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Posts Tagged ‘peace’

SOAR Y MYNYDD

Where we rest
Deep in the mountains:
Soar y Mynydd

Hung in autumn air
Its white walls glowing:
Riverside chapel

Neat as it may be:
A congregation of leaves
Patiently waiting.

Soar y Mynydd.
Even when people have drifted away
The river sings hymns.

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Llewelyn’s Last Morning
(Mass at Llanynis)

A bright morning
for Llewelyn.
Sun through cloud,
The white trees
in waiting.

River is hushed
And the hymns
urgent and quiet.

Before you and after you,
these stones:
Ship of God,
anchored in meadowland.

Before you and after you:
This carved stone pillar,
Woven knot
and lichen bright.

In memory,
to lay them at peace who fell,
Their names are
grass’s whisper only.

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The last native Prince of Wales, Llewelyn ap Gruffudd, is said to have had communion at this small church on the morning of 11th December 1282 before he and his troops were betrayed and ambushed a few miles away on their way to capture Builth castle. It is a small church, not now easy to find, and lies in the middle of a field with only one or two farms nearby. Across the River Irfon at Cilmeri is the well where Llewellyn’s severed head was washed. His troops were scattered and the cause of a Wales ruled by their own nasty, Welsh, nobility ( as opposed to nasty Anglo-Norman nobility), lost. The carved cross-stone looks to be an old grave slab, carved on three sides, but I have found no information about it. In general, these stones were carved between the 9th and 13th centuries – so it would probably have been in the church or churchyard in Llewelyn’s time.

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Wandering over miles of sky;
The song of the height of the day;
Thoughts graze on distance.

There are many paths here, many views.
One can but choose this single moment
Where the next step may fall.

The old sages would place their huts
In quiet groves next to some riverbank,
Letting the world sing them to sleep.
Idly doing the will of heaven,
Showing the way by staying still.
Breathing as forests and mountains,
Babies full and swaddled in beauty.

Restless we wander, honking like geese,
Like sparrows in the eaves,
squabbling over straw.
Tears for the moon –
waxing and waning.

The best we can ever do:
To care for small things
And to learn
a deeper kindness.

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A Precision of Holly

This is how it seemed
in the white midnight of midsummer,
with a whispered moon,
between waking and sleeping:

through a hushed land a procession made
of Holly Lords, strong eyes of peace,
and all together with Holly Ladies, so soft with love.

Soft and strong singing quiet with steady step,
tall and whip-like truth not tip-toeing
around the sleeping, not roaring but
tipping the world in a slow spin onward,

setting rhythm to rights and breathing
green pooled ease in the red ripening of it,
in the swell of seed and fat-juiced fullness of it.

Dark in sunlight, pale glimmering in shade,
an equipoise of attentive judgement,
a precise distinction making room for joy,

an opening upon a narrow sky,
a cooling and a warming of blood,
too hot and too cold, wrapped, held, woven.
A statement, a clear intent, an incense risen up,
a perfected purification, a curved calm vector towards peace.

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SWIMMING MOON

swimming moon
and floated in light

this sorrowful world
surrenders to peace

a few hours bathed clear
in blue shadowed silence

thought waters
white, rippled
reflecting one perfect smile

all will settle homewards,
belonging

never having left:
a moment only,
forgetting completion.

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THE ART OF SILENCE

folded breath
a volume of murmurs
that is all

an understanding
discarding options
so as to mimic peace

to sleep, dream or wake.
to turn away from friction –
a wishful free flow

to harmonise, to disappear.
the River of Milk,
our mother’s beneficence

for this dream
the old man, the prince,
the returning journeyman,
rise quietly in the night
to gaze at the moon

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LLYM AWEL verse 5 Improvisations.

Ottid eiry, guin y cnes;
Nid a kedwir oè neges;
Oer llinneu, eu llyu heb tes.

“Falls the snow, a white covering;
Warriors shun their tasks.
Cold are the lakes, their colour without warmth.”

Each line ends with a long hissing sibilance, the fall of snow, the melt as cold hits warm. The slightly longer last line elaborates the terse imagery and is a lack, draining motion and warmth from the reader’s mind.
The description of ‘warriors’ could be ironic. How strong and brave are they really, who refuse to go out in the snow? Or, in another view, the snow can vanquish even the bold warrior with its implacable purpose.

So falls and falls the snow.
White covers all, all senses white.
No colour for the sight,
No sound nor note to the ear,
All feeling numbed, no warmth here for heart.

The stalwart shrink, the warriors shirk,
The brave turn away, tasks undone.
Huddled small to the fire, faces inward.

For the lakes stretch vast and cold.
Their colour is death and grey pallor,
A wan weight the white drift sinks to.
Extirpated, extinguished, cold on cold.

Drained is the heat of war,
We are rendered aimless,
Lost to thoughtless staring peace.
We fall to not doing,
A sin for man whose fuse
Runs short and hot.

Severed, spun back, reeled in.
Conquered by an easy drift
And silent fall –
A world unbudged,
Resolute in is.
A cold refusal.
A cold covering.

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