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DHRUPAD 8 (honeysuckle)

June, June now.
Elder, elder opens, opens out creamy sky cloud fragrant
and so too they drift drift drift, these hills,
the pale hills the bright hills the sunlit hills the star shadowed waiting hills. Drift slow and slow,
coming green coming all coming again.
Weave and throne song singing softly,
the clouds pile a sky hurray.
A thick slow drift, and the thin
slow rivers and the fast stormy rivers and the warm
sun waters and the honey thick shaded waters.
Green light now, green, and sudden roses
bloomed and falling, purple petals, sudden slow shifts.
High hills rise up and skylarks
and the thirsty climbing beans and vines and peas and bindweed.
And the honeysuckle the honeysuckle
blood red buds and dreaming of sweetness.
Twist and climb. Twist and curl and hold
tight as a baby’s fist
here, we are here,
we are close and tumbled and held and lovely.
All all climbed and stretching and together
and growing tall, tall
into the tall
throbbing skies.

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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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Swathed, mist cool
Tasting blue dawn
As still as an egg

Hushed as only August can be
Held in a lap of seasons
Replete, ripening,
Remembered now
The bite that is frost,
The gradual fall inwards.

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Book of Voices (This Sky: part 1)

Let us say: this sky, as pink certainly as warmed skin.
This, an indefinite and infinite blue, as those eyes.
And as close,and as distant, as God.
Let us say: there will be again,as ever,one voice that begins,
A clarion clear and moon-bright,
One stirring uttered echoing on the valley flank
Or deep on the sacred golden wood,
Cloutie-hung with shredded prayers,
(Shellac shined black ink careful lines on white silk,
Vehement, scratched curses on lead, tight folded,
Hidden in crack and crevice, utterance to vengeful ones
To do it, do it for me).
A shower of seasons tattered reasons,
Shattered, smattered, sculpted, howled to mothers
( hungry and cold in the dark, glint of light
And voice whispered behind the holy door).
Like this, almost exactly: one clear star
Glinted, marked out, a definite oneness,
A line, a shaft, a rope to upness and downness,
Dimensional isness, a road to stick to.
But as eye accustoms to deeper delved
And shrinking edge of silence:
One more there, and another, and so another
Until the sky is dark with inescapable stars
Vying for eye and patterning the mind with yes
And yes, a plan, a map, a purpose, a chorus
Of foamed ejaculate, a tide ripped and roaring in
Upturning pebble feather flotsam bone and tattered weed
( a flap of iodine, a wriggle).
Let us say, this close to madness
Is this close to revelation.

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UNDOING

Sitting without time,
Outwith its wild unheard roar.

Moments snowmelt vanishing,
Undoing forgiven, unknowing acquiesced.

Oh, Birds of dawn, the hills are laced with cold.
Blue air placid, blanket weighed.

A roll of mist is daybreak,
A disassembly of constellations.

Sky ceiling lifts and breathes out.
Two ravens sliding sideways blackly.

The simplest lessons hardwon:
To rest without time,

All hungers melted.

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SKYWARDS

Days ornamented with cloud,
Days dressed and wrapped in skirts of wind,
(The silk, shot silk green, the rippled fields of barley).
June bordered with honeysuckle, with dog rose,
Woven with the flitter of chaffinch, of bullfinch.
Woven into the choir of blackbirds
These hours, these stretching days,
Reaching skywards with the steepling grasses
Well towards solstice, well towards standstill,
The uppermost sun, the huge curving moon,
The silver singing stars of summer.
And us here, all of us here, within, without,
The commonest of senses, simple, watching
A gathering of friends, a multitude murmuring,
A cellular symphonic, rippled, waving, skywards.

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SKY RIVER

Three days now the sky
Has been a rushing river of airs.
Caught in its roar
The bright moon day by day dissolves.
Now a thin cold lip,
An edge of ice fast melting.

Here’s a line, here’s an image,
Bold and clear, easy to recall,
Easy to frame.
But gone and shattered,
A leaping fish, up and shining;
A crystal hung in the sun
Never the same patterns of spinning colour;
A stream, a burble of tumbling,
One melody caught but then lost,
A fugue of endless forgettings.

So, the points, the main points,
Quickly before they slide, again, away.
What and where is the wind when it is not blowing?
What and how is a river when it is not flowing?
What and why is the mind when it is not full of words?
How can we say anything is certain
When we fail even to remember
Our passionate dreams from the fading dark of dawn?

Nothing seems fixed in the buffeting swirl of mind’s river.
I am the possessor of the sight
Of a juggler with knives and doves
Enraptured, disbelieving, horrified.
But I is an eye
In a peacock’s tail,
A ripple and splash
Over a river’s wide shore.
My certainty, no more than that cloud,
Breathing and gone as it races southwards,
Seawards, forgotten on the horizon, no longer itself,
Melted, merged, a long sigh.

Hold here, hold here, anchored.
That is, perhaps,
To miss the point.
Consider this elegant and judicious thought!
Consider this cloud, this sparkle of light,
This aeolian harp. This sound
That comes and that goes
( in the forest is there even a roaring
With no ear to hear it?).
There is something,
But it seems nothing when held.
There seems something,
But it is only a dreaming of numbers and probabilities.
The wise having spoken,
The rabble clamour and grab those chiselled phrases
(lacking any memories of their own).

The wisdom of mankind:
A moon melting away into shade,
A wind rocking the rafters,
Shaking the valleyed woods,
Inchoate, a chord.
Hold, and it is lost, dismembered, forgotten.

The colours of the dawn: a sequence of shifts, no moments,
No savoured fragments. Only as the blink
Of an eye, an inability to keep
Attention,
A distraction of impressions.
Mind, a movement of itself
Outward into itself,
A brash Mozart
Of improvised narcissism.
If you are not now looking at me
Then what am I?
Give me worth
Or I am less
Than dust
On the tongue.

Dissect and sever
Dream from sleep,
Sleep from waking,
Sense from feeling,
Real from fantasy.
Dam the air, dam the stream,
Divide the slow curves,
Tree shaded,
From the racing weir,
Rock shouting and white.

This moment of perfect sky,
Three woodpigeons buoyed and floating
Down to the small green field.
A rip of blue.
Two gulls distantly weaving.
Cloud shifting from grey to pink,
Teased out,
Carded fine and white
Through the teeth of the fast cold.

Recording moments:
A needle stuck
Repeating the same few bars, the
Same few, the same.
Or a rabble of squabbling voices,
A heckling audience,
Swaying faces in the dark.
A consensus of insanity
Taken to be, of course, sanity.

The sky is pearl and golden.
Three day’s wind
Has smoothed out the light,
Has rubbed the hills green and smooth,
Has dissolved the moon.
That is all.

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