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Posts Tagged ‘language’

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GWION WATCHING

There you must stay
(Placed there for some reason)
Sitting next to impenetrable darkness
To stir what no-one else can.
Hunched as the moon
While the crooked woman sleeps.

It is not yours, this world you must watch bubbling,
It has another purpose of its own in time:
Inchoate gestation, full of all potential,
Unlimitless sound, a well of pealing light,
Webbed dawns, bird song full.

As the cormorant hangs still upon its cross of sunlight,
As the lovely whiteness bends
To a bowed and then starless dark,
As the coagulation proceeds you can do nothing but watch,
A small, waking thing on the edge of pearl-lipped perfection.

The wise know the dance ( and always have done):
The dark and light across the skies,
The mother gravid with light child, hungry darkness following,
Born for her, hungry for her and her for him,
The metre of time, a dance of shadow,
A pattern woven to weave its reflection on the ground we stand,
Limned by stones and pool, the notched stick, the knotted thread.

We must stay ( placed here for some reason)
Watching the starlight bubble,
Watching the season’s seethe and its cauldron sky heat
Steamed with cloud and drift of poetry,
The song the same, ever unsung in its entirety,
Lost in its own passionate cataracts, its tributaries, its silver streams.

And here now, when you least expect it,
Drowsy and all else in mind sleeping,
Eloquence will leap out and take you.
Words will alight from burning void,
Words not yours, becoming yours.

You will race laughing, screaming through all worlds
And finding no rest, you shall squirm a heartbeat from death,
Chasing and chased by darkness
And in the end fall golden, nothing but grain,
To ripen in night’s breast and belly.

Born nameless again, gestated on oceans,
Drowned across time towards subtle lands
Neither shore nor sea but the roar of river’s mouth,
A beam of sunlit dawn dazzling,
A perfect song, (having forgotten and remembered everything,
Lost and found everything).

Darkness curled and potent on your lip.
Light, a perfect spear upon your tongue.
Slippery as eels is language
Fed by the weeds of the world beneath:
Dark and light and all things,
And nothing, will be your song,
Everlasting echo, three drops
In a dewdrop
Moment.

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THE WONDERS BETWEEN

The words of the golden-browed gobby boy,
Next to madness, filter down to aquafers dark and fertile.
Sublime its nonsense, sentient and spinning as golden suns
On the fenceposts of oblivion.
Meaning hangs from barbed wire, black rags breathing their last.
A hundred forests there are growing from the root of his tongue,
And each tree branches bells and shouts and battle cries of intelligence.
These fermenting druid visions ever guarded from nightmare by monsters.
There can be no place for a soul to find peace who sees the knot and rivers of becoming,
No place but at the very edge of things and at the very heart of things,
Where none think to look or go, on the folded lands of jet and fresh waters,
The bowl carved with care nibbled by prayers and the slow songs of sheep.

These words just mists transfused with light,
Threaded translucent edges shadowing other landscapes.
Bubbles wrapping spiraling air, compassing a skin of life.
An edge around itself, composed of itself, born before shape.
Perfect its round reflection, itself its own surroundings
The world its skin, invisible but for rainbows and radiance.
A glide of light on a perfect arc.
It is by what it reflects that is not is.
Ungraspable, a perfect world of brightness.

Mydwyf taliesin dery:
Gwawt godolaf vedyd:
Bedyd rwyd rifedau eidolyd
Kyfrwnc allt a hallt ac echwyd.

I am ardent taliesin:
I present song to the world:
Praises of the world’s bounteous wonders
Between the high place and the sea water
And the fresh water.


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NOW THEN

Now then
This memory
Bright and ruthless
Still here.

One moment sparkles
One moment shatters
And the one who goes before it
And the one leaving after it
Are one but not the same.

A language of licked lips and discrepency
A bartering of meanings.
They bring here with pride
The skill of conjurors and pickpockets.

The language of rivers:
The song of things
Worn smooth by sound.

The heart of starlight
Is loneliness and beauty.
The silence of the deep.

Out of the eternal past
A poet’s voice
Leads the dead,
Revivifies the earth.

