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Posts Tagged ‘nature’

RIVER WORDS

They do not say

What they sing

For your listening

But for their own joy.

No will of their own

But to find the deepest

And return.

Where streams meet:

A birth of spirals.

By the bridge

The patterns hold steady.

Acquiescence to the way.

We think we know them

By their names we know them.

We know them by their names.

You name the river

‘Destroyer of the children of men’.

I name this river

‘Gentle mother of fields’

The river calls itself:

‘Longing for stillness

In the deep’.

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BHAIRAV (THE WEIGHTLESS WEIGHT OF AIR)

Air.

Flowing river from mountains cooled,

And the passion of stars

Piercing the bow of Time.

Air.

Layering droop and singing yet

On the long slope of dawn.

Air.

Tinted blue yet.

Twisted warm and wan.

Twisted slow, rolling.

Air.

Dreaming pulses

As reasons’ reflection

But vague yet.

Vague and languid,

At edges stalled.

Moistened in sleep,

But not.

But not.

Air.

Piled deep

Down to the stars.

Life sways hanging, drifting.

Trees with their hair

Loose and swaying

Singing, singing,

Down to the starlit voids

Hanging the tidal edges

The endless full innocent darkness.

Air.

The trees shape

Single syllables

Howled whisps of vowels

Finding froth from feeling.

Air

Patterned, pressured, punctured

Parcelled.

Air

Twisted and released,

Spread out and stretching,

Tidal current

The vapours caress

Their gradient glacial moments.

Air

Sun bright now

Shifting shimmering.

It suffers all thought.

Turning about

Returning it to silence.

Air.

Sun-bright now,

Spirit-filled

Song-filled

The tongue of gods

Hungry for this and that.

It will not

It will not.

It will

It will.

Invisible lover of every surface.

Air.

It stretches, it pulses.

Gods are born from air.

They flow in and out,

Grow fists of nothing.

They flow in and out.

Gods born from

The turbulent throbs of air.

Movement shiver shafts.

Silence

Silence.

Bhairav is a well-known Indian raag of the early morning. I have only recently grown to love it and its variations. Perhaps the tense sharps and flats put me off. It has the energy of cool space, of heights, of growing light, of distance, of precise wing-tips, of soaring wings, of the dip and soar of red kites. This is a sort of verbal alap – a slow exploration of the moods and directions of morning air, here in the mountains.

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THE ROSES

The roses

They have been in bud

For months

Through sun and rain.

Now they open,

Bloom for a day or two

Giving joy to all,

Then fade and

Fall apart.

The roses.

The roses.

They throw off their beauty

Like dancers.

They value more

Their roots

And their thorns.

The blood red hips,

The hard won strength

To go on.

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A small breath of wind lifts the mist ‘til more blows in.

Two days, three days frost, has melted

And the birds are in the leaf litter.

The mountain’s voice says

‘Winter is not over yet’

But here in the valleys there is a small respite.

A day or two, perhaps, of gentler thoughts.

The world revolves around us here.

There is lamentation and the groans of fools from afar.

The waves, perceptible and arcane,

Encroach on the plans of contented futures.

But here, for a day or two,

Will be blue calm and the hope

Of buds and roots.

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Heart

HEART

Heart anchored to this land.

No need for more questions.

The slow breath of seasons.

An Ivy road that clings and wanders

About the steep sides of Mynydd Troed.

This voiceless white sky calls

Into a vast unknown.

Three days stand still:

The cold of motionless time.

Take it to heart.

Let the silence of it

Dwell there a while.

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HARD RAIN

Hard rain washing the world away.

Leaves fall through cooling air.

The gutters are singing an autumn song.

Rivers wake from summer’s sleep.

I was dreaming of eagles and their turquoise voice

In the days where darkness drums down more suddenly

And the cold cannot any longer be shrugged off.

I was dreaming of a path that was a spiral

And a spiral that was a mirror.

I stand before a silent oak.

Its name is eternal song,

Retribution, its door.

Its mouth is darkness.

In the end we do not know what matters.

This curl of sound, this exhalation of breath

Might be enough for a universe to be complete.

