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Posts Tagged ‘Mynyddoedd Cambrian Mountains’

LANK GRASS

Lank grass leaks light.

Meagre is the wan sun.

The hillside’s low shudder

Shoulders a cold wind.

To and fro the white flocks weave.

The black flocks waver, settle

And disperse in fields.

Time does not pass

That is not sweetly savoured:

Cloaking us in eternal radiance,

An infinity of brilliant shadow.

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A RAINBOW WALKS

A rainbow walks the yellow hill.

Small birds know that Spring is coming.

The wide-winged hawks, too, wheel and watch.

The rain has reached us now,

Tapping the roof.

Our skies yawn wide here:

From the Radnor hills right round

Through Crychan forest and the hidden dive

To the Sugarloaf and the low lands beyond.

Epynt is the wall of centuries behind us,

The deep valleys of the Cambrians, an uncertain present.

The old stones have been removed,

Or lost, that pinned us to hope.

The roads run thin and crumble.

If you live forever, all this is of no consequence.

If you live one year, or two,

This doubt and uncertainty is extravagance.

Many hereabouts conjure their own futures

From a past they grasp as if it were theirs.

As well to leave it be, leave it be.

There is no power here but a rainbow

Walking, for a moment, the yellow hill.

And the flow of wind and cloud across the horizon

No one can see beyond.

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VIEW

Hokusai would appreciate the view:

Garth Bank rising like a sleepy Fuji

Framed by those leaning pines

And the placid, silent sky.

He would have changed nothing,

But chosen the lines for beauty

And the colours calm and dun as the day.

A landscape without pearls,

Though edged by snow hills.

One by one we lose our weight,

Floating upwards to eternity.

The two rivers whisper it

In their deep and hidden ways.

I catch the scent of planed hinoki.

Last day of January.

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TWO DISTANT MOMENTS

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I breathe the cool cloud

The jackdaws lean into.

The spice of wet grass.

A radiant moment dissolves into eternity.

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Evening turns to rust.

The blue hills bloom cloud.

Soft, this beautiful melancholy.

.

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THE TALIESIN SHADOWS

1

He comes forth by words,

out of darkness and brightness

(we, watching, blinded by both).

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Out from blood, out from skulls,

out from the groves and the mist.

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They tumble, birds from nets,

these wild words seeking skies.

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The scent of oak and moss,

the scent of rust and iron blood.

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A thousand years,

and still no-one has fathomed its depths.

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The evening sky swept clear of life and death,

autumn clear with the tooth cold edge to it.

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He has learnt to weave the shadows.

Mystery is his cloak, a feathered cloak of wings,

wings of words.

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The meat of the past, the blood and muscle

of all forebears held in rhythm and sound.

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They have perfected their own shadow,

full of mystery and silent horror.

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Persistent dreaming encourages a certain familiarity

with dear monsters. “My awen is an ash spear”.

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We talk to the spirits of the dead,

recounting their stories, reviving their memories,

reincarnating the spirit.

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I will sing and sing and sing your words.

Your voice feeds my nerves

and I become, first, between, then other, then empty,

and you can walk in.

.

My shadow

becomes your shadow,

your words,

my words.

.

2

I open my mouth.

There is silence.

But now the wind

From the graves

Forms sound, the vowels,

The rivers of sound from the caves of wisdom,

From the mounds of remembrance.

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I will not sing to the lords, to the rich kings.

I sing to the free, who lack good weather,

Who seek rain in drought, seek sun in storm.

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The space of song.

They listen and travel through these words

To become closer to the divine.

This is my space. The protective weaving of poets’ words.

Enwrapped, entranced, protected within the poet’s rhythm.

3

Cauldron

This cauldron: iron hard consonants

Wrapped round and shaped by the curve of vowel.

What will it not encompass?

What shall never be encompassed by it?

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Awen is greater than this cauldron’s expanse,

Awen is deeper than its deep resounding belly.

Powerful is the echo of that fortress of truth,

Yet an echo in the hills of distant thunder is what it is.

The ocean roar of awen in the cursive chambers of shell and bone:

A whisper of voices, millions, there are millions, from the deep before.

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Deep as this cauldron is, and as ancient as its gigantic creators,

It cannot contain the horizons of Annwfn.

One part is understood and named,

Four-fifths remain eternally hidden.

A clear light blinds by its brightness

And the shadows deepen wherever it shines.

It cannot be named by names, it cannot be sung by songs,

It cannot be understood by philosophy,

It cannot be measured by maps.

Look up, look down, at the revolving stars:

It is there and not there.

Stir the bubbling verses in the honey cauldron:

It is there and not there.

In the breath and in the void

It escapes the understanding as the sun at sunset,

As the cuckoo in winter,

As the wren in the hedgerow.

There and not there,

A diminishing cry

Stirring the mind of poets.

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He grows from his words – the seeds of sound

On the soil of listening silence.

Embodied, he is mystic light, a tricky one, iron hard steel.

An evolution of the world’s voice found in the dark tombs,

A clothing of golden brocade for liquid tongues.

They whisper in circles in their root-wrapped rooms.

The transcendence of death by the sages, by the brave,

By the wise, by the heroes who pass between, who pass on.

I have placed the words of the past in my body.

Golden, they rise up when my tongue bids it.

