Posts Tagged ‘sunset’

Three for scattered light

skitter scatter
what colours remain
are cast out.
sky puddled
fast fading.
more even are
the tones of evening.
blue grey
a whiter silence
in dimming

the little
of light
dash in
and dissappear.
day’s end
one by
the stars.

reach out
wrench out
long words
from the quiet
of rock
a ripe round
water spell
rope woven.
wet and light
a yielding tongue,
honey warming,
shreds deceit
swept away:
poisoning scum.
the apple heart
of earth,

It seems the sunset theme is self-perpetuating….

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Sunset (Last Light)

The road will come to an end in fire.
Struck dumb in light, a blaze of shadows punching through.

The bluff fingers of Wolf’s Ridge:
Its bared teeth stained red for a moment,
Picked bones and the impossible low laugh of ravens.

Gossip is still gossip though it rhymes.
Arwyn calling his sheep has more of Taliesin in him
Than all that cool dicing of sentences and city-slick say-so.
More of Aneirin in his mutterings: the fickleness of hounds,
The blast of grey rain scouring the slopes
Above neat, labelled towns in two warring languages.

No ceremony at the end of the day,
No fanfare sunset, no golden road, no moments reflection.
Day’s end, like a casual death, a fast artic blasting hot and close
Along narrow lanes, tick clocking, tachometer disabled.
We war Time and, hopeless, hope to win.
The map, a chessboard, a magical gwyddbwyll board
Littered with small victories and imminent defeat.

The sun will set whether we watch or not.
In the parlour tea is laid out.
One bar on the electric to keep off damp and rheumatics.
The sun, a slow thief, has taken colour from the mantelpiece portraits
And given it back to a thin blue sky,
A blush of pink, a heartbeat or two stolen from memories.

The heather will be shouting purple on the hillside now,
Smelling the end of summer and the crisping of bracken
And the tiny push of fungi fingering up through centuries of dust and gravel,
Delicate as the word of God on a Monday morning.
But not yet, not yet. Wait for twilight and dank darkness and the sweat of dew fall,
And fox and owl marking out their own fields of killing and loving.
From deep in her set the vixen suckles the dawn and dusty sun.
From their rickety, woven heights the hooting owls can see
And see again another and another sunset, further and further west,
Each hilly horizon making it anew ’til the end of time.
They know somewhere it is always sunset, somewhere always dawn.
The fungi feel it too – the sun’s path below the ground,
The path of electrons, the spin of stars,
The mutterings of shepherds and the slow counting of the dead and buried,
(Ears open for the Last Trump in case they, day-dreaming, miss it,
And losing the last vestige of decency, become fields and woods
And the sheen of light on puddled lanes).

The chapel roof, high as a barn, catches the last light
And rings to itself a psalm of glory.
It will all fade to a dull ache and a cough of cloud.
A thing of beauty does not last forever, lest we forget the truth of it.
A map of words and hope can carry much,
but not so much as this eternal river.
The whisky-dark, blue-throated Irfon wanders through its valley’s dreams,
News of another day’s sunset carried eastwards towards another dawn.

This is the last of the batch of sunset poems, except maybe a few fragments that may be sewn together sometime. Tied to personal memory of the senses and of times and places, it is very difficult for the writer, I find, to evaluate the effectiveness of the words that for other readers do not have the same connection. We are left with the shaping of the music of the sound of the words, and the hope that it will find some resonance in sympathetic minds. Endless fiddling with a creative moment may be a diverting occupation, but there is no promise that the end result will be appreciated any more. It comes down to the moment, its life energy and the taste or distaste of the reader. Second guessing the reader is stultifying and fruitless. I think I did find some useful concept/images in working on this theme, but they seem still rather scattered throughout the different voices that emerged in the various poems. There is quite a debris of purple, romantic and metaphysical gush that did not find a home. To be expected with the topic, I suppose. That’ll do for now, though.

