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Posts Tagged ‘night’

STONE AGE

Snow clouds drift below moon and stars.

The river roars its long distance.

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What can can we do

But breathe in the warm smoke of fires

And huddle down into the skins of animals?

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In this way

We become the world’s eyes

In long winter.

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Hunters of stories

In the mists.

Recounters of the long herds

And the cunning wings.

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Sustained by the strong life of others.

So we may sing their praises

And with our hands

Shape amber and jet

And flint and bone.

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Beneath the one tree of starlight

And dancing, rising sparks.

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LULLABY

The hidden stars that the owls sing to.

The white branching birches shift from sight into sound.

The failing grains, the falling grains,

Tempered in Time’s wailing rivers.

We fail again to measure glory,

So sleep weightless and numb.

But that is what keeps us sane:

Stick to the lines once learned.

Recite nothing that breaks the rhyme,

The tick and tock of year in, year out

To forbid the howl of ghosts

And the crack of bone.

Keep the marrow hid, untasted.

The slow circling wings have the names of gods that are patient.

The fine threads, the dust of mould settles in.

Sleep, so as not to dream this dream.

Sleep sight and sound.

Slow sighs: the rise and fall of life within.

The woven world, golden with words.

A throb of muscles and distant gunfire.

Keep the visions in the flame of the hearth.

Keep the prophecy in the cooling cauldron.

The future shall be our breakfast

But now we rest, bathed in owls,

The hidden stars, the birch’s bone fingers,

A blanket weight, an imperceptible falling.

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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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WINTER SONG

Storm words roar from the north.

From oceans of ice the sanity of cold.

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The pines here bend and shudder.

The birches here shimmer light webs.

The waters here grow thick and silent.

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Time, its old fire wan, weakens limp.

Nothing can be done, its slow moments congealing.

Nothing can be saved, the precious mirrors tint and spall.

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There is no way out, no way in.

The roads all spattered, batter edged.

Small beasts bear the burden hearts or give them up to rest.

Small beasts melt into the shrines of singing stars.

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The clouds ring loud, the earth an anvil, cold steel hard.

The sun has three days stood still,

It stutters on now, but in new pain.

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The days of winter are a long entrancing poem.

It has a recitation hypnotic, unyielding.

The wind shouts it, the north wind, the song of winter long.

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And winter still to take its deep bite on the warm world.

Day by day the dying are heading west,

They trail their names and their memories, river dreaming.

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What is left are bones and the teeth of night.

Harsh goddesses who lust for flame,

Older stories than the ones we know,

Older by far, in the language of soot and coupling.

A cave-deep heat lit by animal scents.

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These first roads are etched on our palms,

Red, in the alignments of circumference.

From here, the silver rivers;

From here, the stones that sing;

From here, the roots reach downwards;

From here, the seeds are gathering together.

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NIGHT RIVER

Hush, now, hush.

It is the night river rush

In the cool stumbling dark.

Echoes of dogs twist the silent wings of stars.

It is the thrum of moments being born

From the ground sighing upwards.

Orion and his prey:

Every night the same story

But we never tire of it.

The roads we follow to make it right.

The roads we tread to follow on behind.

Night river, going and staying still.

The night river lullaby in its blanket valley.

Tucked away and breathing dreams.

Tucked away as the heat evaporates,

As heads empty of thought,

As bodies drape and forget themselves,

As breath joins the river snd leaves, and leaves.

Night river, the cold as smooth and sharp as stalking cats.

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EXIT STRATEGY

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Easy to make reckless plans with full bellies,

But many hearts sank in silence amid the wild enthusiasm.

To drag us all into darkness is the destiny of heroic leaders,

And it is they and their names will be ever remembered

By the sleek, sleazy poets collecting their nightly gold.

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Of course, there were plans and there was strategy.

Of course, it was not immediate – that dissolution

Into the suffocating mists of isolating fear.

The poets’ make clear that there was some fine history there.

But we went into the great design believing we brought light and honour

And hoping quietly for at least a little plunder to justify the slaughter.

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No one had told us that the air there would be sharper than our steel;

That our proud bellowing voices would be snuffed out

Only by the weight of the unutterable silence of that place.

That the chains that chaffed us, ( the poet’s said), were the very sinews

That held our bones and breath, our only strength, our only continuity.

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We shall be mocked and sneered at by any who survive,

Even refined orators driven mad by the senselessness and broken screams of it.

