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Posts Tagged ‘Winter’

GATEKEEPERS

Sometimes, sometimes, and maybe always,

The doors can be so big

That they cannot be seen.

There is, they say, a wall

At the edge of the universe

So far away, so far away

That light from there has never reached here yet,

And never will.

It is neither winter nor Spring.

The year is a troubled child, roaring.

You know how I write:

I wait for words to come.

I do not send in dogs to flush out the birds of dawn.

I wait, to the souls of rivers and owls, to the world’s breath,

‘Til one by one, they come, gathering lightly,

Bright buds, whispers from the old roads.

And they may dissolve again.

They may dissipate, the offerings of time and waiting,

Just not enough to stay or settle.

The giants were called obstructors.

You might say, doorkeepers.

You might say, guardians.

Huge enough to carve out universes from their skulls,

Rich enough to give a thousand conflicting cosmologies.

It shall be storm all day today.

Waters bubbling down

From the cauldron of the hills.

Clouds dark and eloquent as Afagddu,

Dark as a cormorant preening on his pylon.

The layers of darkness arranged

For a perfect dive into silence.

The world has tipped.

Its weather spills out across the globe.

Excess and extravagance

Eating the hearts of the poor.

We await a new inoculation against greed.

But all our heroes of success

Only hasten destruction.

And so, I bow to the obstructions of giants:

The doorkeepers who block the way

And ask the riddle.

What skill do you possess

That you think would allow you to pass?

What quality, what virtue, to ensure

Any continued existence here?

What is the art that will not destroy?

What is the craft that we have never encountered?

What reasons can you make sound reasonable,

Sliding your guilt out of sight as if it were not yours.

Can you learn harmlessness?

Facing the storm you have raised

Can you abide at ease in the flickering light

Watching the helpless ones be swept away,

Swept away.

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STONE AGE

Snow clouds drift below moon and stars.

The river roars its long distance.

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What can can we do

But breathe in the warm smoke of fires

And huddle down into the skins of animals?

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In this way

We become the world’s eyes

In long winter.

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Hunters of stories

In the mists.

Recounters of the long herds

And the cunning wings.

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Sustained by the strong life of others.

So we may sing their praises

And with our hands

Shape amber and jet

And flint and bone.

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Beneath the one tree of starlight

And dancing, rising sparks.

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VIEW

Hokusai would appreciate the view:

Garth Bank rising like a sleepy Fuji

Framed by those leaning pines

And the placid, silent sky.

He would have changed nothing,

But chosen the lines for beauty

And the colours calm and dun as the day.

A landscape without pearls,

Though edged by snow hills.

One by one we lose our weight,

Floating upwards to eternity.

The two rivers whisper it

In their deep and hidden ways.

I catch the scent of planed hinoki.

Last day of January.

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LULLABY

The hidden stars that the owls sing to.

The white branching birches shift from sight into sound.

The failing grains, the falling grains,

Tempered in Time’s wailing rivers.

We fail again to measure glory,

So sleep weightless and numb.

But that is what keeps us sane:

Stick to the lines once learned.

Recite nothing that breaks the rhyme,

The tick and tock of year in, year out

To forbid the howl of ghosts

And the crack of bone.

Keep the marrow hid, untasted.

The slow circling wings have the names of gods that are patient.

The fine threads, the dust of mould settles in.

Sleep, so as not to dream this dream.

Sleep sight and sound.

Slow sighs: the rise and fall of life within.

The woven world, golden with words.

A throb of muscles and distant gunfire.

Keep the visions in the flame of the hearth.

Keep the prophecy in the cooling cauldron.

The future shall be our breakfast

But now we rest, bathed in owls,

The hidden stars, the birch’s bone fingers,

A blanket weight, an imperceptible falling.

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WINTER SONG

Storm words roar from the north.

From oceans of ice the sanity of cold.

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The pines here bend and shudder.

The birches here shimmer light webs.

The waters here grow thick and silent.

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Time, its old fire wan, weakens limp.

Nothing can be done, its slow moments congealing.

Nothing can be saved, the precious mirrors tint and spall.

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There is no way out, no way in.

The roads all spattered, batter edged.

Small beasts bear the burden hearts or give them up to rest.

Small beasts melt into the shrines of singing stars.

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The clouds ring loud, the earth an anvil, cold steel hard.

The sun has three days stood still,

It stutters on now, but in new pain.

