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Posts Tagged ‘landscape’

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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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DHRUPAD 11 (august night)

The hollow hills resounding.
The resounding hollow hills,
Knee-deep in starlight,
Knee-deep in patient oaks,
And the white cries of the fox
And the stretched white cries of owls
And our sleeping souls rising like smoke
Through open windows on this warm night,
Weightless, free of thought now,
Flicking through centuries
As the ashes’ fingers fall and drift
And the berries ripen, sun-polished.
And the dead (who are always with us)
Watch and ripen, remembering old hymns
In an old language, and the music of quiet gossip
And the food of woodsmoke and pipe tobacco
And the too short, long evenings
And the too short, oblivious nights.
Carded and spun these days of commotion,
Made a single yarn end to end,
A story with familiar patterns,
With certain purpose, worthwhile
And righteous, worthy of some eternal reward,
Surely, surely.

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BARDIC REPLY

Our art is not about sanity.
You, who have learned neither name nor edge,
Who insist there is one word, one view, one meaning.
You can know nothing of this glory, this defeat, this wonder.
Whose life must be pleasant above all things,
despite death and all its monsters, despite the shadows, the whispers.
Trained neither to remember nor forget, muddling through.
Oh the mirrors are sharp and they are fine, but they lie.
That is never your face that looks out -just a trick we
Have become accustomed to, knowing no better.
Staring into dark pools hypnotised, dissassociated, becoming
Numb, drained of decisions, drained of moments,
the buzzing of summer flies, the click of electrical circuits.

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DHRUPAD 9 (solstice roses)

Solstice roses solstice rain
bright as sparrows
solstice cloud low bright
and sparkling rain.
Field roses, wild roses, dog roses,
solstice roses bloom fall fail
arching sun-like arching star-like
arching dancing leaping hedgerows.
Field roses white as cotton dresses
in sunlight fields in sunlight wind in solstice fields
light as cotton white as summer
blooming falling failing blooming.
And dog roses pink and frail and strong
as sacred as secret pink flesh
blushing pink curling pink scented and smiled and honey sweet
and stroked in light and solstice solstice light,
bloom and leap and arch and fall and fail.
Tattered heavy petal fall
weighed and washed bright solstice rain.
White as sheep new shorn, white as blisters,
white as taste in morning air,
white as solstice fall and failing falling failing,
flocking leaping solstice roses arching out
and arching over and petal falling petal failing pale as butter,
bright as eyelids, bitter smiling falling
failing blooming failing falling
solstice roses wild roses dog roses field roses,
thorned and throned and holding on,
leaping arching bowing blessing
bowers sprinkled white and pink
glorious as sheep in the morning solstice,
morning sparrow hedgerow morning,
rain wet wind and sparkling solstice morning.

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OFFERING AT LLYN CARRIG BACH

Down through green waters
holding on to nothing
but one gift and that is
not a name given me
nor any weight accrued.
A lightness of purpose
bows my spine, the familiar
flickers and fades.

Down through brown waters
summers deep. I am peeled
reflected transparent
becoming triple, a tongue only,
a dance chained to eloquence,
a swift blade and its ghost only.
Sunlight and its memory
sprout seeds. Bright rolling hills.

Down now the black black tides
too deep to know how deep,
the glue of space and time slivers.
Cloaked I am now in a
thousand, thousand names.
A single word transfixes all.
A cauldron, a chalice, a pot suspended.
Gentle enough is the heat of that breath,
Slow slow and smooth the strokes of air.

Down through self-luminous waters
beyond all monsters and their messages.
Beyond all thresholds, all territories.
Suspended, all that I was, poured out
as a haul of fish slithering from its nets,
silver and glistening moment forgotten.
Hatching, there are pinions unfurled,
a cry rising up into a long throat.

Down through star-filled waters.
Bubbling up: the names of rivers and sea deities,
and warriors of watched misty islands
and cold air, spray-filled, and cries of gulls.
The hiss of sand blown through marram dunes.
Mistaken for a notion who is now a god,
footprints elide, pooling perfect syllables:
a sprinkle of star-flowers, the promise of dusk.

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DHRUPAD 8 (honeysuckle)

June, June now.
Elder, elder opens, opens out creamy sky cloud fragrant
and so too they drift drift drift, these hills,
the pale hills the bright hills the sunlit hills the star shadowed waiting hills. Drift slow and slow,
coming green coming all coming again.
Weave and throne song singing softly,
the clouds pile a sky hurray.
A thick slow drift, and the thin
slow rivers and the fast stormy rivers and the warm
sun waters and the honey thick shaded waters.
Green light now, green, and sudden roses
bloomed and falling, purple petals, sudden slow shifts.
High hills rise up and skylarks
and the thirsty climbing beans and vines and peas and bindweed.
And the honeysuckle the honeysuckle
blood red buds and dreaming of sweetness.
Twist and climb. Twist and curl and hold
tight as a baby’s fist
here, we are here,
we are close and tumbled and held and lovely.
All all climbed and stretching and together
and growing tall, tall
into the tall
throbbing skies.

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Dhrupad 6 (May river)

They will fall down into their own rivers, these words these sentences finding their own surface will settle for a familiar winding light in warm beds slowly downwards to their own sighing roaring silence. Though they are not nor ever have been mine to give, you have them now flowing on from this to that a single seamless thread gathered from the highest open grasslands, gathered from just below the sky the slow drip down the vast vast vast drip down of water towards a centre of word, towards a winding tongue a weaving mind weaving sky and sound, skin and sky a story river sky river down to story silver river….

Only there, there, where the people have sunk into the land singing their stone memory bones, grey weathered on ridge shrouded elder clouds, something home death something home small cooing death, nature death smell, cream smooth death mother humming bees smell, humming stars death smell, secret curve woman death star bone smell, life death star death cooking smell. Only where the words have turned to winds and wind to rain, and bracken shields the adder’s tangle in the warm vast moist morning, the vast mist morning of the criss cross and spiral morning, of the tangled spiral adder’s tongues honey soft morning. Only where the red kites wheel and the buzzards on their watching posts watching down the old quiet roads, the rocking cracking moment by moment roads footstep views and sound sound river bird and breeze roads, the sudden view shift roads, the next last corner roads, the lost remembering roads.

Only on the beginningless roads beginning now now again sprung from grass now flowering grass now cowslips now bluebells now now the white sprinkled roads and the naughty weighted scented hawthorn heavy aired hedged about and field threaded and in the shades the holy blue the holy white the holy blood pink campion splatter and the enunciation of curly topped fern fingers finding licking tasting airy edge and warm soft soil and all and a round world edge a round world edge a round sun filled edge honey edged May in lanes and long low spiral lands and lolling loping hills folded around the fingers of the oak oh the old oak uplands upwards old and upwards the silence and psalms of spiral havens daylight to dusk to stars lit to keep off the cold cold space of silence somewhere else somewhere other rivers fall slowly down slowly drift and they will fall down too into their own rivers, these stars bright hiss finding their own surfaces, winding light just as if just as if and the adder’s ridge and the elder’s curve and the bones of morning in the warm beds of May and the mother humming and the vast, the vast the vast

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