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SPELLS AND CHANTS 1

Some scribblings and scratchings from a little while ago. The style is somewhat influenced by Old English herb charms and medieval Scottish /Celtic Church prayers. In the old days a spell and a prayer were the same thing, except that one had the backing of the Church and the other was regarded as ‘work o’ the De’el’. Just a matter of attitude really. A spell derives from the Germanic root meaning to sing, charm, enchant.

Poets and bards aim to enchant their listeners – putting their own thoughts, emotions and pictures in other people’s heads. A skill worthy of honour and gold in the old days. The druids’ little ditties could overthrow kings, raise armies, placate wrath, wither with shame, heal, bless and drive away sorrow. Art with function, or, the function of art.

Much of the old style verse was oblique, referring to tales everyone knew, associations that were obvious, taking words from sacred texts and using them directly or paraphrasing in a knowing way. To us they may seem archaic, episodic, sketchy but their creators knew the language of the deep mind, how to create resonance and emotion that evaded the smartass conscious mind, stirring things on the edges of sight, the boudaries between memory and dream.

Most of the words that flow into my head, do so of their own accord, and stay or leave, of their own accord. Sometimes we are able to be quiet enough to listen to what the world is singing, the spells that maintain, polish and exalt creation.

We are the dust that sings,
That is what we do best….

I

The Pleasurable Joy of Insignificance.

A seed on the breeze
Safe, floating
Away from reach

So small
In the hands of the world

So safe
Amidst the cloak of stars

So small
So safe
No threat

Floating free
Insignificant joy
Sparkle of bliss.

——–

II

ALDER SPELL

Bright warriors,
Fearless
As birds at dawn
Flying across the sun;
Sparks across the water –
Stars in daylight.

Alders by the ford
Birches on the mountainside
Oaks holding the green valley.

Bright warriors,
Relaxed
Radiant
Fearless
Upholding the sky
Feeling the turning world
Achieving balance
Famed for illuminated brows
Standing in the right place
Invincible as sunlight.

——-

III

SPELL: REVEALING OF SECRETS

Two ravens
Flying out of the sunset.

Nothing special,
But lingering resonance.

Thoughts and memories carried on light wings
Nothing special
But emergent patterns.

The end of the day, the long fade to night
Nothing special
Emergent patterns
Subsiding cadence
Nothing special.

Tasting life flowing
From here to there
Flying out of the sunset
Into the night.

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FIGMENTS AND FRAGMENTS

A bouquet of winter words melting in the Sping sun, fading beneath the loquacious brilliance of birdsong……..

I

End of the year.
Glorious fire!

The living sleep.
The dead awake.

Humans huddle together –
The dark wood
The dark sky.
Hard
Is the shell
Of the hazelnut.

II

End of the year.
Glorious fire!

The living sleep.
The dead awake.

Humans huddle together –
The dark wood
The dark sky.
Hard
Is the shell
Of the hazelnut.

III

Long cold night.
Waking, unexpectedly
I find
A flock
Of chattering words
Settled down
In my mind.

IV

moon frozen solid
In the centre of the sky.

Old sun rolls slowly
Up the cold hills.

Ice-edged grasses
Wait for warmth.

Cry of the pheasant
In the dark wood.

V

Green morning
Cloud-laden.
The very edge
Of heaven.

VI

Take a thought
Watch it drop
A thousand miles.

Ripples spreading
Outwards.

Reflections of stars
Dancing a moment
Then settling
Back to stillness.

VII

Silent and still.

February bliss.
The sky is one
Low cloud.

Cool air breathes
The branches
Now and then.

I walk old roads
Between spiralling
Pillars of birdsong
And the
secrets of trees.

Feeling
The heartbeat
Of the world

Through the soles
Of my feet.

VIII

Sliding music
Landscape music
Floating music

Sliding thoughts
Landscape thoughts
Floating thoughts

IX

Looking down
On the pool
Of the sky:

The full moon-
My melancholy
Reflection.

X

Breathing in
Breathing out.

Crow
Pushing against
An early morning sky.

XI

White page
White mind

Cloud- covered mountains
Mist-filled valleys

White mind.

If I take a breath:
The sun will rise.

If I take a breath:
The one beside me
Will stir.

If I take a breath:

Day will begin.

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