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TALIESIN SUTRAS
A collection of rambles through hilly literature with strange, unexpected viewpoints. Could be developed or expanded, elucidated, made easier to understand, be given commentary. But the nature of the Taliesin poems themselves have a similar terse sutric layering, a self-absorbed witnessing of their own creation, a multi-depth layering of references, religious and mythic. So I have left it as it is. Unfolded process. A voice coded. Serpent sounds. (The conscious mind drowns without understanding. Let it sink down, breathless. There are tides too deep for breath. Yet they are the ones that sustain, perhaps.)

1
(Dyfalu)
Riddling technique

There are three here
The dark deep
The sun of life
The son of man.

The cross of matter
The spiral of time
The balance between.

Light nailed upon the directions.
Light spinning about its heart.
Annwfn become flesh.

It is of stone and cast in light.
Hoisted above the archway
A dial for eternity, serious instruction.
Like these others, bound in skin, given harbour,
Kept safe for meaning, an older language, still revered,
Just in case secrets remain that will point the way out.

2
(Trioedd)
Triads

Snakes from a point,
Tongues from their mouths.

Development over time.
Enclosure of three fields
Fluidity of emanation

Geometric expectations.

The hooded spirits
(Genii cucullati)

Three cloaks, winter water,
Hidden eyes, secret owls.
This otherness stands forth.

The body is being hidden – unrevealed.
Three things the oracle says:
I shall be silent
I shall be moved
I shall form words.

I shall be still.
I shall be disappearing.
I shall re-emerge.

Magical sustenance:
Three lines is all I need.
A beginning, a middle, an end.

Something will dissolve
Something with coalesce
There will be song and eyes
There will be a return, though
An index of the dead
Is all that remains here.
How much has been forgotten!
We were reborn to remember
But might as well be crows and beetles.
Three is a continuity
Three is a rebirth
Three is the source
Three is where the origin is.
Bard as source.
Bard as river.
Bard as ocean before silence.

3
The Wild Calling

In the presence of the ancestors
Who whisper animal words in our ears.
Wrapped in leaves, these horns are mine,
(I, the son of the conversing stag),
I will speak from out the wood,
From out the cracked stone,
Wild-eyed, wild-tongued, wild in song,
Shouting storm with truth.

The wild informs the world.
It brings news of roundness.
I will speak to you the truth
From the deep shade of the tree.
Cocidius – the red one, the tree one.

4
Transforms

Whatever he moves through
He is followed and caught.
Wherever he goes
He can’t escape the chaser.
Regardless of inspiration
And enlightenment,
He is eaten.
Because he has become inspired,
He is chased.
Three drops:
One pattern.
Food and eater,
Hunter and hunted.
Inanimate tool,
I am wielded.
These changes, these forgettings,
Fermentation.
The wanted whole remains
And continues on.

And is it then the words and their meanings that chase and consume?
Having uttered, a world is set in motion. It will ferment and rot.
One will become another, even if memory still is.
The fixation of a form, its nomenclature, its declension.
It remains, inadequately clothing silence. Coagulating dream.

Having loosed and lost a thought,
The mind is tied, dragged as a shoal on a tide, wave on wave.
The wise one will ask questions that have no answer.
That is the door to the Otherworld, a door ajar, guarded in silence.

5
The world is of words, the words are pictures.
One beneath the other, layer on layer.
The poet fades as his voice grows.
The music of the heartbeat.
The heart that tells the tongue,
The fire that lights the eye,
The wind that carries the soul.

The snow is on the dawn hills,
Rose pink the slow clouds.

Of course, of course, there are golden chains,
Well-wrought from tongue tip to ear to mind.
We are servants of words, slaves of words,
Drowning in their dreams
As the sun and moon drown in each horizon,
Drawn up by the light, by the deep unfathomables.
Rocked and swept away, the unceasing waves of language,
Other worlds, shepherded, piloted to see more than this,
That is still this.

6
These words, not to be understood by fools,
Nor to be understood by the wise:
The utterance of poets beyond the foundations of the world,
Between the sea and the shore; as deep as mountain roots;
As weightless as a hawk’s wind, as tragic as rainbows, as grim as midnight.
Haunted words, ghosted, translucent. Fermented words, boiled, reduced.
Sublimated they become something else,
Though none can say exactly what.
Edge and dream and paradox.
Genealogies of rivers, cataracts of winds, piled up
As centuries and places, never abandoned, always within the heart’s round cauldron
And in the pearl-edged heart within the earth.
A mystery of fabulous questions, an army of silent trees,
Self-created progenitors, whispered on.

Where are the bones of the mist
And the two cataracts of the wind?

