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Posts Tagged ‘landscape photography’

THE CORNERS OF SPACE

Follow the sun beyond the horizon
And there will never be a sunset,
Never a horizon.

The old poets knew this – that their voice
(River and root of it) runs through distance
And no ends are there to those meanings.
Each sound, a door to deeper dimensions.

(No owls tonight, though a slivered, smiling moon.
Between the song of the pines and the river:
Restless tumbling dreams.)

Here is the vertiginous well of the sky
And its steps, and its chambers.
The view of horizons and their echoes.

(Confusion arises with questions:
Clouds billow and change shape;
Gravity has little hold in dream states
Except by habit.)

Circumference, the vastness of mind,
The corners of space, encompassed
By a single breath,
Dissolves on exhalation.
A rainbow disease brought to a stunning collapse –
Endless blue.

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TALIESIN REVOLVES

The Living and the Dying:
Dipping in, dipping out, spinning, turning, returning.
This string, this blue cord, this mysterious line.

Slipping past the gatekeeper of dawn and sunset,
The dream rim, horizon’s cauldron.

The answer to crafty questions.
No one survives the heroic ideal,
Except transformed, ploughed back into and out of Time,
Through the door of the fortress that turns.

These ancient watching animals in the stream
Of the constellations, time creators outside of time.
Watch the movements from the physical to the ethereal.

“I underwent transformations, I circulated.”
Time is his landscape,
The bardic occupation of weaving the past into the present,
Kneading the present back into the past, the past into the present.

I was alive.
I was dead
About the aeons of the fortress,
About the one’s like kings,
How long their dwelling place.

I slept on a hundred islands,
In the seas of heaven, the firmament.

I mutated, I went around,
I am dissolved and passed through,
Strained and purified.

He passes through. He slices through.
The darkness, not understood until death comes.
Cian, Afagddu, Gwiwan.

O dyfynwedyd gwawt

The deep speaker, the speaker from the deep,
Passionately brought forth.
Not the quietness.

The deep ones emerge in the voice
Of the bard and the audience,
A flow above the shining drink.

The deep one becomes flesh

Dwfyn dyfu ygnawt

The shapeshifter,
Singing his own deathsong,
Uther, dead and singing,
Becomes Taliesin by this voice.

Nothing but skin and bone.

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the year sweeps seasons
like a passionate cloud
from these soft hills.

and the bitter cold is here
and the turbulent waters
and the fire that talks loud and soft,
singing of snakes and angels in the grate.

and the hush-now, hush-now of cars
speeding past to work in the draughty town.

the trees dark and bare
sliced in thin moonlit night.

yesterday, the deep, blue-shadowed snow.
now, a knifing wind, a fast melt
and word of valley floods.

bless the bones of things,
though they may ache and ache.
on bitter slope the memories slide.
it is a thin sinew
holds everything together.

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SOAR Y MYNYDD

Where we rest
Deep in the mountains:
Soar y Mynydd

Hung in autumn air
Its white walls glowing:
Riverside chapel

Neat as it may be:
A congregation of leaves
Patiently waiting.

Soar y Mynydd.
Even when people have drifted away
The river sings hymns.

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TO WAKE IN WINTER

To wake in the long darkness
And feel the slow cold seep in.

To love, and to war against those
We do not love, is not enough.

Drained and wan, the ache of it.
The decay of worn roads and reasons.

The ravens are silent as they push
Against the folds of cloud.
The hills ripple but they do not rise.

We miss the touch of sudden sunlight
And a simple purpose to go on.

Is patience a curse or a virtue?

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Llewelyn’s Last Morning
(Mass at Llanynis)

A bright morning
for Llewelyn.
Sun through cloud,
The white trees
in waiting.

River is hushed
And the hymns
urgent and quiet.

Before you and after you,
these stones:
Ship of God,
anchored in meadowland.

Before you and after you:
This carved stone pillar,
Woven knot
and lichen bright.

In memory,
to lay them at peace who fell,
Their names are
grass’s whisper only.

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The last native Prince of Wales, Llewelyn ap Gruffudd, is said to have had communion at this small church on the morning of 11th December 1282 before he and his troops were betrayed and ambushed a few miles away on their way to capture Builth castle. It is a small church, not now easy to find, and lies in the middle of a field with only one or two farms nearby. Across the River Irfon at Cilmeri is the well where Llewellyn’s severed head was washed. His troops were scattered and the cause of a Wales ruled by their own nasty, Welsh, nobility ( as opposed to nasty Anglo-Norman nobility), lost. The carved cross-stone looks to be an old grave slab, carved on three sides, but I have found no information about it. In general, these stones were carved between the 9th and 13th centuries – so it would probably have been in the church or churchyard in Llewelyn’s time.

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DESCANT

Sullied though we are,
The earth shall take us back to itself.
They remain, these fading memories,
And the scudding light over far hills.

Certain is our fate, and always has been:
Summer moves graceful on winter’s bones,
The dancer and the music of the dance.

In desolate darkness is the night,
Where the ashes fall, where the pines fall,
Where the oaks fall, owl-filled, moth-filled
By the slightest light of speeding stars
Through a roaring of winds, the river mind speaks.

And in sunless cwm the shepherd’s house.
Brown light as thick as honey,
Walls sullen and the ticking clock.
An accumulation of sorrows and a life
Of small dissappointments nested in dust.

Belonging is the key to it all,
The only pause in a precipitous dream.
But clinging is not the same.
Wrapped around the web of memories,
Too rent and uncertain to give much comfort.

What is that name we have given ourselves?
And where was the road we turned off to get here?
I have forgotten the names of stars and trees,
And the clarity of goodness and of light.
Above all, I rely on whispers from clouds
And the words flowering from the oldest books.
For they glimmer, (do they not?) , with what has been lost.

All the doors stand open, as they ever have.
All the maps spread out and referenced.
All the ways well trod, all the paths tended.
Yet we move as if none have moved on before us
As if nothing else mattered so much or was so dear.

But the earth shall take us back to itself,
And we who can not forgive
Will be forgiven.

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