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Posts Tagged ‘mortality’

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.

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ARTEFACT

We come and go one by one,
or in twos and threes,
waking, sleeping from dream to dream,
handfuls of dust cast heavenwards, taking shape,
then falling back to settled earth. Bubbles, thoughts, whispers.

Birdsong in a pearl-still dawn.
All day in this small green field,
in its tangled bare hedges,
in its edge of trees,
in its deep grasses, the birds
flit and feed, pause and fly off.
All day the sunlight picks out the distant slopes,
the forests, the valleys.
And they, too, come and go with mists
and clouds
and drifts of rain.

For months now I have been working the canvases,
(for people do so like a view to hold on to,
one so dear to them, one they do not have,
a way through the mute walls,
to remember an opening out, a beyond,
a distant something).
Against its nature to drip, against its habit to mix and merge,
against my own fingers’ wish to sweep and gesture.
A discipline,
the tying down of an illusion,
confection for tongue and eye.
A sweet minded moment, an ache of forgetting.
The life of itself, a liquid thing,
to be constrained so, to process
as a stately, well-dressed thing.
Not just a swirled, delightful, mute moment.
A meaning. A purpose identified. The monitoring of the familiar.
As if. As if.

As if there were a story.
As if there were a careful, structured tale.
A small beginning, a once, a long-ago.
Through wild, thorned paths and fog and frost
to a final end so careful balanced.
A just so.
An as it is.

Something to leave behind.
Something to say.
More than a rise and fall.
More than a raven’s cry across the valley.
More than a blackbird in the cool dawn air.
More than a drift of mist above a hidden river.
More than a rise of trout as the gnats dance on light.

The fire is lit
and it must be fed ’til nightfall.
Then, untended, it will die down,
become silent.

That smooth black,
silk-dark soot:
a hand-print,
a fingerprint on a cave wall:
we are here,
dreaming.
And we found a way through.

—-

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In Winter Hills

A shallow
cold stream
of inconvenient air
Is winter in the shaped and cocksure city.
It fills only the void between buildings
And the thin, guttering bones of the homeless.
But a raw six months is winter
In the hills of the northern world.
It builds itself a dance of long-knived layers,
Sucking heat through the ice-spangled drills of starlight,
Peels back and back the year’s green thrust,
Draws out a most echoing hollow certainty
That just one wrong turn, one unlucky day
And this thin, frayed thread shall splay,
Split red and run itself to mud, to ice,
To empty earth, to earth a carcass chord,
A final cold bed,
concluded iron,
sighed
silent
mulch.

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STOKER AT AILSA CRAIG
(For G.B)

A soul windswept stares out to sea
The last time, maybe the last time.
Holding fast the eye on the wind isle
Buffeted and free, the brine woven air,
The taste of it, the taste of ships, eternal engines,
The past, freedom, a roaring coming in, a roaring going out.
Once and forever there is leaving and return,
Debris on the tideline, broken, poignant rubbish.
Voices far and near stolen from mouths,
Winged and drifted, gritted with sand,
The ground-down centuries of the dead.
Let the soul free, winged and drifted, wild voiced,
An exultation, a long howl of why, a longing cry.
The wind shall whip it away – all the warm familair,
The flesh, the dream, the reason, the plan.
Burnt up in wonder of the vast sky,
Turned bird, turned cloud, turned salt spray,
Turned, returned, wheeling away on white wings.
Lovelorn, love borne, alone to let go and stretch out,
The illusion of that sure, bound horizon.
Stretch, stretch out, thin the pain, dissolve in view.
So many, so many gone on before,
So many to follow.
It will not be so hard to leave the heart,
Once the hawsers are cast off,
Once the eyes have turned from firm land,
Once the rocking of eternal waves takes over,
We shall find sea legs, a new spirit, a new way
Without footprints, without shadow.

sunset, kerswell.jpg

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Subliminal words for “Death and the Maiden”

1
I will remember the smell of lilac
The white lilac, the purple lilac
And your voice
Dark and velvet
Rich with desire….

2
in starlit gardens
Light, fast steps.
The whispers
Are not from warm lips,
Shadows lean closer….

