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Posts Tagged ‘landscape’

A PERPETUAL DREAMING

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far away, among the mountains

that uphold the sky,

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there are those

who forever walk on tiptoe

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and only whisper,

so as not to wake

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the sleeping god

that dreams the universe is real.

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the lullaby of cascading rivers,

the jade clear ice fields,

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the resounding sapphire sky

with silent wheeling eagles

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and murmuring chant

from the womb dark temples

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to keep that sleeper wrapped

in the folds of wonder.

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THE HEALED SKY

The healed sky

Blue as the calm gaze

Of the Medicine Buddha.

May all beings find peace.

The healed sky.

Wherever we go

The chanting of honey bees.

The healed sky.

A deeper peace creeps in,

Silence no longer a threat.

The healed sky.

Eternal mind

Ever returning to life.

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SPRING FROST

take this tight

fist of frost

sky knifed

star edge cold.

all night growing

winter chime

whispered seed.

Certain is

fools for fools

while the world turns.

Life and death

a blade edge breath

that flips and loves either.

The in and the out of it

that we would hold fixed

and steady as a sure eye.

King ‘til the Spring sun

smiles over the hill

and dreams of summer

quiet upon the air.

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ORKNEY SEQUENCES

1

The wind sings between the grey walls of the town.

It sings of long seas turned to green fields.

Small birds scatter and reform in flowing air.

Islands turn to cloud and then dissolve in the driving rains.

2

Perhaps the first thing you notice is the soft lilt of the land:

The way the colours slip from brown greens to sapphire greys,

And the sound of the waves, a ceaseless singing (that is also in the quiet voice

Of the people who slip between worlds and grey streets

In and out of tinkling tea shops, the warm must of cosy bars,

Turned around through doors by the sharp wind and its slap of cold rain).

3

This wind is not to be escaped from..

It has come this far from a world away.

Though you may wait awhile in the warm quiet,

You must leave to face the remorseless thrust of it.

4

So many miles crossing the earth.

So many miles across the air.

So many miles over the seas,

To the first hearth, the sparking fires,

The strong stone vulvas of the rolling lands

Arching green, gentle green from the green seas

From which the dead do dream,

To which the living return like swallows,

Like swallows sifting their songs, the scything memories.

The dead own all the songs, the songs feed the dead

And keep the fires of the living warm and strong.

5

Deserted farmsteads scattered the slopes

Weathered grey skulls, window eyes dark and sightless

Broken jaw doorways toothless gaping

Slate pate roofs smashed open by war-hammer winds.

They mark the passage of years and the bite of seasons.

6

By whatever ways, whatever ways we come to them

Waiting diffident or with curious eyes to see what they have become.

Until we feed the fire, until we feed the warmth now the long memories,

Until then they are remote as stars whose names are not known,

Whose patterns are not picked out by pointing fingers.

We move towards them and they, waiting or not,

Wrapped up in their own watching.

There is nothing left here but scattered teeth

And broken skulls, voiceless gaping jaws

And the endless wind across the low green fields.

It was better than this, it was better.

Words piled up in cairns,

Words piled up and stones laid out.

7

The central hearth

Where stars burn

Where the gathered starlight burns.

The wind is in a minor key.

Ghosts of footsteps heading north.

This is the last feast

Before the world changes.

Before the old doors are sealed.

Before we throw away our names

And watch for new signs.

Bone by bone

We disassemble our gods

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NOT YET

If you go a little way from here,

Down to the valleys and towards the towns

You will see the surprise of green:

The hawthorn hedges already plump with budding,

Blackthorn blossom scattered and the slim beginnings of willow.

But not here.

The hill is waiting yet, as its people waits,

In no rush to lose the cold, clear skies.

Still breathing deep and slow the muddy mulch and bracken,

The silent puddled lanes that measure

The stretching days and spin of stars.

There, (here and there), even a cherry, young and impatient.

Even the black ash swells.

But not here,

Except the elder has begun to heal its emptiness.

One more bright day.

One more clear night

And we shall be full of lambs and birdsong.

But not yet.

Not here,

Not yet.

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THE LOVELY RAIN

The lovely rain –

Its breath is music

In the chapel pines.

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What we have left

Of what is done

Is debris.

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The lovely rain.

Chapel pines hum,

Eyes closed and swaying.

Cool is the air.

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STORM WIND

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We cannot outrun the storm wind

We cannot outrun the rain.

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Between the lines appear the shapes of other letters.

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The moment the tongue finds a shape to express a feeling.

The moment the feeling swells, a flower

Of song blossoms out.

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We cannot outrun the swollen river

We cannot outrun the racing cloud.

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Every thread laid and lost within the weave.

To hold one thought, just one,

When the roaring chord that rocks the pines

Sweeps the world away in ragged tatters.

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We cannot outrun the world of sorrow

We cannot outrun this tide of time.

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The meaning here

Is not the meaning

We seek.

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We cannot outrun the storm mind

We cannot outrun the candle’s shadow.

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WINTER’S PATH

Bleak wish is winter’s path.

The flat of its grey blade

Knocks us senseless.

Long months, we huddle

Half dreaming here.

Things will return to how they were,

Is a truth and a lie.

Though there are those

That shall never know.

The long wind has died down now.

The river’s roar returns to whisper.

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CLOTHED

Clothing himself in these common borrowed words,

A certain style, a certain habit, turns it all around.

Anonymous ubiquity becomes an intimate paced voice,

The poet emerges from the rough hedge glowing in the darkening evening.

Everyone has seen the full moon a thousand times,

Yet still now sighs and stands still.

Clothing ourselves in another’s memory

Or dreaming a dream not even ours:

The profoundest philosophy here,

A truth of who we are, think we are,

Where our edges blur and meet,

Where our voices change key and tone,

And slip into accents unfamiliar,

Where we stop being who we think we are,

And for a moment, if only ever for a moment,

We leap from the endless river, glinting and free

Into unfamiliar harvests of air and evening

On the floating view of somewhere we can never stay,

Returning so rapidly to the noisy rush of time and space,

Swept downstream, singing tunes with a cadence now not ours,

Now not solely ours.

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THE CLOUD

The cloud is on the hill.

Words will come.

What the stark trees say.

What the rivers say.

A wood pigeon

welcomes the warm rain.

I have been away,

but returned to this silence

where the words are old

and make themselves.

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