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Posts Tagged ‘the numinous’

SOMETHING TO BE SAID (MAYDAY)

Pauses grow longer, a melancholy may soon creep in.
We cannot escape our own voices.
( “We rarely go out these days and visitors, though longed for,
are a great discomfort”).
It is a wild guilt that wants our words in other’s heads.
Always a nuisance and a pleasure
to be infected with poetry,
to admit the familiar voices, to see which one leads, this time, the hunt.
Gwyn ap Nydd collecting souls, the ghosts of words,
The white words, the vapoured words,
the haunted words – as poetry is.
‘White, Son of Mist’ – like the morning,
the first attempt at May, after a night of rain,
new in stillness and birdsong, mist on green land,
the ash trees still thinking about their coming fountains of flowers,
roots wriggled so deep in the past, and aching old.
The dunnock’s sweet descent.
It filters down as if spider webs
And gold dust – the flecks
Of memory and forgetting.
A city with loud inhabitants, unkind and strange.
A darkness punctuated with doors and reasons.
As if it didn’t matter, everything collapses.
The moment passes, the tongue gives up.
It cannot make the chords that the brain sings in,
Just one note at a time, syllable by.
There is something to be said for silence.
The way the mist in its own dreaming gravity
Slides along the slopes
And settles in the cwms.
The way it shifts space.
The way it delineates what is not itself.
With what would we fill these silences
Should all the voices stop?

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A sequence of connected works, or variations, to do with Time, New Year, tradition and mysteries. The Mari Lwyd, (‘Grey Mare’) is a horse’s skull decorated and carried on a long pole that goes round houses on New Year’s Eve exchanging banter for food and drink. It seems like a really ancient tradition and has the edgy, initiatory, feel of the oldest of memories.

Part One

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MARI LWYD

A fluid darkness, a slow river wind.
Wild torches taste change, sparks tumbling into tomorrow.
We follow laughing, the Mari Lwyd with the wild futures
As all before have done this New Year’s Eve in the old valleys
Lost in the darkness, these hills watching, loomed.

Following the Grey Mare who tests the wit and want,
And begs for food and the oblivious warmth of drink,
To remember and forget the fading paths, the slender chance,
The fatal message.

A laconic nightmare stirred up for a vigilance and a testing,
Slick and breathed upon with frost death, breath white sheet cloud,
An ectoplasmic emission, the dancing myth of earth,
A decay and return of Time to its rightful round.

Not a horse of this world, patient in the paddock.
A night horse, all will ride willy-nilly,
And a rough ride or a wild drunk banter.

We ride the words, we ride the stories, into the night.
The torches are well made, but will still gutter and die in dawn’s drizzle.
Mari Lwyd is mute this year – no wit left amongst these sundered tribes,
No one can recite the triads, utter the names of things, the innuendo beneath the sheet.
We rake over ashes, but for want of fuel the fires will die
(And perhaps they should, perhaps they should).

A new fire, the valley snaking north, caught glorious in a winter dawn.
The light slides deep, across pale oaks and forest boughs,
Slides with shifting cloud across the tops, across the fields.
The bones of things dressed in warmth,
But it is only the bones of things that will ever pass
Through and along and between the long nights,
And into the death and birth of years.

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NIGHT THE FIRST

It is not the placid herds of angels mooing praise nor the conniving pedantic demons.
It is not the male nor the female, nor the roaring furious ones, nor the cowered silent ones.
Nor the eloquent silence, nor the tearing ripping void of sorrows and despair.
Nor the words
Nor the music
Nor the movement
Nor the flash of wings
Nor the sleepy curled furry ones
Nor the bleak uplands, nor the cold winds, nor the emasculating inanities.
Not the glorious truths of dust and measure, nor this, nor that, nor memory, nor forgetfulness.
It is nothing but a book of voices, an intercourse of pulse and pause. A regardless cause, a fleabite itch, primary and secondary, a flowering of galaxies in a tumbled arc across what is not itself. A fierce catastrophic ejaculation, a burst of incalculable seed that looks, feels for, fertile ground uncompromised by purpose or censoring scissors redacting sense and nonsense. A piling out of truths and lies. A justification for beginnings. All the words ever spoke uncysted, growing wings and spines to feel the new red flow, to make a difference, a sifting wind blown unmappable, desert nothing to be quenched but regurgitated photonic haze.
It will inevitably
Fail to favour the blasphemers
With muscle and righteousness,
The gore-caked murderers insistent
Will be cropped and fed quiet bones
Ground down by swans
To cloyed, sweet dust.
There it is, a landscape emerging from mist, a dawn construed half familiar, half achingly strange, inhabited, or not,
Pierced with fierce birdsong
And scything swallows.
A slow mind of colour ripped up,
Pasted from a memory belonging to others,
A grated zest palled, recalibrated as means to an end,
Muscular worm palpating, digesting,
Evacuating.
A little nothing, an almost nothing (see there, a failure to avoid fake evaluations, an arrogance indicative of the species that so presumes an elevated itch: the ability to destroy is the right to destroy). Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil of others. Every time. And slay our enemies who laugh at us with good reason, mocking our belligerent, petty gods, our loathsome, vast and irreducible shadows….

