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Posts Tagged ‘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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A Summer Lament

Summer, the dream we so soon forget.
Feeling the bones of winter beneath,
Its bleak branches bleached
Upon a cold, dark sky.

Green folds the small roads here
And the rain is warm.
But in the heart of the cities,
In the hearts of the powerful
Burns always a welded light
Wedded to words of war.

The cold is never far
And simple goodness
Too easy to be proud of,
As simple as breathing in and out.

So on the long days of a short summer
They will still wish for the clear pain of winter,
Something to rail against.

For they cannot let go of being more,
Though they are nothing
That the world will not allow
For a moment or two
In the brief shadowed sun.

To be a cause of pain is not power.
It is a road that promises,
But falls to void and oblivion.
Hedged with narrowing views
When the marrow melts
And blood burns free
To its coagulation
And the bitterness of hollow words
And the leaves curl
And an end that is not peace,
A bitter question, a hollowing answer.

We so float upon this thin skin of summer,
Longing it eternally, and as vague as holiness.
A glorious relaxation of edge and purpose.
The dive and long sighing arc of swallows,
The endless warm rivers of lark’s song,
The murmured chanting of a million bees,
Forgetting ourselves for a while,
Melting into being, nested in spirit,
Lazy in directionless, dreaming light.

Til the bite of the cold night
Returns us blinking
Wondering and hungry
And small in the face of almighty things.

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PAKAD: CLOUDLESS SILENCE

It is a cloudless silence, a stretched skin of light,
White wheel of sun and moon, stars silver singing road,
Painted vast and edgeless, the deep rolling earth
Breathing in hills, dreaming in valleys.

Cloudless silence here
White light pierces winter mind.
The tumbling waters

Cloudless silence here
Lost in mist, crow calls its mate.
Cold air, dogs barking.

Cold breeze shifts the mist
Dogs bark in the distant town.
A cloudless silence

In cloudless silence
All these thoughts fall silent now.
Footsteps on the road.

A delicate touch
Keeping warm this egg of words.
New cloudless silence.

Three crows dancing song
Cold breeze on the snowcapped hill.
A cloudless silence.

Pakad, jor, alap.
A slow unfolding morning.
This cloudless silence.

A pakad is a theme in Classical Indian music. It is a short series of notes that identifies and characterises every raag. It appears and reappears throughout each piece of music. It is a constant moment of return to mood and purpose.
Alap is the slow development and investigation of the note sequences of a raag, a discovery of themes.
Jor is the section that continues the development within a more rhythmical framework.
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MARI LWYD 4

This dream we cling to
As if it were the only dream.
This wind, these hills,
This heart so tattered,
So threadbare.
Scoured even,
Stretched thin,
Worn down.
A whisper in the rain.
A word forming in the pines.
Winter shows the bones
Of what is, of what
Will remain,
Of what the old songs sung.
This has been your life
Down to this frozen moment,
This darkening path,
Distant laughter,
Sparks spinning
From the bobbing torches.
Shall we go on?

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MARI LWYD 2

Sparks spin into night.
Through darkness a white ghost moves.
We follow, laughing.

Landscape remains.
Mind stays the same.
It is only the light
That changes,
Only thoughts
That come and go.
The music of it all
Remains,
Though the notes
Are constantly rearranged.

This dream so real
We fear there is no other.

We follow the grey empty void
For which we have made sparkling eyes
And a name and a thunderous roar;
And filled it with questions and answers,
Sustaining itself in darkness,
Intruding into our hearth.
Skull empty judge,
Bent bone and curved empty,
A void of time.

Lacerating tattered hearts
The wind that scars the hills
And incrementally erodes
Once warm moments
Wearing down words to screams,
Wisdom to leaden clubs.

A white sky.
Snow cold are the hills.
The rain freezes.
Beauty is not for you to survive,
But to savour
And then to long for forever.

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Soulless

To come out from the sorrow with wings
(The wind rising deepening thick darkness)
To find song that sings continuance
(The rain flown miles burns cold)
To find a haven, a hammocked clarity
(No stars, nor shadow, nor moon tonight)
The long roads aching empty, dreary, full of tears
(Lightless, limp, dreams splintered, knowing not the way to try)

Over the hills, bleak white drift forces itself into crevice and bank.
A slow, tempered piano hangs notes and melody, not new, nor remembered.
It echoes so and brings some small pillow of ease.

Firelight flickers,
All sink sleepless into dream.
A small thing it is to fail,
to cease, to become unmattered.
(The street empty, the empty house,
The mind revolving. The heart of things,
A sudden distance).

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