Posts Tagged ‘scriptorium’

The long rain, grey,
Has dissolved a fragile distance.
With the wind, it comes and goes.
A silent room, a flutter of words.
A curl of incense, a bitter tea, warms and dries.
Perched above joy and sorrow
A ribbon road turns endless,
With only two steps,
Left and right.

A monk dips his quill.
He has become half-uncial.
A steady curve delights,
One syllable at a time.
A river of knowing
And forgetting.

Though the skin he writes upon
Is his own,
A compassed scratch,
A foliate curl,
Heroditas, Avicenna, Merlin.
A history of mirrors,
A rotated wheel.
A willowed sigh,
This river ink.


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Such things (percepts, perceptions) often flow by us unnoticed. Our primary influences, the objects that create us into a subject….

It still happens regularly.
Listening now to an old song I knew then, the words, so familiar, intergrown as barbed wire into a tree, unpeel in clarity and reveal completely new words, new meanings. Of course that is what the lyrics are, clear, logical, making sense, making story. So why the mishearing for so long? We mis-hear more , much more than we mis-see. We misconceive more than each of these-(the bending of light to catch the whole within the goldfish bowl of brain).

Words never were single things but woven strings of shining diaphenous vapours. Put sound to lined squiggle, equations of broken down breath, equally spaced, segregated, punctuated, coralled, from left to right, or right to left, or down, or up. Do that and will ambiguity cease?

The brain knows the undercurrents within its own tides, knows it bitter contradictions, straitjacketed by moral aughts and whips of coulds. Knows that what it chooses for the tongue is equivocal, mean, one flavour in a banquet ( food fight) of possible stances. The wardrobe is endless, the dresses magnificent, the masks tempting, the shoes to walk in, the boots, the sandals of this and that. What pose to strike, what cajoling, what convincing? How shall it be constrained to a point of view, a consistency?

So, and so, we read, consider. But they are others’ words in our own familiar voice. We doubt their simple surfaces, look for fissures to rip apart the art, to find the puppeteer, the hypnotic svengali, the foundations, the gold down in the creaking shafts of tunnelled darkness. Kobolds, nockins, gnomes. And they are truly there, those monsters. It is their world of excavations and spiralling, dark distances. Intracellular, interspecies, interstellar, wormholes of digested matter shaped to uphold its own existence. In that land it is we are the monsters: the pale, limp-wristed aliens, senseless interogators of the obvious, denying the purity of paradox, the meat of merged matter.

It was the plants that first learned to talk. Chemical drifts on the wind. Songs of molecules calling and exchanging. They then taught what they knew, o my beloved, to the threaded fungi who fed and serviced the needs of root and sun-eating leaf. Those bright, sympathetic neurones of soil-brain, why, they, of course, my child, spoke to us as we possessed them, they becoming our tongues as we digested their matter, their material, their meaning. The verse of the world, we, the hired orchestra at the banquet of life, and the jugglers, fools and jesters, too ( polite ripple of leaves, green, amused applause for their ingenuous progeny).

Fenris wolf bound with a thread of whisper. That which is not, finally constraining the bluster and sharp teeth, snapping jaws of what is. This nonsense I would carve on a cliff-face to last millenia of sun and frost. This effusion I would slow and temper with gold leaf and lapis lazuli, carefully ground,carefully apportioned. A crushed ink of beetles, oak gall and vinegar, black and holy, to flow from a feather – the required spell to make a flow, a light touch, winged words. There, then, a clear delight of hand and mind, set down, illuminated. Inhabited script. Inhabited scrolls. Vegetative, rampant, loving itself, emergent mind.


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