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Posts Tagged ‘landscape’

This is how it is

This is how it is, or maybe.
(memory is a dark poetry,
old as clouds and as fickle.)

a mountain remembered:
golden and easy
and green in the evening.

this mountain leans into rain:
a glossolalia
of rivers.

this mountain:
lost for days in mist,
and dreaming.

this mountain cloak
draped over horizons,
cloud-shadowed,
bruised purple.

this mountain:
a joy to the stranger,
a burden to the desolate.

this mountain:
benign and warm
and sprinkled with sheep.

this mountain:
cairn-topped,
Its dead long gone
Into small things.

this mountain:
leaning skywards,
always growing upwards
mouthing hymns,
forgetting nothing.

this is how it is, or may be.
(memory becoming landscape,
too vast and folded for one glance).
evaporating our vocabularies,
a rearrangement of whispers.

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REMEMBERING OF A SOMETHING

I shall not remember this,
Nor shall be remembered for this.
And yet for a moment I am here,
Settled between grey hills in slow rain.
My love, still sleeping, her dreaming breath
A slow mist down by the river.

Where did it begin?
Moving on, just so,
As a shifting sunset.

Stone stretched thin until it admits hollowed light.
Dark cliffs wane, and here we are:
Saints as numberless as sheep,
Sheep as numerous as clouds.
Clouds piling to heaven then whispering to nothing,
Pushed by hills older than themselves.
The river runs thick and dark, naming each stone.
It is as easy to forget, sometimes, as to remember.
(Bitter ashes, black soot, husks huddled that once had faces).
How fast the grass covers it all, takes away cause and reason.

Here we are:
A silted green valley down to the sea at Llantwit,
Where the giants watch a slow eternal game of gwyllbwydd,
Playing out to itself between the ruled lines of cliff and ocean.
In the sunny town, eating pizza, we watched the wheezy trucks
Squeeze between the kissing buildings.
And the church bedded there, clutching the old stones removed
From rain and birdsong, mute and sullen awaiting uncertain resurrection.

Palaces of remembering are the storehouses of forgetfulness.
Dust and regret and time running on empty.
Familiar roads have become strange,
For we have wandered too far, and run out of words.
Nor have we yet forgiven the fools that led us here,
Nor the fools that followed.

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dark clouds.
blackbird singing.
pure heart

day by day
the rowan reddens –
memories stored for winter.

the old graveyard.
ivy and old man’s beard.
we all cling to what we once had.

morning mists.
a river dreams of seas.
dew in the stubble field.

reading poetry:
seeing the memories
of someone long gone

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Wandering over miles of sky;
The song of the height of the day;
Thoughts graze on distance.

There are many paths here, many views.
One can but choose this single moment
Where the next step may fall.

The old sages would place their huts
In quiet groves next to some riverbank,
Letting the world sing them to sleep.
Idly doing the will of heaven,
Showing the way by staying still.
Breathing as forests and mountains,
Babies full and swaddled in beauty.

Restless we wander, honking like geese,
Like sparrows in the eaves,
squabbling over straw.
Tears for the moon –
waxing and waning.

The best we can ever do:
To care for small things
And to learn
a deeper kindness.

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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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