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WINTER SONG

This distant raven
Smudges the fields,
A rise and spin and fall
Into waves of rain.

Storm winds sweep away
The last of daylight.
Broken sun skitters the hillsides.

It is a rage, a downing tumble.
The world aches
For good governance.
We, an evil race
If we can sing neither
Praise nor beauty.

The heather has broken,
Black is the wild rock.
Unkept are the fields,
Unkempt the hedges.

The cold phlegm lies deep,
A ghost not to be forgotten.
The neat roads are a lie:
They go nowhere
But another stone womb
Devoid and hollowed of life.

Arrogance barking
Through the night,
A papered-over civility
That masks
The purple bruises
Of pampered bullies.

The lambs of peace
Will bring down wrath,
The ravens know.
There is only hunger,
Food and eater.

Marrow,
The heart of things.
We gnaw the shattered bones
To find the fire.
Peck the eyes
To see tomorrow.

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Flying West

FLYING WEST

The slow resounding chasm
In the raven’s deep voice.
Deep as sky, deep as
Heartbeat, as kept a secret
As cold hearth.

Flying west, slow
Wingbeat, mate-calling,
Wedge cracking open
Winter time, cold time,
Clear time.

Home at the centre
Of its view, air
Constellated as matter,
Matter weightless.
Bluff exaltation.

—-

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First few notes and ideas from a trip to Iceland last December. Another piece disappeared soon after writing – joys of instant technology – perhaps the giants of the aurora prefer to remain hidden, together with the dragons of the ice….

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I

A slight
Misinterpretation…
It was not
“Nevermore”
The raven cried
But
“endless”
Or “forever”…..
That timeless view
only one who sees
The whole horizon
Can utter.

II

The weight of white, cutting wind
Relentless,
Borne over the miles of ice,
Raising ghosts that smoke and snake
Across the black remnant of ice-free ground….

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III

At first,
Day on day of snowfields
Aches eye and brain.
Tired of colourless, outstretched miles,
We long for a taste of colour,
A clash of the familiar….
But with the continuing cold
Comes acquiescence:
No longer is this a world you know,
No longer parameters judiciously to be weighed.

IV

The weight of gravity,
Settling white,
remorseless accumulations
Of slow curves.

“We do not care
For your insistent heartbeat.
A fist
Thrown against forever,
A line of footprints smoothed and vanishing…..”

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V

“Nevermore”
Was not the raven’s cry-
That
Was a mistranslation.

Understandable, though,
The tones of black
Require a certain bleak vision
Mixed with cold humour:

A perspective of wan horizons,
Endless fields of snow
Punctuated by moments
Of death….

The word
On every raven’s call
Is
“Forever”.

Maybe
It was a gloomy
New England Protestantism,
(Baldur dead forever),
Maybe
A seer’s view….

Try as you like,
Small human,
Whatever weavings and turnings,
Clever, fast, considered,
All shall return to forever,
The dust in my voice,
The iris of this instant.
My name is Horizon.

“Nevermore”
Is the cry of one
Who can never look over the world’s edge,
Never see the sun under the earth,
Night fuse,
Egg of light……

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