Posts Tagged ‘Taliesin’


The words of the golden-browed gobby boy,
Next to madness, filter down to aquafers dark and fertile.
Sublime its nonsense, sentient and spinning as golden suns
On the fenceposts of oblivion.
Meaning hangs from barbed wire, black rags breathing their last.
A hundred forests there are growing from the root of his tongue,
And each tree branches bells and shouts and battle cries of intelligence.
These fermenting druid visions ever guarded from nightmare by monsters.
There can be no place for a soul to find peace who sees the knot and rivers of becoming,
No place but at the very edge of things and at the very heart of things,
Where none think to look or go, on the folded lands of jet and fresh waters,
The bowl carved with care nibbled by prayers and the slow songs of sheep.

These words just mists transfused with light,
Threaded translucent edges shadowing other landscapes.
Bubbles wrapping spiraling air, compassing a skin of life.
An edge around itself, composed of itself, born before shape.
Perfect its round reflection, itself its own surroundings
The world its skin, invisible but for rainbows and radiance.
A glide of light on a perfect arc.
It is by what it reflects that is not is.
Ungraspable, a perfect world of brightness.

Mydwyf taliesin dery:
Gwawt godolaf vedyd:
Bedyd rwyd rifedau eidolyd
Kyfrwnc allt a hallt ac echwyd.

I am ardent taliesin:
I present song to the world:
Praises of the world’s bounteous wonders
Between the high place and the sea water
And the fresh water.


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Some words make rivers to ride down seawards
Some words make rivers to cross over to another side
Some words make rivers wild and roaring falling from heaven
Some words make rivers thst are strange songs, strange and lovely
Some words make rivers that rend the earth, thst rend worlds, thst carve out new names
Some words make rivers thst are tears and memories and sorrows endless

All words flow from the same source to the same oceans in many worlds
All words live in the flow of breath and the woven web of minds
Some words and all words are born of landscapes and their passion

Born of need and born of beauty
Born of silence and born of reaching out
We are washed in words, their cool slip and drip
Drop by drop lost in words, drowned dreaming

Turned by words, stretched out and shattered by words
Made by words and cast adrift on words
Hollowed and hallowed and shriven by words
Healed and made whole by words.
Swept clean swept away swept up,
Found and lost in words


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I thought I had posted this late last year, but cannot find it anywhere, so maybe I didn’t, after all. The winter skies of the Cambrian Mountains and whispers from Taliesin and the Ordovices, Iron Age tribe of the uplands.


About its turrets are the wellsprings of the sea.
Clouds wrap the mountaintops,
Rivers run full with meltwater.
The dear horizon is our fortress,
Saviour from the revolving sky,
Pinned back to harmony.
One voice that is not one voice
That is one voice, the mind
Of the poet on wandering roads.
How is the poet like a hedgerow?
A tangle of blackthorn inpenetrable,
Interwoven, sharp with sorrows,
It bursts into pure blossom,
Its fruits are bitter truth that sustains
Through deep frosts.
How is it that poets and flowers are alike?
None knows when the sweetest
Shall spring up, though the seeds
Are everywhere.

The centre of the land here is a silent fortress, ageless.
Held motionless, it remains
Whilst the seasons roll their seas
Across the valleys.
Such emptiness in a heart, so
One can hear the tumbling flows of feeling
Before they cloak themselves in sound,
The sound before the language,
The language before the meaning,
The meaning before the comprehension.

The ravens knit the valley airs.
The weight of beauty, near unbearable.
So in the centre is silence untamed,
Rolled psalms of poignant distance..
Each path, each road, only now here
Because of the thousand weary feet trudged before
With stick and dog following the fluttering,
Oblivious flocks to and from the high pastures
Of heaven, the summer pastures of delight.

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“I was a droplet in the air.
I was the radiance of starlight.”

I was a morning in late February,
Fresh with moments of green
And a wealth of birdsong.

I was a gradient of light
Sliding on the hillsides;
A calibration of sorrows
On the mountains;
A word somewhere between
Joy and sorrow.

A maker of firelight warmth
And a cup of hot tea,
A conveyance of small wonder
And a hunter of consideration.

The wind is light
And the clouds dissolving in colour.
The ground is waterlogged
And the trees become thirsty.
It is still silent on the road,
The paths still empty.
Their shadows hold winter,
Puddled, ice-blind eyes.

There is nothing that is not ordinary,
Nothing that is not wonderful.
The triple song of the thrush
Sings it all, again and again.
Praise for praise’s sake,
Word on word.


