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Posts Tagged ‘mystery’

WHAT IT SHOULD BE

Does it, (pay attention,) does it,
Even when become a stream continuous and downward,
Does it lope back to steady prose, pedantic, precise, nonedescript ?
Or else might it wend songly and weirdly woven
Painted true but in madman’s colours, seen from mirror’s view,
Haunted, glanced at the corner of the eye,
Dancing words, rolled, roiling words,
Words that spurt fountains unbidden but shaped from
The lips of stone gods.
We are all here short moments in the moment of time
Gliding darkest matter on pools of spinning light.
We are voiceless until breath finds shape.
Voiceless until we sing sprouted feelings.
The heart, it is not a steady thing.
It is a giddy thing, a butterfly, birdsong thing,
A river thing losing itself babbling wilder gestures.
That it makes no sense, that it fills itself to bursting,
That it runs hands full and scattering meanings,
That it reaches and fails and reaches and finds something else,
That it is not music, that is is not is not music,
A tamping scuffling rhythm in dust, a dance becoming,
A mouth dance, a tongue drum, a skirl, a pibroch, a lament,
An imitation of storms in the mountains,
An imitation of the mist cleared by slow spreading sunlight
An imitation of the meld, the mix, the utterance, the name.
A dipping down to the roots of water, to the mud, to the squirming.
Entangled. Neither one this, nor the other, that.
Turning inside out to find to find what brings it all together.
What enables utter forgetfulness of edges, renames the names.
It is what prayer should be, what gods recognise as their own spark,
Generation unto generation, world without end.

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Sky Boat of the Durotriges

There now, let them rise up: the dark voices, the light voices,
The feathered, the fervid, the iron road of truth is a road we must go down
And the boat of morning and the waters of night.
We are three of indeterminate form:
Too fast, too patient, too vast to keep a single shape.
We are three, is all you need to know, the indicator of splendour.
They see us who know us, they know us who see us.
We glide on shadowed moments, in dreaming time,
On pools of blood and pools of passion.
Words that approach silence ornament us.
They say it is a boat, a barque, but it wavers as a reflection does,
As a path in shimmering summer air, as firelight in a drunken hall.
For we ride beyond the waves of light, on photonic tides,
A boat that is not a boat. A promise scratched on stone.
There are three, and that is all you need to know:
The door, the lock, the key.
A boat of gold riding endless, sparkling darkness.

The Durotriges were an Iron Age Celtic tribal group in the South of England centred on what is now the County of Dorset. They produced coins of silver and gold, often with similar designs. They are abstracted and difficult to read, though they would have been easily read by those familiar with the imagery at the time. Celtic coin imagery follows the key design features of the Mediterranean prototypes, but always playfully morphs them to subvert the message or to ‘own’ the message as part of tribal identity. The Durotriges were seafarers, familiar with the estuaries and rivers of the Dorset and Hampshire coasts. This design ultimately derives from the main features of a profile head (crown/hair, eye,nose,lips) but is usually seen as a boat of some kind with three occupants. In most versions of the design the three beings have the same characteristic shapes, suggesting they are three specific and distinct characters, that might be read as male, female amd child. The fact that there are three is a clear indication of sacredness, if not divinity. Whenever groups of three appear in Celtic art, supernatural power is signified. At th moment I am working on a series of sculptures derived from this image, and so now and then new possibilitis of interpretation arise. Of which this is one.

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TRILITHON
(Three great stones upturned, strange, wriggling things beneath them)

Bright Browed

The truth is a severed head
telling tales to the mesmerised
survivors of a world disappearing.
As simple as it is, it cannot be circumscribed
by any answer.
The bright sun rises on a land, still with frost.
Over the horizon night falls and the
white winged soul of owls hunt glimmering,
and the children whimper in their swaddled sleep,
the dogs by the fireside and the dancing shadows.
Dawn is a spark that burns what went before.
The river is a crooked woman dancing on shivering hips.
We become bright-browed and ancient,
shunned and out of step, the harmony misunderstood.

Ssh! Pass it on!