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THOU ART

this earth
breathed upon
(the warm breath
of love and lust)
holds for a little while
in wonder
then retreats
to sighing earth.
its breath
passed on.
a whisper
in the forest,
a gust
below the rocks
and the high heather.
where the kites
and ravens wheel.
and the sun and stars,
too, kindled, embers,
by that offered air.

2015/09/p1120609.jpg

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Buried for thousands of years, poisonous suns below the ground. What logic determines the acceptibility of detritus that will kill generations and remain longer than even the memory of all our past civilisations? What arrogant genes have promulgated, what insouciance in the face of such terrible stupidity? No wonder the sages shrugged and remained silent, no wonder Lailokan and Merlin raved in the forests – what is learned at great cost ignored, what is gained forgotten or ridiculed.

Apologies for another bardic rant. Out of the news, out of mind, the people of Japan again silently suffering from the arrogant stupidity of “experts”. The tsunami of radiation will not retreat like the wave of water; it will not stop at national boundaries; it will not dissappear in a little while; it will not get better; it is a breath that carries everywhere, that keeps on as close to forever as we cqn conceive. (There is some hope on the fringes of science for remedies, unexplained, ridiculed, misunderstood ideas and technolgies: the ghosts of Tesla and Brown screaming unheard from the unfashionable beyond). I do not give up hope for viable solutions, but it is hard to imagine the tsunami of motivation needed to shift the vast inertia generated by a handful of complacent super-rich who seem to have their hands down the knickers of our ‘leaders’. THis satire is for them…..

Dance of Death
Danse macabre…
woodblock print, wordless,
unerring.

Breugal, Durer, Gya,
Marvell, Donne, Tallis, Byrd,
dear sad Dowland,
the generations of
beauty borne from the midden –

As ever,
the food of the world,
the forgotten,
lost in dirt, unnoticed.

A curl of boxwood
by the sharp burin made.
Passion and despair
carved, the only posterity
in ink and paper
as flesh fals off the bone
in the oven of years,
stripped of all softness
of all flesh.
Yet the heart of compassion remains –
a bitter laugh sweetened with tears
for the lost forever.

Here a bishop led by the nose,
bony fingers clack,
a castenet of dry laughter,
a leer of inevitability

Here a velvet lady,
snake-wrapped, bone-hard lover,
breathless, heartless,
gropes.
She, dreaming,
distant,
oblivious of inevitability,
of immanence…..

The same old justifications:
sharp swords and blunt logic…..

Marching locusts of the willing destroyers,
who have all been
promised forgiveness,
promised righteousness,
promised guiltless sin,
guileless depravity –
absolved of responsibility
by the eloquent poisoners,
the insane rhetoriticians
of respectability and honour….

Even the gods weary and die
after a thousand,
hundred thousand years…..

Earthquakes are no problem:
a shift of balance,
of perspective.
They come and they go,
readjustment, normal death.

Tsunami are no problem:
they come and go,
a breath in and a breath out,
sweeping clean a thousand memories,
leaving a tideline of grief.
Readjustment, normal death.

But now we, disbelieving in spirit,
disbelieve the power of the invisible:
our arguments faultless,
our safety margins appropriate,
our risks accaptible,
our doom inevitable…..

Setting a sun to burn for centuries
within the earth,
destroying universes to keep us warm.
Like gods, burning their children,
their children’s children,
warming their toes
on the withered hopes of the future.

Endless momento mori,
unasked for:
Suns of dying universes,
heavy as the depths of space –
heavier even,
a stain of arrogance
buried like a bone
“out of sight…”

A satire I place on the heads
of our stupid torturers,
dying gods
attempting to swamp
the sweet smell of rot
with attar and excuses…..

A satire I place on the eyes
of the shifty power-mongers,
the ones who forever
eat their offspring,
ignore the warnings,
doubt-free and glorious.
Dying gods
who believe it is all worthwhile,
a rosy future
no payment required
free credit…..

GAR.
I throw the spear of Odin
over your heads.
You are his.
Forever the fodder
of One Eye.
Sacrificed
manure,
food to all the jealous gods
who squabble
and rip the fabric of peace.
May his ravens,
ravening jaws of his wolves,
find your human heart
naked and open to the
laughter of the universe,
stripped of equations,
purged of clinical excellences,
the formulae of the demons of despair,
blown to dust,
the dust expunged of millenia of excuses,
naked, peerless, radiant, original.

A satire of the thunder of reality
I place on your tongue.
My bleached bones
and the fine white bleached bones
of our descendants, the white
soft, small skulls of our children,
the clacking bones, the tender bones-
they are my witness
they are my justification.
Eternal, adamantine bones,
invincible, patient,
relentless…….

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