Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘life’

2018/09/img_3898.jpg

LLANWRTYD EISTEDDFOD 2018 – waste gwastraff
This was my submission for this year’s local eisteddfod, that happened just yesterday night. Good to take part in a celebration of art that has its origins so long ago in the 11th century, even though I am not (yet) able to submit pieces in the Welsh language. There are so many pressures these days distracting people from coming together as communities to appreciate each others’ talents. The Eistedddfodau are truly the jewel of Welsh cultural community. Categories range from set pieces in music, recitation, poetry and song to personal choices and works on given themes, as this was. Llanwrtyd Eisteddfod lasts all day, with children performing in the morning, youngsters in the afternoon and adults in the evening. We left about half eleven at night and it was still going! Each local eisteddfod is an opportunity for those who are aiming to enter the prestigious National Welsh Eisteddfod, to get sufficient adjudication and placements to go forward into the finals – so even in the smallest eisteddfods one can see really top quality performances, as well as locals having a go. Getting well respected adjudicators is a key element in attracting the best performers to a local eistedddfod. At all the eisteddfoddau I have seen, the adjudicators are incredibly knowledgeable and helpful in their comments – a true encouragement to creativity.

I have pared away the warm, waiting wood.
The ring of it: the blade pulled,
The curling lucent layers dropped, shuddered to floor.
The shape changing, the deep cut,
The curving line, the scent within the grain
And the borrowed light upon its smoothness.

To make a bowl slowly by hand
Is to contemplate emptiness
And the arc and sorrow and gravity of it all
As the thin curls scatter.

Not much of anything is needed, after all,
If all and all moves toward a single, singular point.
The rest, remains, resting pointless,
Discarded, unfulfilled, as debris.
Becoming something else, but not a worthy thing.
A means to an end, chaff and dross, lees and leftovers,
Swept and piled to make a kindling for a winter’s fire.

On the seventh day
Was there a pile of junk,
The unmade becoming unmanageable,
The chosen and the unchosen,
The first inkling of heaven and hell?

Where went the scraps?
The unwanted edges, the unfinished lines,
The swirling, sanded away interstellar dust?
Perfection is nothing but a stubborn tyranny,
A piling up of discarded beauty, disregarded,
For a dream, the hope of something that is not yet, not yet.

And this life now, whittled away,
Hollowed out a little more by each breath:
Less remains now, for certain, than what has gone by.
If there is an end, not just a turn in the road,
What shall remain of this slow work, day to day?
What of the careful polished surface, the tidy edge,
The slow shaping, the muscles’ rhythmic ache?

Careful or careless, we blind ourselves with dutiful goals,
Discard what seems unnecessary, untimely, unhelpful.
To make something to hold us safe in eternity
We scrape away the real, carve away the grain,
Slicing through the beating heart of things
To find the food that will feed our deepest hunger.

As a vessel for your grace, or as a begging bowl,
We are slowly emptied out, as a waning moon
Over a restless ocean.
Three drops were all that was required,
All else became poison.

Read Full Post »

Old Friend

OLD FRIEND

We are declining, you and I,
As a dream that senses dawn.
Certainty thins and colours wan,
The story, less convincing, wavers.

Many we have known have now awoken.
Lost to us, they have slipped into new light.
Our hearts now as silent as autumn,
Feeling the creep of gold and azure;
A yearning to be wrapped in simple night.

The mantra and its music still infuse our bones,
The hum of joy within the blood.
Our future is a low mist, down on the hills,
A pearly light that moves with mystery.

