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Posts Tagged ‘silence’

MIDSUMMER LIGHT

The woods are settled now and full.
Their heavy green skirts spread cool
And pleated in each valley’s green lap.
Nest and nested, crowned with shade,
They glow of a midsummer evening
Into a slow, white bow of twilight
Patterned with bats and owls,
A stretched and quiet expanse,
The tropic and declination of invisible motion,
A singular silvered attendance upon silence.

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SOMETHING TO BE SAID (MAYDAY)

Pauses grow longer, a melancholy may soon creep in.
We cannot escape our own voices.
( “We rarely go out these days and visitors, though longed for,
are a great discomfort”).
It is a wild guilt that wants our words in other’s heads.
Always a nuisance and a pleasure
to be infected with poetry,
to admit the familiar voices, to see which one leads, this time, the hunt.
Gwyn ap Nydd collecting souls, the ghosts of words,
The white words, the vapoured words,
the haunted words – as poetry is.
‘White, Son of Mist’ – like the morning,
the first attempt at May, after a night of rain,
new in stillness and birdsong, mist on green land,
the ash trees still thinking about their coming fountains of flowers,
roots wriggled so deep in the past, and aching old.
The dunnock’s sweet descent.
It filters down as if spider webs
And gold dust – the flecks
Of memory and forgetting.
A city with loud inhabitants, unkind and strange.
A darkness punctuated with doors and reasons.
As if it didn’t matter, everything collapses.
The moment passes, the tongue gives up.
It cannot make the chords that the brain sings in,
Just one note at a time, syllable by.
There is something to be said for silence.
The way the mist in its own dreaming gravity
Slides along the slopes
And settles in the cwms.
The way it shifts space.
The way it delineates what is not itself.
With what would we fill these silences
Should all the voices stop?

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Sunlight and whispers,
Bright rolling silence.
There is no confusion here:
All things fall fearless
Against the movement
And the stillness
Of hours and their dust.

Footsteps all forgotten
(Puddle, pool, stream, river)
Nothing but the distance of the past
And the distance of the future
(And the skylark remembering both).

The diagonal slide of sun and moon and stars,
Tides of light and shade,
The constant abrasion of the wind.

It hardly breathes, so still it is
In its rising and falling distances.
The silent rolling hills of heaven.

These uplands spread out
Like God’s own hands
On the first Sunday,
Sun-warmed skin stretched pale
Over rippled knuckles,
Bone resting quiet,
Muscle and tendon singing.

Sky-touched, the first moments,
Cloud thoughts, the pale waving grasses,
This click of warming rock.

—-
The Elenydd is the old name for the central uplands of Mid Wales, known as the Cambrian Mountains. The southern border is effectively the Irfon Valley, where I live, though in actual fact the valley is bordered on its other edge by the Mynnedd Epynt, a very similar landscape.
The Elenydd is a very ancient mountain range worn down to a high bog and grassland plateau cut deeply by streams and rivers

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THE ART OF SILENCE

folded breath
a volume of murmurs
that is all

an understanding
discarding options
so as to mimic peace

to sleep, dream or wake.
to turn away from friction –
a wishful free flow

to harmonise, to disappear.
the River of Milk,
our mother’s beneficence

for this dream
the old man, the prince,
the returning journeyman,
rise quietly in the night
to gaze at the moon

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LLYM AWEL verse 12 Improvisations
(Part One)

Gvenin igogaur, guan gaur adar;
Dit diulith….
Kassulwin kewin brin, coch gwaur.

“Bees shelter in winter quarters, the weak noise of birds;
A bitter day….
The ridge hill cloaked in white, a red dawn.”

The hives silent.
Bees shut up in winter.
So too, the thin voice
Of birds.
A bitter day of it,
So, too, words fail.
Gagged, gaunt,
All declines to murmur.
The hill ridge
Is cloaked in white.
A red dawn.

The hunters for gold
In their hollow halls
Gather murmured dreaming.
Summer is far away.
The dawn flowers red,
But still the birds are silent.

The beauty of it:
A silent red dawn.
River murmurs under ice.

Their laboured breath:
A cold wind sighing
Through bare branches.
The gold of victory
Keeps not cold
From the heart.
They will dream of
Summer and a summer sky,
And the dance of victory
And the boasts of heroes.

This verse has the second half of the second line missing. Rather ironic, as one of its main themes is silence, or comparative silence. The inactivity of the hive I have taken to be a metaphor or parallelism for the host of warriors, inactive, in their lord’s hall. Hence, the imagery of hunting for gold, the warrior’s prize, and bees in summer hunting for pollen.

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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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WESTER COAST

These hills, this silence-
Silent enough to hear each sound,
Its beginning, its flight, its echoed end.

Silence as balm,
As high tide harbour wave,
Silence that lifts up, that sustains.

Where weight becomes weightless,
Where distance has a taste.
Where rain curves in
And burnishes the light.
Where breath is more
Than breath, is food.

Where night clothes slow,
And owls name space
And the wind across the grasses,
Across the bracken,
Across the rock,
Across the years.

Named,
Whispered forever.
Whispered names rolled,
Remembered.
Stone,
The music of stone,
The certainty of it,
Of its voice
Across the waters.

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