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Posts Tagged ‘time’

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DHRUPAD 13 (emptying out)

The skies are empty now empty of whistling wheeling swallows.
A quiet white
blanket of satisfaction mists the land
the ashes peel curl and fade, the hazels crisp.
Veils thin and mysterious return.

the slow dead
and the quick dead
turn and rise to see the returning tides of winter.

But it is still peace today sunlight floating down
the world slowed but still growing.

Searching for the right words, is it?

Like the swallows
sweeping crying have gone have gone but
for one or two flitting and diving
and getting
their last supper
for a good long while a good while
on the winds to the warm lands,
the sun warming wings and the rising air wriggling with life.

Distance distance words wheel enough enough corner of the eye corner of the mind distance empty.

Searching for the right words,
like counting ripples as rain fills the puddles
and mud coloured is the earth
and mud coloured is the sky and
mud coloured is the day filled with muddy thought
and tongues still as the still hills
and mind as fast as streams and as easy to understand.
The wheeze of swallows fills space leaves space empty space gone gone gone

for rain here cools and day shrinks and the long night the long night dreams dreams and whimpers a new tune
a new song the right words
the right words ice sharp and curled clear and ice bright

and here now here clear and calling and big as hills

and a throat of bursting rivers
and a sleep of dark moments
and shadows longer longer
reaching to horizons and the bell of the star sky ringing ringing and the shiver of distance opening
up and a deep, round silence
an empty skull dome silence
a cave drip drop dark silence a
story
silence where footsteps walk
and branches swish back
and in the corner of the eye the corner of the eye
change
wings
low
and sleek and loping through the drying soughing

a language change a sloping change of light
turn out turn in turn around empty skies

wind empty cloud empty star empty word empty.

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LLANWRTYD EISTEDDFOD 2018 – waste gwastraff
This was my submission for this year’s local eisteddfod, that happened just yesterday night. Good to take part in a celebration of art that has its origins so long ago in the 11th century, even though I am not (yet) able to submit pieces in the Welsh language. There are so many pressures these days distracting people from coming together as communities to appreciate each others’ talents. The Eistedddfodau are truly the jewel of Welsh cultural community. Categories range from set pieces in music, recitation, poetry and song to personal choices and works on given themes, as this was. Llanwrtyd Eisteddfod lasts all day, with children performing in the morning, youngsters in the afternoon and adults in the evening. We left about half eleven at night and it was still going! Each local eisteddfod is an opportunity for those who are aiming to enter the prestigious National Welsh Eisteddfod, to get sufficient adjudication and placements to go forward into the finals – so even in the smallest eisteddfods one can see really top quality performances, as well as locals having a go. Getting well respected adjudicators is a key element in attracting the best performers to a local eistedddfod. At all the eisteddfoddau I have seen, the adjudicators are incredibly knowledgeable and helpful in their comments – a true encouragement to creativity.

I have pared away the warm, waiting wood.
The ring of it: the blade pulled,
The curling lucent layers dropped, shuddered to floor.
The shape changing, the deep cut,
The curving line, the scent within the grain
And the borrowed light upon its smoothness.

To make a bowl slowly by hand
Is to contemplate emptiness
And the arc and sorrow and gravity of it all
As the thin curls scatter.

Not much of anything is needed, after all,
If all and all moves toward a single, singular point.
The rest, remains, resting pointless,
Discarded, unfulfilled, as debris.
Becoming something else, but not a worthy thing.
A means to an end, chaff and dross, lees and leftovers,
Swept and piled to make a kindling for a winter’s fire.

On the seventh day
Was there a pile of junk,
The unmade becoming unmanageable,
The chosen and the unchosen,
The first inkling of heaven and hell?

Where went the scraps?
The unwanted edges, the unfinished lines,
The swirling, sanded away interstellar dust?
Perfection is nothing but a stubborn tyranny,
A piling up of discarded beauty, disregarded,
For a dream, the hope of something that is not yet, not yet.

And this life now, whittled away,
Hollowed out a little more by each breath:
Less remains now, for certain, than what has gone by.
If there is an end, not just a turn in the road,
What shall remain of this slow work, day to day?
What of the careful polished surface, the tidy edge,
The slow shaping, the muscles’ rhythmic ache?

Careful or careless, we blind ourselves with dutiful goals,
Discard what seems unnecessary, untimely, unhelpful.
To make something to hold us safe in eternity
We scrape away the real, carve away the grain,
Slicing through the beating heart of things
To find the food that will feed our deepest hunger.

As a vessel for your grace, or as a begging bowl,
We are slowly emptied out, as a waning moon
Over a restless ocean.
Three drops were all that was required,
All else became poison.

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ONLY THE DEAD

Only the dead
Can thrive in heaven.
Let us unravel here
In words and feelings:
This hollow as heavy as lead,
A weight of mists,
A weight of starlight fluttering.
A winding road after rain,
Leading uphill into cloud.

If we can
And if we choose
We shall balance it all with bliss;
Sound that goes beyond hearing,
Beyond the bones of meaning
And the bones of winter.
Sunlight warming closed eyes,
A drift of sheep and birdsong.

The sky is cloudless, silent.
But it will come on to rain later.
Day stretches across fields and hills.
Savour time,
For one day
Time will be no more.

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MARCH MORNING

Floating on time
The seconds bear us up
Slow spinning in light
Searching a language to say it
Though nothing can
Break the elastic bonds
Of being and non-being.
Punctuated, memories
Stack up for later.
Folded back on itself,
A dough that rises and expands,
Universal breakfast
Come morning.

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THE CORNERS OF SPACE

Follow the sun beyond the horizon
And there will never be a sunset,
Never a horizon.

The old poets knew this – that their voice
(River and root of it) runs through distance
And no ends are there to those meanings.
Each sound, a door to deeper dimensions.

(No owls tonight, though a slivered, smiling moon.
Between the song of the pines and the river:
Restless tumbling dreams.)

Here is the vertiginous well of the sky
And its steps, and its chambers.
The view of horizons and their echoes.

(Confusion arises with questions:
Clouds billow and change shape;
Gravity has little hold in dream states
Except by habit.)

Circumference, the vastness of mind,
The corners of space, encompassed
By a single breath,
Dissolves on exhalation.
A rainbow disease brought to a stunning collapse –
Endless blue.

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It is the rocks that make the river sing,
The world that gives us song.
Bones creak, branches heavy with snow,
Breath captured must release.
Spring will come.

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It is the changing light
That is making the distant hills dance.

It is the falling voice of crows
That weds autumn to the stilling air.

It is the accumulated weight of days
That pales the valley oaks to gold.

It is the forgetting of our own dreams
That fills us so with pathless grey dawn.

It is only hour by hour in the garden’s work
That we learn a steady, silent patience.

Bending down to earth between a hum of flowers
Doing only what can be done,
Doing only what is timely.

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