
then falling back to settled earth. Bubbles, thoughts, whispers.

Birdsong in a pearl-still dawn.
All day in this small green field,
in its tangled bare hedges,
in its edge of trees,
in its deep grasses, the birds
flit and feed, pause and fly off.
All day the sunlight picks out the distant slopes,
the forests, the valleys.
And they, too, come and go with mists
and clouds
and drifts of rain.

For months now I have been working the canvases,
(for people do so like a view to hold on to,
one so dear to them, one they do not have,
a way through the mute walls,
to remember an opening out, a beyond,
a distant something).
Against its nature to drip, against its habit to mix and merge,
against my own fingers’ wish to sweep and gesture.
A discipline,
the tying down of an illusion,
confection for tongue and eye.
A sweet minded moment, an ache of forgetting.
The life of itself, a liquid thing,
to be constrained so, to process
as a stately, well-dressed thing.
Not just a swirled, delightful, mute moment.
A meaning. A purpose identified. The monitoring of the familiar.
As if. As if.

As if there were a story.
As if there were a careful, structured tale.
A small beginning, a once, a long-ago.
Through wild, thorned paths and fog and frost
to a final end so careful balanced.
A just so.
An as it is.

Something to leave behind.
Something to say.
More than a rise and fall.
More than a raven’s cry across the valley.
More than a blackbird in the cool dawn air.
More than a drift of mist above a hidden river.
More than a rise of trout as the gnats dance on light.

The fire is lit
and it must be fed ’til nightfall.
Then, untended, it will die down,
become silent.

That smooth black,
silk-dark soot:
a hand-print,
a fingerprint on a cave wall:
we are here,
dreaming.
And we found a way through.

—-

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WINTER SONG

This distant raven
Smudges the fields,
A rise and spin and fall
Into waves of rain.

Storm winds sweep away
The last of daylight.
Broken sun skitters the hillsides.

It is a rage, a downing tumble.
The world aches
For good governance.
We, an evil race
If we can sing neither
Praise nor beauty.

The heather has broken,
Black is the wild rock.
Unkept are the fields,
Unkempt the hedges.

The cold phlegm lies deep,
A ghost not to be forgotten.
The neat roads are a lie:
They go nowhere
But another stone womb
Devoid and hollowed of life.

Arrogance barking
Through the night,
A papered-over civility
That masks
The purple bruises
Of pampered bullies.

The lambs of peace
Will bring down wrath,
The ravens know.
There is only hunger,
Food and eater.

Marrow,
The heart of things.
We gnaw the shattered bones
To find the fire.
Peck the eyes
To see tomorrow.

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One more time
Words congeal,
Nest in dawn light.

Enough is the
Expanding breath,
Round, sent out blue,
Seeking peace.

Enough the slow fall,
Enough the dream.
One more time
Gathered, harboured.

Precise is the prayer:
Extinguish the
Hungry fire.

Only this:
That ceaseless hunger:
Cascading decay,
Mistaken for upwards.

A race diminished
Striving for worth,
Consumed and driven.
No art but blunder.
Graceless the fall.

In the pale of its cool,
In the wash of the mist,
In slowing breath and moment
Can we learn to rest easy?
Wanting nothing but enough,

As if we were the last
To ever be here.
Seeded in peace,
Dwelt and released.

A song sighed,
Never forgot.
A world haunted
With beauty
All remaining.

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