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Posts Tagged ‘time’

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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Time slides as the seasons slide,
One into the other.
As the sun slides and the moon slides.
Time slides as the days slide,
Toppling over and over,
Rolling as the sun rolls, as the stars roll.

Garn Goch is covered in cloud again.
A slow drift, wordless love.
Seeds of rivers, seeds of seas,
Collecting on the stiff sedge
That lodges between the tumbled rock.

All slides on,
A smooth falling dance
Through winter, through spring,
Through summer.
A green slide and a grey slide,
Sun and rain.

A slow smoke rises, offered.
River mist: opaque as snow, radiant.
And the calligraphy of oaks.

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MARI LWYD 4

This dream we cling to
As if it were the only dream.
This wind, these hills,
This heart so tattered,
So threadbare.
Scoured even,
Stretched thin,
Worn down.
A whisper in the rain.
A word forming in the pines.
Winter shows the bones
Of what is, of what
Will remain,
Of what the old songs sung.
This has been your life
Down to this frozen moment,
This darkening path,
Distant laughter,
Sparks spinning
From the bobbing torches.
Shall we go on?

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Sunset (Last Light)

The road will come to an end in fire.
Struck dumb in light, a blaze of shadows punching through.

The bluff fingers of Wolf’s Ridge:
Its bared teeth stained red for a moment,
Picked bones and the impossible low laugh of ravens.

Gossip is still gossip though it rhymes.
Arwyn calling his sheep has more of Taliesin in him
Than all that cool dicing of sentences and city-slick say-so.
More of Aneirin in his mutterings: the fickleness of hounds,
The blast of grey rain scouring the slopes
Above neat, labelled towns in two warring languages.

No ceremony at the end of the day,
No fanfare sunset, no golden road, no moments reflection.
Day’s end, like a casual death, a fast artic blasting hot and close
Along narrow lanes, tick clocking, tachometer disabled.
We war Time and, hopeless, hope to win.
The map, a chessboard, a magical gwyddbwyll board
Littered with small victories and imminent defeat.

The sun will set whether we watch or not.
In the parlour tea is laid out.
One bar on the electric to keep off damp and rheumatics.
The sun, a slow thief, has taken colour from the mantelpiece portraits
And given it back to a thin blue sky,
A blush of pink, a heartbeat or two stolen from memories.

The heather will be shouting purple on the hillside now,
Smelling the end of summer and the crisping of bracken
And the tiny push of fungi fingering up through centuries of dust and gravel,
Delicate as the word of God on a Monday morning.
But not yet, not yet. Wait for twilight and dank darkness and the sweat of dew fall,
And fox and owl marking out their own fields of killing and loving.
From deep in her set the vixen suckles the dawn and dusty sun.
From their rickety, woven heights the hooting owls can see
And see again another and another sunset, further and further west,
Each hilly horizon making it anew ’til the end of time.
They know somewhere it is always sunset, somewhere always dawn.
The fungi feel it too – the sun’s path below the ground,
The path of electrons, the spin of stars,
The mutterings of shepherds and the slow counting of the dead and buried,
(Ears open for the Last Trump in case they, day-dreaming, miss it,
And losing the last vestige of decency, become fields and woods
And the sheen of light on puddled lanes).

The chapel roof, high as a barn, catches the last light
And rings to itself a psalm of glory.
It will all fade to a dull ache and a cough of cloud.
A thing of beauty does not last forever, lest we forget the truth of it.
A map of words and hope can carry much,
but not so much as this eternal river.
The whisky-dark, blue-throated Irfon wanders through its valley’s dreams,
News of another day’s sunset carried eastwards towards another dawn.


This is the last of the batch of sunset poems, except maybe a few fragments that may be sewn together sometime. Tied to personal memory of the senses and of times and places, it is very difficult for the writer, I find, to evaluate the effectiveness of the words that for other readers do not have the same connection. We are left with the shaping of the music of the sound of the words, and the hope that it will find some resonance in sympathetic minds. Endless fiddling with a creative moment may be a diverting occupation, but there is no promise that the end result will be appreciated any more. It comes down to the moment, its life energy and the taste or distaste of the reader. Second guessing the reader is stultifying and fruitless. I think I did find some useful concept/images in working on this theme, but they seem still rather scattered throughout the different voices that emerged in the various poems. There is quite a debris of purple, romantic and metaphysical gush that did not find a home. To be expected with the topic, I suppose. That’ll do for now, though.

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SUNSET 6 ( only one, and not even that)

There is only one moment, and not even that
As it slides between words spluttering the certain.
There is only one breath, and that has left us as we find another
Between noticing and forgetting the wondering of it.
This is the only sunset, and not even that as it rises and fails
Sudden with colour brash and tender.
One moment gone, one breath, all changed,
One colour impossible to name.
Life becomes fragments if it is held still, perfection palls
And is deemed a failure by universal canon.
The word, a particular curse of our natures,
An intelligence of demons. Too clever by far.
All nouns are lies, all adjectives suspect.
All thoughts – an endless twittered birdsong
In a forest of neurons.
All dreams – a continuing rumble of juxtaposition,
A sunrise and sunset, of edge and horizon,
A slipping through gaps.
Avoidance of the void is the creation of pain and of beauty.
Race westwards: eternal sunset.
Race eastwards: eternal dawn.
Each view only as true as its edges.
Each poem, a breath to be neither accepted or rejected,
Not certified nor censored.
A sign of something passing by, that is all.
Cloud banks over a setting sun,
Hills caught golden, pricked out and pounced.
Delineation of the immeasurable.
A noble picture, or perhaps an articulation of foolishness.
A fragment of eternity rushes by.
The emperor sits on his throne and does nothing,
Yet all revolves about him.
The old sage leaves by the western gate.
No one see his ox cart winding down the road.
He whistles to himself between his teeth
A folk song of the river and the moon.
The sun has set now.
The lights of the distant city begin to show.

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