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Posts Tagged ‘peace’

LEAVING LLANGAMMARCH

Who would choose to leave this Llangammarch

Wrapped in birdsong on a warm and sunny morning?

Who would lift their eyes from the glistening waters

Draped with alder shade and grasses?

Throughout the houses it has now the soft hush of loss.

The hollowness of a hollowed name, a rehearsal of memories.

Llangammarch threaded between wood and waters;

An easy confluence neat folded against the green grey heights

of Epynt and its sighing skies, its distances tasting of blue.

Except those who tend the dead ( the small things singing), no one lives on Epynt now.

It is a roofless, empty house, shadowless, and singing winds.

Perhaps it is there our departed go, congregating to watch the unfolding world,

At ease and in peace, soothed by a longer perspective on sorrow and joy.

Who would leave Llangammarch, warm and dreaming?

Those with dreams urgent and golden;

Following the light upstream,

the open skies, the warm winds,

the curlew berating heaven.

A floating world, a breath away.

One breath away.

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LUMINOUS 2

The day has no horizons
aimless we are where we wander.

short hours lost, dressed in silence
free of consequence, free of purpose.

as if the world were just created,
six days gone and the seventh, wondering.

the burden of memory not yet felt,
luminous ghosts of joy in luminous surrender.

and the hum of bees
or distant traffic
or chanting.

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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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