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Posts Tagged ‘landscape’

A DANCE UPON Y GARN

The bones of the hills

The bones of rivers

The bones of the mist

The bones of meaning.

How shall we talk to the bones

Of things, the sweet marrow?

That great grey slope,

A rising falling sine wave,

A rumbling note bending horizons.

Converse with it dressed thus in cloud

And become a stranger removed from illusion.

Untied, drifting, anchored only to words

And a dance that is so so slow, it brings worlds to their end

And changes them that new languages are needed

To begin to know it, to begin to know it.

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This sudden moment slows.

Wingbeats in the mist.

One drop of rain, then another.

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LEAVING LLANGAMMARCH

Who would choose to leave this Llangammarch

Wrapped in birdsong on a warm and sunny morning?

Who would lift their eyes from the glistening waters

Draped with alder shade and grasses?

Throughout the houses it has now the soft hush of loss.

The hollowness of a hollowed name, a rehearsal of memories.

Llangammarch threaded between wood and waters;

An easy confluence neat folded against the green grey heights

of Epynt and its sighing skies, its distances tasting of blue.

Except those who tend the dead ( the small things singing), no one lives on Epynt now.

It is a roofless, empty house, shadowless, and singing winds.

Perhaps it is there our departed go, congregating to watch the unfolding world,

At ease and in peace, soothed by a longer perspective on sorrow and joy.

Who would leave Llangammarch, warm and dreaming?

Those with dreams urgent and golden;

Following the light upstream,

the open skies, the warm winds,

the curlew berating heaven.

A floating world, a breath away.

One breath away.

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SHINING WORLD

(MANANNAN’S ISLE)

Glass-smooth the sea,

Its light a silk knife

Whispering sighed names:

The hidden islands.

Bathed in rainbow words,

There and not there,

Not to be focused upon.

To be rolled upon the tongue,

Tasted and weighed,

Melted to a honey meaning.

Sung in fickle keys

Near impossible to memorise.

A world away, here between breaths.

Suffers none to name it

Nor clothe it in anything

Other than it is.

Unknown by knowing,

Reached by rudderless boat

Through mist to sunlit sands.

Their mouths say one thing,

Their eyes another,

Their hands dance around,

Gestures in hypnotic weave.

Hope is not there,

Nor is it elsewhere.

Those who want shall

Never be satisfied.

To remember perfectly

And to forget perfectly,

And to continue, nonetheless.

That is how to belong there.

From the lands of eternal dreaming

We seem here to vanish continually,

Swept away,

The tides of joy and pain,

Doomed and mortal.

But without time

What can be done?

The perfected go nowhere,

Nothing accomplished.

Sun and moon and stars hold still,

All roads vanish in the mists.

Wordless songs.

We dream of them,

They dream us,

The in and out of breath.

A golden chain,

Link needing link.

We must dance together.

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FROM TRE TALIESIN TO YNYS LAS

1

We climbed the ladder road,

The wind road, peeling away distance,

Letting it drop curled below us

And the wide river mouth talking

Of nothing but the past it has known,

And the sands blowing snakes of words

Across the scoured wet flats

Where the land once was – a safe

And green world sloping down to sunlit seas,

Where now are tiny fishes and wriggling worms

And the hush of marram and the high wail of gulls.

2

That river has a poet’s mouth –

Meandering and easy, opening out to sunlit distance

The glory of horizons and a sweep of dangerous current.

I have sat on Taliesin’s grave

Gnawing his white knuckle bone

Between my teeth, tasting the marrow of bitter truth:

That there are no primary domestic bards here

But only the drone of tractors bailing sweet green hay

And thin clouds carded by wind over the bay towards Borth,

And a lazy river snaking between wavering weeds of slap-brown mud.

Swung between the rugged and the banal, lost on thin white roads.

These words, at best, are dry-stone, held together by habit

And a certain gravity that is the stubbornness of breath.

Look out, look down from here, from the throne, from the tomb,

From the seat of recognition ( the sword pulled out, the sword sheathed again).

We long for peace and call for peace,

Knock on the doors in the hills for our admittance

But have forgotten the password and cannot satisfy the gatekeeper

With our unconvincing boasts of embroidered skill.

It is not to do with pronunciation,

It is not to do with truth.

It is the quality of our hunger,

The rain-sated weight of bland inheritance,

The mouthed repetitions.

But let that go. Let the wind sweep it clear,

Let the estuary throat sweep away the salt bitterness.

The world is bright, regardless. It shines in the sun, regardless.

And the song remains, regardless.

Though no one hears it.

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Led away

The passage of time and the passage of light

And the drift of thought.

Cloud cover comes and goes,

A brightening and a darkening.

Birdsong and other rivers.

A convergence and a dissipation.

They all return to the one horizon,

Led away by song and by the rolling hills.

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THE HEDGES

The hedges hawthorn foam.

Precise time ceased and waiting.

A mist to smudge everything not near.

And a blue cool watchfulness

Before slow, large drops of rain.

Hills, and hills behind the hills, we see.

Hills and hills in the heart of the land.

Inch by inch they choose green

Over wan winter brown.

Inch by inch they swell and sing

Sated with descending arcs of summer stars

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Rain over the hills, light in the valley.

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