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DHRUPAD 19 (this soil)

Through miles of forest a river wind whispers:
The songs of the living and the dead that they have learned from each other.
There is nothing less than this, there is nothing greater:
This sullen holy soil.

Slow river wind whispers
This sullen holy soil
Sustains us

The hills have dreamed wings and flown away.
In worlds of mist what sustains us now but hope and waiting?
Hiraeth – the dream of what never was and that always has been.
This sullen, holy soil.

This moment, as close to perfection as it is possible to be.
Belonging with nowhere to go, nothing needed, nothing missed.
Home, rested and whole.
This sullen, holy soil.

It weaves and weaves
winds about and strings thread shudders the miles
miles miles of wood and forest pulls gently the surface
the hearts the songs shuddered shuddered soft as bells soft as
as silk bells slipping away away to night valleys slipping down and away
a smooth silk whispering sigh along the long miles all gathered in the spiral here of space and now.
The shh shh of the last breaths of all things
and the first breath quiet
quite the first breaths small tentative but growing growing and pouring
into the world’s bowl. The world’s bowl empty and full resounding resounding the seasons’ reach the soil the soil the layered blanketing dreaming soil.
Slow so it moves so,
slow it moves, slow and low it sounds flow
low flow through it ought it ought reach out reach in through all sliver things flick and swing
rhythm of rock and rime weed water and waste
stretching out out rough roughcast hewn high and heavenwards
threaded the stars path thread the suns light thread the moon as it passes here and here the waters edge the glister spark cold and dancing light.
A day unclothed unclothed and silent
gone on the old paths beyond beyond the point of point and edge
bliss burdened lip silent
bliss stretched out sightless and white holy white formed and vast vast comforted
nothing nothing vast hills of nothing
memorise that word that word what was that word?
Yes yes it was is wordless
heart filled bowl sky empty word yearning still still ever
for ever still a day word a dawn word a starfilled night word a river rush whisper word a world word a world word a world
here this this word now now now word hissing the silence long miles word word feather soft and silk stretched smoothed arched word.
This this speaks the soil.
This how now is says the soil.
Sound full fall found soil. This now, here.
This sullen holy soil.

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DAWN AS BLUE

Dawn,
Blue as Mary’s robe ripped with tears
A new born sun all night under the earth
Bursts up golden forgetting forgiving all else.
The small things of the wood, the small things of the valley,
Too hungry to watch, praying, breathing, forgetting and forgiving.
The honey waters of heaven collect cool and sing a river’s song.
They carry the names of hills down to the sea
And the blessings of breezes back again.

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WATER ALDER WOOD WORD

and still
the waters
still and flow.

wild words
wood tangled
green and shaded.

each of us
each floated pattern
in laid out
sleep and bliss
always all ways
to trenched
trembled seas,

these dreaming
deep pools
dissolving doubt.

dust raised
in sunlit shaft
birdsong and a
diamond smile

life thus lifted,
and flow the cool waters
all the waters, all the waters
blessing cool
and washing clean.

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SUN SET 1

Rock throat

slaked sung.

Water song

white til

mirror still.

River light licks

slick grey rock.

Cotton grass

nods spun

iron red pools

Raven crags,

stern chapels,

catch last light,

song sent

down cools

river throat,

Spin then

whorled, a thread

white song.

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SCRIBBLE RIVER

1
The trees bend low,
The hills, open, roar.
The world spins fast
On its way to war.
2
Drenched in
Their own silence.
The hills.
Made cool and
Winged to the sky.
3
Tongue numbed:
The eloquence
Of tumbled waters.
4
Wind harp in melancholy minor
Sweeps, weeps and fades
Across the roofs,
Through the forest.
5
A flint
Struck from verse.
Bright words
Fly splutter
In endless rain.
A breathing on the roof,
Laughter soft in the gutters.
To measure out a little time
Upon this place.
6
By here we wander
Sullied by reason
And the oldest of stories.
Chained and unchained,
Livers pecked-
Our own hungry ambition.
7
We, unbecoming all,
Scatter aimless,
True to undiscovered dream
And the whispers of the greedy dead.
8
Here they speak
One long river of words.
A thrush by the waterside
Cracks a snail on green grey rock.

