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Posts Tagged ‘vision’

TWENTY YEARS ( OF DRUID TRAINING)

1

It was like a rope of light

let down into the chaotic darkness.

Only later would we see

it was a deadly serpent

and the chains of enslavement.

But such is the nature of knowledge

and we shrugged, accepting all costs.

.

Nyt o vam a that

Pan y’m digonat

.

It was not from a mother and a father

That I was made.

.

2

One year we were held in complete silence.

No word spoken

but internal recitation of all the masters’ words.

Becoming each one, and their lilt,

moving into their expressions,

reclothed in passions,

Eyes opening in other worlds.

.

A’m creu a’m creat

O naw rith llafanat;

.

And my creation was created for me

From nine forms of consistency:

.

3

Another year we each were given

one word only, to unwrap.

To follow, to hunt to its uttermost,

to its bright birth,

In a name that has become ours alone.

A map of our journey,

a seal on our circumference.

.

O ffrwyth, o ffrwytheu,

O ffrwyth Duw dechreu;

.

From fruit, from fruits,

From God’s fruit in the beginning;

.

4

Once the words were learned

all the rhythms and the hidden wealth:

We could see how nothing existed

outside of those patterns of plaid.

No move, no colour, no conceit,

nothing that was not drawn

from that well of words.

And so we learnt to see around us,

in every hall, in every byre,

where each would walk

and where in each tale

they would place themselves.

And how with a word

it might be shifted

and how with a gesture

the plot might be moved on.

.

O vriallu a blodeu,

O vlawt gwyd a godeu,

.

From primroses and flowers,

From the blossom of trees and shrubs,

.

5

One year we were given

the gift of madness.

.

Prid o pridet

Pan y’m digonet,

.

From earth, from the sod

Was I made,

.

6

Another year we slept all the long days

and at night gathered around still pools

to learn the dance of stars, and their songs.

Our dreams would be strange then,

and our names, unpronounceable

.

O vlawt danat,

O dwfyr ton nawvet.

.

From nettle blossom

From the ninth wave’s water.

.

7

One year we would speak only lies,

until we knew that truth is itself a lie,

and that the tides beneath us

are drowning darknesses

and screaming passions.

.

A’m swynwys-i Vath

Kyn bum diameth.

.

Math created me

Before I was completed.

.

8

A year as birds

soaring and rising on thermals,

to find the fulcrum of the winds

and to twist the cloud rivers to rope

for sun or rain or storm.

To placate, to restore.

.

A’m swynwys-i Wytyon

Mawrut o brithron.

.

Gwydion fashioned me

Great enchantment wrought by a magic staff;

.

9

A year abiding by trees –

some would not return,

fertilising the world

with their eternal silences.

.

O Eurwys, o Euron,

O Euron, o Vodron;

.

By Eurwys, by Euron,

By Euron, by Modron;

.

10

Another, we hunted and slew all the gods,

taking their women and siring new progeny.

These we fed with our own blood and souls,

so that they would know us when we summoned them.

.

O pymp keluydon

Arthawon eil math –

Pan ymdygyaed.

.

By five enchanters

Of a kind like godparents –

Was I reared.

.

11

One year to placate and cajole poisons.

Those songs were enticing, sweet as death.

.

A’m swynwys-i wledic

Pan vei let loscedic.

.

A ruler fashioned me

When there would have been a burning extent.

.

12

Then we did all return to our own families

To serve one year, unrecognised, in their midst.

For many that was the final chain broken to the past.

Allegiance of blood once sweet, now rancid, old, bitter.

.

A’m swynwys sywyt

Sywydon kyn byt,

.

The wisdom of sages fashioned me

Before the world was made.

.

13

A year of folding secrets into the mundane;

Of speaking to the deep;

Of remaining human.

Learning that love and hate

Are the gravity that keeps us here.

.

Pan vei genhyf-y vot,

Pan vei vach veint byt.

.

When I had being,

When the extent of the world was still small.

.

14

A year polishing swords and mirrors

And placing the singing spells

Of vision and death within them.

.

Hard bard bud angnawt,

Yt uedaf ar wawt

A traetho tauawt.

.

A fair poet, of unusual gifts,

I control in song

That which the tongue utters.

.

15

The genealogies of the lost

And the equations of gods;

Their doorways, their doorkeepers.

The mysteries under the earth

Where the stars wander,

Passionate light on an endless river.

.

Gwaryeis yn llychwr,

Kysceis ym porffor.

.

I played in the light,

I slept wrapped in purple.

.

16

The transmutation of the body into smoke;

To see without eyes;

To move the shining streams.

.

Neu bum yn yscor

Gan Dylan Eil Mor,

.

I was in the citadel

With Dylan Son of the Sea,

.

17

To become free in chains;

To remember the first cauldron

And the journey from there.

Brightness remaining.

To give everything away,

Yet remain undiminished.

.

Yg kylchet ym perued

Rwg deulin teyrned.

.

My bed in the interior

Between the knees of kings.

.

18

To summon guards and guardians;

To curse the dreams of kings;

To know the stars’ positions in daylight;

To travel out on rays of light;

.

Yn deu wayw anchwant:

O Nef pan doethant.

