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Posts Tagged ‘music’

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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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By Breath

Awen, awel, gwen, gwyn.
By sound they collect, though not by derivation:
A poet’s excuse.
Biological etymology, a bloom of lichen,
Mutually supporting, intergrown,
What is not the same becoming
What is not different.
Inspiration, breeze, white, so white.
The mist effloresces, it becomes name.

The hunched woman, the crooked woman,
Behind it all, birth and death mother.
Ceridwen, overflowing awen, bright river racing.
Energy of remarkable stimulation, disperser of the seeds of wisdom
(The soot black severed-head seeds of alder,
The fine feather floating of willow and poplar, careless Gwion Bach).

Fresh water mixed with jet.
We shall reflect upon it, upon its depths,
Upon the mirrored world it shows,
The membrane, the drum skin,
The roof of the sky.

By breath from Ceridwen,
Hunched over, tight focus, mind sharp,
The cauldron within Annwfn.
The place where things are true and of themselves.
In the world
It is not the world it is, the most of the world.
The inner world, the deep, the profound.

Perception of patterns
(all that perception is, after all)
Ogrfen in awen, a phase of awen, a part,
Patterns of the world in the breath.
Witnessing the deepening of things as they are.
The Ideal peeking through the ordinary.
In a chant, in a repeating, in a breath in and out
And the sound between. Again and again.

I sing awen.
I bring it forth from the depth.
Awen in annwfn weighs and judges the worth.
Awen brings forth annwfn

Deep awen – ddofn awen
Deep awen of deep memory,

The deep, deep within the breath.
And what will it turn out to be, after all,
Except this: annwfn is the memory
Of all things, unreleased, unchanged, unforgotten,
Piled up, sunk down, absorbed, soaked through.
A saturation of patterns, a pathway etched,
A river chiselled, a dance dreamed in the heart
Of all matter, what matters, what holds together.
Between the two cataracts of the wind, between the
Song of the lungs, the heart fortress and its salt tides.

Not the words, not the tale.
The weaving of sounds, the way to go beyond
And beneath the meaning,
Lost in the music, the meanings trail behind.

Eiliad – the composition of poetry,
one second, one woven moment,
A weaving in time.
Rhythm defining time
Moving through time
Harmony created to memorise, remember.
The thrush singing the world away
Revealing the underlying presence of sacredness.

This high throne, this chair, this rock: a place of song.
Worlds reflected in the sound and rhythm,
Mirroring, transformed, switched.
A seething mist, a sunlit hillside,
Sound of distant traffic.
When time has run,
it gathers itself up
And remembers
And by this
Becomes free
From itself.
Eternal,
Golden.

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