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Hours slow and stutter,
Stretch and scatter on the summer hills.
This lent breath pauses.

A sun enthroned throws flame
Against a wide horizon
But melts to mist, cools to blue distant hum.

A flicker swallow dives low.
We barely skim the surface –
A month or two before forgetting
What we came for.

In glistering dark
We become our own ghosts.
In sharp-edged day
Weighed down we are
With longer shadows.

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OWL-HEADED DAKINI DREAM

Owl-headed, lithe, folded,
Feathered.
Shock thundered voice:
Scythe words,
Harrow words,
Winnowed,
Fine-limbed spells.
Fingertipped, a weaving sined spin,
A cast out dance.

Sunlit surge in blue, fat sky.
A thousand green tongues
Hallowed.
Treasures rain,
Brushed light on lips.

Arched span a wing across.
Star chased, a trembled cascade.
Breathed dust, the burst
Before thought, bubbled,
Swirled, bowed.

Lean in, lean close.
A criss-crossed hum,
A bee jewelled drone
Truth stitched.

Skull bowl brain meal.
Glistening viscera
Steam slithered open.
All, all revealed.

My voice, a lute, a cuckoo.
A call distanced
By the fathoms of spring.

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ADVENT

Bran’s tousled head hangs eloquent
From every night-burned alder.

Rust red are the wounded bracken hillsides,
Sour the long sedge.

Steep is the road,
All distance vapour.

Every hedge, a calligraphy of secrets
Taught by italic rains, slanted weather.

The trees stripped to syllables,
Each a sharp tongue and a scourge for empty vastness.

All glory hidden,
Sunk into the small, warm hearts of huddled things.

In barn and byre,
A shuffled silence,

Summer days mulled over,
Scented green against the cold.

Anointed, we are, with slow light,
Awaiting an older cermony:

A star in the east.
A sure opening and a soft, certain closing.

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KEY TEN
(Glen Mor and the Ard Ri n’a Sidhe, Mull)

“We shall give to you here
The skill of the Song of the Land.

Words of silver,
Words of gold.

Sweet gale and honey
On the tongue tip.

The melancholy of the curlew
And the lapwing.

The smooth stream of the blackbird;
The harsh heart of the eagle.

For you are only human –

Life as sweet as the scent of violets
And then gone.”

—-

Here, then, is the last of the Ten Keys to the Green Kingdoms and the words that discover their essence. Collecting environmental and subtle energy essences can be an uncertain thing. One can doubt the veracity of what is perceived, of what images and thoughts pass in front of consciousness. We knew the island of Mull still retained a sentient link to the Fairy Kingdoms, once felt throughout Britain, now rarely encountered or paid attention to. These words formed and seemed to me to emanate from high in the hierarchy of the Secret Commonwealth, the Otherworld realms. Delusion is easy for humans, however. I wished that I could be shown some veracity of the intent and content of the words. Immediately thereafter, as I was gazing out from the coach window, a grey heron flew close alongside us, keeping pace with the vehicle. Those who know, know the heron as a significant messenger of the Hidden Kingdoms. These things happen, likely or not. The Green Kingdoms underlie all levels of landscape, history, myth, psyche. They are the dreaming of the world. Those who might have been touched somehow by one or more Key may like to look at using the essence as a spiritual nutrient. Please go to http://greenmanshop.co.uk

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