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Posts Tagged ‘the numinous’

TWO DISTANT MOMENTS

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I breathe the cool cloud

The jackdaws lean into.

The spice of wet grass.

A radiant moment dissolves into eternity.

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Evening turns to rust.

The blue hills bloom cloud.

Soft, this beautiful melancholy.

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WINTER SONG

Storm words roar from the north.

From oceans of ice the sanity of cold.

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The pines here bend and shudder.

The birches here shimmer light webs.

The waters here grow thick and silent.

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Time, its old fire wan, weakens limp.

Nothing can be done, its slow moments congealing.

Nothing can be saved, the precious mirrors tint and spall.

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There is no way out, no way in.

The roads all spattered, batter edged.

Small beasts bear the burden hearts or give them up to rest.

Small beasts melt into the shrines of singing stars.

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The clouds ring loud, the earth an anvil, cold steel hard.

The sun has three days stood still,

It stutters on now, but in new pain.

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The days of winter are a long entrancing poem.

It has a recitation hypnotic, unyielding.

The wind shouts it, the north wind, the song of winter long.

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And winter still to take its deep bite on the warm world.

Day by day the dying are heading west,

They trail their names and their memories, river dreaming.

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What is left are bones and the teeth of night.

Harsh goddesses who lust for flame,

Older stories than the ones we know,

Older by far, in the language of soot and coupling.

A cave-deep heat lit by animal scents.

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These first roads are etched on our palms,

Red, in the alignments of circumference.

From here, the silver rivers;

From here, the stones that sing;

From here, the roots reach downwards;

From here, the seeds are gathering together.

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THE TALIESIN SHADOWS

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He comes forth by words,

out of darkness and brightness

(we, watching, blinded by both).

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Out from blood, out from skulls,

out from the groves and the mist.

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They tumble, birds from nets,

these wild words seeking skies.

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The scent of oak and moss,

the scent of rust and iron blood.

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A thousand years,

and still no-one has fathomed its depths.

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The evening sky swept clear of life and death,

autumn clear with the tooth cold edge to it.

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He has learnt to weave the shadows.

Mystery is his cloak, a feathered cloak of wings,

wings of words.

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The meat of the past, the blood and muscle

of all forebears held in rhythm and sound.

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They have perfected their own shadow,

full of mystery and silent horror.

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Persistent dreaming encourages a certain familiarity

with dear monsters. “My awen is an ash spear”.

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We talk to the spirits of the dead,

recounting their stories, reviving their memories,

reincarnating the spirit.

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I will sing and sing and sing your words.

Your voice feeds my nerves

and I become, first, between, then other, then empty,

and you can walk in.

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My shadow

becomes your shadow,

your words,

my words.

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2

I open my mouth.

There is silence.

But now the wind

From the graves

Forms sound, the vowels,

The rivers of sound from the caves of wisdom,

From the mounds of remembrance.

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I will not sing to the lords, to the rich kings.

I sing to the free, who lack good weather,

Who seek rain in drought, seek sun in storm.

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The space of song.

They listen and travel through these words

To become closer to the divine.

This is my space. The protective weaving of poets’ words.

Enwrapped, entranced, protected within the poet’s rhythm.

3

Cauldron

This cauldron: iron hard consonants

Wrapped round and shaped by the curve of vowel.

What will it not encompass?

What shall never be encompassed by it?

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Awen is greater than this cauldron’s expanse,

Awen is deeper than its deep resounding belly.

Powerful is the echo of that fortress of truth,

Yet an echo in the hills of distant thunder is what it is.

The ocean roar of awen in the cursive chambers of shell and bone:

A whisper of voices, millions, there are millions, from the deep before.

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Deep as this cauldron is, and as ancient as its gigantic creators,

It cannot contain the horizons of Annwfn.

One part is understood and named,

Four-fifths remain eternally hidden.

A clear light blinds by its brightness

And the shadows deepen wherever it shines.

It cannot be named by names, it cannot be sung by songs,

It cannot be understood by philosophy,

It cannot be measured by maps.

Look up, look down, at the revolving stars:

It is there and not there.

Stir the bubbling verses in the honey cauldron:

It is there and not there.

In the breath and in the void

It escapes the understanding as the sun at sunset,

As the cuckoo in winter,

As the wren in the hedgerow.

There and not there,

A diminishing cry

Stirring the mind of poets.

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He grows from his words – the seeds of sound

On the soil of listening silence.

Embodied, he is mystic light, a tricky one, iron hard steel.

An evolution of the world’s voice found in the dark tombs,

A clothing of golden brocade for liquid tongues.

They whisper in circles in their root-wrapped rooms.

The transcendence of death by the sages, by the brave,

By the wise, by the heroes who pass between, who pass on.

I have placed the words of the past in my body.

Golden, they rise up when my tongue bids it.

The mead flows, we drink and are drunk upon it.

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The deep speaks, and it stirs the deeper still.

We are echoes and can trawl

The life beneath the single

Small light of the soul.

This voice overtones infrasound.

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THEY ARE BEYOND

They are beyond reach, beyond the wall,

Beyond the chattering sparrows in the cool mist morning.

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The hill mutes its gold and silver.

In the valley, old men farm regret.

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It is beyond, but hinted, by the soft fall of rain,

By the slow southern breeze,

By the pale light and waiting.

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It is curled about the sleeping cat,

It’s breath a whisper in the room.

It goes out and comes back

Dressed in notions, disguised in feelings.

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It is inherent, yet escapes from

These eternal passing moments.

It becomes a word, moves air, shifts the sight,

Then disappears.

