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Posts Tagged ‘Wales’

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CHAPEL PINES

Gosen chapel now is grey and silent.
hard to keep warm
without the wrath of God.

filled twice, filled thrice a year
when the dog-tired farmers, or
their small, steadfast wives, turn, turn and
return, to the sleepy earth
they are made from.

jackdaws in the chapel oak
are the black-clad preachers now,
and the line of pines that divide
the living from the dead, and the west wind
that scours the marshy fields,
joining together in dreary, beautiful psalms.

they keep the view open to the empty hills:
the wandering constellations of sheep,
the souls of these departed lovers,
grazing the lovely green.

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snow night now

Snow now, falling without degrees, silent as night is.
I shall become night, standing still here,
Starfilled and let go of all, dying slowly,
Imperceptibly cooler, waiting small sounds
and sight to clear, the shapes of other’s thoughts
Falling white and falling white
To settle without degrees and blameless.

The words tumble, some mine, some from elsewhere,
Which is which and why distinguish?
The small noises of the night
In snowfall and starlit dark.

The stars, nothing more patient
Nor sorrowful, watching it all blink
And change, blink and vanish,
Blink and sleep.
World’s bones grow cold
So far from fires
So far from fires.

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COLD LAKE DAY

Rust red are the fingertips
Of the dead, scraping at the edges
Of the day. They shall seek to admit
Just a little more light, a little more
Where the hills hesitate then vanish
(They are remembering the very
Oldest of names, hollowed as tombs,
Frost-bright, distant).

In storm wind
Trees and crows sing dancing. Endless
Fields the sheep wait patiently,
Wait patiently turned away from rain.

It is a hard day hung upon
The crosstide of the seasons.
Brief and battered, a smudged world
The colour of old dried blood and bruises,
The colour of steel and verdigris,
Of sodden soil and seed slumber.
A wind ripped thing pinched with rain.

Sorrow is a cold lake in the mountains,
A grey heron waiting to feed.
Joy is a cold lake in the mountains,
A grey heron waiting to feed.

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MOTIONLESS

storm grey, the hills crackle.
intense, the colour of the day,
but still the trees catch flecks
of sudden golden light.
and a hum from the distant town.

Wang Wei sits motionless;
Li Po walks through his own eyes
into the landscape;
Basho hunts for a word
that carries silence;
Chuang Tzu remembers, laughs,
forgets again, laughs;
Buddha puts on a kettle for tea.

the day is the same as any other day-
a jewelled and a fragrant passing.
but few will notice even that.

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CWM DWFNANT (2)
(Our geography)

It does not dwell here
It does not stay.
Coming and going in mists
Dissolved to spirit
Absently haunting
The green valley quiet.

Its wings are white shadows
Milk dropped in pools
A cleft, a demure device,
Dark and luscious mystery
Hovered near madness
Far too far from reasonable reasons.

It dwells otherwise, a dark language
Spoken backwards.
Returning time to itself,
A rotating quern of years and miles.
A mighty sign at the corner of the eye.

Blessings to the world-weary
That strip the meat back to bone,
Break the bone to feed on sweet hidden marrow.

The lick of mist, the lick of its still wrist,
Far-flung, a throat of words
Pushed back deep into the hills.

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SOIL OF A NEW HEAVEN

The bare trees bend.
Birds bob and float –
Words of a haiku
Searching for a place to rest.

A single beam of sunlight tracks the valley floor
From a sliding sky-pool of bright gold.

The last few leaves have fled
And there will soon be rain.

A fragrant savage despair –
Like love, but not love.
A bitter yew red dust wedded
To ash and water,
Sprinked jet, sprinkled amber.
A language hugged and big as mountains.

The words of Taliesin sucked in through eyes,
Turned, fermenting in a cauldron heart.
Spat out in a limping century,
Adrift in baseless magic,
Amongst debris of another false economy.

Strike this hard sky-grey flint until the sparks fly –
Then the river words shall flow torrenting
Pulled by a centre true and weighty:
Inescapable earth, the spinning fort
Where all yarns are woven up, mataté and mill.
We shall be ground yet,
Ground down and ground up.

We shall become grist and whispers in the ears of playing children
Who do not know anything of us, not names nor actions,
But threaded on the same hopes,
The lilt of a language as natural as falling asleep.

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OUR GEOGRAPHY – CWM DWFNANT

It falls from other airs, some other whispers, other, other cries:
The echoed uplands out of sight that push the clouds
Where the ravens reach.
It wriggles itself fast into its folds,
carved back, a groove deep and dark,
slanted in forest and tumbled stone.
The road spins around it, a snake’s hiss,
slick and narrow, and the racing waters beneath it.
Its name is Stream from the Abyss, from the Deep,
from the Resounding Deep.
And it is loved by cloud so
And loved by mist so.
They cling to and nourish themselves there.
They are born there and are raised there.
Mysterious as poetry, its waters race down
From their hidden places, bright and ice cold,
stirred by shadows from worlds above and worlds below.
Cwm Dwfnant, a mouth that utters,
An eye that gazes heavy-lidded,
vision crowded,
Dream-wrapped.

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