Posts Tagged ‘musing’


The way music moves us,
(And from where those fiery winds?)
Meaning hidden, meaning most.
A call of lover, mother, home,
A lost path, a landscape,
Dreamed, so familiar, nameless.

The way it moves.
(And what is it?)
A picture of worlds made in mind,
Mind made real, mind talking.
A giving out, a giving of form.
Sounding depths, shallows rippled.

A language of moments
Escaped from time.
Shaped nothing,
Coming, going, resounding,

And music is how we make,
How we shape, our souls.
For all that lives, sings,
(Does it not?).

We find what we may be
By holding, turning, curving air.
Moving, it moves us,
Moving, it moulds us.

Sound exists only
When it is going out
Of existence.
Music moves us
By the accumulated memory
Of notes no longer heard.

(Chords are the thunder
Of one instant.
A tune: a patter of drops,
A blackbird, after storm has passed.)

Wrapped up in it
We find our skin and nerves.
Tingled, a breeze, a whisper.
Edges, but edges that cannot be measured.
Scales, large, small, up, down,
In meets out and melts.

Note, notation, sound
And space timed.

Thought free from subject
And object.
Thought, wordless,

Ripples in the ether,
String theory,
Sound in a jar.
First to last.
Scriabin on a mountain
Scribbling Siva.
Drawing colours
From the tenuous darkness.
Chladni smiles.
Shri shri shri.
(Sings itself).


This is in response to a comment, whose whereabouts i just can’t find at the moment, but the first line here is what it was. Apologies and thanks for the inspiration, whomsoever it was….


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What is said,
This moment,
This word,
Is real, torn, squeezed,
From heart and breath
And world.

This sly scribble,
A snake that curves
And curls tight,
Brain deep.
My thoughts
In your voice,
A mask,
A masking.
Laid down,
A trap, cunning gin
(Though even whispered).
Time bomb.

We sing in chords,
In chorus.
Drum on flesh and earth
Drum with feet,
Drum with tongues.
Together ululate,
A stampede, a flock.
Syncopate pulse,
We merge.

Never this
String of thought,
Tugged out to tie senses,
Alone, locked on paths
With no cessation.
A spell, an enchanting,
Mazed: ink and electron
Dancing grim tango.

Entangled, entangled
In mind or mouth,
Striving to know escape
Or to know belonging.

The mute language of skies,
The sing of cloud dissolving.

Being nothing
But ourselves
We dive down
And drown.

What i mean is
What eye can mean
What mean is even tranquil
What line dances
What dance thrills out
Worlds words
See spy the key

A cool breeze lifts the poplars
A cool breeze learns sound,
Then passes back to silence.


Sparked by a pile of books, a passage of time.
The title, originally ‘Orality’ ( a new word to me, precise and useful but somehow ugly) I changed to ‘Serry’, a very nice concise, old word that sums up both restriction and unity….( I randomly found it whilst checking the spelling of ‘cessation’!).


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could I carry
The words of aonghus macneacail
Safely in my head,
A basket of eloquence,
Then my own tongue
(And its roaming spirit)
Would never be silenced.

And my eye would be
Hard as nails, soft
As sea foam
Seeing all, feeling all
In sounds
Round and slap flat,
Like a bodhrain
Of the heart.

Wave-formed sound
Of how it is,
How it may be,
How it was –
A weaving of Time
And Space,
A knotting of nets
To catch the fast, glistening shoals
Of verse,
Clever creel to hold safe
All those
Camoflaged, scuttling notions.

For they are there
When I am in drought,
(lips cracked, tongue
Cleaved to mouth’s ceiling),
Angus, and Sorley, too:
Like sudden, hidden
mellifluous streams
Stumbled across
On the deserted, bleak
Black moors,
bringing fountains of words
For an hour or two
Until subdued
In bog and slough
Or drowned,
Over the cliffside
To be lost
In the hidden rivers
Of the sea.


(On a recent trip to the Isle of Skye I bought a copy of Aonghas MacNeacail’s new volume “Laughing at the clock” in Portree.
I have, there and since, been working on a poetic piece in many parts concerning the passage of Time, landscape, life, death, the secret commonwealth of the Sidhe, inspiration, Independance, freedom…..
It is not the usual way I work – a careful fishing for lines, a tentative accumulation of images, and the whole edifice rises and sinks over time like a mythical island. But when I think I have exhausted its potential, or become distracted by daily events, all I need to do is to open up a page of Aonghus’s, or of Sorley Maclean and then my head is filled with a flurry of muse’s feathers ( coming or going), which, if I am fortunate in giving the time to put down the phrases and ideas, can fuel many things.
Language is indeed a virus, it seems. And I am happy not to be innoculated…..)

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