Posts Tagged ‘heat’


(1. Prophecy of Fire)

I, not I, cannot lean against this luscious, deadly heat.

We are not roses, to drop our heads, to scatter petals,

To grow again as rain again splashes the dusty leaves.

Our grief all adds up, all weighs down.

These winds, these fires, these bitter, clever bombs, we cannot fight.

There are no winners, just braggers who will fall as well, soon enough,

Choked on the unguent of their profit, the poisons they excused.

Our shades shall not even cool us,

not as the forest shade does at Crychan, at Cwm Henog.

There shall be no violets in that twilight we surrender to at last.

There shall be no streams of delight, no wells of peace.

No tumbling nant at Nant yr Onnen nor crouching Ceirios.

The mists at Cwm Dyfnant:

they will be a smouldering of bracken and barbed wire.

Shadows, shadows.

A weather of shadows. A cloud of shame,

Claws of rock clambering from sunless cleft to cheer the last demise,

The victory of heat and blood,

The will to win, whatever.

The old, the ever, the same.

The truth of prophecy, the dregs, the well-worn path.

There shall be no competition then.

No mastery. No tenderness.

No tongue to sing the rhythms of praise, (the eloquent lies),

not to man, not to God, not to the primroses, not to the speckled thrush.

There shall be no golden chair on the hillside, then.

No crown. No applause.

No reply when the question is asked.

No one left to call for peace.

The sword unsheathed, the petals falling, the kites spiralling,

The fields bare and thistle-browed.

In the end, we shall see that there was nothing,

After all, to chase after, nothing to win.

The great blue skies,

piercing blue once more, over all,

And the cuckoos returned to Garn Wen,

the curlews to Cefn Gast.

This was one of my entries for this year’s Llanwrtyd Eisteddfod. In the end I submitted two poems from a series of seven on the same title. I shall be posting them all here soon enough.

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July is a slow river.

It slides behind a mirror sky

Smoothed by silence and bees

A breeze of roses and sweeping swallows,

A sweet weight of honeysuckle.

The hay is cut between rains.

It lies in long warm lines.

Certainty and uncertainty

Is what we live with.

Storing up what keeps us.

Everything is harvested in its own time.

The western wall carries the sun’s warmth

Well past the white skies of midnight.

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Golden edged

Summer river

Rocks cooling their toes.

Golden river

Summer gnats

All diminuendo

Cooling their old bones

Grey worn rocks in summer heat

Squatting in midstream

Soft summer rivers

Water folding up sunlight

Shoals of darting fish

High summer

We see them gather

To cool their feet:

These venerable rocks

Dreaming in the slow waters

Time flows silent

By the river side

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July now, and high summer days lay upon us.
In hedgerows the field maples smoulder a new red.
All the greens, more tentative now, tinted with heat and dust,
Weighed down by a glowing heavy sun.
The rivers are low and silent, bleached rocks butter-smooth.
Merciless will be the shadeless hills, growing pale and dry.
We seek the cooler air of woodlands
And walk out at evening with lullaby thought.
The nodding grasses, ripe and swaying,
And a full moon, crisp in a blameless sky.


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Here is the slow, curdled froth of midsummer.
The drift downstream through wilted greens
And the drying grass, sallow on pocked, lain rock.
Parched flaccid, pressed still in irremovable heat
Sun-ironed shadows and a dull buzz of flies.


Dark moon
river runs eyeless.
pools star-filled and silent

then dawn in honey cherry ink
stretched, spun silent,
a planet’s edge mating space

though most are dreaming
so miss the wide breath of beginning

a placid fire before an invention of green
all blue it is, and utter peace,
and the mist, like smoke, hangs upon the hills.

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Meadowsweet, meadowsweet,
The sky is white
With heat.

White bindweed, pink bindweed,
The distant road

Pale grass, pale grasses,
Seed pods golden,

In shade of yew,
In shade of cedar,
Small flies are bobbing
Up and down,

Like fishes in cool water,
Like fishes in cool water.


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The haiku is often what is not said. The spaces filled by personal recollection. And, of course, catching the moment a mind jolts awake.

This haiku,
Wordless, is
What is not said.
The shaped voids
Becoming occupied
By personal recollection,
A sorting of remains,
Catching the moment
Mind catches sight
Of itself

These words have no meaning.
And these lines are silent.
No sound, no movement.

In the heat of late summer
The shrine in the mountain forest
Filled with the gossip
Of old men in green shade.

Storm sweepings
(debris of the sway of the world)
Sugi smoke rises and crackles.

In its own dark hall
The taiko drum plays with silence.
Unstruck, its taught skin
Ripples out roundness
Beyond sound.

Ripples across Sewa Lake,
Waves of branches in the wood,
The oncoming typhoon.

The cicadas ignore,
The ants map
The grey weathered boards
Of the audience chamber.

The carefully robed priest,
Each toe grasping the steps,
Opens the door between worlds
With invitation and gesture.

A slow wheeling of kites.

This sign is not in use.

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Eight Haiku for a Year of Days, another posey of haiku for the changing year, now that autumn skies and golden light begin to soften the edges of summer….

The dew departed;
But under the willow,
And in the lark’s voice….


Cattle grazing
On the sky.
Early morning lake.


Watching them swing
This way then that –
Small boats
On the breath of the tide.


Hot dust
Between my toes.
The empty fields.


Amongst the stubble
Drunken daddy-long-legs.
The silent sky.


Come in, come in,
Leaves of autumn,
The wind is cold!


Four day’s frost
Crunching underfoot.
Chattering jackdaws.


Stubble field.
One withered apple
On the old tree.

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