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2nd May: Flow of Time

1
Finger of light
Twitches the curtains
Warm cat purs

2
Floating free
It takes a deep breath
Rising sun

3
Without doing,
Everything changes.
Time’s river

4
One or two moments.
Sunrise.
Fast river Time.

5
Watching.
Where is the small leaf of hope
I floated on that river?

6
Stay busy
So as not to notice
The speed of time.

7
No need to watch.
Sheep grazing
Feel the sun rise.

8
Catching breath.
No time to waste
Already gone

9
Accumulating merit
Then letting it go
Doing this, doing that

10
Morning sun
Now too bright.
Turning my gaze:
Waning moon

11
Sun and moon
Floating along
River of time

12
Where are they now?
All those plans floating.
River of time.

13
Caught sight of
One last time:
Small blossom.
Bend of the river

14
Somehow the same:
This thought
This river

15
One moment
Vanishes.
Recorded forever,
Perhaps

16
Deciding
Whether to go up the lane
Or down the lane.
Cat sitting in the sun.

17
To see all the pattern,
Break the pot.
Now the pattern,
Where is the pot?

18
Tune of an ancient chant.
Searching the words
That fit

19
Recording
Ordinary moments
In case
They never happen
Again

20
Thoughts, silence.
The sound of sheep
Munching new grass.

21
Slowly moving uphill
Into sunlight
Sheep nonchalantly drifting by

22
Choosing one,
All the others scatter:
Philosophical thoughts.

23
Should they never come again.
Collecting moments.
Mind fuel.

24
Fishing for words
The hours flow by.
But look what I have caught!

25
Small bright things:
Minnow moments.
I will return them to the stream
In just a moment

26
Haiku:
Not just words
Ripple outwards.

***

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talking tree silver2

GAYATRI

They are there again-
Whispering voices
Measuring word against feeling,
Shaping edges, building coastlines,
Collecting drift for rafts,
A vehicle for mind,
A conveyance to elsewhere.

In the grey flow,
The river before dawn,
(Accompanying the purposeful padding
Of cats seeking a perfect
Place to curl or watch),
There they stand midstream,
Upright, silent upon silent,
Chant snaking over the water’s lap.

I shall go to that ocean’s edge:
Hiss of sand grains stinging
The dry marram grasses.
Listen to the wide waves roll in,
Their deep rumble of the miles
Through the soles of my feet.
Watch the cloud build and fade,
The cry of gulls, tasting salt.

In cold dawn
For whom does the blackbird find
Its mellifluous river?
For whom does the raven call
Across the wild moors?
And for whom,
On his columned tower of air,
Nearly beyond sight,
Does the eagle send out
His long, descending cry?

To reveal the truth:
Nothing but the interior,
Masked by, revealed by.
A prison of the recognised,
Of memory, of habit
And well-trod pathways
Reinforcing a clutch of clues.
To reveal the truth:
Nothing but an exterior,
A view devoid of viewer,
A shaped, echoing chamber
Of what is not elsewhere.

Emissaries of the void,
Mediators of re-orientation,
Skilled in gematria,
Consulting tables of correspondences,
The magical hours of day and night,
Sigils of the planetary spirits,
The magic squares, tablets
Of the Thrice Great.
Translators and interpreters,
Riding the words spluttered
By the depths, by the flocks
Of wild thought scattered
By an eye upon a lituus.
Measurers of geomantic force –
The will of the interior dragons
Of elemental necessity.
This they are.

(Or so the child, over-tired, set to sleep on chairs,
Believes, mishearing the backroom boys at their
Smoky, affable, night-long poker game:
A wash of rising, falling stories, subdued bluff
And laughter, silence and staccato curse.)

Through that long, slow flow,
The grey river, never ceasing.
The memory of ice-fields, ancestral shrines,
Ghosts of prayer flags, squalls of chant.
Bone thin fingers, urgent, prising apart
To get one more view, to reveal
A fall of trigrams, a cipher, or
A terma, space-hidden.

My own dear companions:
Weather-wizards,
Shepherds of storm and lightning,
Weavers of reeds and grasses,
Compounders of root and petal.
If it is you, then blessings and apologies.
Out of step, out of time,
The world waits no more
For eloquence or art
That weaves mind and matter
By the fireside.

We are blackbirds
In the cold dawn;
Ravens crying out fierce joy
And ineffable sorrow to empty hills;
Eagles beyond sight,
Forgotten by the grass-eaters,
Turning upon an exhalation of air,
A gesture of word,
An alchemy of heart and breath.

A pinch of insignificance,
A deja vu,
A rusted key
To a forgotten door
Within a buried ivy cave
In a twilit,
Twilit world.

For no-one but ourselves,
Ourselves to ourselves,
We raise cupped hands,
Let the clear water fall sparkling
In sunlight,
Let the hymns rise and fall
To the sun, the world,
The watcher within,
Purified, cleaned, emptied,
Made silent once more.
Silent in mid-stream.
The lapping waters.

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