Read Full Post »

Llangammarch Blaze

There now, lay it all down,
The soft memory and the memory of hard bone.
After the year’s first true frost
A dead sheep lies in the field becoming a dance of hawks and ravens.
And on a lonely hillside unremarked
A blaze has born the babies away.
A smudge of smoke and the light of morning
Is no prayer of peace to ones who wait
Empty-hearted for better news.
The village, warm now in sun, silent.
Thoughts unthought of before – friends vanished,
Those known, now unplaced, a hollowness
Around memory clung to.
It is an uncertain anchor to hold on to –
This world that blinks apart from day to day.
Should we rise and flow like the oak leaves
On the cold dark currents of the Irfon?
Or wrap around like ivy, cling like lichen bloom
To this weathered stone.
We are a thin soil that the wind will blow and the waters leach.
The babies are gone who should be dancing.
The mothers silent, slowly dissappearing.
Pick it back to the bare bones.
Feed the world with our ripped out sorrow.
We are nothing. But we were loved.
Once named, now melted back to everything.
A thin soil on scarred stone.
Golden are the tree tops, a palest blue sky.
The ravens dance in their ring, in and out,
While the sun still shines,
While the sun still shines.

written as the news was emerging about the great and tragic loss in our small village. A family house destroyed by fire in the night, a few children escaping, but many more lost. Llangammarch now besieiged by hordes of prying press and film crews.

Read Full Post »

2017/02/img_2596.jpg

Gathered In

There in its branches
All the dead are gathered.
And there they sing,
Bright as ivy berries
Whilst angels, like winter wasps,
Sip grateful and murmur
a psalm of houses.
There is this, and nothing but this:
A gathered slow change
From one, shared endlessly with the other,
Wrapped and stretched,
Wriggled and feathered.
A rope of souls arcing
The deep between lonely stars.
And the slow pools,
And the fast river of seconds
Washed away-
Breathed in, breathed out,
And in the silences between:
The wind in the dry leaves
And the creak of limbs
Tangled from rusted iron rails,
And shattered blooms of stone
And words in an old tongue:
Here lies, in memory of, the memory,
The memory itself.
One that was, gone now beyond crumbled edges,
Melted skin, up to the snowline,
Down to the river pastures.
Gone to the hairy down-soft snakes of ivy;
The hard, blood-thin flakes of yew;
The bitter tang of elder, caught right there
At the back of the throat;
The delightful bruised scent of ground-ivy
And the small violet day.

Read Full Post »

This life now gone:
A storm of rainbows,
A bowl of fragrance,
An utter song of views.

How to hold the fullness of it?
How to honour the living of it?
How to conceive the lap and swell
Of that one full ocean of sensation?

One eternal unfolding memory,
A tumble of heartbeats.
These every jewelled moments
Are seeds flung back into universal soil.

Never lost, always cherished,
A fuel for dear futures.
They are collected: each breath, each moment.
Valued, priceless passion,
Tears in the bright eye of being,
Tears in the flow of all beings.

Mother, mother, a soft delight,
All burdens borne away,
All pains a cauldron,
A chrysalis swirled
Awaiting new dream
On a new day.

Read Full Post »

BRIGHT WAVE

he drives the drivel words
as spittle with his tongue,
a brush to paint a world his God loves
but cannot say without him,
without the mad thrust of red on palette,
a knife to scrape around and fill a pretty canvas
of the salt and the sea and cans of history
and glory of the body of the boys
and flouncing, daylight, breezy girls
who are the souls shining of something much greater,
(though the boys taunt and laugh
and point rude and thrusting
in the open aired blowing weather).
And the canter of Time slows,
then whipped on, races on, on beyond,
never taking stock much but breeding more
and eating all the progeny of stars
in one great, great hunger.
Slow, slow then.
Slow and weep and wonder
at the thin veil, so strong and mysterious.
A cat’s paw, a cat’s eye, a cat’s patience.
A graceful kill is all the fun there is here.
A grace certain, and final, and laughing away
the sadness, and the roar of rivers,
always the roar of rivers, going through.

2016/07/p1140307.jpg

Still In Flight

Read Full Post »

THOU ART

this earth
breathed upon
(the warm breath
of love and lust)
holds for a little while
in wonder
then retreats
to sighing earth.
its breath
passed on.
a whisper
in the forest,
a gust
below the rocks
and the high heather.
where the kites
and ravens wheel.
and the sun and stars,
too, kindled, embers,
by that offered air.

2015/09/p1120609.jpg

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: