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Posts Tagged ‘weather’

THREE FOR ANOTHER WINTER

There is a short time
When beauty and bravery seem enough –
Before the bracken browns
And curls like a snarled lip,
Before the grass withers
And the flocks grow thin,
Before the wise have nothing more to say,
And the boasting grows more foolhardy.

Windless green valley
Golden in low cloud.
Leaves let go.
The year ripples
Dark and light,
Its slow thoughts
Swimming then falling
Into deeper silence.
Upon a lake
That is not a lake
Rests a boat
That is not a boat.

Mountains fall
Forests fall
Before the cold of it
And the roar
Of its whiteness.

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Spring sun.
All is forgiven.
Though the bitter wind!

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still one field there is
left in sunlight

the storm rolls in,
a line erased, erasing

a wall tumbled
in grey whispers

it lifts at the river.
for a moment
we see the upper slopes
of pine

and then the hiss
and thrum of it.

a world dissolving
diagonally
in sound.

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NONETHELESS

Words pass through, clothing the heart
clothing a vast mind with minutes and moments.
The view needles, driven down, desiring root or anchor
and an ear or two to echo and echo round.

These crows, sky-ragged, hanging on each corner
waiting the next small eye to glaze a milky stillness
frozen by the glory of another world, now willing to feed
the warm pump of blood in those with beating heart.
These crows know waiting well.

The beautiful road draped around the hills, hardly held
and careless of its edge, floated on the grassy waters
propelled with slow-mouthed sheep tip-toeing
through centuries’ mulch, of wind and mire and dragging mist.
This road knows staying well but going better.

These wraiths, these mummers, these waif-thin travellers-
they do so dress themselves in a passion of centuries
and believe a continuity that failed a millenium ago.
But still, the echoes of it are perfect and enough yet
for a generation or two ( cloud and hill mated
the seed will spill and root, dark and deep in muscle,
the cloud-bank roaring black a captured pulse, a one legged,
one eyed giant clambering the cliff of white thighs,
the howling wind breath of dog fox and his vixen).
We and they know fading and forgetting well.

August now, the thin grasses begin the slide to yellow.
Small birds, smuts in the slate dark wind.
A longer darkness, a longer silence.
Lighter than earth, all the while, these white seeds drift.
A simple skein of wishes, a veil shaping features on nothing.
Words passing through, a slivered door, ghosting towards, nonetheless.

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St. DAVID’S DAY

sunlight drifts lazy, slow, over hillsides
like the thoughts of man
and sleepy gods.
hunched low, these wild Cambrians
hide their own
merciless uplands with steep green:
ascending oaks and the downward rushing
waters that name the valleys.

there is there.
a studded look of clouded rock horizon,
a descant of filtered light.

turn round, though,
and you will see
the high, dark wavered line of the Epynt,
shrouded, begrudging light.
a mystery of mysteries in smoke-wet valleys.

and here now,
the ravens flying from one to the other,
from glowering dark to shining light,
swimming across sheep-sprinkled valleys
all green even now at the end of winter.
the farms all gathered for lambing
and the cherry plum awakening
with the snowdrops and daffodils
and all.

St. David’s Day it is.
he who is a saint of the edges,
a decentralised saint,
a saint of hills and horizons
and sweet, cold waters
and the birth of Spring.

look here: a bright benign unfolding.
look there: a towering roar of grey-blue cloud,
toothed and grating the hidden darkened slopes.

a march between contrasts
a choice of choices
that become nothing
but a roll of change as it changes with the wind,
cold then wet, a speaking of days,
a laughter of uncaring bliss
and an end to certain righteousness.

so this cold wind has March on its edge,
a kiss of rain and mist and a hope of sunlit moments.
this world is a landscape
made of whispers.

the proud man is his own fool
who cannot see.
the humble know they breathe
the breath of others,
the echoing chambers, the sighs and footsteps.

this world, hung upon the cross as our deliverer,
and we, hung upon the cross of its directions.
one given to the other, mutually mixing,
a melting of forms and of thought,
A landscape made only
of whisperings.

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Verse 13

Guenin igodo, oer agdo rid;
Reuid rev pan vo;
Ir nep goleith, lleith dyppo.

‘Bees in cover, a cold covering has the ford;
Freezing frost comes when it will;
Despite all evasion, death comes.’

1
All withdraws, thrall to frost, that covers all.
Fast it holds cold windings.
No one, no world, can wriggle free.
So we become still, a huddled, humming tribe
Unable to forage, to find food.
A cease of movement
Falling white frost covered, frozen.

2
Nothing can prevent a fall of freezing frost
Falling on all: the hive, the water, the hall, the blood.

3
Bees in their halls, drowsy and dreaming.
The tribe is huddled, hungry and silent.
The ford is wrapped in cold, a bleak vein,
Mist-chilled, brings no succour to the valley.
Ice teeth tears its edges.
Fogged with frost, water turns metal,
Metal turns ice, cold shrouds all flesh now,
Or when it may, or in the end.
Wriggle or writhe – no escape is there anywhere.
The white winding cloth awaits, none can avoid.
A fog, a mist, an icy frost, it descends on all.
It is as it is, a bleak thing maybe,
But sharp enough to wake a tongue to song
With honey words, a rippling stream of song,
A lullaby to the living, elegy to the dead.
We all await a Spring, a way across the water.
To be led homewards, the priest’s plainsong,
The warrior’s dance, the summer flowers blossoming.
The watchful wake, the blessing of silence.

4
Rimed, it will collapse
Regardless of wishes,
Of urgent wriggling.
All the living become silent
In the end.
The ease of winter:
Ice, frost, freezing when it will.
Effortless, it falls on all.
Bone white with cold teeth,
With sharp tongue
It sucks marrow
From a broken world.
Lord Winter commands
And stillness falls.
Rasp and murmur,
Our ice breath chatters,
Edged at darkness
A distance from the hearth.

5
A cold flow it is,
Draining warmth from blood.
Frost-hollowed, fog-bound,
The valley river, a tusk.
Sudden or slow,
Ice will eat us.
A falling frost freezes all,
Moving or still.
We tumble wordless
Earthwards,
From a bleak
Empty sky.

6
In the perfected chambers,
In the golden chambers,
Silent the queen,
Silent all the host
Drowsy and dreaming,
Hungry, huddled in their halls.
Through and within
Is an echo
With the single moment,
A cold breath,
A wandering , whispered ending.

7
The stars in their millions
The forest’s edge
The river’s roar
The cold darkness,
The ice air.
Muffled is the coming
And going of the ford.
Weighed, constrained,
A limitation of frost
Crust cold, heavy
Sliced iron moments.

8
It shall stalk all halls,
The stars, the cells,
The covering dreams of all
Whilst we sleep, whilst we walk.
Neither frost nor snow,
Not in anger, nor in carelessness.
Within the song.

9
From these strict geometries
Our dances express wriggled sweetness,
As if it were possible to dream away
The stillness behind it all,
The cold between breath and heartbeat,
The petal bloom of mist
Flowering on frozen air.

The way across is covered.
Lost perfection falls
And will not tolerate us.
So we must dream, be still
Or break and burn,
Then crystal clear, rimed, lost.

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RED HILL

that open hill crowned with light.
this dark valley lost in winter.
patient oak and purple birch,
and the fast, grey river.

folded and hidden is the road to Troed Rhiw,
between the cliffs of day and the cliffs of night.

a cold wind and a cast of rain on the red hill.
at the rivers’ meeting are round silent pools,
the small sands, the worn, smoothed chambers, in the lee of the flood.

a roar, white as cloud, stretches the skin of green rock,
squeezed between the knees of Craig Clungwyn and Rhuddallt.
a mouth of water it is, a long name, a summons,
a history of welcomings and fare thee wells.

the withered sedge counts the hours and different ways,
dreams on the cliff’s edge of new green days.

and this I wanders between the thin weathers
watching the light stray as slow as sheep,
marking the orange and the gold on this fine day,
and a grace of blue sky hung for a moment
slung between Craig Du and the steeps of Pen Rhiwbie.

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