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Posts Tagged ‘Taliesin’

SPOILS OF ANNWN

Neb kyn noc ef nyt aeth idi –
Y’r gadwyn tromlas kywirwas ketwi

It is a soughing, is a sighing lament
a lament of oarstrokes, of labour
against a tidal fate, the rip-tides of honour,
of pride, of battle, of world’s collapsing.
It sings so with a heavy heart
the cracked glass of memory saying
all was lost, save us, and we returned lost:
the dark roads, the impenetrable fortresses,
the keening wind, the scent of snow and blood.

‘How many saints are there in the void?

May I not endure this sadness…’

And the roaring waves turning back
Drawn tight against the ripped sky
Banded, wheeled, armoured rings
And the horror of it is not even that darkness.
Inside these fortress rocks the lost echoed songs of the forever lost,
Transformed aching nothing twisted to silence
The thousands lost just trying, just looking,
The hinged doors screaming, the invisible worlds
Shuddering and refusing us their air, their shade.

Save seven, none came back.

Their air is not our air, their life and death not ours
To grasp at feathers and find fingers shredded to bone,
To look into eyes that look beyond days and nights.
And the ghosts of thought growing bold, and the doubts
That our good is not good, our right, a trespass unforgivable.
There was terrible beauty that cared nothing for us,
That would not let us rest or pass, terrible is such truth.

Unutterably shifted between worlds, gone, never returned.
Chaff words and book learning all shallow things
Now our eyes have been seared with countless strangenesses.

May I not endure this sadness.

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GWION WATCHING

There you must stay
(Placed there for some reason)
Sitting next to impenetrable darkness
To stir what no-one else can.
Hunched as the moon
While the crooked woman sleeps.

It is not yours, this world you must watch bubbling,
It has another purpose of its own in time:
Inchoate gestation, full of all potential,
Unlimitless sound, a well of pealing light,
Webbed dawns, bird song full.

As the cormorant hangs still upon its cross of sunlight,
As the lovely whiteness bends
To a bowed and then starless dark,
As the coagulation proceeds you can do nothing but watch,
A small, waking thing on the edge of pearl-lipped perfection.

The wise know the dance ( and always have done):
The dark and light across the skies,
The mother gravid with light child, hungry darkness following,
Born for her, hungry for her and her for him,
The metre of time, a dance of shadow,
A pattern woven to weave its reflection on the ground we stand,
Limned by stones and pool, the notched stick, the knotted thread.

We must stay ( placed here for some reason)
Watching the starlight bubble,
Watching the season’s seethe and its cauldron sky heat
Steamed with cloud and drift of poetry,
The song the same, ever unsung in its entirety,
Lost in its own passionate cataracts, its tributaries, its silver streams.

And here now, when you least expect it,
Drowsy and all else in mind sleeping,
Eloquence will leap out and take you.
Words will alight from burning void,
Words not yours, becoming yours.

You will race laughing, screaming through all worlds
And finding no rest, you shall squirm a heartbeat from death,
Chasing and chased by darkness
And in the end fall golden, nothing but grain,
To ripen in night’s breast and belly.

Born nameless again, gestated on oceans,
Drowned across time towards subtle lands
Neither shore nor sea but the roar of river’s mouth,
A beam of sunlit dawn dazzling,
A perfect song, (having forgotten and remembered everything,
Lost and found everything).

Darkness curled and potent on your lip.
Light, a perfect spear upon your tongue.
Slippery as eels is language
Fed by the weeds of the world beneath:
Dark and light and all things,
And nothing, will be your song,
Everlasting echo, three drops
In a dewdrop
Moment.

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AFAGDDU

Am nyt
Vo nyt vyd;
Nyt vyd am nyt vo
;

Since it may not be
It shall not be;
It shall not be
Since it may not be;

To the light, bright, guileful one
This darkness unfathomable
Is a fear ugly and unbreached.
Refusing its nomenclature
Sullen beyond edges, unruled.
If it has language it is the language of mould
The skittering of small things, of decay.
A mulch, a compost, a howl of vowels
A gutteral bubbling of green mud,
White, stripped bones grinning
Through swags of drooping flesh.
It is the architecture of night,
The logic of humus, its own gravity,
Penetration of life within life,
Life searching out new form,
Stretching for new freedoms,
A rainbow slick, gyrating in fractal.
Subhuman, unruly son of the mother
Held in her arms, limp and ever dying,
Pieta, beneath matter’s crucifixion,
The rot of resurrection, a weaving of thorns,
Refusing the excuses of others, nothing to tell,
Washed in tears, its own aromatic unguent.
A secret not what it seems, that few will approach,
Is the centre of all things.

Vyg kadeir
A’m peir
A’m deduon.

My song
And my cauldron
And my rules.

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THE WONDERS BETWEEN

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.

THE HIGH PASTURES OF HEAVEN

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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THE THRUSH’S SONG

“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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