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Posts Tagged ‘influence of the past’

STREAMS, RIPPLED MORNING.

Words rolled smooth with time,
A singing pebble bed rippling this stream.

King and queen of fishers flash and dive,
(would I were so sure finding silver
Below sparkling surface,
Sun-bright in the morning).
Bright-bibbed, the dipper stalks dark waters,
The warbler hidden in the wood.

Heron statues,
Tree of patience,
Colour of a rainy dawn.

The world is eyes and voices,
A welter of revealing.

Chambered and vaulted is my heart:
The green, templed valleys of Dyfed.
Deep echoing, oak-shaded,
Falling by hour, by day, down
To the slow slopes of sand,
The crumbling cliffs,
The roaring seas from elsewhere
(the fall of distance, horizon’s gleam).

That deep terrain, the stark geology
Of tale and history,
Directs the tumble downwards,
The notes, even, of the song,
Outliving lives,
Covered and uncovered,
Season by season
Prescribing the curve and flow.

I would not be at Connla’s Well
Out in the far West
Where black poison drips
To that bitter pool below.
I would be here beside the purple alders,
Their grave hanging heads
Companionable as bright Bran,
His honey laughter
Healing the horror of interminable loss.
Both true, though, those streams,
So intermingling, roped, woven,
A salmon’s view bent to a circle,
The world of edges and endings.

I have found a small pebble,
Cool and perfect in itself,
A remnant of sky-reaching mountains,
Child of avalanche and ice grinding centuries.
And have let it drop
Watching ripples dance outwards.
It is nothing,
But it is something.
A small pool easing thirst,
A little rest from bleak winds,
A moment reflected,
A place to start from.

——

( the first line ‘words rolled smooth with time’ popped unbidden into my thoughts this morning, setting off ripples of imagery, memory and reflection. Dyfed is the old name for Pembrokeshire in the south west of Wales. Many of the tales of the Mabinogion are set there – though the bones of this piece are more to do with the nature of language than with location in time and space).

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