3
Folded memories,
Tracked, haunted,
Silent wings
Hungry….

4
Here she is
A budding, a blossoming,
A spring dawn, a summer dawn
Perfumed with sunlight
Alone, unconcerned, self-radiant.

5
A point, a pause,
A reason to slow time,
Slow space,
To cease pointlessness,
To hold still
Orbiting her gentle
Graceful gravity.

6
The clattering mists congeal.
I gather to myself
A memory of flesh,
An ache of bone,
A throb of sinew.
Reclothed and sublimated,
My fingertips yearn
( the push of, swirl of,
Flesh, a feast of remembering and forgetting).
Forgetting myself
Utter a sound of life,
Silk whisper, birdsong,
A thrush or blackbird
Sated on cloud and green rain,
A bundled heart,
Redeemed,
Understood.

7
A swan’s bones
Are as light as air,
As hollow as her sky-stretched voice.

8
It is the porcelain skull
Of winter, translucent
With hunger, decorated
With ice feathers.
Faultless, perfect ruthless frost.
All remorse stripped of flesh,
All bitterness spent.
All waters hollowed,
All sound rested.
A linearity, a sped arrow,
Targeted, released,
Quivering at its mark.

9
Stipule and stamen
We are petelled fragrant,
Purely, demurely lascivious.
Our love is perfumed,
Botanical. Wrapped
And layered, lipped
And tattered edge,
We protrude demurely
Into the world,
An impossible biology.

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magenta blue orange1

KEY TEN
(Glen Mor and the Ard Ri n’a Sidhe, Mull)

“We shall give to you here
The skill of the Song of the Land.

Words of silver,
Words of gold.

Sweet gale and honey
On the tongue tip.

The melancholy of the curlew
And the lapwing.

The smooth stream of the blackbird;
The harsh heart of the eagle.

For you are only human –

Life as sweet as the scent of violets
And then gone.”

—-

Here, then, is the last of the Ten Keys to the Green Kingdoms and the words that discover their essence. Collecting environmental and subtle energy essences can be an uncertain thing. One can doubt the veracity of what is perceived, of what images and thoughts pass in front of consciousness. We knew the island of Mull still retained a sentient link to the Fairy Kingdoms, once felt throughout Britain, now rarely encountered or paid attention to. These words formed and seemed to me to emanate from high in the hierarchy of the Secret Commonwealth, the Otherworld realms. Delusion is easy for humans, however. I wished that I could be shown some veracity of the intent and content of the words. Immediately thereafter, as I was gazing out from the coach window, a grey heron flew close alongside us, keeping pace with the vehicle. Those who know, know the heron as a significant messenger of the Hidden Kingdoms. These things happen, likely or not. The Green Kingdoms underlie all levels of landscape, history, myth, psyche. They are the dreaming of the world. Those who might have been touched somehow by one or more Key may like to look at using the essence as a spiritual nutrient. Please go to http://greenmanshop.co.uk

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CHAPTER SIX , TOWARDS EQUINOX

As if to remain
Were the price.
Time tips
And we tumble.
Vessels pouring into vessels,
Our sounds hollow,
Certainties measured,
Strangely vague.

All and nothing,
We stand rocking,
Drunk on swaying decks,
Seeking horizons.
Waking, dreams dissolve.
Sleep, and schemes fold inwards.

We name and name all things
Yet the Nameless still remains.
I shall hollow the wood,
Discover the bowl, round, knotted.
The receptive is the valley spirit,
Mother of all things.
It cannot fail, it is a veil,
A mist at dawn, a sigh,
A flight of silent birds heading west.
Leaves spin open, stretch green
Into dewy morning.
The air, still cold, substance
Slow moving.

The solace of hawks,
The solace of sparrows.
Clouds from the south pour light.
Moon-cooled, the blue west:
A line of hills none
Can see beyond.
It is as a veil, barely breathed,
Valley spirit holding, not holding,
Vast, the tip of the tongue,
A taste of spring,
A dream of summer.

For a moment,
Everything seemed perfect,
Before moving on.

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