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Posts Tagged ‘Poetry’

BHAIRAV (THE WEIGHTLESS WEIGHT OF AIR)

Air.

Flowing river from mountains cooled,

And the passion of stars

Piercing the bow of Time.

Air.

Layering droop and singing yet

On the long slope of dawn.

Air.

Tinted blue yet.

Twisted warm and wan.

Twisted slow, rolling.

Air.

Dreaming pulses

As reasons’ reflection

But vague yet.

Vague and languid,

At edges stalled.

Moistened in sleep,

But not.

But not.

Air.

Piled deep

Down to the stars.

Life sways hanging, drifting.

Trees with their hair

Loose and swaying

Singing, singing,

Down to the starlit voids

Hanging the tidal edges

The endless full innocent darkness.

Air.

The trees shape

Single syllables

Howled whisps of vowels

Finding froth from feeling.

Air

Patterned, pressured, punctured

Parcelled.

Air

Twisted and released,

Spread out and stretching,

Tidal current

The vapours caress

Their gradient glacial moments.

Air

Sun bright now

Shifting shimmering.

It suffers all thought.

Turning about

Returning it to silence.

Air.

Sun-bright now,

Spirit-filled

Song-filled

The tongue of gods

Hungry for this and that.

It will not

It will not.

It will

It will.

Invisible lover of every surface.

Air.

It stretches, it pulses.

Gods are born from air.

They flow in and out,

Grow fists of nothing.

They flow in and out.

Gods born from

The turbulent throbs of air.

Movement shiver shafts.

Silence

Silence.

Bhairav is a well-known Indian raag of the early morning. I have only recently grown to love it and its variations. Perhaps the tense sharps and flats put me off. It has the energy of cool space, of heights, of growing light, of distance, of precise wing-tips, of soaring wings, of the dip and soar of red kites. This is a sort of verbal alap – a slow exploration of the moods and directions of morning air, here in the mountains.

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THE ROSES

The roses

They have been in bud

For months

Through sun and rain.

Now they open,

Bloom for a day or two

Giving joy to all,

Then fade and

Fall apart.

The roses.

The roses.

They throw off their beauty

Like dancers.

They value more

Their roots

And their thorns.

The blood red hips,

The hard won strength

To go on.

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A SUCCINCT PHILOSOPHY

.

Language

Localises

Mind

.

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DRUID CURSES THE KILLER

May each life you carelessly extinguish diminish your days.

May every mile you force your way beyond compassion and sense

wear you away like ice in spring.

May your certainties turn on you.

May your silence empty you.

May your people turn on you.

May you disappear forever.

May you never find a home again who has destroyed for no purpose

but your own dream of endless hunger.

May the poets rise up.

May they one by one

Untie the knots of your body,

Untie the knots of your wickedness

Untie the knots of your breath

Untie the knots of your heart

Untie the knots of your senses

Untie the knots of your history

Untie the knots of your futures

Untie the knots of your desires.

May the poets rise up.

May your shadow diminish.

May your shadow turn against you.

May you fade nameless and lost.

May the gods abandon you,

the demons turn away, laughing.

May silence be your pain.

May silence be your end.

May joy fill the world.

May the sorrows you have made

never leave you.

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THEIR NAMES

Their names are the doors they wait behind.

Dreaming, dreaming, they thus dream us.

A silver moon scythes the snow fruit that admits us.

Timeless is the round dance of breath.

There is constant war in heaven, and hunting,

And fast, hot seduction.

How else, otherwise, could it be here?

The stars pour themselves into the hills.

There will be ice upon the marshes.

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RAVEN IS POET

1

I have built my nest in the billowing cloud.

My phurba beak subdues the demons of hunger and despair.

This bright eye measures the generations of worms

And the oracles of shattered bone.

I ride the cracks between worlds on the wind of stars.

Does not my voice peel back all illusion?

What wealth is there here but the wealth of memory?

And I am not unfeeling.

I remember all their names, all their reasons.

Their genealogies are the forests of my delight.

A gathering at suppertime where I cloak the unseeing

In a sheen of knives.

My philosophy, you see, is alchemical, pure and simple.

I shall eat all suns, steal all warmth, reveal all truth that is lie.

There is no sin except satiety.

No song that is not beautiful.

No poet that does not dissect the foolishness of the world

And feed off it.

A long-shadowed cross, I am nailed as a sacrifice and a hero.

Fast, my deep is deeper than all skies.

My deep is the deep within.

Navigator of the impossible, I have the voice of icebergs,

The gravel of continental subduction.

I am generous with praise:

I will laugh joyous at the capers of poets and the drunkenness of heroes.

