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Posts Tagged ‘reality’

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At the Heart of Yew
1
As it were,
Between slow chimes round, sparkling moments spill,
Skitter, bounce, slide
across cold marble.
Nothing remains to hold onto.
This is how it feels, numbed and white with wonder,
A mind subdued, language pared back to root,
A constellation of starlit echoing, free from constraint of pattern.
Absent is the comfort of story.
2
Through animal veins the forest branches roar.
The voice of the earth whispered thunderously.
A clearing storm that will favour no being
Above any other.
3
More fearful than this
infinite, swaddled and senseless dark
Is the single flash of light that illuminates all.
You would not believe it were so,
How everything
becomes its opposite.
4
And the small, small voices
bright as needles, cold as rain in summer,
Melting the defining edge, weighing innocence.
5
No view but the stars,
no voice but the stars
No answer but the stars.
They fall and rise,
ripening red and white,
the bitterness of their light
Will wake the sleeping,
will wake the dead.
6
The bright thin eye of the wren,
the sweet rich tongue of the dunnock.
Squeezed and rolled, the buttress trunk folded upon itself,
Sediments of light and time
extruding green needles into quivered silent air.
Fermentation of dream and myth, a searched-for language
That roots in the atlas, the convolute backbrain,
The sequence of pushing through,
the tangled mass
Holy folds haunting bone.
7
Tumbling towards boundlessness,
dear misconception treasured,
our only possession.
This is not part of the story-
we wanted wings and crowns, sunsets sipping wine,
A simple validation of good and bad,
a certainty on the chain,
a place on the ladder,
Forever forgetting, of course, the wheel that turns,
the hub that crushes, the severing spokes
The wheel of the law.
this tree revolving upwards,
rolling downwards,
waiting in darkness.

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ARTEFACT

We come and go one by one,
or in twos and threes,
waking, sleeping from dream to dream,
handfuls of dust cast heavenwards, taking shape,
then falling back to settled earth. Bubbles, thoughts, whispers.

Birdsong in a pearl-still dawn.
All day in this small green field,
in its tangled bare hedges,
in its edge of trees,
in its deep grasses, the birds
flit and feed, pause and fly off.
All day the sunlight picks out the distant slopes,
the forests, the valleys.
And they, too, come and go with mists
and clouds
and drifts of rain.

For months now I have been working the canvases,
(for people do so like a view to hold on to,
one so dear to them, one they do not have,
a way through the mute walls,
to remember an opening out, a beyond,
a distant something).
Against its nature to drip, against its habit to mix and merge,
against my own fingers’ wish to sweep and gesture.
A discipline,
the tying down of an illusion,
confection for tongue and eye.
A sweet minded moment, an ache of forgetting.
The life of itself, a liquid thing,
to be constrained so, to process
as a stately, well-dressed thing.
Not just a swirled, delightful, mute moment.
A meaning. A purpose identified. The monitoring of the familiar.
As if. As if.

As if there were a story.
As if there were a careful, structured tale.
A small beginning, a once, a long-ago.
Through wild, thorned paths and fog and frost
to a final end so careful balanced.
A just so.
An as it is.

Something to leave behind.
Something to say.
More than a rise and fall.
More than a raven’s cry across the valley.
More than a blackbird in the cool dawn air.
More than a drift of mist above a hidden river.
More than a rise of trout as the gnats dance on light.

The fire is lit
and it must be fed ’til nightfall.
Then, untended, it will die down,
become silent.

That smooth black,
silk-dark soot:
a hand-print,
a fingerprint on a cave wall:
we are here,
dreaming.
And we found a way through.

—-

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A PARTICULAR DEVICE

When we look so close at life inside us,
it simply becomes a tree of madness
where ghosts host and catcall,
swapping bodies and their nightmare mysteries
( from which we have never, ever, recovered).
Such strange animals. So many hands.
So many dances. So many attributes.
A collective deity ( or a pan Demonium).
There is a clue in it all somewhere,
a clue, a clew, a thread, a maze,
a spider, a monster, an eater of the charming ones,
a hungry axis, a deliverer,
a coin on his eyes and on his tongue.
The rite of the Opening of the Mouth,
escaping gravity through the small angled shaft,
homing on the singular, most singular star.
Dust to dust. An assay of hearts
before the animal-headed ones.
We are Jongleur, kindly admit us.
Remove our head. Give us the bliss of love and asses.
Return us whole to the world without end.
And let us cease to burn.
Let our mouths be filled with the cool waters.
Seven rivers from the Garden.
A lascivious sprouting of leaves, a splayed, secret hand of fig.

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this sky:
a pool of milk
and a pearl moon.

each breath begins
and ends with pause.
each word with memory
of its music.

we are fools who think
there is more than this,
not to see
the gorgeous depth
of each moment.

howling winds shudder
the ringing trees.
in the North, the sky
pours down upon the land.
rivers splay through hearts.
what was ours, swept away.

a little time, after all,
is all that ever remains.

a glowing tempest
wheels over winter.
a lie and a dream
is the peace within.
we become torn apart
only by beauty.
light split by tears
piercing the hills.

the roads are swept away,
the bridges broke.
we lose each war
that starts within ourselves,
each life
that is not lifted up
from the waves
with love.

—-

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SCRY

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1
Small things
From deep pools
We rise.
Vaporous things lifting,
Turning,
Weightless drifting.
A lick and dissolve,
Ice smoke, sighing, aimless
Rise, spin, twist and dissolve,
A white fade lift,
A tongue, forgetful, vague.
Without a mirror, you see,
We scatter.

2
The falling down of words
Like honey bees or like rain.
They shall patter and gather together.
They shall wash away all dust of death.
They shall be as mirrors
And as suns.