I study the taste of this turquoise,

Turn it between cold fingers

Then walk into the hill ( for all hills are doorways).

If you follow the hare, the path shall lie

Flat as grass before a strong wind.

If you follow the deer, the path shall be

Dappled and filled with birdsong.

If you follow the otter, the path will be

Silver and smooth as moonlight.

If you follow the dead,

Returning to their places,

You shall find your path

To womb and fireside

And questions: why and whereto.

All the warm singing halls

Lost in mist and blood.

All the familiar is a lie.

The world is utter strangeness

And the stars, known but unnamed.

I have been a trowel, an eagle, a pen.

What has been put together, falls apart.

These dreams you do not own.

Each is borrowed to keep you warm.

The path is a name you do not know.

This world is all the clue you will get.

Wrapped and unwrapped, each day a reminder.

There is no greater fool than a poet,

No greater truth than the lie of poetry.

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The sky rolls out from them, these hills

that witness all that moves round here.

Catching the last light in shadowed hands;

Sending breezes billowing through the rolling valley oaks.

They drop their white veils and dream of prophecies

That do not end in utter silence.

Their answer is in streams and tumbled stones

That last almost forever, almost.

And catch and keep the hearts of small and nested things,

To keep them safe until it is time to take them back to night

And to that other dreaming.

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Penygarngoch rises from the past,

A whale of rock, green draped,

Through the hayfields and meadow mists.

Rising above the lowing cattle,

Rising above the blackcap’s song.

Higher than the raven’s tumble,

Higher than the roads and pathways.

The present does not wash it clean of memory.

It does not replace the layers accumulated,

The dust of starlight, the tombs of kings.

In its deep roots, in its trickling waters,

In its sedge and scrub and bracken,

In its clear-eyed dreaming head,

In its separate, aloof completeness,

In its drawing out of silence,

In its dome of watchfulness,

It rises higher into the sun.

Both consonant and vowel,

Both noun and verb.

A rounded arc that restfulness adheres to.

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SOLSTICED

.

Garth Bank is a mind

Resting in silence.

.

Bryn and Y Garn

Become domed and spacious.

Valley rivers make no noise-

The whole world stands still.

.

The cold of eternal space

Touches the edge

Of our certainty.

.

So we cling

To an ephemeral fullness

And watch a blue distance

Grow warm in haze,

.

Nested in comfortable notions,

The children of cracked worlds.

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A CUCKOO IN THE NEST

A cuckoo see-saws in the sunny dregs of May.

All the fractured warriors, pale and bloodless,

Sink into the seed-filled soil.

The winners and losers are the ones

Who laid out these fine roads.

So we can trust no other paths

Through the oak deep woods and sun-warmed cliffs.

They have buried their gold here and there

Like dinosaur eggs, cold hope and useless,

Without the thrusting love of bees.

We shall walk among the dead and borrow their dreams.

Bred for an ostentatious perfection

The roses strangled by a sea of happy weeds.

Yet we take the rose for our badge:

The blowsy, failing, propped and preening dream

Of old men and fanatics, and fight the weeds together.

The cuckoo mocks the sunny morning.

Innocence supplanted by an unbuilt guile.

The world see-saws on precipitance.

The stars, at least, remain, untouched

By this busy arrogance of being.

How many times shall I sing the same song,

O, Enitharmon? Until the long grey rains

Wash all footsteps away?

Gronw, Gronw, that stone over your heart shall not save you.

It will be laid out: the failings of desire and the roads of gold.

It shall all be sundered by the returning soul,

The tides of people, a song of weeds.

Sweet smelling idiots, the tiered hierarchies of perfect moments.

We have longed for its return – the resonant, ephemeral cuckoo.

But now its constant echo palls. It is no bard, but pure politician.

It ousts the futures of others, counts away choices, one by one.

The roads that are reasonable, are inevitable.

You had the choice a long time ago, if you recall, to be a hero

Or to fall safely into those ruts of good and equitable habit.

We have been charmed down from the tree now,

Given a voice, and we must fill the role assigned us.

To heave the future from its nest, watch it crack

Against the stones, and pray for food to still sustain us.

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