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The days of winter are a long entrancing poem.

It has a recitation hypnotic, unyielding.

The wind shouts it, the north wind, the song of winter long.

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And winter still to take its deep bite on the warm world.

Day by day the dying are heading west,

They trail their names and their memories, river dreaming.

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What is left are bones and the teeth of night.

Harsh goddesses who lust for flame,

Older stories than the ones we know,

Older by far, in the language of soot and coupling.

A cave-deep heat lit by animal scents.

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These first roads are etched on our palms,

Red, in the alignments of circumference.

From here, the silver rivers;

From here, the stones that sing;

From here, the roots reach downwards;

From here, the seeds are gathering together.

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NIGHT RIVER

Hush, now, hush.

It is the night river rush

In the cool stumbling dark.

Echoes of dogs twist the silent wings of stars.

It is the thrum of moments being born

From the ground sighing upwards.

Orion and his prey:

Every night the same story

But we never tire of it.

The roads we follow to make it right.

The roads we tread to follow on behind.

Night river, going and staying still.

The night river lullaby in its blanket valley.

Tucked away and breathing dreams.

Tucked away as the heat evaporates,

As heads empty of thought,

As bodies drape and forget themselves,

As breath joins the river snd leaves, and leaves.

Night river, the cold as smooth and sharp as stalking cats.

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Nos Calan Gaeaf

NOS CALAN GAEAF

What power we have is transitory –

the lights flicker off and on.

helpless we watch the waters rise.

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The wind too high for owls.

the ground too wet for sparrows and mice.

only the sheep, patient as the moon,

illuminating their fields-

the ghosts of Nos Calan Gaeaf.

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A day of broken promises.

showers slice through rainbows.

small roads disappear under leaves.

beneath the storm wind roar

there is a new silence.

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The veils between worlds wear thin.

the living and the dead stumble into each other.

A spirit murmuration, a dance before the setting sun.

those whose short lives were bright with pain,

killed by war and childbirth,

look on amazed at the docile listless hordes,

their over-saturated visions flickering,

addicts of mechanical dreams.

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STORM WIND

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We cannot outrun the storm wind

We cannot outrun the rain.

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Between the lines appear the shapes of other letters.

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The moment the tongue finds a shape to express a feeling.

The moment the feeling swells, a flower

Of song blossoms out.

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We cannot outrun the swollen river

We cannot outrun the racing cloud.

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Every thread laid and lost within the weave.

To hold one thought, just one,

When the roaring chord that rocks the pines

Sweeps the world away in ragged tatters.

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We cannot outrun the world of sorrow

We cannot outrun this tide of time.

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The meaning here

Is not the meaning

We seek.

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We cannot outrun the storm mind

We cannot outrun the candle’s shadow.

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ORACULAR MESSAGE

In the woods, in the green wet woods

The dead are waiting with their songs.

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They have longed for their flesh and they have forgotten.

The rivers are full of their passions.

It is a cold steel desire, a lust like winter.

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It is gone now, subsided into multiplicity,

The tracks lost, the flash of prey in the bushes,

All become unintelligible like a valley dissolves in driving rain.

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But the dead are waiting there with their slim fingers

To crack open your sight, to break open your eyes

The release the hawk of your mind, the hungry raven of your heart,

The river of your reason.

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This is for you, a prophecy for you

Because you have read these lines,

Because of the intersections of the stars,

Because you are nothing but this,

About to be forgotten, about to be lost.

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The dead are waiting in the woods, singing and dancing,

Forgetting everything.

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You have dreamed enough.

You have destroyed enough.

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They slide between species, have no regard for distinctions.

They breathe the matter ejected from shuddering galaxies into the void.

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These words are not for you

But you must remember them and pass them on.

They are for the last one who leaves.

Who turns to flick the light switch

And with a small smile steps into darkness.

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Tell them the dead are waiting in the green mossy woods.

Tell them to listen for the sighing song

For the surprise of pine scent drift singing storm winds.

Tell them to remember the small things,

The notions that eat worlds.

Tell them the dead are waiting

To take them home.

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WINTER’S PATH

Bleak wish is winter’s path.

The flat of its grey blade

Knocks us senseless.

Long months, we huddle

Half dreaming here.

Things will return to how they were,

Is a truth and a lie.

Though there are those

That shall never know.

The long wind has died down now.

The river’s roar returns to whisper.

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