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Posts Tagged ‘Poetry’

THE THISTLES

Cloud is down over the hills again.
It drifts and rolls between field and forest.
The valley is lain out soft and still green;
It does not mind the warm rain.
There is not silence, but it feels like silence.
Sheep shorn and the hay is in.
The thistles have a royal flower:
In deserted places, proud,
Like ancient tribes before the Romans came,
They gather and stand still.

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LAMENTATION
(IN THE SIGHTLESS FOG OF MORNING)

A phellĂȘaist fy eniad oddi wrth heddwch.

A bright white fog is on the morning air.
I will find me a chapel where prayers still hang
As fine as dew-drenched cobwebs on these tall spear thistles.
For the land is broken and only kind words will do.
And the demons are dispossessed and disconsolate,
Outdone and made redundant. The herds of angels
Moo and milk their holy audience for praise.
We are lost. Babylon has fallen, and risen, and fallen into dust.
Proud men of science are peddling their religion,
More vehement than priests. The holy words
Are locusts that eat the grain of our own children.
The Chosen have chosen themselves, pushed
To the front of the queue, happy to now be
In fields of blood and dust and phosphoric rubble.
The cities have fallen. Some in an instant,
Some in slow motion, like ballerinas, knowing
Neither poison nor antidote.
Wailing and lamentation would be some relief
But the clamour of self-congratulatory rhetoric
Cascades with the dignity of football rattles,
Drowning out the rivers that run thin and low
Of sense and foresight.
We are as lost and drained among the cold lidless stars,
Skin burning still with the heat of a midday sun
That shall never be extinguished,
Not in our heart, not in our soul.
A dark mind and sleep is all the dead wish for,
(And their names to be somehow scented
With flowers, and forgiven not forgotten.)
But beneath the earth the giants rise up
Simple and good in their lack of intellect,
And unknowing crush another civilisation,
Bury another bright dawn, the highways broken and empty.
Birdsong silent, then cautious, then glorious.
There will be an end to us,
And goodness shall surely follow.

Am hyn yr ydwyfyn wylo; y mae fy llygad, fy llygad yn rhedeg gan ddwfr

—-

Translation of the Welsh from Lamentations of Jeremiah:

“And thou hast removed my soul far off from peace”

“for these things I weep; mine eye, mine eye runneth down with water”

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Down to Night

Over northern hills ink clouds stain a perfect blue.
They grow dark and slow as the sorrows of others.
The full moon, a young girl in love glowing golden, illuminates all.
Roses dip on warm, motionless thought.
The way the seconds talk, the way the night settles deeper into itself
As if there were nothing else.
The way light turns purple, and the birth of stars.
This house, this little house creaks, its clocks tick on.
One or two slow flies spin the edge of rooms.
Little cat settles at the window; her white paws.
Words disappear.

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CORNER OF THE EYE
(A touch of faery sight)

I see, and not quite see, this sleek man in blue
Quietly through the oak woods of Sunart,
(Just so, as through your own mind now),
The whispered past and the roaring futures.
Green rock, black root, the boulder house split,
Door leaning ajar, and the elders:
Roof and walls of a tumbled croft,
And hearth music in the song of insects
That drub the late summer air
In the folded waiting of the far north.
Listen to a tuning fork, high and clear struck.
The sense of it continuing on, a breath on sound,
A pulse of wingbeats. That is how it feels,
Stepping between the path and the oak
And the high larch, and the dripped lichen.
Watched by the timeless, curious eye.
Gone, to them, in a single blink,
As they to me, a flit of mind
Between the oak trunks,
A notion of peculiar colour,
Frictionless worlds sliding by,
An atomic resonance,
A flicker of wings.
Only this.

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JULY NOW

July now, and high summer days lay upon us.
In hedgerows the field maples smoulder a new red.
All the greens, more tentative now, tinted with heat and dust,
Weighed down by a glowing heavy sun.
The rivers are low and silent, bleached rocks butter-smooth.
Merciless will be the shadeless hills, growing pale and dry.
We seek the cooler air of woodlands
And walk out at evening with lullaby thought.
The nodding grasses, ripe and swaying,
And a full moon, crisp in a blameless sky.

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SUMMER DROUGHT

Here is the slow, curdled froth of midsummer.
The drift downstream through wilted greens
And the drying grass, sallow on pocked, lain rock.
Parched flaccid, pressed still in irremovable heat
Sun-ironed shadows and a dull buzz of flies.

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MIDSUMMER LIGHT

The woods are settled now and full.
Their heavy green skirts spread cool
And pleated in each valley’s green lap.
Nest and nested, crowned with shade,
They glow of a midsummer evening
Into a slow, white bow of twilight
Patterned with bats and owls,
A stretched and quiet expanse,
The tropic and declination of invisible motion,
A singular silvered attendance upon silence.

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