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Posts Tagged ‘landscape’

ALDER FOLD

Singing severed head

Folds and puts away

The blanket of space,

Rolls away time.

A comfort against poisons,

A comfort against memory.

Sunlit is the hall,

Spacious with birdsong.

The sound of the sea

In the sound of the words.

And there is no greater magic than this.

By the shore, by the river,

By the evening light,

By the dividing of the roads.

One gasp and it will be gone.

Floating down stream,

Lodged in the mud

Of a new world.

The root of the tongue.

The cotyledon of sight.

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RIVER WORDS

They do not say

What they sing

For your listening

But for their own joy.

No will of their own

But to find the deepest

And return.

Where streams meet:

A birth of spirals.

By the bridge

The patterns hold steady.

Acquiescence to the way.

We think we know them

By their names we know them.

We know them by their names.

You name the river

‘Destroyer of the children of men’.

I name this river

‘Gentle mother of fields’

The river calls itself:

‘Longing for stillness

In the deep’.

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THEIR NAMES

Their names are the doors they wait behind.

Dreaming, dreaming, they thus dream us.

A silver moon scythes the snow fruit that admits us.

Timeless is the round dance of breath.

There is constant war in heaven, and hunting,

And fast, hot seduction.

How else, otherwise, could it be here?

The stars pour themselves into the hills.

There will be ice upon the marshes.

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A small breath of wind lifts the mist ‘til more blows in.

Two days, three days frost, has melted

And the birds are in the leaf litter.

The mountain’s voice says

‘Winter is not over yet’

But here in the valleys there is a small respite.

A day or two, perhaps, of gentler thoughts.

The world revolves around us here.

There is lamentation and the groans of fools from afar.

The waves, perceptible and arcane,

Encroach on the plans of contented futures.

But here, for a day or two,

Will be blue calm and the hope

Of buds and roots.

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MOTIF – FIRST BRANCH

There is the sound of it:

The distant clip-clop of blossoming time,

A dream whisper, a faint scent,

A breeze, a wish.

.

Still we have not learned much

And rush to question

And rush to hold.

In full armour,

Pierced, weighed down,

Heart-broken.

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NEW YEAR’S DAY

When there is nothing good to say

Then silence is better.

It is a calm day today,

Small rain in a dark sky.

Above the quiet valleys,

A high wind from the west is roaring.

The last day on Earth will be like this:

Resting in its own beauty,

All known, nothing named.

All reasons self-extinguished.

Watched over, cherished, belonging.

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CHRISTMAS NIGHT, CHRISTMAS MORNING

The moon strides through mist.

He is one: half-dead, half-reborn.

The garden is all jet and water –

The black shadow that is time and space.

There is no truth here but stories,

Is what we learn if we live long enough.

The river in its shroud, past the silent graveyard.

Nothing for you to do but weep and sing,

Says the sighing pines.

Nothing but to find beauty here and sing it,

Says the sighing pines.

And the stars look down in envy.

They would fold their wings and walk

These muddy, leaf-strewn paths.

They would feel the cold air of morning,

Let go of hope and fear,

Sing with sun and sparrows.

Would build their small fires,

Feast on emptiness and fullness.

Eternity weaving clothes for itself.

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HARD RAIN

Hard rain washing the world away.

Leaves fall through cooling air.

The gutters are singing an autumn song.

Rivers wake from summer’s sleep.

I was dreaming of eagles and their turquoise voice

In the days where darkness drums down more suddenly

And the cold cannot any longer be shrugged off.

I was dreaming of a path that was a spiral

And a spiral that was a mirror.

I stand before a silent oak.

Its name is eternal song,

Retribution, its door.

Its mouth is darkness.

In the end we do not know what matters.

This curl of sound, this exhalation of breath

Might be enough for a universe to be complete.

I study the taste of this turquoise,

Turn it between cold fingers

Then walk into the hill ( for all hills are doorways).

If you follow the hare, the path shall lie

Flat as grass before a strong wind.

If you follow the deer, the path shall be

Dappled and filled with birdsong.

If you follow the otter, the path will be

Silver and smooth as moonlight.

If you follow the dead,

Returning to their places,

You shall find your path

To womb and fireside

And questions: why and whereto.

All the warm singing halls

Lost in mist and blood.

All the familiar is a lie.

The world is utter strangeness

And the stars, known but unnamed.

I have been a trowel, an eagle, a pen.

What has been put together, falls apart.

These dreams you do not own.

Each is borrowed to keep you warm.

The path is a name you do not know.

This world is all the clue you will get.

Wrapped and unwrapped, each day a reminder.

There is no greater fool than a poet,

No greater truth than the lie of poetry.

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WAR CRY

A furnace dawn.

It will come on

To rain tears later.

Why are we always

Led by fools?

.

It is not gold, but spelter.

Not ore, but slag.

The forge of beauty is cold.

The taste of the morning air

Is bitter.

.

Two swans, white and dancing,

Fly low following the river westwards.

A sorrowful sky full of rain

Will cause more leaves to fall.

.

All our roads are cracked and failing.

They have borne too much,

Never thanked nor mended.

We watch weeds grow tall in crevices.

.

Within the hills

The druids and saints

Are turned to stone.

The names of things carved and fading

Where sheep are grazing.

.

There will be peace at last

When we are all gone.

First frosts will kill

The last rose.

.

The gods of creation

Sought perfection

And so always failed.

They have taught us sorrow,

The fleeting smile of time

And space.

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CYMRU, IF I NAME THEM

If I name them shall I make them mine,

Those hills that rise and fall in cloudy distances?

Shall I take them into my folded self,

Safe memorised and belonged?

Will they, then, wake enough

To acknowledge this time’s short passage,

Allow a fleeting sun-warmed moment of life

To be counted and valued?

Is there then enough silence in them

To quench the rabble tides of complaint?

Enough sobriety and bliss to dismiss

The well-worn excuses of failure and exile?

We are eagles weeping in the crowns of eternal oaks,

Waiting for the one who made us thus,

To come and set us free, to give us,

One last time, our form and status,

To let us die loved in our own place.

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