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SUNSET 10 (This Some Summer Sunset)

This some summer sunset,
Not enough of it even to work out
Which what words and as to emotions, feelings, memories,
It is a splash, a fat man’s belly flop
Makes sense, makes no sense.
We dress up time so, we dress up space,
With word and cause and story so,
Do we not? Do we not, instead of
Instead of knitting it in, gobbling it,
Consuming it, we pick around the edges
What is this? Do I like this? Like kids.
Don’t like beans. Don’t like. Do I like?
What is it I wonder gets in the way.
Is it these words, this mind minded to disturb all things
By poking around what is it? What is it called? What do you do? What do you do?
What is it for? Better to ask what do you not do.
Where are you void. More likely , then, perhaps, perhaps.
Well then, well then this sunset, end of day, end of moment.
Everything left is squeezed out – warmth, light, colour
In one last something. Not a moment not a fraction. A slide,
A dance, a declining breath, an elemental, really an elemental thing
Pushing buttons, or maybe that is just a weak poetic nature, words over deeds
Thinking over doing, a subsidence, a changing.
As much an entity as a breathing heart-stopping being is.
As much a smiling, frowning, complaining
Finite living, dying, changing thing.
The words will not do, they dance around, they are neither photographic
Nor autobiographic, nor philosophic. Generated, self-generated, unreached,
A mystery, so to say.
A mystery and a vast thing bursting in, changing, erupting, leaving as if,
But not as if it had never been, changing everything.
It cannot, thus, be described. An ocean of infinite depth
Pouring through a door ajar. All ghosts, all thoughts, all breath, all all
Led westwards in a blaze and then gone to a different silence.
Is and is not is. How things are. What the sages know. What drives us mad.
What we forget. What we long for. To be taken up within it.
The chariot of the warm sun and carried under the earth,
bones trailing rainbow light ’til we all emerge
Tentative then radiant, but always utterly forgetful,
Into the dawn.

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SUNSET 6 ( only one, and not even that)

There is only one moment, and not even that
As it slides between words spluttering the certain.
There is only one breath, and that has left us as we find another
Between noticing and forgetting the wondering of it.
This is the only sunset, and not even that as it rises and fails
Sudden with colour brash and tender.
One moment gone, one breath, all changed,
One colour impossible to name.
Life becomes fragments if it is held still, perfection palls
And is deemed a failure by universal canon.
The word, a particular curse of our natures,
An intelligence of demons. Too clever by far.
All nouns are lies, all adjectives suspect.
All thoughts – an endless twittered birdsong
In a forest of neurons.
All dreams – a continuing rumble of juxtaposition,
A sunrise and sunset, of edge and horizon,
A slipping through gaps.
Avoidance of the void is the creation of pain and of beauty.
Race westwards: eternal sunset.
Race eastwards: eternal dawn.
Each view only as true as its edges.
Each poem, a breath to be neither accepted or rejected,
Not certified nor censored.
A sign of something passing by, that is all.
Cloud banks over a setting sun,
Hills caught golden, pricked out and pounced.
Delineation of the immeasurable.
A noble picture, or perhaps an articulation of foolishness.
A fragment of eternity rushes by.
The emperor sits on his throne and does nothing,
Yet all revolves about him.
The old sage leaves by the western gate.
No one see his ox cart winding down the road.
He whistles to himself between his teeth
A folk song of the river and the moon.
The sun has set now.
The lights of the distant city begin to show.

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It is what prayers are for
And the memories of drunks,
The dear, tattered fragments of stones.

It will take no longer than the words to describe it.
A moment’s graceful decline as if space were brimmed with light,
As if matter were always blessed in glory.
A graveyard of poet’s eyes, their stumbled tongues,
Overblown or stunned to silence.
Do not take longer than this:
A breath deepened and slow.
One hill, then another, turns golden, then fades.
We become pictorial, the tattered end of day,
A blush of its colours remembered one last time.