3
Johannes, named from a river
Forever flowing east,
Named from the delta of Aphrodite
And the Aegyptians,
Of perfect memory and skill mathematic.
A subtle blade, enough to wriggle between worlds,
Searching the point between brightness and darkness.

4
All the cities are dying.
Accursed, they spread limp
And rot from centre outwards.
We have purchased all, yet still hunger, empty.

5
The view mists, fogs over.
A spray of rain and rose petal.
Summon the spirits again, Edward.
Summon again the blast of visions.
I have learned the language of angels
And now they pester me
As flies in summer meadows.
The kings and queens of England
Process in elegant spite, shifty-eyed,
Blaming cousins and the fickleness of peasants.

6
Around the garden walls,
Drab sparrows squabbling,
Happy as morning.
In the hills again,
Lost in mists,
Tight-lipped hunters.

7
Those accustomed to gaze and gaze
Letting in the world unmasked, unaltered,
Though they disappear, remain behind each edge
Every line of silver,
Seared into time’s retina.
Like Padmasambhava’s cave,
Taking up his body’s shape,
A perfect void forever sitting,
Open mind, open heart, unclassified,
Uncategorised, a species beyond light,
A ripple cascading throne,
A point through stillness, through reflection,
Through mirrored glare.
The eyes that look back
At all eyes,
Time collapsed to a breath,
Space folded
To a golden nest,
A beer relished at evening.

8
The sacred,
Always a little smutty,
To these men of science.
A vermilion stone smeared with faith.

9
So slight is the edge that shines,
The mirror’s reflectant skin.
So small a thing to throw back vision,
To show what is and is not there.
Such a line between, ( if line there is),
Seen and unseen.
So fragile a mechanism
To construct comprehension.
We settle to a silver lie,
Satisfied with thin smiles.

10
The eyes may tear something new from light.
New stranger seeds, planted in sight,
Doubts of how deep and shallow
All this reflected life might be.
God buried deep in the liver of a fool.
The Devil buried deeper in his reason.
Rise and fall, a history of empires
In this one small breath.
The same elements congeal
In madmen and in stars.
Somewhere a sun shall rise
And we shall be young
And beautiful again.

11
They push through our bitter fictions,
A stain within vast humid dream.
Spirit filled are the worlds elsewhere
Engraving slowly, they take form line by line.
Removed are the curls of nascence
A ticking clock, a creak, a shadow.

12
It is not malevolent to desire survival,
To thrust through to bigger life.
We are pushed and torn apart
As natural as morning, an evolution of sorts.
Best not, then, weigh nor judge,
(All, after all, the mockery of self
And self-existence).
A fly lands and takes off,
A pest, a nuisance, slow in slow air,
But what if, what if.

13
Our prevalence, our striding
Incessant self-portraiture:
A mistake, a neurosis, surely.
A better view must prevail,
A breaking through of stronger stories,
Radiant gods with heads of eagles,
Sky gods with lightning hair.
Beyond a mirror’s glass
That thin veil allowing silvered vision,
Presumes a surface woven illusion.
So many haunted eyes,

14
The utter strangeness of it.
A timed lapse, a void, a flicker.
Dark matter, the deep fog,
A sunless pressure, trenched, ocean deep.
Black smokers blistering more strange life.
We become utterly replaced again.

15
A charming magus chants destruction
And parturition in one caught breath.
The wonder is we do not see
How small and fast, how struggled and unfree,
How lost and how imprecise,
How glorious and how wrong.

16
The wise remain silent,
Watching skies unutterably changed.
I cannot say with whose voice for sure,
Or whence or from when.
A slight recorder.
A wave front.
A gravity well.
A spinning top
Each second more slowly.
The grate of opening
And closing doors.

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A pearl day, smoke shaped.
A lick of mist this river’s voice.

Hills turn cloud, clouds become all.
A single dreaming moment
Explains everything.

More precious than breath
It lifts weightless, turns and dissolves,
Sky colours leaning out.

What was golden dulls to dust.
An aching tumble of sweet May,
A thorned white wave enthroned.

A season’s birth heavy laid,
A full descent, a grace,
An offered all, begun.

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Those distant hillsides,
They are not velvet, not green,
But bog and rock, sweat steep
For all but ravens
(Whose feathers we might wish for,
For straight as an arrow, for
Wind carried swift joy,
For the soar of it, for the wide,
Open cry of it, for exultance,
For freedom from sins).
But down here, wind-sheltered,
Small, feasting on cold hopes,
Yearning for mist smoked valleys.

Did they watch from alder carrs
The washer girls, raw red hands
And tearful eyes, arching backs
And mournful, moaning songs?
Did they feel the Lord swell within them,
Those saints forbidden their fruits,
Wilderness dazed, sharp chinned,
Spear-eyed witnesses?

So many brave boys borne away,
Cudgeled and shivered in blood.
So many unborn, covered in autumn leaves,
And wept over.
So many promises split, broken open
(Nothing but spit and spite remaining).
So many reasons to slide into silence
Hoping for a glorious trumpet
And ’til then, peace.

Of the earth.
They are all of the earth
And know it not,
Or birch their blessings
For want of wit and a little love.

The pines roar
But bear no anger.
The pines cry
But have no sadness.
The rain sweeps down across the valley.
Leaves fall, air becomes sweetly bitter.
There is no blame, should you stay,
Should you watch.
Everything will seem as it is:
Sun through mist, a mellow round passing.

We shall melt as we are gathered together.
Melt and become another again.
One or two words (only) to pass through
The narrow straits of a few years,
Before they too will become singing silence.

This melancholy is a cloak for deeper joy.
This deeper joy, a cloak for melancholy.
All notes sung before the throne,
Chords of major and minor,
Diminished, augmented.

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