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Posts Tagged ‘myth’

IN HER HOUSE (Dakini Day)

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In her house of stars

the dark one’s hunger is unabated.

Clothe yourself in time and space and it will not be

Half enough

to approach her roaring silence.

The void around which the cauldron’s form is boiling:

All the gods burn bright

to feed that eternal heat.

Spinning arms dredge the web of roads between emptiness.

Vast is the well and vast the language.

The proud will not find it.

The worthy will not find it.

It is not what you are, nor what you would wish to be.

So hungry it can never be sated,

So full it can never be found.

Words approach and are swallowed.

Eternal dancers surround it.

Pillars of smoke are its witness:

The primal hole where gods ejaculate and die.

Supreme Glistening Darkness, we hear your song and tremble.

We draw your name as the moving waters do.

Down, down, down.

We do not know by knowing.

We do not remember anything by remembering.

Be still. Be silent.

The spiralling throne finds us and draws us in.

A cold breath passes through us.

We sigh and become glorious.

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TWENTY YEARS ( OF DRUID TRAINING)

1

It was like a rope of light

let down into the chaotic darkness.

Only later would we see

it was a deadly serpent

and the chains of enslavement.

But such is the nature of knowledge

and we shrugged, accepting all costs.

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Nyt o vam a that

Pan y’m digonat

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It was not from a mother and a father

That I was made.

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2

One year we were held in complete silence.

No word spoken

but internal recitation of all the masters’ words.

Becoming each one, and their lilt,

moving into their expressions,

reclothed in passions,

Eyes opening in other worlds.

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A’m creu a’m creat

O naw rith llafanat;

.

And my creation was created for me

From nine forms of consistency:

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3

Another year we each were given

one word only, to unwrap.

To follow, to hunt to its uttermost,

to its bright birth,

In a name that has become ours alone.

A map of our journey,

a seal on our circumference.

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O ffrwyth, o ffrwytheu,

O ffrwyth Duw dechreu;

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From fruit, from fruits,

From God’s fruit in the beginning;

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4

Once the words were learned

all the rhythms and the hidden wealth:

We could see how nothing existed

outside of those patterns of plaid.

No move, no colour, no conceit,

nothing that was not drawn

from that well of words.

And so we learnt to see around us,

in every hall, in every byre,

where each would walk

and where in each tale

they would place themselves.

And how with a word

it might be shifted

and how with a gesture

the plot might be moved on.

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O vriallu a blodeu,

O vlawt gwyd a godeu,

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From primroses and flowers,

From the blossom of trees and shrubs,

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5

One year we were given

the gift of madness.

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Prid o pridet

Pan y’m digonet,

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From earth, from the sod

Was I made,

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6

Another year we slept all the long days

and at night gathered around still pools

to learn the dance of stars, and their songs.

Our dreams would be strange then,

and our names, unpronounceable

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O vlawt danat,

O dwfyr ton nawvet.

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From nettle blossom

From the ninth wave’s water.

.

7

One year we would speak only lies,

until we knew that truth is itself a lie,

and that the tides beneath us

are drowning darknesses

and screaming passions.

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A’m swynwys-i Vath

Kyn bum diameth.

.

Math created me

Before I was completed.

.

8

A year as birds

soaring and rising on thermals,

to find the fulcrum of the winds

and to twist the cloud rivers to rope

for sun or rain or storm.

To placate, to restore.

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A’m swynwys-i Wytyon

Mawrut o brithron.

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Gwydion fashioned me

Great enchantment wrought by a magic staff;

.

9

A year abiding by trees –

some would not return,

fertilising the world

with their eternal silences.

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O Eurwys, o Euron,

O Euron, o Vodron;

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By Eurwys, by Euron,

By Euron, by Modron;

.

10

Another, we hunted and slew all the gods,

taking their women and siring new progeny.

These we fed with our own blood and souls,

so that they would know us when we summoned them.

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O pymp keluydon

Arthawon eil math –

Pan ymdygyaed.

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By five enchanters

Of a kind like godparents –

Was I reared.

.

11

One year to placate and cajole poisons.

Those songs were enticing, sweet as death.