.

My two keen spears:

From Heaven did they come.

.

19

To know one’s manner and time of death;

To move into other forms;

To prophesy and to escape from prophecy.

Transformation at the moment of death;

To remember every name and

The shape and hungers of souls.

.

Yn Annwfyn llifereint

Wrth urwydrin dybydant.

.

In the streams of Annwfn

They come ready for battle.

.

20

To return to simple words,

To return to silence;

To remember and forget,

To move freely without ripples.

Three drops spinning –

Their taste, the honey moment.

To know that all is song.

That all is one song, one river,

And to listen to the winds from the hills there,

From the rapids, from the shallows,

To leap upstream, to float downstream.

To inhabit the world that inhabits the wise.

.

Ef gwrith, ef datwrith,

Ef gwrith ieithoed.

.

He made, he remade,

He made languages.

.

Llachar y enw llawffer,

Much llywei nifer;

.

Radiant his name, strong his hand

Brilliantly did he direct a host;

.

Ysceinynt yn ufel

O dosas yn uchel.

.

They were scattering in sparks

From a drop in the heights.

The Welsh is taken from ‘Cad Godeu’, a long and mysterious poem attributed to Taliesin. It is not meant as a commentary on my verses, nor the other way round. But perhaps they both come from the same place and act as a counterpoint in time and space.

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ON THE HILL OF ARBERTH

Shall we climb the yonder green mound?

Expand our view to the wide unseen horizon,

See wonders, see the unattainable brilliance?

I shall tell you a story where the darkness shines

As bright as the glory of day,

Where the horror shouts loud enough

To wake the doorkeeper between worlds,

Where the pictures come as clues to other strange things,

Where places reconstruct in cellular aggregations

Down the spine and the tides of new air

Tingles with the riddles of a new way

To lose certainty and find a better truth.

Rest now.

Time and space is full already with this world.

Watch as patterns shift.

In shadows and slowed moments

Other worlds can show themselves,

The other that is not the other.

( the woodpigeon’s grey cool song

And the deep green wind between the hills).

It is so full, so full.

Let go the river downwards.

Just below, just below the known

Are the vast halls of golden brocade,

The sapphire cool pavements, as it were.

Wait, unframing, un-naming.

Roads are small patterns of consistency.

Mingle the words of in and out.

Lay one on another without choosing.

Climb the green rise and see what might be seen:

Distance, shimmer, dazed,

What is there is elsewhere.

Soften and dissolve the sight –

That is the way, ( a voice says), to see outside.

The mirror ripples, water turns to rock.

The slow creatures stop to dream,

The warm air chants with bees’ hum.

One step without moving.

There is an art to it akin to drunkenness and despair.

Waiting, not wanting control, dissolving slightly,

Wavering a haze of possibility.

Silence. The deep is the dream

That dreams you here.

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A DANCE UPON Y GARN

The bones of the hills

The bones of rivers

The bones of the mist

The bones of meaning.

How shall we talk to the bones

Of things, the sweet marrow?

That great grey slope,

A rising falling sine wave,

A rumbling note bending horizons.

Converse with it dressed thus in cloud

And become a stranger removed from illusion.

Untied, drifting, anchored only to words

And a dance that is so so slow, it brings worlds to their end

And changes them that new languages are needed

To begin to know it, to begin to know it.

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For want of anything better
We climbed the hill at Narberth,
Bellies full, awaiting wonders.

But as we looked abroad
The land was empty and bare:
Void and desolate.

The clouds race unremarked,
The fields empty, no drift of chimney smoke,
No children’s laughter.

Because you have forgot the turnings in the road;
Forgot the choices, slipped down the easy paths
And left the future to evaporate,
All this has happened.

Once and again,
The tide of light recedes,
The storm winds roar.
There will be no shelter
But the future we fashion for ourselves.

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At the Heart of Yew
1
As it were,
Between slow chimes round, sparkling moments spill,
Skitter, bounce, slide
across cold marble.
Nothing remains to hold onto.
This is how it feels, numbed and white with wonder,
A mind subdued, language pared back to root,
A constellation of starlit echoing, free from constraint of pattern.
Absent is the comfort of story.
2
Through animal veins the forest branches roar.
The voice of the earth whispered thunderously.
A clearing storm that will favour no being
Above any other.
3
More fearful than this
infinite, swaddled and senseless dark
Is the single flash of light that illuminates all.
You would not believe it were so,
How everything
becomes its opposite.
4
And the small, small voices
bright as needles, cold as rain in summer,
Melting the defining edge, weighing innocence.
5
No view but the stars,
no voice but the stars
No answer but the stars.
They fall and rise,
ripening red and white,
the bitterness of their light
Will wake the sleeping,
will wake the dead.
6
The bright thin eye of the wren,
the sweet rich tongue of the dunnock.
Squeezed and rolled, the buttress trunk folded upon itself,
Sediments of light and time
extruding green needles into quivered silent air.
Fermentation of dream and myth, a searched-for language
That roots in the atlas, the convolute backbrain,
The sequence of pushing through,
the tangled mass
Holy folds haunting bone.
7
Tumbling towards boundlessness,
dear misconception treasured,
our only possession.
This is not part of the story-
we wanted wings and crowns, sunsets sipping wine,
A simple validation of good and bad,
a certainty on the chain,
a place on the ladder,
Forever forgetting, of course, the wheel that turns,
the hub that crushes, the severing spokes
The wheel of the law.
this tree revolving upwards,
rolling downwards,
waiting in darkness.

