Posts Tagged ‘melancholy’


Those distant hillsides,
They are not velvet, not green,
But bog and rock, sweat steep
For all but ravens
(Whose feathers we might wish for,
For straight as an arrow, for
Wind carried swift joy,
For the soar of it, for the wide,
Open cry of it, for exultance,
For freedom from sins).
But down here, wind-sheltered,
Small, feasting on cold hopes,
Yearning for mist smoked valleys.

Did they watch from alder carrs
The washer girls, raw red hands
And tearful eyes, arching backs
And mournful, moaning songs?
Did they feel the Lord swell within them,
Those saints forbidden their fruits,
Wilderness dazed, sharp chinned,
Spear-eyed witnesses?

So many brave boys borne away,
Cudgeled and shivered in blood.
So many unborn, covered in autumn leaves,
And wept over.
So many promises split, broken open
(Nothing but spit and spite remaining).
So many reasons to slide into silence
Hoping for a glorious trumpet
And ’til then, peace.

Of the earth.
They are all of the earth
And know it not,
Or birch their blessings
For want of wit and a little love.

The pines roar
But bear no anger.
The pines cry
But have no sadness.
The rain sweeps down across the valley.
Leaves fall, air becomes sweetly bitter.
There is no blame, should you stay,
Should you watch.
Everything will seem as it is:
Sun through mist, a mellow round passing.

We shall melt as we are gathered together.
Melt and become another again.
One or two words (only) to pass through
The narrow straits of a few years,
Before they too will become singing silence.

This melancholy is a cloak for deeper joy.
This deeper joy, a cloak for melancholy.
All notes sung before the throne,
Chords of major and minor,
Diminished, augmented.

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We are tumbled, we are lost.
Dreams scattered, dreams hanging on.
Bleached of radiance, long bitter hours –
The nonsense of encumberance.
Expectation exposed, soured, drained.
Threadbare themes clutching for others,
Drifting away, drifting.
Stale rooms, wan sunlight.
Uplifted, waylaid by thin cliché:
Music somewhere to race through,
To wear as flags of intention.

A matter of opinion, this weighing of souls.
The animal-headed ones cast out
For the favoured, faceless, nameless accountants.
Glory rationalised as aberrant chemical imbalance,
Ninety-nine point nine percent of all known dreams
Killed, deadened, ridiculed.
Distracted, taken for a ride,
Disengaged from small beauty,
Cursing the train of more,
The sleek highway to an echoed here.
Consumed, never consummated.
It will never add up to much.

Friends, one by one,
Acquiescing to anonymous silence.
Silent dawns without laughter,
Void cracking through the eggshell light.
A pillow of dissapointment
Stifling a few last breaths.
The parasite gone one step too far,
One step far too far.
Abducted, returned, discarded,
Tested, rejected.
Numbed, awaiting the quenchless wrath
Of the righteous.

( a small cloud of melancholy drifting by,
A life returned unopened)

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Fires within the world – summer’s ending.


Bank the fires
Hum the lullabye
End the world’s work
Weave a breath of dream.
Tree shadows on the wall
Watching the flicker of eyelids.
Who is awake?
Who is dreaming?



The fast, turning wheel
Of the northern year:
warm honey summer air
Sunk now
Deep within the nested chambers
Of swelling berries.

Golden days.
But more insistent now:
The filigree of stars
That thin the silence.

Shadows lengthen,
Edges turn pale:
Fragile are the hours,
The gathering in.

The sutras of Time:
A balm,
Most beautiful elegy.

Never weep
The drained cup:
The wheel of the year
Is the beat
Of your heart.



No moon
This Lammas Eve,
But all along the path:
And silver mugwort.



( upon the increased beuracratisation of personal choice, living, breathing, eating, dying, thinking, choosing……)

A drift of angels:
All smiles,
Cudgels behind their backs.
“Do what we say –
message from an Almighty –
or creation will crack.”

Thugs of theocracy,
Regulators of vocabulary,
Rhetoric of righteousness,
Statistics of placation:

A bad smell

The viral notions
Quietly take charge –

We succumb to apathy,
A belief in benificent power.

“This is all for your own good,
you cannot afford to ignore,
You will be ill-advised to question…..”



(upon a sudden plague of idiots with circular stupidity…)

And I shall not smile
To keep you merry-
You who go round
In the same ruts endlessly,
Congratulating yourselves
For the new views,
The progress made.

Deeper and deeper
In muddy mire,
With tawdry mawkish ballads –
Hymns to mediocrity,
Platitudes that destroy
The truth of language…..



“Blessed be.”

All summer
I have been dreaming –
Up to no good,
Saving up time.

An ocean of words
Ebbing and flo-ing
Just beyond reach.
A roar of voices,
A hiss of whispers.

Dabbling my fingers
In shallow, warm waters,
Bemused by sunlight,
Waiting for a signal,
A start,
A point to begin.

Upon a lake
That is not a lake
There is a boat
That is not a boat.

Not doing,
But being.




If you try
To grasp reality
It is crushed
Beyond recognition.

Just wait
With hand outstretched
And beauty
Will alight,
For no reason –
Only because
it can.



The spice of death
Is on the air:
Reddening brambles,
Crisping, fading bracken.

Edges turn brittle.

Earth and grasses turn damp.
Damp seeps
Into the bones of things,
Like darkness
Eating the edges of daylight….



And then,

One calm,



We realise:

The swallows

Have all gone!

Silence descends

With the blossoming

Of autumn stars.


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