The wise, as ever, steal their wisdom from the lips of others.
Too smart, they exult in escape from the banal.
Too fast, they run from the slow lurch of time.
Too full, they shrink and burst leaving nothing to itself.
The mouth is a cauldron cooking the unsayable,
bringing to life the exposed silent ones,
the cloaked, watching, single-eyed ones.
It does not say and need not say:
the seed we have become will die for the tree to live.
For the tree to live the seed is forgotten.
Turn around, this is not yours ( nor ever was).
Perfect, you must dissolve into one thought.
the one never before, the one pillar that upholds the sky,
the silver-headed beast, the clutch and shudder of love,
and know its name, and know when it was born, and for what purpose.
And never, ever, ever, say.

Cauldron

The bard’s mouth is a cauldron that cooks the food of heroes,
That will not suffer the fame of fools.
It will bring the dead to life, though they can never speak for themselves.
It will feed all, no matter how great the host.
It will wriggle endlessly through time
But will never escape the timeless, spiral woman who turns into herself.
It will come out of the sea. It is the way to within and without.
What is not yours , you will come to love,
If you are wise.
A war of words clothing naked souls.

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THE BLESSING AND POISON OF GOOD WORDS

no moon, but a single
sickle call of an owl
in the deep valley

cold stars are winter’s eyes
as warmth leaves the world
and darkness wraps all up
as close to silence
as one can think.

by rivers and stars are we lifted up.
by rivers and stars are we brought low.

silent voices dipped in cloud.

I shall sit in darkness and dissolve into light.

dissolve into endless light.
dissolve into light.

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Old Friend

OLD FRIEND

We are declining, you and I,
As a dream that senses dawn.
Certainty thins and colours wan,
The story, less convincing, wavers.

Many we have known have now awoken.
Lost to us, they have slipped into new light.
Our hearts now as silent as autumn,
Feeling the creep of gold and azure;
A yearning to be wrapped in simple night.

The mantra and its music still infuse our bones,
The hum of joy within the blood.
Our future is a low mist, down on the hills,
A pearly light that moves with mystery.

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VERSE EIGHT

A flash of summer and the swallows are all gone,
Restless above the purple flowers of heather.
Everything that is hard work and driven deep into sorrow mountain
Looks heroic and sunlit from this serene, absent distance.
Held equally suspended before the slope,
fragmenting between memory and forgetting.

Last night’s rain has burst the river’s banks almost.
The leaves spin that have fallen, though the silent wood
remains there, green and dark,
Folded into the valley’s thigh.
Small things shelter, all there is a scurry
and birdsong and bright eye.
A dream language self-generated,
a precision of small hungers.

A moment flows and eddies
Reaching out for words to be clothed.
But now it is a roundness cold and naked,
Hollowed in leaden light, tumbled in cloud.
Hills drift bodiless, dew-ringed.
All the hearts that have ceased
And those that have begun again
Will fail to encompass the mystery.
A perfect river, inexhaustible.

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THIRD BRANCH

In brown light, thick as honey,
A book of instruction lies open that is a door.
Listen now, listen to these pictures.

How the reckless, (and even those we once thought wise),
Rush after what has been lost.
Into the fortress of emptiness,
Into deserted palaces and courtyards calling, calling.
And how they, we, I, reach for a clear golden perfect thing
And in that moment become immovable, entranced,
The fountain of all life bubbling inches out of reach.
The golden chains, (each link a true remembering
Of the one before), disappearing up into eternal blue
That holds the perfect vessel, that is equally curse and blessing.

If it has but one clear meaning, then it is not our poetry.
(A vessel chased and engraved with hypnotic flow,
Imperfect symmetry of ripples on a summer stream.)
If we are not led astray, it is not our poetry.
If we do not forget ourselves, wondering how we came here,
What it may all mean, then it is not our poetry.
We shall become poisoned by it and purged by it,
Blessed by it and made full with it. Stripped of skin,
Made shining and given new names, the names of ghosts long gone.
For the truth is: it shall revive the dead, made perfect again but speechless.
Only through our own voices now can they wander this world,
And we haunt them as they inhabit us.
Memory and forgetfulness.

A patch of sunlight sweeps the hills
And is gone.
These clouds, these hymns, these voices.
For a moment we shall fly upward, then remembering,
Fall down once more below the soil.

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