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Posts Tagged ‘weather’

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AFTER A LONG DROUGHT

The log lorries roaring hungry to the forests,
their bare ribbed skeletons longing for another heavy load.

Such a waste of words this poetry is,
scattered in the warm wind unable to withstand
the returning silence that covers with cloud the hills
turned heather purple
and the curling first thoughts of autumn
and the spit of rain.

The path to Fannog was damp
and the woods smelled of blackberries.
The steel still waters sullen and drained,
the old farm’s walls, out in the shallows,
Surfaced again, thirty years, more, since the last time,
haunting the view,
the craggy rocks impossible in sunshine
after so many years dark under murky waters.

They have receded
pulled back from the tops of their drowned valleys
like lips curled back from a corpse’s teeth,
the bare stumps of black trees, the slope of field and fence post.

We are measured by what remains –
these scars and careless piled debris swept from sight.
“Swimming forbidden. No diving allowed. Submerged objects”,
the bones and worse, the dreams,
the miscalculated grandeur, the voiceless dispossessed,
(as if we belonged ever, as if we stayed).

I have been dreaming of the flooded lands again:
the rivers rising to drown the roads,
all the fields turned sweeping water,
all the hills left desolate, no way out.
As if they were memories,
as if these places had names,
as if these trackways had purpose.

Sinking down, the cracks between dream and memory.
Flash floods, the sudden storm,
turbid waters, long drought,
a draining of the steep slopes,
drying mud on smoothed contours, the feeder streams silent.

A habitation deserted.
Roofless silence.
Low cloud shifting down long valleys.
Looking like rain.

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Storm Morning

Into the slow heron lift of it.
The storm morning roar,
Like a city train, rattles roof and windows.

Druid trees with one eye shut
Stand on one leg and let go of nearly everything –
That is what their roots, deep as choirs, allow.

On green meadow and crashing hill
We push against a sting of rain.
Lost, but not lost as the ones by the sea,
Watching the waves eat the shore and the harbours drown
And all the long, safe years melted away
In a wall of water and sound.

It is a patient world, willing always to start again.
A reformulation of parameters, season by season.
What is gone is gone, the autumn trees say.
What is gone is gone, says the storm of grey morning.

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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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