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Posts Tagged ‘language’

DAYS NOW

Days now the whispers come and go

worm words generated from earth,

words of smoke, words of plants.

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Turn sideways, become thin,

slip between one day and another,

at the year’s ending so little noise.

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These stars – they are not now,

they have burned bright and died

a million, million years ago.

.

Therefore, I bow down and breath deep

the dead light of our ancestors,

gone and here and gone again.

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Time is the fat of stars;

seeping in the long years,

other glorious mornings long gone,

distant golden mornings,

other silent rooms, other footsteps.

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Nothing goes to waste

but slowly changes from what it was

woven threefold into other days.

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The Magister holds starlight in his crystal spheres

to rot them down to raven’s wings

where seconds copulate birthing strange homunculi.

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They know the answers only the dead know

in butterfly whispers etching notions,

as acid reveals the jagged web of meteorites.

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He is old now,

his bones creak like galleons do.

His mind, though, a bright moon in a stormy sky

for he is, he says, acquainted with all the demons

that dwell beyond law and science,

who converse in riddles

and move as if dancing upon other gravities.

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Their heads are broken open,

their orifices sprouting green tendrils,

their skin, inhabited scrolls

where letters form and reform in curious calligraphies.

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Lascivious is their language,

exotic and full of lilting innuendo.

Their madnesses are roads untrod before.

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He reads the books that have never been opened,

by walking backwards through mirrors.

His only sustenance, the tiny measurements of primordial dust

wherein he seeks his own eternal name.

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He practices the mudras of teaching and of dissolution.

His words fall sparsely in vast space

like birds that fly across a still sunset sky.

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Their skin peeled back, returned to light

they tend their dripping hives,

honey vowels, the sigh of release.

They climb upon one another,

puncturing their certainty,

melting into each other’s futures.

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The sawhorse shall be put together.

A new constellation shall appear in the southern sky

as Betelguese, or its ghost, or its future,

Weighs the likelihood of eternity.

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The world is fire and light

and time is the fat of stars.

The apple winces in its dawn frost,

The sequoias sing to planet’s spin.

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Clear facts stumble unheeded through forest fires

whilst ungainly notions dress the moments.

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The alembic bubbles and quivers,

uncertain whether it can hold

the sentience of its own soot.

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Still the Great Work must continue.

In holiness we are rubbed out completely

imagining new wings, writing new musics.

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SHADOWS

These lines – the chiselled shadows of words.

Consonants moth-whispered, vowels, lichen-grown.
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A sunlit porch and laughter.

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Light swings round the mountain

throwing a cooling shadow

across wood and field.

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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.

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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.

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Pipesmoke and murmurs,

paraffin and oiled rags.

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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.

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The chink of tools, the warm scent of sawdust.

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A gentle downward slope into night.

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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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The Doors of Midsummer

A breath of cloud moves east across Y Garn’s face.

Words are as scarce as swallows in a cold summer.

Anyway, anyway, they only grow from dream to tangled lie,

flowering like the bindweed covering all beneath,

Weighing down, weighing down until nothing else remains.

The doors have opened in every hill,

An invitation to join the dance and summer’s feast.

But we are taught to doubt generosity,

To look for the trap in openness and goodness

(nothing is true that comes so free and easy).

River and clouds are the rulers of this world

and they move on in their own time, unbidden.

Tune to a key that sings of endlessness, even though

no one here knows anything of that song.

For emotion is born from time and loss:

In timeless halls is no such thing.

No such thing but endless dance and bliss.

If the summer never ends

It will be a hard winter, here.

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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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