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Posts Tagged ‘Mynyddoedd Cambrian Mountains’

THE HEDGES

The hedges hawthorn foam.

Precise time ceased and waiting.

A mist to smudge everything not near.

And a blue cool watchfulness

Before slow, large drops of rain.

Hills, and hills behind the hills, we see.

Hills and hills in the heart of the land.

Inch by inch they choose green

Over wan winter brown.

Inch by inch they swell and sing

Sated with descending arcs of summer stars

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Rain over the hills, light in the valley.

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DHRUPAD 23 (green)

Look now green green now.

Even green in the hills, the high cold hills

with their hearts of stone, sniff the green the tips of bracken there

amongst the old debris pink and brown,

so many cold nights

and winds and slow days of so slow heavy rain.

By the thin rivers and

the fast streams the sedges green and growing

that were hog bristle brown, dead and belligerent and wan wan wan.

And even

the clouds even the clouds

so low and slow and fast, tinged now with

a certain green a certain glow a reflected green, a green smile the world

knows

once frosts are gone and the larger days and the cowslips

foaming over the roadsides in drooping cream bee buzzing delight

now.

The pink grey empty slopes over Aberedw peppered

all peppered with hawthorn white and creamly perching there,

a crown for each moment each outcrop tonguing scented air

pert as hounds bright eyed and keen for sunlight warm and honey

smooth.

A green green breakfast it is now

for the hungry hills,

the hungry hills.

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SPRING SCATTER (haiku-ish)

Moon as bright as morning
burnished by a cold wind.
Mountain river white as clouds.

Floating mountain.
Two crows.
Spring sun melts frost.

Cold wind.
Bright sunlit air.
These blackthorn days:
Tumbled jewels.

Along the lanes,
blackthorn blossom.
On the high hills:
the bones of the snow.

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STORM PASSING

Sway , as wind makes the grasses.
Here then there (but silence in the soil still).
It, breathing, roars. Tears away what breath there is.
It, moving, alights and passes through all, a sudden thing.
It, breathing, shudders the solid, twists each sound.
The singing fires dance free and the slope of wings as sharp as scythes.
Sedge, winter dry, rattles with a serpent’s hiss.
On tip-toe we scramble homewards, whipped eyes watering.
Such a small thing, this flush of weather. Half a day
Flooded with impecable instants of translucent uncertainty.
And we, made small again and frail by ineffable, invisible airs.

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COLD LAKE DAY

Rust red are the fingertips
Of the dead, scraping at the edges
Of the day. They shall seek to admit
Just a little more light, a little more
Where the hills hesitate then vanish
(They are remembering the very
Oldest of names, hollowed as tombs,
Frost-bright, distant).

In storm wind
Trees and crows sing dancing. Endless
Fields the sheep wait patiently,
Wait patiently turned away from rain.

It is a hard day hung upon
The crosstide of the seasons.
Brief and battered, a smudged world
The colour of old dried blood and bruises,
The colour of steel and verdigris,
Of sodden soil and seed slumber.
A wind ripped thing pinched with rain.

Sorrow is a cold lake in the mountains,
A grey heron waiting to feed.
Joy is a cold lake in the mountains,
A grey heron waiting to feed.

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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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