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A’m swynwys-i wledic

Pan vei let loscedic.

.

A ruler fashioned me

When there would have been a burning extent.

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12

Then we did all return to our own families

To serve one year, unrecognised, in their midst.

For many that was the final chain broken to the past.

Allegiance of blood once sweet, now rancid, old, bitter.

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A’m swynwys sywyt

Sywydon kyn byt,

.

The wisdom of sages fashioned me

Before the world was made.

.

13

A year of folding secrets into the mundane;

Of speaking to the deep;

Of remaining human.

Learning that love and hate

Are the gravity that keeps us here.

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Pan vei genhyf-y vot,

Pan vei vach veint byt.

.

When I had being,

When the extent of the world was still small.

.

14

A year polishing swords and mirrors

And placing the singing spells

Of vision and death within them.

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Hard bard bud angnawt,

Yt uedaf ar wawt

A traetho tauawt.

.

A fair poet, of unusual gifts,

I control in song

That which the tongue utters.

.

15

The genealogies of the lost

And the equations of gods;

Their doorways, their doorkeepers.

The mysteries under the earth

Where the stars wander,

Passionate light on an endless river.

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Gwaryeis yn llychwr,

Kysceis ym porffor.

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I played in the light,

I slept wrapped in purple.

.

16

The transmutation of the body into smoke;

To see without eyes;

To move the shining streams.

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Neu bum yn yscor

Gan Dylan Eil Mor,

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I was in the citadel

With Dylan Son of the Sea,

.

17

To become free in chains;

To remember the first cauldron

And the journey from there.

Brightness remaining.

To give everything away,

Yet remain undiminished.

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Yg kylchet ym perued

Rwg deulin teyrned.

.

My bed in the interior

Between the knees of kings.

.

18

To summon guards and guardians;

To curse the dreams of kings;

To know the stars’ positions in daylight;

To travel out on rays of light;

.

Yn deu wayw anchwant:

O Nef pan doethant.

.

My two keen spears:

From Heaven did they come.

.

19

To know one’s manner and time of death;

To move into other forms;

To prophesy and to escape from prophecy.

Transformation at the moment of death;

To remember every name and

The shape and hungers of souls.

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Yn Annwfyn llifereint

Wrth urwydrin dybydant.

.

In the streams of Annwfn

They come ready for battle.

.

20

To return to simple words,

To return to silence;

To remember and forget,

To move freely without ripples.

Three drops spinning –

Their taste, the honey moment.

To know that all is song.

That all is one song, one river,

And to listen to the winds from the hills there,

From the rapids, from the shallows,

To leap upstream, to float downstream.

To inhabit the world that inhabits the wise.

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Ef gwrith, ef datwrith,

Ef gwrith ieithoed.

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He made, he remade,

He made languages.

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Llachar y enw llawffer,

Much llywei nifer;

.

Radiant his name, strong his hand

Brilliantly did he direct a host;

.

Ysceinynt yn ufel

O dosas yn uchel.

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They were scattering in sparks

From a drop in the heights.

The Welsh is taken from ‘Cad Godeu’, a long and mysterious poem attributed to Taliesin. It is not meant as a commentary on my verses, nor the other way round. But perhaps they both come from the same place and act as a counterpoint in time and space.

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GODDESS BOWL

I am the unknowable bliss at the moment of death and birth.

I am the shatterer of stars.

I am intimately enwrapped in every moment.

I am the passion of breath.

I am the fragile vessel of eternal light.

I am the bright moon burning.

I am the smell of molecules and the wetness of love.

I am every skin and every longing.

I am the drip of cave mouth and the yawn of lions.

I am the eternal tree of photons and its infinite song.

Beyond size and judgment, beyond care and carelessness,

Beyond mirrors and windows, every door speaks my name.

Every bowl acknowledges my precedence.

All vowels and consonants praise me.

All silence contemplates my forms.

All seas, all rivers, all days, all nights, all revolving,

All steadfastness, all remembering, all forgetting, all breath,

All consummation, all conceit, all dream, all thought, all name,

All essences, all senses, all waters, all featherlight caresses,

All thunder, all change, all disappearing, all sorrow, all tears,

All reasons, all homecomings, all roads.