I wheel and turn patient as the stars,

Wait for the sickle moon to bring it all down to food.

The eloquence of continuance.

The continuance of dreaming.

Consume and consummation, it is all one to a raven poet.

Laughter is the weapon of last resort.

2

Snow on the mountain.

Hazels flower in the valley.

Still no signs of any wisdom.

Snow on the mountain.

Silence after the last battle.

The world again

Shall fill with birdsong.

3

Spin in gorse-bright light.

Dance of black cloak, black knives.

Exultant raven warriors.

4

I am Dark Mountain.

My wife is Midnight.

My daughters are Hunger Sated and Sleek Breast.

My sons are Piercing Hunger and Arrow Straight.

We are descendants of Snow on the Mountain

And Utter Darkness.

The Well of Memory and The Blasted Tree

Are our dwelling places.

Soot Black

Ocean Depth

Bright Brow

Radiant Ash Tree

Thief of Knowledge.

Turner of the Wheel

Season’s End

Hunger Abates.

Wind and waters name us thus.

Mountains name us,

The vast sky names us thus.

5

At the end of the universe ( or at its beginning)

There sits a raven-headed god on a stone throne.

I have seen it. It is so.

He has one eye that sees all things.

He has three eyes for the past, present and future.

He has four eyes that roam in every direction.

He has five eyes that glimmer in the dark and see all things.

He it is who makes the eggshell curve of the sky,

The white light of day. I have seen it. It is so.

When the sky was broken open and the earth fell out

That is when the ravens were born – in the space between.

6

From the bird god’s breath there comes a warm wind.

Let it blow the seeds of destruction away.

Let it extinguish the embers of hate.

May the needful dead fall ripe to our praying beaks.

A thousand ages is his out-breath.

A thousand ages he will breathe it all in again.

Sky and land and the holy air

Will wrap in silence about his dreaming.

We shall be named one by one

And nested in the cliffs of his gaze.

7

There is sufficient death.

We have no need

For the glut of war.

Our falling, floating dance

Inscribes the air.

We tumble towards

Our altar, earth.

We rise to sun,

World-filled cries.

This dance we dance

Is for the dance

Of life and death,

For the bird-headed god

At the end and beginning of all things.

For the drink of it.

For the breath of it.

For the bliss of it.

Raven poet I am.

This is the truth.

This is how it is.

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WARRIOR PRAYER

Oh Moon-Face. Your unguent drips from my fingertips.

Shades of dead universes flit across the dark sky.

We long for this as much as we long for otherness.

Moon-Face, we construct the spells that feed you,

So sleek and willow-limbed.

This is how we made you:

A womb to hold all the weeping dead.

Born again as owls, as worms, as dreams in blooming girls.

In flowers pushed up through sacred, spiced earth.

Poured out with the salmon spawn and the eggs of serpents.

Split open and oozed in the nests of eagles,

Drying in the daylight, voiceless and crying.

The taste I remember – iron and oceans,

And the slip slop of long tides

And the waking shape of salt.

The taste of footprints and warm belly

And secret clefts and caves of echoes.

The taste I remember of the sharp bright edge,

Honed bright and sunlight, severed

By its arcing swing.

Oh Moon-Face. You eat the seconds so.

You eat the minutes and the moments.

Bound, wired and woven to the haft of sound.

The blade that cuts through space.

The light so soft, it can eat life and death

And never be fuller than it is, than it is.

Moon-Face. Keep your promise

And we shall die again, happy.

We will not forget your sweet hunger.

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A small breath of wind lifts the mist ‘til more blows in.

Two days, three days frost, has melted

And the birds are in the leaf litter.

The mountain’s voice says

‘Winter is not over yet’

But here in the valleys there is a small respite.

A day or two, perhaps, of gentler thoughts.

The world revolves around us here.

There is lamentation and the groans of fools from afar.

The waves, perceptible and arcane,

Encroach on the plans of contented futures.

But here, for a day or two,

Will be blue calm and the hope

Of buds and roots.

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MOTIF – FIRST BRANCH

There is the sound of it:

The distant clip-clop of blossoming time,

A dream whisper, a faint scent,

A breeze, a wish.

.

Still we have not learned much

And rush to question

And rush to hold.

In full armour,

Pierced, weighed down,

Heart-broken.

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NEW YEAR’S DAY

When there is nothing good to say

Then silence is better.

It is a calm day today,

Small rain in a dark sky.

Above the quiet valleys,

A high wind from the west is roaring.

The last day on Earth will be like this:

Resting in its own beauty,

All known, nothing named.

All reasons self-extinguished.

Watched over, cherished, belonging.

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