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(Out of Taliesin)

I have been in many forms
But come back to this one:
Floating wingspread one,
Weightless and watchful,
A feathered arc, a bowl,
A cup of air brushed in
sunlight, wary, joyful.
(The wind has left a dust
Of snow on the far valley
Side, slate the dark sky
And the hills vanish
Like the living do, into
clouds of drifting whisper).
So easy it is to forget – a wonder
We do not learn it earlier.
And remembering: a dream
Patched from here and there,
The glue of emotion
The glue of regret.
A world unfolded from sound
And holding firm, fast spinning.
A potter’s wheel, potter’s hands.
Hollowed is blessed and so
I am hollowed and void.
Blood and breath, clod and clay –
A holy work to keep it
And let go of it.
(The trees bend and roar,
Their thoughts this droning chord.
A chant to the maker, blameless
Of suffering.)
These poets, suspended, becoming saints,
Hanging from the four directions.
Their parts scattered to make new worlds,
Their words taken literally, or buried,
A bed of seeds for Spring days
To play with.


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By Breath

Awen, awel, gwen, gwyn.
By sound they collect, though not by derivation:
A poet’s excuse.
Biological etymology, a bloom of lichen,
Mutually supporting, intergrown,
What is not the same becoming
What is not different.
Inspiration, breeze, white, so white.
The mist effloresces, it becomes name.

The hunched woman, the crooked woman,
Behind it all, birth and death mother.
Ceridwen, overflowing awen, bright river racing.
Energy of remarkable stimulation, disperser of the seeds of wisdom
(The soot black severed-head seeds of alder,
The fine feather floating of willow and poplar, careless Gwion Bach).

Fresh water mixed with jet.
We shall reflect upon it, upon its depths,
Upon the mirrored world it shows,
The membrane, the drum skin,
The roof of the sky.

By breath from Ceridwen,
Hunched over, tight focus, mind sharp,
The cauldron within Annwfn.
The place where things are true and of themselves.
In the world
It is not the world it is, the most of the world.
The inner world, the deep, the profound.

Perception of patterns
(all that perception is, after all)
Ogrfen in awen, a phase of awen, a part,
Patterns of the world in the breath.
Witnessing the deepening of things as they are.
The Ideal peeking through the ordinary.
In a chant, in a repeating, in a breath in and out
And the sound between. Again and again.

I sing awen.
I bring it forth from the depth.
Awen in annwfn weighs and judges the worth.
Awen brings forth annwfn

Deep awen – ddofn awen
Deep awen of deep memory,

The deep, deep within the breath.
And what will it turn out to be, after all,
Except this: annwfn is the memory
Of all things, unreleased, unchanged, unforgotten,
Piled up, sunk down, absorbed, soaked through.
A saturation of patterns, a pathway etched,
A river chiselled, a dance dreamed in the heart
Of all matter, what matters, what holds together.
Between the two cataracts of the wind, between the
Song of the lungs, the heart fortress and its salt tides.

Not the words, not the tale.
The weaving of sounds, the way to go beyond
And beneath the meaning,
Lost in the music, the meanings trail behind.

Eiliad – the composition of poetry,
one second, one woven moment,
A weaving in time.
Rhythm defining time
Moving through time
Harmony created to memorise, remember.
The thrush singing the world away
Revealing the underlying presence of sacredness.

This high throne, this chair, this rock: a place of song.
Worlds reflected in the sound and rhythm,
Mirroring, transformed, switched.
A seething mist, a sunlit hillside,
Sound of distant traffic.
When time has run,
it gathers itself up
And remembers
And by this
Becomes free
From itself.


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The Living and the Dying:
Dipping in, dipping out, spinning, turning, returning.
This string, this blue cord, this mysterious line.

Slipping past the gatekeeper of dawn and sunset,
The dream rim, horizon’s cauldron.

The answer to crafty questions.
No one survives the heroic ideal,
Except transformed, ploughed back into and out of Time,
Through the door of the fortress that turns.

These ancient watching animals in the stream
Of the constellations, time creators outside of time.
Watch the movements from the physical to the ethereal.

“I underwent transformations, I circulated.”
Time is his landscape,
The bardic occupation of weaving the past into the present,
Kneading the present back into the past, the past into the present.

I was alive.
I was dead
About the aeons of the fortress,
About the one’s like kings,
How long their dwelling place.

I slept on a hundred islands,
In the seas of heaven, the firmament.

I mutated, I went around,
I am dissolved and passed through,
Strained and purified.

He passes through. He slices through.
The darkness, not understood until death comes.
Cian, Afagddu, Gwiwan.

O dyfynwedyd gwawt

The deep speaker, the speaker from the deep,
Passionately brought forth.
Not the quietness.

The deep ones emerge in the voice
Of the bard and the audience,
A flow above the shining drink.

The deep one becomes flesh

Dwfyn dyfu ygnawt

The shapeshifter,
Singing his own deathsong,
Uther, dead and singing,
Becomes Taliesin by this voice.

Nothing but skin and bone.


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