Words fall golden,
Free of meaning
Time rusts,
Becoming earth.

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Some words make rivers to ride down seawards
Some words make rivers to cross over to another side
Some words make rivers wild and roaring falling from heaven
Some words make rivers thst are strange songs, strange and lovely
Some words make rivers that rend the earth, thst rend worlds, thst carve out new names
Some words make rivers thst are tears and memories and sorrows endless

All words flow from the same source to the same oceans in many worlds
All words live in the flow of breath and the woven web of minds
Some words and all words are born of landscapes and their passion

Born of need and born of beauty
Born of silence and born of reaching out
We are washed in words, their cool slip and drip
Drop by drop lost in words, drowned dreaming

Turned by words, stretched out and shattered by words
Made by words and cast adrift on words
Hollowed and hallowed and shriven by words
Healed and made whole by words.
Swept clean swept away swept up,
Found and lost in words

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THE WORDS WE COLLECT

It is the whispers in the walls,
The ghosts that breath upon our lips.
We dissolve, lost in sounds from elsewhere,
From rooms, from halls.
Left, empty enough, losing attention,
We step out of ourselves
And for a moment become monstrous,
Glorious shadows in the winds
Of strange, bright mornings.

Though none of it speaks for us:
The silent, swirling mists, nor
The resounding, thundrous deep,
Nor the wells without light,
Nor the stars without memory,
Nor the movement of seconds,
Nor anything of the vastness.
For all these are constrained
By our sound, and uttered unbeknownst
By those guilty of innocence.

Left dancing on air, breathless,
Pierced, spun to a fine point, examined,
Cast out, then disregarded.
Swimming in an ocean of shadows
It is hard to know what is of value.

I shall put my ear to the door of the earth,
And listen to the ones never dead,
A music not of our blood though equally holy.
Even its echoes dissolve flesh and name
In the round chambers, skull-domed,
Grass-topped and nibbled by sheep.

For the extraordinary rests upon the ordinary,
As sound rests upon its own silence,
The known is upon the unknown
As birds rest upon tall oaks in evening.

We live above the noise, dipped in cloud.
Hearing rumours of the dreams of others,
And building what we can out of that.
Once given a name, believing that makes us real,
Practicing a story sewn from fables.

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TALIESIN SUTRAS
A collection of rambles through hilly literature with strange, unexpected viewpoints. Could be developed or expanded, elucidated, made easier to understand, be given commentary. But the nature of the Taliesin poems themselves have a similar terse sutric layering, a self-absorbed witnessing of their own creation, a multi-depth layering of references, religious and mythic. So I have left it as it is. Unfolded process. A voice coded. Serpent sounds. (The conscious mind drowns without understanding. Let it sink down, breathless. There are tides too deep for breath. Yet they are the ones that sustain, perhaps.)

1
(Dyfalu)
Riddling technique

There are three here
The dark deep
The sun of life
The son of man.

The cross of matter
The spiral of time
The balance between.

Light nailed upon the directions.
Light spinning about its heart.
Annwfn become flesh.

It is of stone and cast in light.
Hoisted above the archway
A dial for eternity, serious instruction.
Like these others, bound in skin, given harbour,
Kept safe for meaning, an older language, still revered,
Just in case secrets remain that will point the way out.

2
(Trioedd)
Triads

Snakes from a point,
Tongues from their mouths.

Development over time.
Enclosure of three fields
Fluidity of emanation

Geometric expectations.

The hooded spirits
(Genii cucullati)

Three cloaks, winter water,
Hidden eyes, secret owls.
This otherness stands forth.

The body is being hidden – unrevealed.
Three things the oracle says:
I shall be silent
I shall be moved
I shall form words.

I shall be still.
I shall be disappearing.
I shall re-emerge.

Magical sustenance:
Three lines is all I need.
A beginning, a middle, an end.

Something will dissolve
Something with coalesce
There will be song and eyes
There will be a return, though
An index of the dead
Is all that remains here.
How much has been forgotten!
We were reborn to remember
But might as well be crows and beetles.
Three is a continuity
Three is a rebirth
Three is the source
Three is where the origin is.
Bard as source.
Bard as river.
Bard as ocean before silence.

