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Posts Tagged ‘language’

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UPSTREAM

As the tides flow in and out,
the voices, withering and young, flow around.

We ride the oldest of things against the flow,
back up to a source where the stolen thing
is hidden unknown to any, unknown to all.
Forgotten forgotten, unnamed even,
taken before three days seen, even.

All these places are places and more than places,
more than time, more than ciphers, more than mystery.
Follow one thread of meaning and you will, for sure, tangle the cloth,
lose the weave, the weft and pattern.

To hold in your hand such a bright wriggling thing
and stop yourself from any grasping, from holding it steady,
from pressing the life and scintillation from it.
Mud and leaves it will turn to, where now it is dancing gold and laughing.

A pattern pressed into mud: perfect impression.
But breathe too hard, even, and it will smudge and dissolve.
That is how fine our truth is, how the names and places and tales wriggle.
Take one road but do not forget the others.
Take one small thread end and tease it out, like smoke, like water,
like the music of gnats.

Neither too big, nor too small, you must dissolve everything you are
and quietly wait, memorising the names and their genealogies.
How snow falls; how fire and promises are one;
how darkness carries its weight;
how the gods mould themselves and learn new dances;
make promises that will never break –
singing bones and feather dust in dark halls.

As soon as you are sure of something, let it go.
Do not hold on to what is not yours ( and nothing is yours).

To know what is, you must know what is not.
To know what it is not, you must know what it is.
Lose sight of this and you will fall down long centuries wondering why.

As soon as it was named, it became lost.
As soon as it became separate, it was no longer known.
Moon tides swing to the bright prison where the river bends,
the crooked one, the turning wheel, the water road.

Say the words, say the words, until the words grow wings and fly away.
The sound of their whistling pinions will diminish, diminish, diminish,
and now the wind will rise and bear you up into oceanic moonlight.
If you call me by my name, you do not know me.
If you call me by my name, how can I answer?
If you call me by my name, you have learned nothing.

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SINTERED VOICES (DARK MATTER SPEAKS)

the river cracked open
becomes starry space

So many words it is a wonder that some peel through the razor noise intact
Not feathered limping, severed spluttering, gasping airless, a stupid music.

the void between emotions:
a valley wind that rolls stones

The howl continuous so familiar, the driver of conscientious actions.
Our names rumbling in the caverns of our ever drunken blood.

if the river runs silent
is it no longer a river?

Fearing silence most of all, we dress daily in chatter
Asking only that our dreams too have electric constancy.

listen, you mute guardians:
i will sing all your names

Oh, Enkidu, striding across tidy fields of tamed constraint
I shall kill you, too, though I love you more than life itself.

there are footprints on the moon
the dust of other lives, sighing

Taliesin, Taliesin, you burst from your womb-bag
Loud and shimmering. If you were not so beautiful
It would have been your tomb.

the silent centre of this land,
where is the end of all things

If you were not such a tricky lad
You would still be sitting next to inpenetrable darkness.

when there is knowledge
you shall be struck dumb

Yet here still you caper in circles around the utter void
Flapping your tongue and pulling faces.

all words, the debris
of other’s errors

all the masters have left us
as if they never were

fading petals pressed
between stained pages

an unexpected lightness
of forgetting why and how

this river, more song and sense
than a thousand nations

this tree, most eloquent
in its most eloquent, swaying silences

raven prophecy
whirlwind visions
the cataracts of unstitched minds
save us from all reasonable madness

we are adrift
on seas of fire,
and hungry,
so hungry, now.

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SOIL OF A NEW HEAVEN

The bare trees bend.
Birds bob and float –
Words of a haiku
Searching for a place to rest.

A single beam of sunlight tracks the valley floor
From a sliding sky-pool of bright gold.

The last few leaves have fled
And there will soon be rain.

A fragrant savage despair –
Like love, but not love.
A bitter yew red dust wedded
To ash and water,
Sprinked jet, sprinkled amber.
A language hugged and big as mountains.

The words of Taliesin sucked in through eyes,
Turned, fermenting in a cauldron heart.
Spat out in a limping century,
Adrift in baseless magic,
Amongst debris of another false economy.

Strike this hard sky-grey flint until the sparks fly –
Then the river words shall flow torrenting
Pulled by a centre true and weighty:
Inescapable earth, the spinning fort
Where all yarns are woven up, mataté and mill.
We shall be ground yet,
Ground down and ground up.

We shall become grist and whispers in the ears of playing children
Who do not know anything of us, not names nor actions,
But threaded on the same hopes,
The lilt of a language as natural as falling asleep.

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DHRUPAD 12 (cooler now)

The shape curved of silence
in this night round mooned delighted
and cooler by far now the rain has passed
the sudden fast downward drive on roof and skylight
and leaf and gutter the curtaining of distance
the disappearing hills in sound in sound all that has gone now
even the drips gone now and the moon serene through tatters
through arced moments through blackberry shining moments.
The curl of the blade following a line the spiral shaving born with a whisper sound that is that is that is
the beginning of language how silence is shaped and pared away
becoming this and this air held and shaped and let go
the delight of it the song the song the trouble and the maze
refining nothing into something the silent padding cat the sliding silent moon the shining blackberry shining full and the elderberry falling in bunched laughing laughing.
The muscled deep the deep ache and hold and tense holding
the body glides earth soil held by sound and a hum of breath
it is a hum of breath and a sigh of moon and a laugh of shiny blackberry falling falling sweet and sharp and hidden
beneath the skirts of green light the floating skirts of edged cool air
where the nostrils know and feed
and autumn autumn autumn stretches up with smiles
and snapping moments and chains of time split and wired round the dark edges of the wood and the night dogs and the goose by itself on the hill
and the shape of things just so in the silence
and the sound of stirring sight.
Cooler now is silence and the sounds upon it
cooler the steps cooler the path cool the breeze
and the cloud misting valley misting the growing apples sun heavy.
Warm the sun but not as warm as was.
The was warms round and held moments in the round fruits in the swelling fruits and the shapely droop of seed.
The was feeds the is and the is slips silent down watery paths and the is is something it is not.
Becoming nothing but shapes in night silence
night silence now and its press of hum
and silent weight of hum and star thick hum and moon drift hum and blackberry shining hum and the elder berry hum
and the breath of it all and the white hearted goodness of it all
gone and here in a moment.
Cooler now the fires within the fires within cluster brighter cluster sounds and hum and silent shape
and a curve and a curl
and a spin in time
and here and gone
and here again.

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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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