Blink the eye, scar the memory, stain hearts with fire
And rekindle love of life.
It is what music is for, to taste the nameless moments,
To delineate the tides of between.
It is not for words that so wrap themselves tight
To squeeze out reasons and meaning.

A sigh to the west for the forlorn and forgot,
A pellucid madness perfected for sinners
Each breath shackled to an infinity without eternity.

It is always somewhere, this passionate moment, rolling westwards
An irreducible heartache, cast clods of cloud and colour
As it skids its wheel in the soils of the next horizon,
Slides through the octaves of light.

Another of the ‘sunset’ poems. They mostly cover the same concepts in differing proportions and different tonal voices. As I re-read and make some slight adjustments I feel slightly more kindly towards them…

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Sun Set Still

Sun Set

One moment –
Poured out,

un o brid
arllwys allan

drunk on visions
a sunset slurs westwards.
Too mad with poetry,
it splutters and abides
to a more seemly twilight.

a friction of moments set ablaze
dowsed sober and silent,
a splintered, imperfect thing.

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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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gold turquoise blue2


(St. Brendan’s Chapel, Barra)

Nowhere nearer
The Isles of the Blest,
The dead gather together,
Warrior and child.

Coaxed by a hand of hills
The land launched
Into silver sunset ocean.

Go on, you can do it.
It will be alright,
Wonders await you…
The voyage into mystery
Stepping stones to heaven.

Eternal islands,
Eternal seas.

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Word Jam

Words in progress, tasting memories. When it comes to writing down the symphony of chord-thoughts it is easy to get lost, carried away by one small melody. These are probably not finished pieces, but sketches, scribblings, jottings, notes that revolve around one small observation, one image whilst recently travelling through Japan.

Japan has two moods: flat and vertical. The flat plains are in the minority ( only 25 percent of land surface). The rest of the country ascends to the sky as quickly as is possible in dense forested mountains. Outside of the vast cities the countryside is small fields and scattered villages and farms. On the outskirts of these one can see small, tightly packed cemetaries filled with similar- looking monuments of highly polished grey stone, rectangular columns on deeply moulded bases. They are in the midst of the rice fields, embedded in the land, a ploughing back of the past into the future fertility….


Swinging north
Along an arc of coast.
A sinking sun sinking into red
Darkening the fields.
Speeding north:
Glints of gold
In the deserted fields –
The last light reflected
From the mirror-polished memorials
Of the dead.
Close-packed, stacked, huddled,
Names deep-carved,
A gathering of grandmothers,
Nibbling o-sembe,
Comparing grandchildren,
Chiding daughters,
Measuring last year’s yield.


Is the best
We can ever achieve.

Beyond the translucent
Sliding screen
That is the present moment

One koto finds notes –
A pentatonic rise and fall

The hunt for a jewelled memory,
An old nostalgia,
A song from the field.


The shrine room
Of memory

Gradually becoming cluttered,

An acquiescence
Of empty pain

Absorbed, overlain,


As if gathered
For the last spark of daylight:
The memorials of the dead,
Precisely named,
Watching the rice fields
Sodden with snow-melt.


From the echoing rooms
Of the living
( faint smell of pine and cedar)

From the roaring roads
( the long tunneled miles)

To the sea horizon
(the dipping sun)

Set to watch
By the presumptuous living
(Seed, chaff, straw)
Woven into the year,
Ploughed back,
Discretely avoided,
Neatly confined,
The ghosts wake and chatter
Watching from the field’s edge,
The cry of foxes, the wheeling of kites,
The deep obeisance to snow
Of the bamboo grove.

No longer distraught:
Day after day
Unnamed, unnumbered.

They, too,
Know that
Is the best
We can ever achieve….


Observation and memory –

The only defence against

The desolate wastelands of habit,

The ennervating excuse of precedence,

The rigor-mortis of conviction…….

The words of the Buddha

Are the same words

As the foolish man…..


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