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Posts Tagged ‘landscape’

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LI PO WAITING FOR DRAGONS (DINAS WOOD)

Li Po, I suppose, will be standing there,
hands thrust deep into sleeves,
breathing the slow hills.
Admiring the play of light
and the way the oaks
catch the late year’s brightness
on their wriggled limbs.

And how green is the gold,
and how golden the air
spicing the hazy distant.
In leaf litter, the rustling
of jays and squirrels,
gathering up the fallen year.
In the glass layered river,
sounds swallowed
and turned to light,
light to sound.

Li Po remains motionless,
holding all the river of his thoughts,
so he forgets nothing, misses nothing.
What has gone, and what arises:
balancing the mind of clouds,
the mind of mountains,
the mind of Dinas, cave-filled, hunched.

He sees the forest crown
shaping syllables: each tree
a slow, fast, steady song.
He weighs dark and light
On the cliffs of Craig Clungwyn.
Notes the rainbow mists
above the Doethi valley.
Floats above the scouring wind,
hawk and skylark and willowherb seed.

Li Po, waiting for dragons,
for the roar of the Tao in the mountains,
the narrow road winding northwards,
the cauldron of the seven stars.
For the eye of the world to open unwavering,
mind melting into mind.

He will not have long to wait –
a century or two
at most.

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DHRUPAD 14 (sky wedded)

seen
see now the sky now
wedded the sky wedded the sky
to silence, silent pool, sun sliding,
sun slides slips bright morning, citrus sharp and thin morning.
still, sharp morning.
Fennel, collecting
collecting fennel seeds so fragrant on my fingers,
green and full and cool and and.
It lies so still so still and cold now
still and cold the slipping sun the slipping sun low and citrus bright
delicate as fennel seed the pink cloud light puffed pink cloud morning, rimmed cold rimmed bright the slipping sun
and the apples falling now out of sight but falling
the leaves crisp and dry giving colour away
giving gold and green and all their days away to watch open-eyed open skied and breathing slow the silence grow
the silent singing silence the singing sky the slipping sun
and the moon still,
the moon still half gone
rolling bright dreaming dreaming of the last night gone,
night dark with stars
and now so clear and still there
there now there now settled bedded laid in silence
the slow dark and light the dancing shade the cool and citrus shadows the glaze colour gazing morning gesture clouding flow
small bright flicker shading clouds now shading sliding sun and riding moon higher still that that
higher than that cool cool riding the day wave bright and glorious cool sky sky wedded it is now.
World sky wedded

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OUR GEOGRAPHY – WOLF’S LEAP

Esgair Bellaf
( The remote ridge)

A rock snout sniffs the air,
a sleek flank shivers from the peeling waters.
By the crumbling heather bank it once leaped
and remains where the Irfon lopes
from its own grey teeth
and spiral spital marks the tight gullets
of feathered stone that sing and sing
of tumbling downward from a midden sky.
It would slake its thirst,
wary on the fine silver sand,
hungry for the lost and forgotten,
hungry for the oak-shaded gullies,
homeward through the humming sedge,
roofed in curlew, roofed in skylark lustre.

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Our Geography –
Nant Crysan

The rowan reddening,
No drop of sunlight wasted;
And the dried grasses to feast on
For finch and siskin.
The blue forest, floating on heat and haze,
Is cool still, the sound of trickling water,
And a breeze far off
On the slopes of Esgair Fwyog.

A row of hills weighs again its thoughts,
The horizon still no nearer.
There, by Spite Inn, the buzzard
Peers from its high post:
Something will stir and food will come.
The world wastes nothing,
Passing on one to another.

The road turns because it must,
Rises because it must,
Falls because it must,
No god complaining.

The rivers of old walls,
The lines of fields left fallow.
And the old names:
The ridge of the runaway,
Haunted still ( the cry of hounds and the drip of fear);
the ridge of the tumbling waters,
Haunted by another sound – of
Gathered ravens and ripped, uprooted, roaring torrents.

This rise and dip of this land
Draped between named places
Always slows and deepens my breath:
The way the hills fold up to the sky,
The way the forests have been patted
Into neat lines at field’s edge,
The way the water of Nant Crysan moves slow
And hidden in the sedge-rippled meadows
Where the black cattle come and go,
The way the fences fall into their own calligraphy
And the gates open always,
always to empty, sighing sky.

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Our Geography (1)

Our geography is mellow and tear-washed,
meandering and mud-stained.
It dreams through mist and slanting rains,
bites its lip and grasps the rooted valley sides.
It sends out messengers and bards
on posts and cries their hovered song.
It wears its history against a fickle, fast future;
views as unbecoming the speed of our own descent.
Though welcomes us back always
to its folded silences.

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A slap of wind
wakes the rain.
Its rhythmic verse,
a round choir’s work.
We watch guiltlessly
the dark clouds muster,
dream and dream
the long Sunday through.

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AFTER A LONG DROUGHT

The log lorries roaring hungry to the forests,
their bare ribbed skeletons longing for another heavy load.

Such a waste of words this poetry is,
scattered in the warm wind unable to withstand
the returning silence that covers with cloud the hills
turned heather purple
and the curling first thoughts of autumn
and the spit of rain.

The path to Fannog was damp
and the woods smelled of blackberries.
The steel still waters sullen and drained,
the old farm’s walls, out in the shallows,
Surfaced again, thirty years, more, since the last time,
haunting the view,
the craggy rocks impossible in sunshine
after so many years dark under murky waters.

They have receded
pulled back from the tops of their drowned valleys
like lips curled back from a corpse’s teeth,
the bare stumps of black trees, the slope of field and fence post.

We are measured by what remains –
these scars and careless piled debris swept from sight.
“Swimming forbidden. No diving allowed. Submerged objects”,
the bones and worse, the dreams,
the miscalculated grandeur, the voiceless dispossessed,
(as if we belonged ever, as if we stayed).

I have been dreaming of the flooded lands again:
the rivers rising to drown the roads,
all the fields turned sweeping water,
all the hills left desolate, no way out.
As if they were memories,
as if these places had names,
as if these trackways had purpose.

Sinking down, the cracks between dream and memory.
Flash floods, the sudden storm,
turbid waters, long drought,
a draining of the steep slopes,
drying mud on smoothed contours, the feeder streams silent.

A habitation deserted.
Roofless silence.
Low cloud shifting down long valleys.
Looking like rain.

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