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Posts Tagged ‘dragons’

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LI PO WAITING FOR DRAGONS (DINAS WOOD)

Li Po, I suppose, will be standing there,
hands thrust deep into sleeves,
breathing the slow hills.
Admiring the play of light
and the way the oaks
catch the late year’s brightness
on their wriggled limbs.

And how green is the gold,
and how golden the air
spicing the hazy distant.
In leaf litter, the rustling
of jays and squirrels,
gathering up the fallen year.
In the glass layered river,
sounds swallowed
and turned to light,
light to sound.

Li Po remains motionless,
holding all the river of his thoughts,
so he forgets nothing, misses nothing.
What has gone, and what arises:
balancing the mind of clouds,
the mind of mountains,
the mind of Dinas, cave-filled, hunched.

He sees the forest crown
shaping syllables: each tree
a slow, fast, steady song.
He weighs dark and light
On the cliffs of Craig Clungwyn.
Notes the rainbow mists
above the Doethi valley.
Floats above the scouring wind,
hawk and skylark and willowherb seed.

Li Po, waiting for dragons,
for the roar of the Tao in the mountains,
the narrow road winding northwards,
the cauldron of the seven stars.
For the eye of the world to open unwavering,
mind melting into mind.

He will not have long to wait –
a century or two
at most.

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For a change, and to show what else whitters my time away, I thought I would show some of the jewellery projects I have been slowly working at this year. Firstly, and most recently, a series of dragon designs.

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This one, quite a Gothic dragon, pre-Raphaelite even, is becoming quite a sharp-lined heraldic pendant ( not quite ready to show yet).

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This one is a nice design to make in thick sheet silver, giving a smooth, tactile simplicity – and relatively few fiddly bits to smooth out or file.

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Having sold the first one, I am making another now. It can be economical to get originals cast, but it is also nice to make each piece from scratch as they then have their own quirks and personalities. The new one of these ‘Double Dragons’ have eyes more prominently, for example….

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I work on iPad using Zen Brush, a simple and elegant app that allows me to sketch away with minimum farting around with knobs and menus. It has disadvantages, but the ease of flow is more valuable for working out this type of design work. The next few designs are part of the same series and, I think, work out very well in silver. Simple but with elegant line the style is somewhat Oriental, Asian with a smattering of other influences here and there….

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I am just finishing off these couple of designs. The first has found a new home, so I have remade another, the second I look forward to see polished and mounted up on its chain.

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Hopefully, a few more will be completed soon, and I will show them then….

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P1050341

MAGATAMA BLINKS

night rain.
slow breath, flared nostrils
of meditating samurai.

drunken skeletons,
clattering arm in arm,
splashing puddles.
rain passes right through them.

five-tailed white fox
rolls over, kisses lover
and creeps out to hunt chickens.

moon lies back,
shivers,
thinking of ocean beds.

calligrapher practicing
with invisible inks,
worlds destroyed and created.

yamaboushi
splashes down mountain path,
breathing rock and root.

five miles high,
dragons and phoenixes
look down on city lights.

crows shift and grumble
nests full of the stolen dreams
of small children.

magatama blinks
turning into a jade bird,
once then twice.

slightly fuddled,
thinking up names
for new brands of sake:
night rain,
samurai nostrils,
calligrapher’s surprise,
moonlit window,
animal seance,
dancing foxes,
shadow river.

poet weaves clouds,
farts, scratches,
remembers, forgets.

cloud scroll, cherry dark trunks.
hooves of the kirin
echoing in the valleys.

there is no magic outside
the mind.
there is no mind outside
of magic.

—-

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enoshima edit1

DREAM SUTRAS

Something here in Japan, perhaps the lightness of the summer mornings, perhaps the way the land subtly shivers and sways, perhaps that we are intruders unfamiliar with the nuence of its neural patterns, make night dreams here more vivid. Certainly I awake more often from fright, or from discomforting imagery than at home. An alien technology, or maybe the sake!

in Japan
these eloquent dreams:
still completely mysterious.

Last night, a strong constant wind accomapied us through the entire night. Sometimes I would wake and wonder if a rainstorm was passing overhead, the roar was so steady and insistent.

the long wind
fuelling strong dreams.
mysterious purpose.

Of all the dreams that night there was one particularly convoluted and long-lasting, (or so it seemed). Based around an old man, something of a genius, both an artist and a scientist, as well as an amateur sleuth or criminal investigator. He was involved in many complex layers of research, but was the bane of those who loved and cared for him as his health was failing fast and yet he would not take rest nor ease up on his schedules.

Long wind,
who is the dying sage
so eloquent and ancient, in my dream?

dragon wind
dreams of sages
utterly bemusing.

An interesting point I saw recently on a post about haiku was that amongst the many ‘rules’ was one that stated that a haiku should make no comment. Haiku as a record of perceptions that can evoke numinous emotion without explicitly saying what the emotion should be. Like a haibun, a haiku can lead to endless mazes of commentary and extrapolation. A thought motif, a riff, a theme, can lead to jazz-like improvisations. Now, this rule is not one of simple objectivity. The poet is always objectifying the internal as well as external. Perhaps it is the avoidance of the passing of judgement, not reinterpreting or making a second or a third judgement, that makes haiku resonant, that prevents it simply becoming a commonplace sentence divided into short lines. Who knows…

how many miles is this long wind?
night-long it roars through the curtains.
even my own dreams
are a complete mystery to me.

Haiku, seen as a child-like entrancement (entrancing entrance), a fluidium between self and not-so-self. Paying attention to when nothing is happening, we discover that something is…

roaring dragon wind
how many miles
do you traverse?

as wide as the moon:
this long wind
over hills and valleys.

There is a shamanic, primal sort of awareness in the best haiku. An overlay of worlds. A denial of incorrect or correct ways of perception. Juxtaposition, significant only because it is juxtaposed. For an instant, in this mind, and then in the mind of the reader, sense data and interpretations hold equal value, are equally valid, equally ephemeral.

long wind,
aching bones.
mysterious dream
of ancient sages.

maybe it is my aching bones:
dreams of ancient sages
and steep hillsides.

long night wind.
my dream too,
arising from distant lands.

dream sutras
though inexplicable,
endlessly fascinating.

Finally, the long hours of the night begin to move away, light edges between things, but the wind, having blown away most of my thoughts, still remains.

long wind
blowing away night
to other lands.

In daylight, the warm airs sweep yellows and golds. The palm tree still shaking its dry fronds between the houses, laughing, dancing, bending, chanting.

cats in the sun
eating, sleeping,
composing haiku.

—–

dragon lantern

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