Posts Tagged ‘February’


“I was a droplet in the air.
I was the radiance of starlight.”

I was a morning in late February,
Fresh with moments of green
And a wealth of birdsong.

I was a gradient of light
Sliding on the hillsides;
A calibration of sorrows
On the mountains;
A word somewhere between
Joy and sorrow.

A maker of firelight warmth
And a cup of hot tea,
A conveyance of small wonder
And a hunter of consideration.

The wind is light
And the clouds dissolving in colour.
The ground is waterlogged
And the trees become thirsty.
It is still silent on the road,
The paths still empty.
Their shadows hold winter,
Puddled, ice-blind eyes.

There is nothing that is not ordinary,
Nothing that is not wonderful.
The triple song of the thrush
Sings it all, again and again.
Praise for praise’s sake,
Word on word.


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(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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The Towey practices its slow, bright curves.
From a distance watch indulgent, guiding hills.
Coaxed to soft mudded shore, the quilted morning
And a pearly sea, we are a downward drift, and aimless.
Caught up in salt breeze, its notions taught by brick cliffed roads,
The red deserted, bleak-eyed, stuttered cities,
Crouched and stripped of worth and hard work,
Neutered by bigger plans, a thrombosis of roadworks.
Unformed, uniformed, scrubbed up, led away
To an anaesthetised future, one size fits all, a shabby lie.

The world is bone and snowdrops
A sketched slope of towsled brown.
Fields pressed down and drowned in pools,
Mired and marred.
Scribed by hawk the white grey sky,
A scatter for crows.

The Towey dives back
To its deep, delved loins,
An upper silence reconstituted
And holy, disembodied,
Become mist and dew,
An older language,
Petalled lilt,
A catalogue of sighing valleys,
Wooded oak and ash,
Forgiving and lean,
Slowly choired and gathering voice.
Skywards ( the distant sunlit views),
Scrubbed of green, a whiter shade,
The rain-washed road.

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Imbolc Eve

The barking of dogs.
Hills white as sheep, as arched, as silent.
God’s simple smile is the morning sun.

A full moon pregnant with light, last night,
And always the river and a promise of birdsong.

The red dogwood, the orange willow
All blameless and bright.

We shall see, it seems, another Spring
Lean by the fireside, thin in the frosted mornings.
Shivered water, vacant sky.

Day begins with dusk, a folding in of light.
Sheltered in byre and sleep.
A new breath in before a sigh and singing white.

Dry old pine cracks and roars.
We must wait a while for bones to warm.
Faces searched for, no longer seen,
Lost along the long stretched roads.

Thin is the light, pale as primrose.

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This hollow, unrevealed sky.
Dipping, a magpie attempts a new meridian,
A straight flight to food or shelter.

The dead elms’ reaching fingers quiver;
Power chords, the cables roar.

We each and all must huddle and endure,
With the sparrows, with the ever joyous,
Garrulous sparrows – delicate and subtle
In their design, a clutch of heartbeats,
Warm, communal.

No malevolence in the weather.
No malfeasance in the storm.
Another day to sing about.

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Four pieces from early this morning, ancestral mutters: sky crowns and words from the Anglo-Saxon.


The whispers of the stars of dawn,
Rooted in deep paths, seated mind.
Mind that seeks names only,
Seeks genealogies, plumbs down fathoms,
The pitch of rightness.
To themselves they whisper,
Remembering the weave and twist of gold,
The movers in the shadows,
The movers of twilight,
The flickering torchlight,
The muffled, shuffled feet of steady procession,
Of circular dance taking up positions,
Constellations of mirrored geometries
Winding up time before babes yawn,
Before the aches of morning stretch and sigh.
Before the biting cold, the stirring of embered dawn.
Before has passed.
Before has misted away.
The whispered eloquence of now,
A tranquil moment turned and knotted,
A place remembered on a silent road:
Signpost, crossed paths, significator.



I kneel, cold water,
Before the fire to kindle,
A prayer for light and warmth:
Cold water, flying cloud.
For spark and roaring:
Cold wave, cold tide.
For return of belonging,
For reason to remain.



The lament of the dispossessed –
The long diminishing curlew.
The urgent, soft cries of lovers –
Wild geese, wild geese.
The road is a way but not a home.
The footsteps of others, small consolation
When they have vanished to the horizon,
Gone on before, singing the old song.
Cloud-cloaked wanderer tasting salt.
His children, weighed metre,
The lilt of left and right.


Raked by claws
(This wolf cold).
Blood stain tumbling
Clear watered pools:
These clouds of squall
In dawn skies.
World’s ribs sigh
And shiver –
The ache
Of onwards.

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Over the last hill
Our prize is the view

Where the village nests,
Wood wreathed, woodsmoke.

Gathered fields almost,
Almost ready for spring

But patient, cautious,

As unhurried as the morning.
Its grey lambswool clouds,
A blanket for Imbolc.


Imbolc morning:
Clouds like wolves,
And sheep.
Sun on all.

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