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Posts Tagged ‘mountains’

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Ice Breath

Is it not true
That it is always the past
We burn to keep ourselves warm?

The young sun
Is on the tops now,
The deep valleys shadowed,
The mists let go, rise and melt away.

One slow hawk
Skims the treetops.
The cold, still sky
Has yet to choose its colour.

Ice will soon breathe,
relax to water,
Struck by the
warm weight
of light.

Those
that have survived
the night
Will stir
and sing.

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This land,
The land of the dead,
A second skin, translucent,
Golden.

At the centre of each apple,
The sign of love:
The fivefold mutable, son and mother.

Over mountains a cream and violet fog,
Rolled, undulous, attentively folds.
A mysterious union,
Somewhat secret and holy.

The sky, a long vowel, holding its light.
A fluent time,
A tickled, breezeless sigh.
Not so still as to be nothing.

For the tiny roar
Of valley trees, a whispered thing
Measuring miles.

Vaporous drop,
Drip, congealed,
A reflected skin of nothing,
A silver round fruit,
Womb, belly, dream.

This skin
Is our beautiful horizon,
An inner organ.
Our own birdsong:
A poetic heart.

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GLORY PASSES

All the mountains have walked away.
The hills, stirred themselves and flown.
Nothing remains but clouds and mist.

Rivers fall straight from heaven.
Forests, hushed and silent now, listen.
Distance is the well of Time.

I sit without words, empty,
(Though words themselves
Are hollow flocks).
They graze and move on,
Ineluctable patterns,
A partial view of constellations:
Midnight cloud.

It is a virtue to forget,
To remember and to forget oneself.
A virtue to see what is without compare.

Unremarked, glory passes
As sun and storm on a Spring day.
Jewelled with light the bare branches,
Silver and dark the upland roads.

The sky laughs at the invention of morning,
Rises up as mountains return
Refeshed and glistening,
World without end.

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These hollowed mountains, older than God,
Silent as Sundays, nursing rain and cloud,
And a clamour of downward waters.

Their slopes and sides are vowels,
Gutteral consonant: their crags
And rock-roofed alleys.

Hunched hands, their deep, rooted grasp
Throwing off spin and galactic centuries.
Time themselves do they assiduously weave:
Long blankets of brown and green,
A heathered tweed and bluebells,
Cried through, a thread of kite and hawk.

Long the slope that spits splintered bone.
At evening, those sharp-eyed fires
And the watching dogs that greet and howl
The name of each ghost, every whisper from the wood,
The long and soon dead, the turning, slow, small folk.

Jarred boughs here do never bend in pain,
Tracking sun’s warmth, laying memory in circles,
Pooled and stretched out beyond year on year.
A balance of the in and out, dawn and disaster.

This rise and fall of heaven, slap of compassion,
A weight waiting to awaken, a spark of circumference,
A hedge to the commonest sense.
Ground down to grit and simple soils,
The grey slate washed midnight clean,
Scoured sinless and unexpectant,
Eyes ever upwards,
Each glorious dawn.

—-

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Aeons of fast skies
Have worn smooth these hills.

Chosen colours have rubbed in,
Silence folded into sound.

These lacing waters,
These rock dark ribs.

A breath of rain,
A consideration of leaves.

A subtle exchange,
A movement towards earth.

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LITTLE LLANGAMMARCH

Little Llangammarch under wood and under hill.
Not quite awake, not quite asleep,
Dreaming as leaves drift down.
One road, more or less, one shop, one bar, one hall,
A church, a chapel or two.
Time each day measured by two trains north, two trains south.

Toes wriggling always in Irfon and Cammarch,
(Where the two are met and knitted, a feathered mating).
Root or rock, I cannot say for sure.
This stone sheds syllables in flakes,
Prayers slurred, folded, forgot.
This root, iron red, waves wrapped,
Unworn, unmoved, on the hill above,
A saint’s house, stilled glory, skybound.

The swoop and quiver of the red kite’s call.
Shade-huddled sheep, the quiet of the field.
The past it grows thinner by the year
Lost for words, the long losing of names,
The who and where, the why weeded over,
The hero’s house, a longed-for truth
Scattered in byre and farmyard.

Between the open-eyed houses
and the river, still and low as glass,
Come tumbling flocks from the fields,
Down between the cars a bleating tide,
Chivvied, the bobbing, weaving dogs behind.

It hovers: the mountain silence.
They come and go of their own accord,
Leaving clouds and mist for a while, for a while,
Between what is left unsaid
And the slow rain.

Here below, where woodpeckers cling statuesque
and jackdaws skid and race
Like kids in playgrounds, cops and robbers,
Shootout at noon.
Here, in the fields again
The sheep wander as numerous as stars and as white.
The wind blows colour and light,
To and from the bluffs of Abergwesyn.
The rolling darkness, the quiet night descending
From the deep well of Cwm Graig Ddu.

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jade beach1

ON JADE BEACH

On Jade Beach,
Looking out west,
Indigo and white, the sea.
Ripples, woven ikat patterns
By the cold wind.

We could not tell
What was precious,
Nor what bestowed
Immortality:
Pockets weighed down
With smoothed fragments
Of beauty.

Dark pine leans out.
An arc of dark sand.
White, cold wind from the mountains.

These pebbles were mountains,
This sea, spring rains.
Looking for signs of heaven,
Dreaming of jade rivers.

Six foot of snow
Deep in the hills.
Inside the grass-roofed houses,
Warm and dark:
Silk-drying racks,
Rice-harvest regalia.

The big drum is silent
But its roundness
Fills up the valleys
All around.

Our footprints along the ice paths
Melted, flowed into the bay.
The cedars redden again with pollen,
Rust-red in the sharp sunlight.

On smooth black sand
The tide rolls a pebble
To and fro.

Your fingertips
Impressed on clay tea-bowl rim.
The fragrance of memory
Bitter and bright.

These roads we take
So winding,
It is difficult to recall
The last views of the sea,
The last of the sunset.
Go on,
We shall not be far behind.

Down to the sea
Looking for immortality.

*****

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BLEAK WIND

(no reason why
It should come up.
No reason why
It should not.
Remembering
The last time we saw you
Burdened but smiling
Far over the mountain passes
Down by the sea
Laughter along the shore
Dark pines listening
A bleak wind
Mountain still deep in snow)

****

THE WAY IT IS

no need to wait
no need to look back.
we are all following,
one by one.
the winding path
into deep mountain
stillness.

***
jade beach2

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