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Posts Tagged ‘landscape’

SOLSTICE LIGHT

Listen, listen, the slow light of solstice morning.

Time shuddering, time standing still.

A word wind muttering indistinct, its rhythms and intent

As steady as oars would be, as steady as oar strokes across a glassy sea.

Listen, listen. We were all in one band, a magnificent number.

Heading west ( always heading west into darkness there, into the mists).

One raised his voice – the song we all knew.

One of those songs whose words would be ridiculous, banal,

Without the tune. Whose chorus impossibly united the living and the lost.

The glass sea slid by. Time ran out.

Some said it was a hard coming of it that year, but it was not.

It was not. It was as easy as breathing.

The reasons, so reasonable. The logic, implacable.

The rhetoric, bombastic and irrefutable.

.

The watchmen were silent, uncommunicative.

Impossible it was to know the minds of the doorkeepers.

We were there to free the imprisoned,

There to reclaim what had been lost,

There to carry home what had been taken.

Voiceless one by one we fell into silence there.

Burning bright as phosphor bombs falling from the air.

Bright as sparks hammered from the anvil.

The prize was claimed, as it always is,

The light released, the cave broken upon,

The tomb unsealed, the spell broken, the curse trod down.

But the world now, irrevocably changed.

Seven with breath, seven with tears still falling,

Seven tired and justified. Seven wan and clustered stars

Backward looking, racing on.

In a world, in a morning, not ours.

.

The slim waning moon floating into the stormy dawn,

Losing its light minute by minute. No longer noticed.

Fading into day.

I have cast out on the grass, seeds for the small brown birds,

For the hungry and the cold.

The eagles and the hawks have gone. The songsters silent,

The stately waterbirds, the watching herons forgotten in the fluttering rush.

I shall sing the names, uphold the excuse,

a psalmist counting off lines in a cold cell: the cajoling verses of warrior kings

For fickle vengeful gods, the rosary of blood red beads, the genealogies,

Until the shivering silver-edged awen fails, tumbling into mute silence,

Voiceless watching an unextraordinary morning.

.

If we had not been so strident, so golden,

Could we have passed the doors unscathed?

Had we understood what was asked of us,

Has we not mistaken guileless honesty as elaborate deception,

A trick to catch us out,

Could we be in those halls still feasting?

There with no needs to forget,

no weight of dust and falling radiant starlight upon us.

No need to elaborate the litany of the dead,

Compose harmonious laments, gather together the names,

as if they meant anything any more, as if we remembered

Their bright eyes, their smiles, their warm strong hands,

Their words around the fires.

.

The ashes are cold and must be cleared now.

Reset the hearth. Begin again.

The splash of sweeping oars and the crack of canvas receding.

Our bright futures looking westwards: the new approaching night.

It is not what it could be,

Not what was promised.

But it is what it is.

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SHADOWS

These lines – the chiselled shadows of words.

Consonants moth-whispered, vowels, lichen-grown.
.

A sunlit porch and laughter.

.
Light swings round the mountain

throwing a cooling shadow

across wood and field.

.
Ghosts do not tip-toe here.

As if they own the place, as if they always have,

Squeezing us between regret and reminiscence,

stained by poetry, small life blooming

on cold fallen hearths.

.
Their lilt of names and

who lived where

and who they loved

and who they hated,

whose sheep on which pasture,

whose son left and lost in another war,

whose daughter run off to a bigger life.

.
Pipesmoke and murmurs,

paraffin and oiled rags.

.
The long light stretches between October trees.

In the cities the streetlights flicker on.

On the farms ashes raked,

Cold stoves chivied back to life.

Small lives shadowed by greater things.

.
The chink of tools, the warm scent of sawdust.

.
A gentle downward slope into night.

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Rests Lightly

RESTS LIGHTLY

My heart rests lightly

on this wind.

It dips and bobs

and lets go

tumbling in the passing light

rolling off the gradients

of the seasons.

Fragments of rainbows come and go

piercing time with beauty

– a reminder.

The leaves too, dance and let go,

and green slides off the hills

to settle in sheltered places.

Bracken turns quick gold

then long reds.

Air spiced with things losing names

becoming something else,

becoming earth.

The willows dance,

the poplars dance all silver,

the birches, gilded.

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Tumbling

TUMBLING

My heart rests lightly

on this wind.

It dips and bobs

and lets go

tumbling in the passing light

rolling off the gradients

of the seasons.

Fragments of rainbows come and go

piercing time with beauty

– a reminder.

The leaves too, dance and let go,

and green slides off the hills

to settle in sheltered places.

Bracken turns quick gold

then long reds.

Air spiced with things losing names

becoming something else,

becoming earth.

The willows dance,

the poplars dance all silver,

the birches, gilded.

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RESTLESS

This mountain sails through its weather

just as it moves through the centuries.

Magnanimous, it shelters all under its shadow.

Infinitely patient, it welcomes all,

Folding their tired dust into that long gaze.

The mountain, settled in its own weight

Breathes whispering streams and roots.

In the garden a robin sings in light rain.

The autumn winds curl the edges of leaves.

Dogs bark, uneasy from their white walled farms.

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THE TOWERS OF SUMMER

clouds roll

mixed with sunlight

slowly down

the side of Y Garn Dwad.

the hay is in now

so let it rain a warm rain.

now, now, everything green

reaches upward in one great exhale.

the towers of summer stretch out, bow down.

there is thunder

in the distance, so they say,

and the rivers will soon be filled again.

the surface of Llyn Berwyn though,

shall not be troubled for long:

it will return to its quiet reflection

of hills and cloud,

the brown trout

hardly noticing

a world

that cannot decide

between this and that.

held firm it is, unperturbed,

the lake that lies

in earth’s firm

folded hands.

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Larches

The way colours remain long into the grey autumn.

The way the hanging cones resemble syllables

Lingering on the tongue’s tip,

Or kanji haiku brushed carefully careless.

The way these larches let go and dance

On pale cooling hills.

The way images blur and smudge but remain themselves:

Brushstrokes of careless, magnified light.

An autumn aesthetic: nostalgic patterns floating.

Delicacy and decay: look close and the world

Disappears into light.

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