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talking tree silver2

GAYATRI

They are there again-
Whispering voices
Measuring word against feeling,
Shaping edges, building coastlines,
Collecting drift for rafts,
A vehicle for mind,
A conveyance to elsewhere.

In the grey flow,
The river before dawn,
(Accompanying the purposeful padding
Of cats seeking a perfect
Place to curl or watch),
There they stand midstream,
Upright, silent upon silent,
Chant snaking over the water’s lap.

I shall go to that ocean’s edge:
Hiss of sand grains stinging
The dry marram grasses.
Listen to the wide waves roll in,
Their deep rumble of the miles
Through the soles of my feet.
Watch the cloud build and fade,
The cry of gulls, tasting salt.

In cold dawn
For whom does the blackbird find
Its mellifluous river?
For whom does the raven call
Across the wild moors?
And for whom,
On his columned tower of air,
Nearly beyond sight,
Does the eagle send out
His long, descending cry?

To reveal the truth:
Nothing but the interior,
Masked by, revealed by.
A prison of the recognised,
Of memory, of habit
And well-trod pathways
Reinforcing a clutch of clues.
To reveal the truth:
Nothing but an exterior,
A view devoid of viewer,
A shaped, echoing chamber
Of what is not elsewhere.

Emissaries of the void,
Mediators of re-orientation,
Skilled in gematria,
Consulting tables of correspondences,
The magical hours of day and night,
Sigils of the planetary spirits,
The magic squares, tablets
Of the Thrice Great.
Translators and interpreters,
Riding the words spluttered
By the depths, by the flocks
Of wild thought scattered
By an eye upon a lituus.
Measurers of geomantic force –
The will of the interior dragons
Of elemental necessity.
This they are.

(Or so the child, over-tired, set to sleep on chairs,
Believes, mishearing the backroom boys at their
Smoky, affable, night-long poker game:
A wash of rising, falling stories, subdued bluff
And laughter, silence and staccato curse.)

Through that long, slow flow,
The grey river, never ceasing.
The memory of ice-fields, ancestral shrines,
Ghosts of prayer flags, squalls of chant.
Bone thin fingers, urgent, prising apart
To get one more view, to reveal
A fall of trigrams, a cipher, or
A terma, space-hidden.

My own dear companions:
Weather-wizards,
Shepherds of storm and lightning,
Weavers of reeds and grasses,
Compounders of root and petal.
If it is you, then blessings and apologies.
Out of step, out of time,
The world waits no more
For eloquence or art
That weaves mind and matter
By the fireside.

We are blackbirds
In the cold dawn;
Ravens crying out fierce joy
And ineffable sorrow to empty hills;
Eagles beyond sight,
Forgotten by the grass-eaters,
Turning upon an exhalation of air,
A gesture of word,
An alchemy of heart and breath.

A pinch of insignificance,
A deja vu,
A rusted key
To a forgotten door
Within a buried ivy cave
In a twilit,
Twilit world.

For no-one but ourselves,
Ourselves to ourselves,
We raise cupped hands,
Let the clear water fall sparkling
In sunlight,
Let the hymns rise and fall
To the sun, the world,
The watcher within,
Purified, cleaned, emptied,
Made silent once more.
Silent in mid-stream.
The lapping waters.

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