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Posts Tagged ‘identity’

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THE WORDS WE COLLECT

It is the whispers in the walls,
The ghosts that breath upon our lips.
We dissolve, lost in sounds from elsewhere,
From rooms, from halls.
Left, empty enough, losing attention,
We step out of ourselves
And for a moment become monstrous,
Glorious shadows in the winds
Of strange, bright mornings.

Though none of it speaks for us:
The silent, swirling mists, nor
The resounding, thundrous deep,
Nor the wells without light,
Nor the stars without memory,
Nor the movement of seconds,
Nor anything of the vastness.
For all these are constrained
By our sound, and uttered unbeknownst
By those guilty of innocence.

Left dancing on air, breathless,
Pierced, spun to a fine point, examined,
Cast out, then disregarded.
Swimming in an ocean of shadows
It is hard to know what is of value.

I shall put my ear to the door of the earth,
And listen to the ones never dead,
A music not of our blood though equally holy.
Even its echoes dissolve flesh and name
In the round chambers, skull-domed,
Grass-topped and nibbled by sheep.

For the extraordinary rests upon the ordinary,
As sound rests upon its own silence,
The known is upon the unknown
As birds rest upon tall oaks in evening.

We live above the noise, dipped in cloud.
Hearing rumours of the dreams of others,
And building what we can out of that.
Once given a name, believing that makes us real,
Practicing a story sewn from fables.

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But ‘we’ is not circled.
We have no edge ( though we think otherwise)
(though we think we think).
We think beginnings and endings,
we think words, breath, silence, breath,
intake the other, exhale the other.
cannot remember any moment beyond
a circumscribed horizon, cannot, even, the dreams,
nor the memories, for sure (was it, was, was it so, was it not?)

There are, of course, clues.
Vagrants, with a certain mildewed smell,
mutter slewed directions, their demon-bright eyes.
(but those we shun, as shadows,
as churchyards at night, as the insisting amoral voices in the mist,
peripheral, shuffled, ambiguous).

The long halls, the rooms, the chambers.
My dear Giordano, such equations, such equators.
So few and tired are the moronic habitual paths,
so broad the primrose paths
to Hell untrod, unstudied.
A rumour of damnation, like a roll of distant thunder,
a storm coming. Well, certainly, there is a storm coming.
From the edges to the centre, from the centre to the edges..
An ending ( of sorts).
And then it echoes around another’s skull.
Seed syllables.
The end of worlds.
The beginning of worlds.

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A PARTICULAR DEVICE

When we look so close at life inside us,
it simply becomes a tree of madness
where ghosts host and catcall,
swapping bodies and their nightmare mysteries
( from which we have never, ever, recovered).
Such strange animals. So many hands.
So many dances. So many attributes.
A collective deity ( or a pan Demonium).
There is a clue in it all somewhere,
a clue, a clew, a thread, a maze,
a spider, a monster, an eater of the charming ones,
a hungry axis, a deliverer,
a coin on his eyes and on his tongue.
The rite of the Opening of the Mouth,
escaping gravity through the small angled shaft,
homing on the singular, most singular star.
Dust to dust. An assay of hearts
before the animal-headed ones.
We are Jongleur, kindly admit us.
Remove our head. Give us the bliss of love and asses.
Return us whole to the world without end.
And let us cease to burn.
Let our mouths be filled with the cool waters.
Seven rivers from the Garden.
A lascivious sprouting of leaves, a splayed, secret hand of fig.

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SUNDAY HYMNS

What
Is a language
That is not spoken?
Silence.

Silent as the empty cottages,
As the deserted fields,
The grass-grown tumps,
The heaped-up midden.

Good men, great men and brave,
One by one, or leading others.
Seeming a wash of tides,
Motions of change,
Revolution of planets.
So they may be,
Or ripples on a pond,
A perturbation,
A breeze upon the forest tops:
Here, a noise, then gone.

Where are the great waves
As the tides recede?
Their roar growls less.
Sorrow and joy only.
Now a tale,
A whisper,
An epitaph,
A place for ivy fingers
To cleave to,
Slurring every mark,
Knife and chisel.

To end the silence,
Or to restore the silence?
To weave it.
Become substance,
Become word,
Become rhythm.

When does habit
Turn tradition?
When, pleas and moans,
Prayers?

Sunlight on
The distant mountain.
A wren seeks grubs
Among broken
Flowerpots.

—-

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KEY NINE
(Undines)

“Your science of rigidities
Are lies of the fearful.

We, here, are void and free.
Infinite, immortal flow.

Limitless, deathless
Tuned, turning tides,
Roaring silence.

Impossible song
None can forget.

Escape you frozen fears,
Melt,
Meander.

You are, anyway,
Made vessels for our fierce bliss.
Flow,
Willing.

Let go.
Find us,
Void and free.”

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KEY SEVEN
(Faerie Travellers)

Cap of invisibility,
Cap of indivisibility.

From whence do the elements separate?
From the instant of central balance.

From what flows the certainty of form?
From the heartbeat between what was
And what will be.

At the corner of sight:
Eyeblink or distant lightning?

What you know will blind you.
The oldest foundations are no longer in sight.
The ancestors watch this world,
All have names, sing their genealogy,
Have woven you.

Sink into the weave,
The world wears you.

Wear yourself lightly
Leaving no footprints.

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SOUL’S MUSIC

This, then, is the music.
My head: a rippling stream,
A passing breeze,
A rustle, a lifting
And a falling.

Notes that cascade and tumble
But hold still.
New green leaves, new shade;
Harmonic tides,
Distant waves pierced:
The gull’s wheeling turn;
A slow stuttering starlight;
A bloom of sun, a drift of moon.

Fingers rippling on water strings
A remembrance, an essence, a perfume,
A rise of incense.
The turning of a page,
The sound of honest paper.
A rhythm of gardening,
A stroke of brushes,
A slow file turning soft, bright silver,
An edge revealed.

Trembling cascade,
Inevitable shift
From melancholic
To elegaic,
A broken heart soothed
Somehow
( but never mended).
The smell of rain.
The smell of summer.

A sequence moving along time,
Planned but reckless,
A bed, a couch, a cradle.
Always building to this matchlessness:
The revolving, wheeling heavens.
A path between dawn and dusk,
A road paved amongst the stars.

It is neither the truth
Nor the lie of words,
Neither the insistence
Nor the revealing of maps.
It is weaving the name of a soul,
A secret name known by all.
This music, a familiar mystery,
An itch, a longing, a homecoming
Just beyond that green hill.
Just beyond that hill.

***

There is that sort of dream wherein one listens to, or manages to play, the very essence of oneself, the most perfect delightful complete sounds, the most exquisite melody. Probably a compilation of the oldest, forgotten echoes from childhood, the phrases and rhythms that themselves formed the brain’s shape, how it moves within itself. Always fascinating, the way a composer or musician can be recognised by a phrasing, a pattern of intervals, a sequence of chords. As if they always return to those notes that name the shape of their own soul.

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