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THERE, THE STILLNESS SINGS

sink down a little, beneath these surfaces.

the same world, a different view.

a cool wind is blowing, though the mists stay still.

the deep hills in the north, the uplands of the south

are nowhere to be seen.

in the garden scented rose petals drop like rain.

sink down and find the earth,

a rich soil of dreaming.

my souls have coalesced

but drift apart as stars do,

As wandering flocks do.

without even trying

the hills begin to emerge.

it will be a hot day

and we shall be grateful for shade.

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CARN INGLI HAIKU

We are lost in its blue distance.

Carn Ingli praised by cuckoos.

A gathering of sunlight.

In the shadows of Carn Ingli

Even the near becomes distant.

Humming bees.

Some hills watch you for miles,

Knowing who you are, where you have been.

Carn Ingli, perched above the world.

A flock of blue stones:

Cracked open are their doors.

Crowned in heather and whin

Is silent Carn Ingli.

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ON THE HILL OF ARBERTH

Shall we climb the yonder green mound?

Expand our view to the wide unseen horizon,

See wonders, see the unattainable brilliance?

I shall tell you a story where the darkness shines

As bright as the glory of day,

Where the horror shouts loud enough

To wake the doorkeeper between worlds,

Where the pictures come as clues to other strange things,

Where places reconstruct in cellular aggregations

Down the spine and the tides of new air

Tingles with the riddles of a new way

To lose certainty and find a better truth.

Rest now.

Time and space is full already with this world.

Watch as patterns shift.

In shadows and slowed moments

Other worlds can show themselves,

The other that is not the other.

( the woodpigeon’s grey cool song

And the deep green wind between the hills).

It is so full, so full.

Let go the river downwards.

Just below, just below the known

Are the vast halls of golden brocade,

The sapphire cool pavements, as it were.

Wait, unframing, un-naming.

Roads are small patterns of consistency.

Mingle the words of in and out.

Lay one on another without choosing.

Climb the green rise and see what might be seen:

Distance, shimmer, dazed,

What is there is elsewhere.

Soften and dissolve the sight –

That is the way, ( a voice says), to see outside.

The mirror ripples, water turns to rock.

The slow creatures stop to dream,

The warm air chants with bees’ hum.

One step without moving.

There is an art to it akin to drunkenness and despair.

Waiting, not wanting control, dissolving slightly,

Wavering a haze of possibility.

Silence. The deep is the dream

That dreams you here.

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RAINBOW WINGS

When the cloud is not down on the hill

there is no magic.

When everything is so clear,

nothing is seen.

The sound of the river,

what voices does it carry?

How can it be unravelled?

I shall tell you a truth

that is mine alone,

a truth of gold and silver

as pure as dream

and as radiantly unscathed.

A truth of rainbow-sheened wings,

roofing a golden palace,

dispersed by a breath,

by a doubt, by a breeze.

The truth no one believes –

that is the way to touch the Real.

The truth that cannot possibly be true,

that is laughed out of every hall,

that truth is the truth that can change the universe.

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I DREAM THE DISEASE OF INSISTENT TRUTH

We have already lost the world

We have already lost the world.

But we go to a world where it still is.

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Filling the bright circle

With a cadence of whispered names.

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It is not this.

It is not this,

Where we step through to brightness.

Going nowhere, we turn,

Become pillars of silence

Against the metred songs of a warrior god,

Sung in a warrior’s language you hardly even know,

Built for grey walls and bitter days.

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A circle of leaves

In a sacred number

To build a door in air.

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The knots are tied and untied

To measure the moon’s dance,

The stones moved round the circle.

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The one who was lost

Is a clue to the thing

That can never be found by looking.

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All our friends who are not with us are dead.

They are remembering other roads

Beyond the shadows of trees and the towering fountains.

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We dance with mathematical precision,

A syncopated falling.

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Small white flowers shall puddle

In her footsteps

Though the bones of the snow

Spell cold on the mountains.

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We cannot tell if your bleak holiness

Shall heal yet, or simply dissolve our duties

To leave us standing mute and shelterless.

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We fall into the roaring gorges,

The broken roaring overhung,

The dark, weeping trees.

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It is a battle whose sides

We once understood.

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Through a silent circle of leaves,

Holy in number,

We shall step and take new forms

That wait for us

Winged or furred or fluttering,

Whispered or yearning

We shall slide between

The rocks of certain truth.

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Stones will shatter for our gentleness,

Worlds cave in and crystals crack,

The dark shall fill with pulsing light.

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The impossible sky

The impossible sky

We will dance within.

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ORACULAR MESSAGE

In the woods, in the green wet woods

The dead are waiting with their songs.

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They have longed for their flesh and they have forgotten.

The rivers are full of their passions.

It is a cold steel desire, a lust like winter.

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It is gone now, subsided into multiplicity,

The tracks lost, the flash of prey in the bushes,

All become unintelligible like a valley dissolves in driving rain.

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But the dead are waiting there with their slim fingers

To crack open your sight, to break open your eyes

The release the hawk of your mind, the hungry raven of your heart,

The river of your reason.

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This is for you, a prophecy for you

Because you have read these lines,

Because of the intersections of the stars,

Because you are nothing but this,

About to be forgotten, about to be lost.

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The dead are waiting in the woods, singing and dancing,

Forgetting everything.

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You have dreamed enough.

You have destroyed enough.

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They slide between species, have no regard for distinctions.

They breathe the matter ejected from shuddering galaxies into the void.

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These words are not for you

But you must remember them and pass them on.

They are for the last one who leaves.

Who turns to flick the light switch

And with a small smile steps into darkness.

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Tell them the dead are waiting in the green mossy woods.

Tell them to listen for the sighing song

For the surprise of pine scent drift singing storm winds.

Tell them to remember the small things,

The notions that eat worlds.

Tell them the dead are waiting

To take them home.

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