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Posts Tagged ‘Mynyddoedd Cambrian Mountains’

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DHRUPAD 18 ( war song)

A RE NE

It is
it is not words we need
not words but the song of words
the music of words
the cry and lilt and torn cry of words
howled out and yearned loud and quietly sobbed
in the silence of the listening hearts.

A RE NE NA

It is not words but the rain of words
the storm of words keening the keening
the wind whipping the eaves of desolation
and the sedges sharp and the sedges grim and the wild paths long
and the bitter air and the lost horizons.
A peal of words a crack of words a silence of words
naming each name lost
each heart lost
each breath stopped
each eye dimmed
each each each and every small beauty
each small memory lost
each small dream destroyed
each each each day gone and never never never sung of again.

A RE NE NA TE

Oh the songs they are all the same
from the bleak hills of the old north
from the brave fools
from the fast journey south to stand on a hill sleepless and doomed
from the quick soft slick betrayal in winter woods
the diminishing the diminishing of life.
From the long night trains into endless smoke stained dawn.
From the massing on the edges of death
and the bare skulls’ teeth with the crawl of yellow gas between between
and the loud death
and the silent death
and the long death
and the death of colours
and the death of goodness
and the peals of ripped hot metal ripped from earth ripped from earth.

A RE NE NA TE TE RE NE NA

It is the madness of song
the madness of words
the mad remembrance of each moment
endlessly unforgotten endlessly cherished endlessly endlessly.

A RE NE NA TE TE RE NE NA RI RE RE NE NA

This salt wound flowing
these withering withered hours that will not let go.
Wordless are the words of the song that we sing
a summing up of the sound of the world
of all time that was and is and will be
cast aside in a moment in a movement
in a drowned moment.

RI RE RE NE NA

Relaxed and airless free now of pain and forgetting forgetting
the drum of endless names lost
endless names endless names endless
this wordless song singing mourning all all
all lost held cast put away put away
deep deep deep in the bones
of the bones of the stone memory
of things named named named.

TE NE TOOM NE

I have included the mantra used in dhrupad singing: it derives from the sacred Sama Veda texts that primordially combine sound with meaning that goes beyond meaning. Any words we use to clothe the unseen depths of human emotion and experience only gain significance when they somehow fold within themselves the wordless music of the world. Poetry only rises above prose when it too folds itself into wordless song, when words become haunted with song that goes beyond and yet perfectly expresses, meaning.

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Our Geography (1)

Our geography is mellow and tear-washed,
meandering and mud-stained.
It dreams through mist and slanting rains,
bites its lip and grasps the rooted valley sides.
It sends out messengers and bards
on posts and cries their hovered song.
It wears its history against a fickle, fast future;
views as unbecoming the speed of our own descent.
Though welcomes us back always
to its folded silences.

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AFTER A LONG DROUGHT

The log lorries roaring hungry to the forests,
their bare ribbed skeletons longing for another heavy load.

Such a waste of words this poetry is,
scattered in the warm wind unable to withstand
the returning silence that covers with cloud the hills
turned heather purple
and the curling first thoughts of autumn
and the spit of rain.

The path to Fannog was damp
and the woods smelled of blackberries.
The steel still waters sullen and drained,
the old farm’s walls, out in the shallows,
Surfaced again, thirty years, more, since the last time,
haunting the view,
the craggy rocks impossible in sunshine
after so many years dark under murky waters.

They have receded
pulled back from the tops of their drowned valleys
like lips curled back from a corpse’s teeth,
the bare stumps of black trees, the slope of field and fence post.

We are measured by what remains –
these scars and careless piled debris swept from sight.
“Swimming forbidden. No diving allowed. Submerged objects”,
the bones and worse, the dreams,
the miscalculated grandeur, the voiceless dispossessed,
(as if we belonged ever, as if we stayed).

I have been dreaming of the flooded lands again:
the rivers rising to drown the roads,
all the fields turned sweeping water,
all the hills left desolate, no way out.
As if they were memories,
as if these places had names,
as if these trackways had purpose.

Sinking down, the cracks between dream and memory.
Flash floods, the sudden storm,
turbid waters, long drought,
a draining of the steep slopes,
drying mud on smoothed contours, the feeder streams silent.

A habitation deserted.
Roofless silence.
Low cloud shifting down long valleys.
Looking like rain.

