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Posts Tagged ‘landscape photography’

THE LEDGERS

I have been collecting the names

of demons from dusty ledgers,

Each a fossilised passion or despair.

Every one a poet and a diva,

Conceited, numerous as neurons

In the brains of man.

Some starved, some sated.

It is the nameless ones

We should be fearing most,

Whose attributes and legions are unlisted.

It is they that twist the fibres of time and space,

That lead us down reasonable paths

To utter foolishness.

They bear the bitterness of millennia being ignored,

Sidelined by brassy, golden heroes.

Volcanic, metamorphic, sedimentary –

They constitute, certain, a slow wearing bedrock.

They know too well the mountains and horizons we long for

Are all relentless and prone to murder.

Dressed in orifices of delight and disgust,

The greatest demon is the one that teaches

That there are no such things as demons,

Denying all history, mocking the laboured divisions

Of day and night, and reasons why,

Filleting the intellect from all shining breath.

They are well-beloved now in sharp suits,

Eloquent in Greek and Latin, they dream in Sanskrit,

Swear in Aramaic, count in Japanese.

They name and number every combination

Of moral gymnastics.

They are masters of the callisthenics of judgement,

Ballroom dancers of complete seduction.

They are the best of us, who best us.

We, the sly self-harmers of evolution,

Ingenious inventors of delusional druggery.

They are dressed in war and holiness

( as we could tell the difference).

All they need is a little time, a little understanding.

‘Sit you down, take us through your thinking.

We will listen.’

Non-judgmental, professional, just taking

One or two salient notes.

Paring off slices of soul for real estate

At bargain rates, a place to retire to,

With excellent views.

‘But look’, they say,

‘We are nothing

But patterns of thought.

Born, nurtured, clothed,

Given names.

Exercise us,

we will become domesticated,

The new normal.

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SOLSTICED

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Garth Bank is a mind

Resting in silence.

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Bryn and Y Garn

Become domed and spacious.

Valley rivers make no noise-

The whole world stands still.

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The cold of eternal space

Touches the edge

Of our certainty.

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So we cling

To an ephemeral fullness

And watch a blue distance

Grow warm in haze,

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Nested in comfortable notions,

The children of cracked worlds.

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A CUCKOO IN THE NEST

A cuckoo see-saws in the sunny dregs of May.

All the fractured warriors, pale and bloodless,

Sink into the seed-filled soil.

The winners and losers are the ones

Who laid out these fine roads.

So we can trust no other paths

Through the oak deep woods and sun-warmed cliffs.

They have buried their gold here and there

Like dinosaur eggs, cold hope and useless,

Without the thrusting love of bees.

We shall walk among the dead and borrow their dreams.

Bred for an ostentatious perfection

The roses strangled by a sea of happy weeds.

Yet we take the rose for our badge:

The blowsy, failing, propped and preening dream

Of old men and fanatics, and fight the weeds together.

The cuckoo mocks the sunny morning.

Innocence supplanted by an unbuilt guile.

The world see-saws on precipitance.

The stars, at least, remain, untouched

By this busy arrogance of being.

How many times shall I sing the same song,

O, Enitharmon? Until the long grey rains

Wash all footsteps away?

Gronw, Gronw, that stone over your heart shall not save you.

It will be laid out: the failings of desire and the roads of gold.

It shall all be sundered by the returning soul,

The tides of people, a song of weeds.

Sweet smelling idiots, the tiered hierarchies of perfect moments.

We have longed for its return – the resonant, ephemeral cuckoo.

But now its constant echo palls. It is no bard, but pure politician.

It ousts the futures of others, counts away choices, one by one.

The roads that are reasonable, are inevitable.

You had the choice a long time ago, if you recall, to be a hero

Or to fall safely into those ruts of good and equitable habit.

We have been charmed down from the tree now,

Given a voice, and we must fill the role assigned us.

To heave the future from its nest, watch it crack

Against the stones, and pray for food to still sustain us.

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A LIGHT TOUCH

Every demon knows the trick with butterfly’s wings.

Tesserae, perturbation.

The small becoming great.

An oceanic instability, a gram shifting,

A star dissolving into endlessness,

A thought let loose and floating,

A pinch of plutonium.

Weights and measures,

The weighing-up of Newtonian Laws:

Every demon is a mathematician at heart,

At home in the seventh hell of statistics.

Every scintilla collected, each iota measured,

Each ember sustained with warm breath.

