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Posts Tagged ‘Taliesin’

ECLIPSE CYCLE

Soot black is the smith of sullen silence.
That shadow sitting always beside oblivious brightness.
Both watch the long hours –
Time fermenting with horizon’s rim,
Belly of the mother instinct hatching another triplicity.
Old gods making new gods.
An eternal chase, the subject becoming object,
The percept, concept.
Mind mazing itself ( as it does),
Its own lurking, horned monster.
This dance is neurological, biological, botanic,
A mitosis, a meiosis, a synthesis, a metabolism, an eclipse.
A hungry chasing wolf devouring light.
Crouched by the fire, our faces warmed,
Our backs chilled by starlight.
To make sense of this short story,
A fading posy of reasons,
A crushed sweetness of bedstraw.
The bards will sing and for a moment
We shall remember and forget
Everything that is and is not ours.
Visit the gods and get drunk with them.
Wordless, understand everything
Before the light of dawn
Spreads a bleak cold.

In most ancient cosmological myths the importance of the relationship between sun and moon and their meeting at eclipses are central to the understanding of how things are. To understand the world it is necessary to understand the dance of the powers moving above it. The tale of Ceridwen, Gwion Bach and Afagddu is a triplicity that might, at some levels of interpretation, be an exploration of the all important eclipse cycle, as well as the workings of the bardic process and the structure of human consciousness.

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SINTERED VOICES (DARK MATTER SPEAKS)

the river cracked open
becomes starry space

So many words it is a wonder that some peel through the razor noise intact
Not feathered limping, severed spluttering, gasping airless, a stupid music.

the void between emotions:
a valley wind that rolls stones

The howl continuous so familiar, the driver of conscientious actions.
Our names rumbling in the caverns of our ever drunken blood.

if the river runs silent
is it no longer a river?

Fearing silence most of all, we dress daily in chatter
Asking only that our dreams too have electric constancy.

listen, you mute guardians:
i will sing all your names

Oh, Enkidu, striding across tidy fields of tamed constraint
I shall kill you, too, though I love you more than life itself.

there are footprints on the moon
the dust of other lives, sighing

Taliesin, Taliesin, you burst from your womb-bag
Loud and shimmering. If you were not so beautiful
It would have been your tomb.

the silent centre of this land,
where is the end of all things

If you were not such a tricky lad
You would still be sitting next to inpenetrable darkness.

when there is knowledge
you shall be struck dumb

Yet here still you caper in circles around the utter void
Flapping your tongue and pulling faces.

all words, the debris
of other’s errors

all the masters have left us
as if they never were

fading petals pressed
between stained pages

an unexpected lightness
of forgetting why and how

this river, more song and sense
than a thousand nations

this tree, most eloquent
in its most eloquent, swaying silences

raven prophecy
whirlwind visions
the cataracts of unstitched minds
save us from all reasonable madness

we are adrift
on seas of fire,
and hungry,
so hungry, now.

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TALIESIN’S HANGOVER

We are the ghosts,
And the demons dance
Roaring in our blood.

The holy and the profane-
The weather of our tastes.

Better would be silence
Than a thousand poets
Limping their rhymes
Through barren landscapes
They mistake for freedom.

Bitterness shall wake us,
Beauty put us to sleep.

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BITTER , EVEN

Am nyt vo nyt vyd
Nyt vid am nyt vo

Since it may not be , it shall not be;
It shall not be since it may not be.

A bard would waste no time, waste no words.
(A flaying knife of quick tongue
to buck up the drowsing drunken lords.)

Forty years thrown away for one curious look
Beyond a dusty door.

The balm of forgetting ( the long war over)
The balm of art and of companionship
Shattered in cold salt winds.

The little island storm-wracked,
No pilgrims given shelter.

Proud Arthur unearthed the protecting head –
He thought the land needed nothing
But force and brave bluster
To keep it sound and sovereign.

Manawyddan turned cobbler
Who should have been king.
He chose a small, good life
Rather than justifiable strife.

And the bard knows,
The bard knows
That the future is a waste land, forever unmade.
And the present, only the hiss of foam spray
At the very edge of an eternal ocean,
The roaring, ever-flowering, accumulating past.

Boet gwir venhyt
Dragwynawl byt

Let there be true joy
In the sorrowful world.

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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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