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Posts Tagged ‘music’

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DHRUPAD 12 (cooler now)

The shape curved of silence
in this night round mooned delighted
and cooler by far now the rain has passed
the sudden fast downward drive on roof and skylight
and leaf and gutter the curtaining of distance
the disappearing hills in sound in sound all that has gone now
even the drips gone now and the moon serene through tatters
through arced moments through blackberry shining moments.
The curl of the blade following a line the spiral shaving born with a whisper sound that is that is that is
the beginning of language how silence is shaped and pared away
becoming this and this air held and shaped and let go
the delight of it the song the song the trouble and the maze
refining nothing into something the silent padding cat the sliding silent moon the shining blackberry shining full and the elderberry falling in bunched laughing laughing.
The muscled deep the deep ache and hold and tense holding
the body glides earth soil held by sound and a hum of breath
it is a hum of breath and a sigh of moon and a laugh of shiny blackberry falling falling sweet and sharp and hidden
beneath the skirts of green light the floating skirts of edged cool air
where the nostrils know and feed
and autumn autumn autumn stretches up with smiles
and snapping moments and chains of time split and wired round the dark edges of the wood and the night dogs and the goose by itself on the hill
and the shape of things just so in the silence
and the sound of stirring sight.
Cooler now is silence and the sounds upon it
cooler the steps cooler the path cool the breeze
and the cloud misting valley misting the growing apples sun heavy.
Warm the sun but not as warm as was.
The was warms round and held moments in the round fruits in the swelling fruits and the shapely droop of seed.
The was feeds the is and the is slips silent down watery paths and the is is something it is not.
Becoming nothing but shapes in night silence
night silence now and its press of hum
and silent weight of hum and star thick hum and moon drift hum and blackberry shining hum and the elder berry hum
and the breath of it all and the white hearted goodness of it all
gone and here in a moment.
Cooler now the fires within the fires within cluster brighter cluster sounds and hum and silent shape
and a curve and a curl
and a spin in time
and here and gone
and here again.

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DHRUPAD 9 (solstice roses)

Solstice roses solstice rain
bright as sparrows
solstice cloud low bright
and sparkling rain.
Field roses, wild roses, dog roses,
solstice roses bloom fall fail
arching sun-like arching star-like
arching dancing leaping hedgerows.
Field roses white as cotton dresses
in sunlight fields in sunlight wind in solstice fields
light as cotton white as summer
blooming falling failing blooming.
And dog roses pink and frail and strong
as sacred as secret pink flesh
blushing pink curling pink scented and smiled and honey sweet
and stroked in light and solstice solstice light,
bloom and leap and arch and fall and fail.
Tattered heavy petal fall
weighed and washed bright solstice rain.
White as sheep new shorn, white as blisters,
white as taste in morning air,
white as solstice fall and failing falling failing,
flocking leaping solstice roses arching out
and arching over and petal falling petal failing pale as butter,
bright as eyelids, bitter smiling falling
failing blooming failing falling
solstice roses wild roses dog roses field roses,
thorned and throned and holding on,
leaping arching bowing blessing
bowers sprinkled white and pink
glorious as sheep in the morning solstice,
morning sparrow hedgerow morning,
rain wet wind and sparkling solstice morning.

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DHRUPAD 8 (honeysuckle)

June, June now.
Elder, elder opens, opens out creamy sky cloud fragrant
and so too they drift drift drift, these hills,
the pale hills the bright hills the sunlit hills the star shadowed waiting hills. Drift slow and slow,
coming green coming all coming again.
Weave and throne song singing softly,
the clouds pile a sky hurray.
A thick slow drift, and the thin
slow rivers and the fast stormy rivers and the warm
sun waters and the honey thick shaded waters.
Green light now, green, and sudden roses
bloomed and falling, purple petals, sudden slow shifts.
High hills rise up and skylarks
and the thirsty climbing beans and vines and peas and bindweed.
And the honeysuckle the honeysuckle
blood red buds and dreaming of sweetness.
Twist and climb. Twist and curl and hold
tight as a baby’s fist
here, we are here,
we are close and tumbled and held and lovely.
All all climbed and stretching and together
and growing tall, tall
into the tall
throbbing skies.