Perfect, unsullied, naked, unadorned.

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FAINT BREEZES

Faint eternal breezes between stars

Where the gods have walked.

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The door-hinge between worlds screams

And time is changed. Your names are of no value here,

Nor your skills.

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Your future has been stolen

Because the past was not understood.

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All roads dissolve at the misty edges.

This forest is your accuser.

This forest is your river.

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The dance between two and three,

The vanishing one eclipsed.

Umbra, penumbra, chorus, echo.

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The table of utter silence.

The taste of grey iron chain,

Grey as morning, neither this nor that.

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Four stories long the seamstress works,

Head bowed in patterns, the needles

Darting in and out.

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Blake and Burne-Jones naked on the shore,

Collecting the teeth of dragons,

Barefoot in embers and sea wrack.

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The sky boat reflected in the moving waters,

The stallions hobbled, too wild, even, for war.

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It is the gentle who are moulded

For vengeance and bleak reply.

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And still the future is mute but growing.

It will be bright with accident,

Possessed with skills of no use whatsoever –

The arts of distraction and decay,

The sowing of grief and duty.

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Do not look for any meaning in the words ( they say)

The key is not the door.

There is no lie in winter.

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RAINBOW WINGS

When the cloud is not down on the hill

there is no magic.

When everything is so clear,

nothing is seen.

The sound of the river,

what voices does it carry?

How can it be unravelled?

I shall tell you a truth

that is mine alone,

a truth of gold and silver

as pure as dream

and as radiantly unscathed.

A truth of rainbow-sheened wings,

roofing a golden palace,

dispersed by a breath,

by a doubt, by a breeze.

The truth no one believes –

that is the way to touch the Real.

The truth that cannot possibly be true,

that is laughed out of every hall,

that truth is the truth that can change the universe.

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SOLSTICE LIGHT

Listen, listen, the slow light of solstice morning.

Time shuddering, time standing still.

A word wind muttering indistinct, its rhythms and intent

As steady as oars would be, as steady as oar strokes across a glassy sea.

Listen, listen. We were all in one band, a magnificent number.

Heading west ( always heading west into darkness there, into the mists).

One raised his voice – the song we all knew.

One of those songs whose words would be ridiculous, banal,

Without the tune. Whose chorus impossibly united the living and the lost.

The glass sea slid by. Time ran out.

Some said it was a hard coming of it that year, but it was not.

It was not. It was as easy as breathing.

The reasons, so reasonable. The logic, implacable.

The rhetoric, bombastic and irrefutable.

.

The watchmen were silent, uncommunicative.

Impossible it was to know the minds of the doorkeepers.

We were there to free the imprisoned,

There to reclaim what had been lost,

There to carry home what had been taken.

Voiceless one by one we fell into silence there.

Burning bright as phosphor bombs falling from the air.

Bright as sparks hammered from the anvil.

The prize was claimed, as it always is,

The light released, the cave broken upon,

The tomb unsealed, the spell broken, the curse trod down.

But the world now, irrevocably changed.

Seven with breath, seven with tears still falling,

Seven tired and justified. Seven wan and clustered stars

Backward looking, racing on.

In a world, in a morning, not ours.

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The slim waning moon floating into the stormy dawn,

Losing its light minute by minute. No longer noticed.

Fading into day.

I have cast out on the grass, seeds for the small brown birds,

For the hungry and the cold.

The eagles and the hawks have gone. The songsters silent,

The stately waterbirds, the watching herons forgotten in the fluttering rush.

I shall sing the names, uphold the excuse,

a psalmist counting off lines in a cold cell: the cajoling verses of warrior kings

For fickle vengeful gods, the rosary of blood red beads, the genealogies,

Until the shivering silver-edged awen fails, tumbling into mute silence,

Voiceless watching an unextraordinary morning.

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If we had not been so strident, so golden,

Could we have passed the doors unscathed?

Had we understood what was asked of us,

Has we not mistaken guileless honesty as elaborate deception,

A trick to catch us out,

Could we be in those halls still feasting?

There with no needs to forget,

no weight of dust and falling radiant starlight upon us.

