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DHRUPAD 24 (New Year) 10.1.2020

Slow, slow now, slow time uncertain

Slow as honey slow it is unfolded

The paths untrod, the ways clouded

The roads silver, the roads brown

The roads puddled poured into the hills.

The days slow, unnumbered

The days unencumbered, weighed in

Silence. Slow slow the revolutions

Of the red kite, the wheeling, returning

Circling in slow light in slow light

And the sun low and slow looking

Looking for a new name a new name,

And the air leafless, the land leafless

Something something on the tip of its tongue

A new name, a new name, a path

A new way and the small birds brown

And the small birds red and blue and brown

Pecking looking for a new name.

And all the dreams a-slumber

And all the days a-slumber

And all the seeds and the leafless air

And the falling rain dreaming and sleeping

A small new name, a new name

And the sparrows shuffling in the eaves

And the gutter rivers singing, chanting

Murmuring, whispering, breathing, sighing

A new name a new name. Slow, slow the days

Slow the days now, time as thick as honey drips

Pools and falls and collects time taking shape

Shape taking space space taking voice voice

Murmuring a dream here, a dream here a new

Name a new name a name a new name, slow.

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DAY DISSOLVING

Falling waters,

thread white,

tumbling.

.

from that small distance,

the wheeling raven,

soundless.

.

So woven together

are the layers of the day:

a plaid of wind ripples the lake surface,

as if it were about to say something.

.

we shall dissolve

from light

into light.

.

slowly, slowly

down the side of Y Garn

roll clouds

mixed with sunlight.

.

the view

slides sideways

and is erased.

there is a new silence

that comes

just before the rain.

.

this season-

a balance point

clustered at branch tips.

.

we shall dissolve

from light

into light.

.

on dark smudged slopes,

the shout

of purple heathers.

a scree of broken moments,

small enough

to commit to memory.

.

falling waters

woven together.

moments such as these

make and melt worlds.

.

we shall dissolve

from light

into light.

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THE TOWERS OF SUMMER

clouds roll

mixed with sunlight

slowly down

the side of Y Garn Dwad.

the hay is in now

so let it rain a warm rain.

now, now, everything green

reaches upward in one great exhale.

the towers of summer stretch out, bow down.

there is thunder

in the distance, so they say,

and the rivers will soon be filled again.

the surface of Llyn Berwyn though,

shall not be troubled for long:

it will return to its quiet reflection

of hills and cloud,

the brown trout

hardly noticing

a world

that cannot decide

between this and that.

held firm it is, unperturbed,

the lake that lies

in earth’s firm

folded hands.

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DHRUPAD 17 (November greys)

I would
should like to
for it wells up to paint with words
of rain discrete and with purpose they drop
sound and dissipate they spell grey in all colours
like the wind does as it moves through in ripples and time
too ripples in and out the focus of each of us each of us here and there
discrete and dissipating to grey reflection a scattering in consonants
and the vowels of the wind they are our ghosts and our
conscience there are words words and advice
and warning and weeping and dreaming
in the simmering of small sounds
as the fire ticks and there
is a tune there is a tune
in the fire or or
between the fire and the ears
in the spaces of a quiet room with this view
out to greys all greys of all colours in the peaceful day
of it and the silver leaf and the golden leaf rattling and letting go
leaving the picture leaving on each move rippling silence anchor deep
anchor deep in the high waves of grey cloud painted in words of wind and lacking edge
blurring light and tumbled mind lost in near distance adrift in rain sound
and the kiss of wind to bring you back a kiss of wind and the fire’s crack.
To bring you back, wrapped all colours of grey rain words wind
words fire words cloud words breath breath grey
and tumbling mind rain thoughts
falling shaped then mirroring
mirror greys there not there
clear not clear
wind then
not wind.
To paint with words
and watch the rain words
fall and fall apart.
Mirrors, we watch
neither there nor between.
Amongst the rain
mind wind
fire greys
waves
of day.

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GYLFINIR

(The Curlew)

cool morning.
clouds rise.
the curlew calls.
sunlit
is the new horizon.

damp grasses –
fresh green.
sheep in the fields
curlew on the hill.

inner light.
sun slips through
before the rain.
a distant curlew calls.

melancholy joy.
a pause in the rain.
the curlew’s descending call.

perhaps we shall
be forgiven
perhaps, forgotten:
cuckoo and
curlew
in the empty wood,
the flowering field.
sunlight and
shade
on the distant
mountain.

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Book of Changes

I
Wind river
Ocean airs
Clouds race
Birds watch
From shelter
With anchor feet.
Sounds stretched thin.

“The Creative is heaven.
It is round, it is the prince,
The father, jade, metal, cold, ice;
It is deep red, a good horse, a lean horse,
A wild horse, tree fruit.”

II
News from far off
Sorrow and treachery.
Collecting radish seeds
As they ripen
Between the rains.

“The great prince issues commands
Founds estates, vests families with fiefs.
Inferior people should not be employed.”

III
Dawn already in the east.
Rain in the west.
We wait for news, and names.
The kettle bubbles.

“The well. The town may be changed,
But the well cannot be changed.
It neither increases nor decreases.
They come and go and draw from the well.
If one gets down almost to the water
And the rope does not go all the way,
Or the jug breaks, it brings misfortune.”

IV
Standing still,
All the flock, backs turned
To the wind.
When the storm is over
The grass shall taste sweeter.

“Innocence. Supreme success.
Perseverance furthers.
If someone is not as he should be,
He has misfortune,
And it does not further him
To undertake anything.”

I recently picked up a copy of Richard Wilhelm’s “I Ching or book of changes”. I had it many years ago, and though it is probably not the best translation, it carries a certain, stately grandeur in its language. This morning, in stormy weather, I decided to see what happened combining a few short verses I had written with random selections from the book. Meaningless and meaningful. Everything becomes oracular. Juxtaposition revealing the mysteries of the mundane.

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INK WASH

open window.
now and then:
sighing cars
roll by.

gutters muttering
in light summer
rain.

time caught
on cobwebs,
lost in cloud.

sedge grasses flower,
green trees
statue-still.

Li Po hums
and sketches
silence.

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