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DHRUPAD 5 (bluebells)

Shimmers so
there,
unlikely unsky
sky,
woven down by green air
in the water washed wood
and the cherry sound
of chiffchaff chiffchaff,
chaffinch, twig twitter song.
Glory, glory, the deepest blue but not,
but violet but not,
but smudged heaven taste beyond eyes,
cell washed deep sound,
a sound even lying on it all,
lying across it all.
A sky blanket sun dipped.
Kingfisher blue, as if,
sudden flash blue, as if,
floating violet pink haze blue.
There
not there.
In passing flicker flicker from
a deep seen somewhere else,
from a silent safe mind springing up
with smiles.
Language unwrapped,
unfolded, spread open,
smoothed
there now, there now,
sun at last
sun at last,
sun, at last!
we shall push on push up
take colour become
come ring sound
and swing down singing
down the slopes,
a tumble bells sighing sound,
swaying dance a deeper dance,
down down the deeper sky,
sunless starless moonless,
a sea sky
footsteps
footsteps
the wooded
wooded
bluebell
way.

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DHRUPAD 2 (night)

Slow now, night now, moon now, night now. The eye shadowed, land shadowed, mind shadowed, night now, owls now, in mind shadows and moon mind too. Cloud shadowed and fine mist light drifting wood ways, the river sky, the river wood, the river mind, the moon a drop. A drop down, suspended, held drift the night words outwards, upwards, slow now upwards, star and drift and dark shadow and cloud upwards along the light line the shadow mind cool cool in moon and deep drowned one mind slain and and and no more lost no more moon no more slope to sing the river forest sky rain cloud ways slow now, slow the moon now, the deep now the silent now the shadows. Now.

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DHRUPAD 1 (mountain air)

slow now, slow the grey cool,

slow
the
way
down.

The gods love this – space free of souls,

no
weight
of prayer.

Small thought light as wings, light on light,

shimmer stacking cloud.

The journey is one breath belonging to horizons
all ours.

They hover here,
hover here,

endless attractors
the cascading distant waters,
the air breezed
from
high
ice
centuries abiding in white.

Slow now, the in and out

suffering little from its movement,

revolving an axis honeyed.

If there are words, they become smudged distance. If there is

sound,

it drifts cloud and misty vapour,

sand, grained and free,

slipping
sift
away,

slow, now, slow.

I have been listening to a lot of Classical Indian music lately, especially rudra veena and surbahar that are instruments ideal to interpret the ancient style of dhrupad. Dhrupad is a vocal devotional music that slowly and thoroughly uncovers the notes and patterns of each piece. There is a lot of repetition and sequences, and although words are sung, it is the emotion within the notes of the raga that creates its profound effect. These poems take some of the rotational effects of dhrupad and its exploration of motifs and rhythm. Originally written as a continuous text, they will best be presented in an open arrangement so that the eye intuits the timing of its narration/reading by the various groupings of words and phrases. (I do not think I will be able to accomplish it very well here within this page structure, but hopefully there will be some of the flavour I intended). There may be something of e. e. cummings, and something of Harold Budd, something of the word patterns of George Macbeth and something of the helter-skelter pace of Dylan Thomas. But most of all, I hope, the slow savouring of sound and image suggested by the alap and jhor of dhrupad.

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SING OUT

Singing hymns to emptiness
Sound disappears with meaning
The instant it leaves the mouth

We need gods to sing to,
Something of the familiar,
But made more important,

As if worms and weeds
Had not silently shaped
All we are and will be.

It is what rivers and stars do,
It is what sheep and birds do,
Sing out to each other
That thin, frail line between
Life and death and life again.

Greedy gods and good gods
One by one supplanted
Though their lives are aeons.

Fed by song, happy in their given shapes
Until the singing stops
Where they forget their names,
Hatch as butterflies hungry for nectar.

There are the great and there are the small
While the song is sound and silence.
The void: a pause between movements
Where the audience wonders if it should clap
But remains in stillness, held within
A lovely diminishing resonance.

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