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Posts Tagged ‘landscape’

THE THISTLES

Cloud is down over the hills again.
It drifts and rolls between field and forest.
The valley is lain out soft and still green;
It does not mind the warm rain.
There is not silence, but it feels like silence.
Sheep shorn and the hay is in.
The thistles have a royal flower:
In deserted places, proud,
Like ancient tribes before the Romans came,
They gather and stand still.

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SUMMER DROUGHT

Here is the slow, curdled froth of midsummer.
The drift downstream through wilted greens
And the drying grass, sallow on pocked, lain rock.
Parched flaccid, pressed still in irremovable heat
Sun-ironed shadows and a dull buzz of flies.

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SPITE INN

June settles in,
Warm and fine and easy.
Beyond Spite Inn
Clouds roll through the wet grasses.
Two cuckoos praise each other
Across the oak valley floor.
The old roads drip green.


Spite Inn is a ruined, but preserved, building on the road between Tirabad and Cyngordy on the northern slopes of the Eppynt. It is likely a drover’s resting place, and its name is thought to derive from its rivalry with another nearby inn.

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JUNE DRIFT

I am as blurred as the cleft of Cwm Dwfnant shrugged with cloud,
shunned in its darkness, up hanging from the heights, silent as a hawk.

like ladders the thistles grow, straight and high, and the sedges hustle
the grasses, cropped short, and rain-laden.

the woods, a hushed audience, wait for rain
that is as welcome as the sun, as welcome as the long, pale dawns,
as welcome as the naked starlit evenings.

sallow seed slides and drifts, amnesiac angels, bounced on warm air,
and shallow cool down by the gurgling river’s bank.

and the globeflowers at Nant Y Bran bursting and butter-bright as suns
on their long green necks. and yet they still cannot look into tomorrow.

where shall be ever planted the sweet heads of valerian
and the meadowsweet foaming up through the coming of another summer.

light drizzle rains down, slowly drifting east. a cuckoo mist, a cuckoo silence.
I am blurred as the sources of all rivers are, nominal, approximate.

this white drift is a moment that now dissolves the hills
and clarifies by shimmer and shade the valley’s deep and every fold.

the unknown and the known are not new dreams to us.
they clothe us and wrap us round, swaddled and held still, a long lullaby,
sometimes with words, sometimes with sounds,
sometimes with a warm breath
that is itself no different than love.

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These blurred, cool days are best,
Soaked with fresh green airs
Hedgerows smudged with bluebells,
Cowslip clouds lolling heavy in the grass
And the rivers running brown and full
Over hollows and heaped grey rock.
And everywhere the blackbirds sing
On wooded slopes,
And the flit and flick of swallows
In the slow rain.

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HAIBUN – The Heat Rises

Seeing some recent photographs from Japan, ( train riders do so love to click the rising sides of Mount Fuji as they speed past to and from Tokyo), I remembered how it was there towards the end of May in Honshu. The temperate Spring weather suddenly gives way to an increasing heat. Vegetation that budded discretely in warm sun now turns rampant jungle, sliding down walls and roadsides in tumbled tendrils. Pocket towels delicately sweep sweated brows and necks, the weight of a humid summer sun bends heads and we begin to avoid the wide open city spaces where light rebounds off dazzling bright concrete. The shade in parks is inhabited by quiet, slowly moving people. Pale skinned girls, translucent as moons, carry parasols in lace-gloved hands and the perspiring salarymen, ties loosened, curse their cheap suits and dream of beer.

End of May.
The heat rises
To the top of Fujisan.
We move more slowly,
Like carp in green waters.

The past turns haiku.
The valleys dissolve in rain.
Disappearing light.

To culture silence
And watch unhurried,
A task few relish.

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We are only a dream here to dream.
An exhalation of hill and forest.
A fancy of slab rock and weeds.
A drift of fog taken shape then dissipated.
Hardly even a thing, hardly a name.
A point of reference to a moment, green and eternal.
This field of dream, this song thrush stilled,
This fall of light rain, this cool dissolution,
This river breath.

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