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Posts Tagged ‘time’

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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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This is how it is

This is how it is, or maybe.
(memory is a dark poetry,
old as clouds and as fickle.)

a mountain remembered:
golden and easy
and green in the evening.

this mountain leans into rain:
a glossolalia
of rivers.

this mountain:
lost for days in mist,
and dreaming.

this mountain cloak
draped over horizons,
cloud-shadowed,
bruised purple.

this mountain:
a joy to the stranger,
a burden to the desolate.

this mountain:
benign and warm
and sprinkled with sheep.

this mountain:
cairn-topped,
Its dead long gone
Into small things.

this mountain:
leaning skywards,
always growing upwards
mouthing hymns,
forgetting nothing.

this is how it is, or may be.
(memory becoming landscape,
too vast and folded for one glance).
evaporating our vocabularies,
a rearrangement of whispers.

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1
Go down, come down
Through the hollow heart,
The yew of Llanfechan
Peeled away, the long
Sunlight moment
Mesmeric, the voice
Of voices whispered
On green tongues, long
And longing, and full
Of tragedy.

Enclosed, but
Wearing thin,
Boundary still between
Worlds, the boundary
Between times,
Given up to earth,
Food for the
Little things.

That is what the mighty
Always are.
The upright fading away.

Let me bow down,
Bow down to earth
And mulch,
Forgotten in lost
Corners, lost
On a tangent,
The slant of
Trajectories
Towards
The same
Centre.

2
This heart,
A bowl of dust.
These hollowed hills
Scooped out, abraded
By flocked moments,
Voracious, universal.
This pulse, this canopy, this swan,
Arced and spread-winged,
Reflected, shattering rainbows,
A quiver-full of light
And a mumble of story.
We no longer swing the verses,
Though the chorus is our breath itself,
Self-generated, a blueprint, a prayer.

Curtained in cloud and light, the valley floor,
Unfamiliar at this height, all becomes
Mysterious and fading.

The old tree, clasped in itself
Knotted with hymns it knew
Before brick and stone.
Its own Last Trump, its own
Resurrection, the woman in the sun,
Seven bowls and seven seals,
A thundering voice ‘How much longer
Shall we suffer in hunger? How much
Longer shall we suffer in thirst?’

To change shape and, invisible,
To infiltrate the insignificant.
A sermon on patience
And darkness.

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