No need to elaborate the litany of the dead,

Compose harmonious laments, gather together the names,

as if they meant anything any more, as if we remembered

Their bright eyes, their smiles, their warm strong hands,

Their words around the fires.

.

The ashes are cold and must be cleared now.

Reset the hearth. Begin again.

The splash of sweeping oars and the crack of canvas receding.

Our bright futures looking westwards: the new approaching night.

It is not what it could be,

Not what was promised.

But it is what it is.

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CWM DWFNANT (2)
(Our geography)

It does not dwell here
It does not stay.
Coming and going in mists
Dissolved to spirit
Absently haunting
The green valley quiet.

Its wings are white shadows
Milk dropped in pools
A cleft, a demure device,
Dark and luscious mystery
Hovered near madness
Far too far from reasonable reasons.

It dwells otherwise, a dark language
Spoken backwards.
Returning time to itself,
A rotating quern of years and miles.
A mighty sign at the corner of the eye.

Blessings to the world-weary
That strip the meat back to bone,
Break the bone to feed on sweet hidden marrow.

The lick of mist, the lick of its still wrist,
Far-flung, a throat of words
Pushed back deep into the hills.

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PSYCHE/BIOLOGY/GEOGRAPHY

Bone words articulate me.
I clothe myself with wonders,
taking to myself the wrappings
of delight. There are strange beings
with familiar names folded
into memories, the voices from
drowsy Sunday afternoons.
We have cast off from mystery
searching deeper cauldrons
to feed us and make us whole.
There was never one moment
when our insistent shadows
did not mimic us. Starlight,
moonlight and the silence
of hills, our rills and rivers
cannot abide, but must tumble
and roar like warriors into conflict.
The finest webs that have caught us,
giving us names and constraining us
we have overlooked. The whispered voice
upon our skin, a breath we abide within,
a quiver of light, a curl of
reflected brightness, the jingle
of harnesses
in an old
story.

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GOOD FRIDAY

from the mist: the hills.
clouds attempt the memories of things,
but fail and find instead broad brightnesses.

there is birdsong in the valley (may there ever be),
and ravens in the cascading sky.
a wash of calling sheep, heading for food.

we feel the older weaving, thread-worn, familiar,
a whisper of what it was, (though still greater than us).
it is in the blood: this dying and longing and silence,
an intimation of the beyond coming closer,
the hidden web knotted together.

the sure, gnarled fingers of compassion,
patient Mother Spring
and the story of the son.

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A Cloak of Words
(The head of Bran whispering poet’s ears)

A whole long life he muttered dream charms
In the warm safe hall, in golden birdsong.
This life is a metaphor for living, but is not quite,
Is what he said, till curious, one looked beyond the doors.

The cold sea winds, the mist-white cry of gulls,
The memory stripped, fact bones, dream blubber,
Food for drowned thought, shivered clear,
Born again.

The snow creeps down to the valley floor.
A bullfinch in a flash of sunlight.

The Good Raven is cloaked beneath,
hidden and always in our blood.
And he will whisper, good-hearted,
as bright brows burst with illumined fire,
a convocation of the one, the only, bard in many voices.

A sea of hills, and one mighty one striding through.
It is a downward spiral from there, no good came of it,
Except a good tale dusting sunsets with fools’ gold.
Perhaps that is, after all, enough. As much as
Can be hoped for where women are unheard
And men so willing to go to war for pride.

So senseless is this suffering as to drive them raving, about the forests,
To perch muttering in bare branches, to shun the comfort,
To converse with blackbirds, to remember in aeons,
To weigh the heavy genealogies, to befriend stars.
Brave enough to see and to speak in true riddles;
To confound the self-righteous mind, to spit out the grit;
To fire the dark night with lightning, to sweeten bitterness.

And to go unheard, to go misunderstood, to go mocked,
As the world itself is, as the son of the world is,
To be turned into ghosts to frighten children with,
Unfashionable prophets, an annoyance of thorn woven crowns.

Bright-eyed, the blessed carrion-eaters return
Making the most of the already lost.
Wishing them well with a natural grace.
The beautiful bones pecked clean,
A lean, mysterious perfection
Is all that ever remains.

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