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YIDAM YEW

As though through the bark
The tree remembers
every storm
Every wild sunset.
every dream of fleeting light captured, savoured.
Every rip tide and cloud race, every
Second’s shade and bright reveal.
A mad visionary truth,
The taste of an ultimate, near ultimate, real,
Stretching and scattering certainty of form and view.

At its heart is a red darkness,
a blue darkness,
a glow of orange sunrise and sunsets,
a weight of waiting
and a weight of watching.

It will see you looking at it
through your own eyes.
It will measure the coming and going of your breath,
and know that it is dreaming.

Those who name it,
do not know its name,
which began at the beginning of things
And will continue beyond their ending,
and then will not be completed, even then.

Though there is a snake hiss silence,
though the spine fills and hollows with dust,
though one moment shatters in black light,
though there is a taste of pollen and old books,
though there is a stutter thought,
though there is a window or a mirror.

A perfect dance of stillness,
a perfect song of silence,
a filled void that drowns and opens out.
A cease and a spinning.
Location lost.
A reorientation in a million shards of shadow shimmer.
Wordless is the wisdom of compassionate beasts.

Whetever form it takes,
it is light and time and endless mind
Stretched out in sunlight, flowing as wind and rain,
A map of constancy, road to all things.

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‘Yidam’ is the Tibetan word for ‘meditational deity’. It has energetic presence that encourages awakening and is dressed in a form and metaphor that excites attention. Like all deities/spirits/thought forms, it is paradoxically illusory and of an independant existence more real than the individual personality could ever be. ‘Wrathful’ deities have the appearance of dynamic, fear-provoking, fiery forms that destroy illusion and false concepts.

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DHRUPAD 11 (august night)

The hollow hills resounding.
The resounding hollow hills,
Knee-deep in starlight,
Knee-deep in patient oaks,
And the white cries of the fox
And the stretched white cries of owls
And our sleeping souls rising like smoke
Through open windows on this warm night,
Weightless, free of thought now,
Flicking through centuries
As the ashes’ fingers fall and drift
And the berries ripen, sun-polished.
And the dead (who are always with us)
Watch and ripen, remembering old hymns
In an old language, and the music of quiet gossip
And the food of woodsmoke and pipe tobacco
And the too short, long evenings
And the too short, oblivious nights.
Carded and spun these days of commotion,
Made a single yarn end to end,
A story with familiar patterns,
With certain purpose, worthwhile
And righteous, worthy of some eternal reward,
Surely, surely.

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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 6 (May river)

They will fall down into their own rivers, these words these sentences finding their own surface will settle for a familiar winding light in warm beds slowly downwards to their own sighing roaring silence. Though they are not nor ever have been mine to give, you have them now flowing on from this to that a single seamless thread gathered from the highest open grasslands, gathered from just below the sky the slow drip down the vast vast vast drip down of water towards a centre of word, towards a winding tongue a weaving mind weaving sky and sound, skin and sky a story river sky river down to story silver river….

Only there, there, where the people have sunk into the land singing their stone memory bones, grey weathered on ridge shrouded elder clouds, something home death something home small cooing death, nature death smell, cream smooth death mother humming bees smell, humming stars death smell, secret curve woman death star bone smell, life death star death cooking smell. Only where the words have turned to winds and wind to rain, and bracken shields the adder’s tangle in the warm vast moist morning, the vast mist morning of the criss cross and spiral morning, of the tangled spiral adder’s tongues honey soft morning. Only where the red kites wheel and the buzzards on their watching posts watching down the old quiet roads, the rocking cracking moment by moment roads footstep views and sound sound river bird and breeze roads, the sudden view shift roads, the next last corner roads, the lost remembering roads.

Only on the beginningless roads beginning now now again sprung from grass now flowering grass now cowslips now bluebells now now the white sprinkled roads and the naughty weighted scented hawthorn heavy aired hedged about and field threaded and in the shades the holy blue the holy white the holy blood pink campion splatter and the enunciation of curly topped fern fingers finding licking tasting airy edge and warm soft soil and all and a round world edge a round world edge a round sun filled edge honey edged May in lanes and long low spiral lands and lolling loping hills folded around the fingers of the oak oh the old oak uplands upwards old and upwards the silence and psalms of spiral havens daylight to dusk to stars lit to keep off the cold cold space of silence somewhere else somewhere other rivers fall slowly down slowly drift and they will fall down too into their own rivers, these stars bright hiss finding their own surfaces, winding light just as if just as if and the adder’s ridge and the elder’s curve and the bones of morning in the warm beds of May and the mother humming and the vast, the vast the vast

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