The mead flows, we drink and are drunk upon it.

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The deep speaks, and it stirs the deeper still.

We are echoes and can trawl

The life beneath the single

Small light of the soul.

This voice overtones infrasound.

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RISING, RETURNING

Rising through mist and rust and gold.

The rain coming and going and the oaks holding on.

History repeating itself, as it always does,

And the eternal poets weeping and laughing

In their sunlit words.

We shall reach home soon, as we always do,

Until the very last time when time shall slow and stop,

And the oaks, only, will be holding on then

In rust and gold and sunlit drifts.

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THE HEATHER NOW

The heather now clouds the hills:

in sunlight, a drift of heaven,

In low, slow rains it is

the colour of sunset storm clouds.

When does solitude turn to loneliness?

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Fifteen years the eagle flew here.

From Tregaron to Llanwrtyd her hidden throne.

Seeing more than most,

the season’s swift tides blanching the bracken,

green then gold, copper then rust.

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More than meets the eye,

these growing voids, these lost things, named,

forgotten, decayed, consumed.

A worm eye’s view is the beginning and end

of each transformative engine.

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New names and a new breath.

A scattering of syllables,

a cry long and fading,

high in the cloudless sky.

A land of stoic disappointment

lies below.

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The yews of Abergwesyn,

the yew of Llanfechan,

the chapel yew at Cefn Gorwydd

all holding on, deserted.

Folding history into themselves

and holding on.

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The eldest springs here

are all purging and bitter.

They will keep the long death away

but they too are long forgotten.

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The hay is in despite the rains,

and the sheep down from the hill.

Good governance is as far away as ever.

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The eagle free in its vast prison.

Solitude and vision

and the slow rains

washing it all clean away.

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For the last fifteen years a golden eagle has lived in our area, escaped from captivity somewhere, it has lived alone for sll this time. Just recently found dead -probably of old age.

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RAAG MEGH

find the

slow rituals

that absorb time and space.

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there is

no hurry,

words vanish, yet

last forever, somehow.

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the green, warm rains

as soothing as music, fill

the breathing valley.

.

one step

is all it takes

to start a dance

no-one has seen before.

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we will, for sure,

be swept up in

sadness and joy.

.

we will, for sure,

be persuaded that beauty

is just not enough.

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slow air pushes

the thin rope of smoke

to and fro by the window.

veils of rain hide the hills.

.

it is green and cool and lovely,

the trees say.

look at our slow dance,

they say.

.

and let go

their tired leaves.

Raag megh is a pentatonic raag (raga) played during the rainy season, but because of its cooling, calming influence is also played at any time and circumstance. i used it as the name of this poem as it seemed to fit its atmosphere and mood. Check out raag megh on youtube, especially those by ustad rashid khan, pandit jasraj and kushal dass.

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A FALL OF KINGS

Crow! Crow! I can hear your voice across the valley,

keening and laughing, looking for your shadow

in the sunlight.

The heart may break into pieces

but the head will still go on nattering.

It can never stop, so used

to being fed by roots and wings

from its buried pit, from its damp, deep well.

It summons up and sees what there is and what is not.

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A dying comet streaks beauty in the slowest of motions,

upright as a ballerina melted by the music –

Posed and poised, palest and vanishing,

though here, still here, in the dawn light.

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A voice like last night’s river

hidden in the oak valley,

down by the alders

down by the willows

in their midnight silences.

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A voice like the morning road

across the valley side,

the streams of bright hope

rolling with ridiculous purposes,

speeding on, diminishing, diminishing.

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Beauty as it dissolves.

As it becomes something else.

Never moving, but dragged

into other orbits.

We move and stay still,

shine and are dissolved

by the shining.

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This is what the deep head says;

(the streaming golden head, brocaded

and folded with glory, the red-gold hair

in the golden morning).

The heart with rivers,

the heart with sunlight,

the bones that drag themselves together

from the long dream, and come together

in semblances of something already understood.

The faint, faint sighing hiss of erosion.

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Crow! Crow!

I hear you laughing across the valley.

The wheel never ends of the horizon,

and all its doors firmly shut for now,

so we can listen and laugh and return

to dreaming a world of bright never-ending.

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She burns still in the sky.

Return, return!

and that she can never do.

Pale and white-skinned and broken-hearted,

burning, slowly revolving all the fragments of grieving.

Time emptying out, filling up, emptying out.

The head and the heart and the white, white bones.

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A song as we die, Crow!

Just one more glorious lament.

It is what we were born for, what we can bear,

what will break us into four,

so we become our own horizon.

Smudged out by daylight.

Reborn as stars, the stories will say.

.

And you know them all, Crow!

All the songs, all the stories, Crow!

Laughing and singing

and keening and smiling

and calling from heart to heart,

from sun to shade to sun

across the dancing swallow-crowned,

cool-aired morning valley.

Buried in the sky, deep down in the sky,

in the well of sparkling, starry waters.

Everything is nothing,

and that is perfectly

as it should be.

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THE HEALED SKY

The healed sky

Blue as the calm gaze

Of the Medicine Buddha.

May all beings find peace.

The healed sky.

Wherever we go

The chanting of honey bees.

The healed sky.

A deeper peace creeps in,

Silence no longer a threat.

The healed sky.

Eternal mind

Ever returning to life.

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