Last straws gathered and categorised.

For everything begins with an itch,

A discomfort, a desire for other.

The angelic hosts slay ninety-nine

Point nine nine of the unrighteous.

The demons nurture the resistant few.

They know that majorities are powerless.

That it is the minority that always spark a new inferno,

That say: why? That plot and saw through the bars,

That dig out the mortar with their fingernails.

The invisible, the insignificant, the disregarded, the despised.

The debris of universes drifting together.

The small becomes great. No blame.

The well has run dry. Nothing furthers.

Seek elsewhere for survival.

The fittest have slaughtered each other.

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Take away the words

( that give stories to the silences of doubt)

And there is still the song of the river,

The roaring in the pines,

The light rolling over the ever-changing hills.

Mist rises and the clouds roll past.

There is no need to fill the seconds,

That are already so full of mystery,

With anything other than this.

We are ghosts

Unless we feed on this glory.

We are starved of succour,

Only feeding on our own reasons.

Offer your silence, now and then,

In the early morning, in the dusk.

Now and then, listen

To how eternity sings.

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Because of their words:

A quantum entanglement.

Whether equation or story,

The ripples vibrate.

All metaphor is truth.

All truth, metaphor.

So said Euron.

So said Eurwys.

They wrap the bones

Of space in pictures.

Weave timelessness

With heroes.

By means of language

And of matter

They fashion magnificent trees,

The span of universes,

A melodious ocean.

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GATEKEEPERS

Sometimes, sometimes, and maybe always,

The doors can be so big

That they cannot be seen.

There is, they say, a wall

At the edge of the universe

So far away, so far away

That light from there has never reached here yet,

And never will.

It is neither winter nor Spring.

The year is a troubled child, roaring.

You know how I write:

I wait for words to come.

I do not send in dogs to flush out the birds of dawn.

I wait, to the souls of rivers and owls, to the world’s breath,

‘Til one by one, they come, gathering lightly,

Bright buds, whispers from the old roads.

And they may dissolve again.

They may dissipate, the offerings of time and waiting,

Just not enough to stay or settle.

The giants were called obstructors.

You might say, doorkeepers.

You might say, guardians.

Huge enough to carve out universes from their skulls,

Rich enough to give a thousand conflicting cosmologies.

It shall be storm all day today.

Waters bubbling down

From the cauldron of the hills.

Clouds dark and eloquent as Afagddu,

Dark as a cormorant preening on his pylon.

The layers of darkness arranged

For a perfect dive into silence.

The world has tipped.

Its weather spills out across the globe.

Excess and extravagance

Eating the hearts of the poor.

We await a new inoculation against greed.

But all our heroes of success

Only hasten destruction.

And so, I bow to the obstructions of giants:

The doorkeepers who block the way

And ask the riddle.

What skill do you possess

That you think would allow you to pass?

What quality, what virtue, to ensure

Any continued existence here?

What is the art that will not destroy?

What is the craft that we have never encountered?

What reasons can you make sound reasonable,

Sliding your guilt out of sight as if it were not yours.

Can you learn harmlessness?

Facing the storm you have raised

Can you abide at ease in the flickering light

Watching the helpless ones be swept away,

Swept away.

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STONE AGE

Snow clouds drift below moon and stars.

The river roars its long distance.

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What can can we do

But breathe in the warm smoke of fires

And huddle down into the skins of animals?

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In this way

We become the world’s eyes

In long winter.

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Hunters of stories

In the mists.

Recounters of the long herds

And the cunning wings.

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Sustained by the strong life of others.

So we may sing their praises

And with our hands

Shape amber and jet

And flint and bone.

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Beneath the one tree of starlight

And dancing, rising sparks.

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VIEW

Hokusai would appreciate the view:

Garth Bank rising like a sleepy Fuji

Framed by those leaning pines

And the placid, silent sky.

He would have changed nothing,

But chosen the lines for beauty

And the colours calm and dun as the day.

A landscape without pearls,

Though edged by snow hills.

One by one we lose our weight,

Floating upwards to eternity.

The two rivers whisper it

In their deep and hidden ways.

I catch the scent of planed hinoki.

Last day of January.

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TWO DISTANT MOMENTS

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I breathe the cool cloud

The jackdaws lean into.

The spice of wet grass.

A radiant moment dissolves into eternity.

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Evening turns to rust.

The blue hills bloom cloud.

Soft, this beautiful melancholy.

.

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