2017/03/img_2615.jpg

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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.

2015/05/img_1482-0.jpg

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Subliminal words for “Death and the Maiden”

1
I will remember the smell of lilac
The white lilac, the purple lilac
And your voice
Dark and velvet
Rich with desire….

2
in starlit gardens
Light, fast steps.
The whispers
Are not from warm lips,
Shadows lean closer….

3
Folded memories,
Tracked, haunted,
Silent wings
Hungry….

4
Here she is
A budding, a blossoming,
A spring dawn, a summer dawn
Perfumed with sunlight
Alone, unconcerned, self-radiant.

5
A point, a pause,
A reason to slow time,
Slow space,
To cease pointlessness,
To hold still
Orbiting her gentle
Graceful gravity.

6
The clattering mists congeal.
I gather to myself
A memory of flesh,
An ache of bone,
A throb of sinew.
Reclothed and sublimated,
My fingertips yearn
( the push of, swirl of,
Flesh, a feast of remembering and forgetting).
Forgetting myself
Utter a sound of life,
Silk whisper, birdsong,
A thrush or blackbird
Sated on cloud and green rain,
A bundled heart,
Redeemed,
Understood.

7
A swan’s bones
Are as light as air,
As hollow as her sky-stretched voice.

8
It is the porcelain skull
Of winter, translucent
With hunger, decorated
With ice feathers.
Faultless, perfect ruthless frost.
All remorse stripped of flesh,
All bitterness spent.
All waters hollowed,
All sound rested.
A linearity, a sped arrow,
Targeted, released,
Quivering at its mark.

9
Stipule and stamen
We are petelled fragrant,
Purely, demurely lascivious.
Our love is perfumed,
Botanical. Wrapped
And layered, lipped
And tattered edge,
We protrude demurely
Into the world,
An impossible biology.

20140423-223111.jpg

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EASTERTIDE

Morning sun.
Lambs and ewes.

In the shadows
Where frost dissolves:
Cool moved airs,
A glistening reflection.

A movement,
A stillness:

The space where thought
Had been.

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20140303-230642.jpg

STONE LORDS

Our tall hats, sky scraping, cloud stirring,
Raking, forming, our tall hats.

Our black hats, cliff-crag dark,
Storm dark, night full.
Our black hats.

Given by the lords of years,
These moving towers, rocking.
These watchtowers,
These habitations of watchers.
Given us.

Watchers, sky-full of silence.
Hawk-bright shaded eyes,
Biding behind dark brows,
We bide,
Dark browed.

We need not hands to raise against.
Need not fingers to point.
Nor voice to accuse,
Nor clever, subtle speech,
No invective.

Poise, presence,
Inscrutibility fledged beneath
The stern circle of dark rim.
Tall hats, dark hats, bestowing gravity,
Beacons of authority.

Rock dreaming,
Injected, a bolus of catastrophe.
We, the chorus,
Mocking your wriggled evacuations.
We shall never, as you will, now
Pass distraught, hand-wringing,
Rote excuse for skin.

We shall never squirm nor flutter,
Racing thither on dismal errand,
Bending brightness to aggrandise vapour,
Bending sense, roping goodness,
Making slave-chains to chafe the free.
Oh, we see clear.
We see your oily wishes,
Your sly agreements.
How you stain the day.
How you stain.

Our tall hats
Shall follow your ways.
Watch us on the heights.
Watch us circle dark valleys.
Unencumbered vigilence,
Patient for judgement,
Implacable,
Undeceived.

May your tiny,
Malevolent souls,
Naked and revealed,
Shrivel.
May your rights
Recycle to the innocent.
May the wheeling carrion birds
Revolve and clamour
Til you no more sully
This earth, this sky.
May you relinquish your folly
Before it plagues and howls,
Extirpating your breathing memory.

—-

Born from a recounted dream of handless beings guarding the clifftops from the perennial parastic politicians who wore tall black top hats. Reminded me of the crags of the Preseli hills, the watchers of Easter Island, the tall astronomically accurate solid gold hats of the Neolithic,
Of the cairns and tombstones of the quiet places, of the attentive wariness of those without voice…….

the image is from an Iron Age Celtic coin that seems to show a storm or mountain deity

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trial3

A LOVE SONG OF THE MOON

sideways drift
long bones curve

surprising silk,
always surprising

sideways drift
lilt

dream eyelid smile
opening pale, lucent

slip slow
foam falling
drip,dribble

one drop
viscous, sweet

night falling in
acres: time blankets

enfolding white
silent gasp, always,
always

ever is
slightly vanishing

hidden, certain,
downwards

long-boned,
spine line
tingle-tipped

inward curve,
coved, curled

combed, covered,
feathered

sigh breathing
bell

snow cold
melting, settling,
melting

—-

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