3
The Wild Calling

In the presence of the ancestors
Who whisper animal words in our ears.
Wrapped in leaves, these horns are mine,
(I, the son of the conversing stag),
I will speak from out the wood,
From out the cracked stone,
Wild-eyed, wild-tongued, wild in song,
Shouting storm with truth.

The wild informs the world.
It brings news of roundness.
I will speak to you the truth
From the deep shade of the tree.
Cocidius – the red one, the tree one.

4
Transforms

Whatever he moves through
He is followed and caught.
Wherever he goes
He can’t escape the chaser.
Regardless of inspiration
And enlightenment,
He is eaten.
Because he has become inspired,
He is chased.
Three drops:
One pattern.
Food and eater,
Hunter and hunted.
Inanimate tool,
I am wielded.
These changes, these forgettings,
Fermentation.
The wanted whole remains
And continues on.

And is it then the words and their meanings that chase and consume?
Having uttered, a world is set in motion. It will ferment and rot.
One will become another, even if memory still is.
The fixation of a form, its nomenclature, its declension.
It remains, inadequately clothing silence. Coagulating dream.

Having loosed and lost a thought,
The mind is tied, dragged as a shoal on a tide, wave on wave.
The wise one will ask questions that have no answer.
That is the door to the Otherworld, a door ajar, guarded in silence.

5
The world is of words, the words are pictures.
One beneath the other, layer on layer.
The poet fades as his voice grows.
The music of the heartbeat.
The heart that tells the tongue,
The fire that lights the eye,
The wind that carries the soul.

The snow is on the dawn hills,
Rose pink the slow clouds.

Of course, of course, there are golden chains,
Well-wrought from tongue tip to ear to mind.
We are servants of words, slaves of words,
Drowning in their dreams
As the sun and moon drown in each horizon,
Drawn up by the light, by the deep unfathomables.
Rocked and swept away, the unceasing waves of language,
Other worlds, shepherded, piloted to see more than this,
That is still this.

6
These words, not to be understood by fools,
Nor to be understood by the wise:
The utterance of poets beyond the foundations of the world,
Between the sea and the shore; as deep as mountain roots;
As weightless as a hawk’s wind, as tragic as rainbows, as grim as midnight.
Haunted words, ghosted, translucent. Fermented words, boiled, reduced.
Sublimated they become something else,
Though none can say exactly what.
Edge and dream and paradox.
Genealogies of rivers, cataracts of winds, piled up
As centuries and places, never abandoned, always within the heart’s round cauldron
And in the pearl-edged heart within the earth.
A mystery of fabulous questions, an army of silent trees,
Self-created progenitors, whispered on.

Where are the bones of the mist
And the two cataracts of the wind?

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SOMETHING TO BE SAID (MAYDAY)

Pauses grow longer, a melancholy may soon creep in.
We cannot escape our own voices.
( “We rarely go out these days and visitors, though longed for,
are a great discomfort”).
It is a wild guilt that wants our words in other’s heads.
Always a nuisance and a pleasure
to be infected with poetry,
to admit the familiar voices, to see which one leads, this time, the hunt.
Gwyn ap Nydd collecting souls, the ghosts of words,
The white words, the vapoured words,
the haunted words – as poetry is.
‘White, Son of Mist’ – like the morning,
the first attempt at May, after a night of rain,
new in stillness and birdsong, mist on green land,
the ash trees still thinking about their coming fountains of flowers,
roots wriggled so deep in the past, and aching old.
The dunnock’s sweet descent.
It filters down as if spider webs
And gold dust – the flecks
Of memory and forgetting.
A city with loud inhabitants, unkind and strange.
A darkness punctuated with doors and reasons.
As if it didn’t matter, everything collapses.
The moment passes, the tongue gives up.
It cannot make the chords that the brain sings in,
Just one note at a time, syllable by.
There is something to be said for silence.
The way the mist in its own dreaming gravity
Slides along the slopes
And settles in the cwms.
The way it shifts space.
The way it delineates what is not itself.
With what would we fill these silences
Should all the voices stop?

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