These bright heroes dragged dizzy from the conflagration of hearts,

Goodness sold for pennies or twisted into shields to refute incompetence.

Greed disguised as quest. That tomb will not be opened.

No triple spells to cajole the lost towards a familiar banality.

No back to normal as the ghostly voices weigh down the thin air

With starved dreams and the corpses of tomorrow’s children.

Nothing but worms, now, of glory.

A heroic sunset it was, and now the cold darkness is creeping in.

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N THE BLOOD

How long does it need to be in the blood

Before it becomes poetry?

How long must it seethe ‘til it yields

A single drop reflecting new truth the old way?

How long mirroring, remembering, discarding,

Disregarding its own and other fashions

Until it forgets the watchers and turns in

To be just itself alone?

A single gnat swims unevenly

Through a still midnight room.

That is what life is, usually.

The wind outside, a faint electric hum,

The tick of clock and cooling fire.

The words sink down

A mulch of debris.

Nothing can be returned now.

It must move on and feed others,

Seek new flesh, bend new tongues.

It will pulse,

A thin capillary pull

To go on its way.

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TALIESIN ECHOES

“I have been the radiance of stars”

Standing still feeling the heat leave.

Pierced, made nothing, made all

By the silent kissing of a million stars.

Hanging headfirst over a boiling void of words,

Whispered, muttered down the centuries to now.

How beauty strikes us dumb

And then, how pain creeps in.

The holding and the letting go that

We never learn.

What the river says, what the river says.

Ye warriors, so like primroses.

Ye poets, so like hedgerows.

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DAYS NOW

Days now the whispers come and go

worm words generated from earth,

words of smoke, words of plants.

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Turn sideways, become thin,

slip between one day and another,

at the year’s ending so little noise.

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These stars – they are not now,

they have burned bright and died

a million, million years ago.

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Therefore, I bow down and breath deep

the dead light of our ancestors,

gone and here and gone again.

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Time is the fat of stars;

seeping in the long years,

other glorious mornings long gone,

distant golden mornings,

other silent rooms, other footsteps.

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Nothing goes to waste

but slowly changes from what it was

woven threefold into other days.

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The Magister holds starlight in his crystal spheres

to rot them down to raven’s wings

where seconds copulate birthing strange homunculi.

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They know the answers only the dead know

in butterfly whispers etching notions,

as acid reveals the jagged web of meteorites.

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He is old now,

his bones creak like galleons do.

His mind, though, a bright moon in a stormy sky

for he is, he says, acquainted with all the demons

that dwell beyond law and science,

who converse in riddles

and move as if dancing upon other gravities.

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Their heads are broken open,

their orifices sprouting green tendrils,

their skin, inhabited scrolls

where letters form and reform in curious calligraphies.

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Lascivious is their language,

exotic and full of lilting innuendo.

Their madnesses are roads untrod before.

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He reads the books that have never been opened,

by walking backwards through mirrors.

His only sustenance, the tiny measurements of primordial dust

wherein he seeks his own eternal name.

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He practices the mudras of teaching and of dissolution.

His words fall sparsely in vast space

like birds that fly across a still sunset sky.

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Their skin peeled back, returned to light

they tend their dripping hives,

honey vowels, the sigh of release.

They climb upon one another,

puncturing their certainty,

melting into each other’s futures.

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The sawhorse shall be put together.

A new constellation shall appear in the southern sky

as Betelguese, or its ghost, or its future,

Weighs the likelihood of eternity.

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The world is fire and light

and time is the fat of stars.

The apple winces in its dawn frost,

The sequoias sing to planet’s spin.

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Clear facts stumble unheeded through forest fires

whilst ungainly notions dress the moments.

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The alembic bubbles and quivers,

uncertain whether it can hold

the sentience of its own soot.

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Still the Great Work must continue.

In holiness we are rubbed out completely

imagining new wings, writing new musics.

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Night Air

NIGHT AIR

This is their hall,
their echoing hall.

Acolyte owls mist and dust the snow flurry
that is an endless decease.

Heat of heart and heat of blood
rises wavering, steams, dissipates.

Cold eyes, lidless, remain.
Smiling, our ancestors by their fires,
looking down to see whatever passes
(the long roads, the short roads
To their welcoming circles).

This is their hall, domed and dark
where the warm soul of breath expires.

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