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Posts Tagged ‘Otherworld’

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THE WORDS WE COLLECT

It is the whispers in the walls,
The ghosts that breath upon our lips.
We dissolve, lost in sounds from elsewhere,
From rooms, from halls.
Left, empty enough, losing attention,
We step out of ourselves
And for a moment become monstrous,
Glorious shadows in the winds
Of strange, bright mornings.

Though none of it speaks for us:
The silent, swirling mists, nor
The resounding, thundrous deep,
Nor the wells without light,
Nor the stars without memory,
Nor the movement of seconds,
Nor anything of the vastness.
For all these are constrained
By our sound, and uttered unbeknownst
By those guilty of innocence.

Left dancing on air, breathless,
Pierced, spun to a fine point, examined,
Cast out, then disregarded.
Swimming in an ocean of shadows
It is hard to know what is of value.

I shall put my ear to the door of the earth,
And listen to the ones never dead,
A music not of our blood though equally holy.
Even its echoes dissolve flesh and name
In the round chambers, skull-domed,
Grass-topped and nibbled by sheep.

For the extraordinary rests upon the ordinary,
As sound rests upon its own silence,
The known is upon the unknown
As birds rest upon tall oaks in evening.

We live above the noise, dipped in cloud.
Hearing rumours of the dreams of others,
And building what we can out of that.
Once given a name, believing that makes us real,
Practicing a story sewn from fables.

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MABINOGION HAIKU

This golden river.
Words bob down the long ages-
Mysterious truths

Moon well, sun cauldron.
Who would not become transfixed?
Their utter beauty.

There is not one thing
That is not another thing.
Pay attention, Pwyll!

Green mound lost in fog.
What dream does the world dream here?
breath weaves life and death.

How could she be true?
Oak and broom and meadowsweet,
Made of season’s change.

Do not take possession
Of what is not yours.
(And nothing is yours).



Sort of a hybrid between haiku form and gnomic verse. Apologies for all those who do not know the allusions, but those who know the Four Branches might take some little pleasure in these fragmentary nods…

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White with snow are the hills on the horizon.
The rivers are quiet, the pools frozen.
Clouds from the north taste bitter cold sunrise.

The deep, dark, breathing earth accumulates to itself,
As if the threads and shreds of shared sentience
Net down the long years and become soaked
With drip and ceaseless dream, each wish and ache
And spark of memorable brightness,
Catalogued, compacted, savoured, saved.

And with these do they clothe themselves: in a world’s memories
And thus, learn to speak in howls and long whispers,
An aesthetic without emotion, a dance only, a game, a chess board,
A gwyllbwyll, a ritual that is not quite imitation nor mirroring
But has its own exquisite golden reason,
A long dreaming sublimation of spent and careless thought.

All these cobwebs and leaves, they are truly
the only gold to be cherished.
The damp and fusty decay of life thrown off,
Carefully considered and gathered again for feasts of kings and angels
And dark giant forms that have no concern for any future,
but nurture the past cradled in deeper woods, rocked in song,
Draped in arcane languages, swung on sunless, starless seas,
Shattered on mirrored starry pools and fountains.

A moment too slow for this world’s water
( a dream of even clearer water, a blood clear river,
a serpent spiral of cool life,
Silver water, perfect loom of water,
eternal life giver, rock cooled, cave silent,
Tremulous with distant footfalls, distant light.)

More real than the real, more real than time,
more present so it is squeezed between each chink
Of time and space, our substratum, our mother matter,
our folded vast and black pinions,
Our beautiful storm, our glory and tragedy,
our mulch of words.
To where all words sink and their images too,
to reform, re-loved beautiful monsters, free from doubt,
Unburdened of guilt, violent and innocent,
purely, demurely selfish and sharing the virtues of edge and shadow.

Ploughed deep in the dark trenches,
the midnight river boat of sun and moon,
sung with choir of gods and stars and lascivious,
long limbed goddesses born for pleasure.
They will swallow us all, open up and consume,
become fecund and full and birth us over and over,
their lovers named and unnamed, loved and laid to rest.
The smallest of things, a feast of passion most holy.
Most holy the earth and its names,
most holy the mystery beneath us,
the mirror within us, the eyes, the feral eyes,
the hungry eyes that look back
and do not ever, ever, look away.

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Samhain in Annwfn

Transgression by assumption.
You have taken what does not belong
By assuming everything you see here
Is yours by right.
Taking what is mine
You shall take my role and duty.
You shall by this become completely me
(And yet not), and I you.
Enter the deep and see perfection
And its flows.
Twilight woven through with gold.
A brocade worn thin and transparent,
Sky-patched, redolent.
A more perfect dream
Sunk into the depths.

As if eyes had been staring at the sun:
Now everything veined red-gold,
Too dark and too bright to see,
An inner burning light that dims the world,
Makes sense of flickers and ghosts,
And tongues of fiery liquid language
Scarce understood but lascivious.
Skin turned fallen leaf, crunched,
Made liquid, sucked up,
A new wine burning with blushed passion
Or so it may seem.

The skill here
Is not to weigh nor judge
But to lick the lightest air and breeze
And swim undisturbed, unseen
According to most fluid laws.
Dreamed but not dreaming,
A metaphor eternal, echoing.
There is, and never was, a thing made single,
Nor one made so especial
It could not be reflected endlessly
In midnight pools.

And all this
Only a beginning.
A recalibration.
A falling leaf
Slowly spinning.
A kiss.
A message.
It will be dust in the morning.
But the ache of memory:
That will be the always hidden gold.

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KEY THREE

(St. Brendan’s Chapel, Barra)

Nowhere nearer
The Isles of the Blest,
The dead gather together,
Warrior and child.

Coaxed by a hand of hills
The land launched
Into silver sunset ocean.

Go on, you can do it.
It will be alright,
Wonders await you…
The voyage into mystery
Stepping stones to heaven.

Eternal islands,
Eternal seas.

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