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Posts Tagged ‘Winter’

DHRUPAD 24 (New Year) 10.1.2020

Slow, slow now, slow time uncertain

Slow as honey slow it is unfolded

The paths untrod, the ways clouded

The roads silver, the roads brown

The roads puddled poured into the hills.

The days slow, unnumbered

The days unencumbered, weighed in

Silence. Slow slow the revolutions

Of the red kite, the wheeling, returning

Circling in slow light in slow light

And the sun low and slow looking

Looking for a new name a new name,

And the air leafless, the land leafless

Something something on the tip of its tongue

A new name, a new name, a path

A new way and the small birds brown

And the small birds red and blue and brown

Pecking looking for a new name.

And all the dreams a-slumber

And all the days a-slumber

And all the seeds and the leafless air

And the falling rain dreaming and sleeping

A small new name, a new name

And the sparrows shuffling in the eaves

And the gutter rivers singing, chanting

Murmuring, whispering, breathing, sighing

A new name a new name. Slow, slow the days

Slow the days now, time as thick as honey drips

Pools and falls and collects time taking shape

Shape taking space space taking voice voice

Murmuring a dream here, a dream here a new

Name a new name a name a new name, slow.

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DAYS NOW

Days now the whispers come and go

worm words generated from earth,

words of smoke, words of plants.

.

Turn sideways, become thin,

slip between one day and another,

at the year’s ending so little noise.

.

These stars – they are not now,

they have burned bright and died

a million, million years ago.

.

Therefore, I bow down and breath deep

the dead light of our ancestors,

gone and here and gone again.

.

Time is the fat of stars;

seeping in the long years,

other glorious mornings long gone,

distant golden mornings,

other silent rooms, other footsteps.

.

Nothing goes to waste

but slowly changes from what it was

woven threefold into other days.

.

The Magister holds starlight in his crystal spheres

to rot them down to raven’s wings

where seconds copulate birthing strange homunculi.

.

They know the answers only the dead know

in butterfly whispers etching notions,

as acid reveals the jagged web of meteorites.

.

He is old now,

his bones creak like galleons do.

His mind, though, a bright moon in a stormy sky

for he is, he says, acquainted with all the demons

that dwell beyond law and science,

who converse in riddles

and move as if dancing upon other gravities.

.

Their heads are broken open,

their orifices sprouting green tendrils,

their skin, inhabited scrolls

where letters form and reform in curious calligraphies.

.

Lascivious is their language,

exotic and full of lilting innuendo.

Their madnesses are roads untrod before.

.

He reads the books that have never been opened,

by walking backwards through mirrors.

His only sustenance, the tiny measurements of primordial dust

wherein he seeks his own eternal name.

.

He practices the mudras of teaching and of dissolution.

His words fall sparsely in vast space

like birds that fly across a still sunset sky.

.

Their skin peeled back, returned to light

they tend their dripping hives,

honey vowels, the sigh of release.

They climb upon one another,

puncturing their certainty,

melting into each other’s futures.

.

The sawhorse shall be put together.

A new constellation shall appear in the southern sky

as Betelguese, or its ghost, or its future,

Weighs the likelihood of eternity.

.

The world is fire and light

and time is the fat of stars.

The apple winces in its dawn frost,

The sequoias sing to planet’s spin.

.

Clear facts stumble unheeded through forest fires

whilst ungainly notions dress the moments.

.

The alembic bubbles and quivers,

uncertain whether it can hold

the sentience of its own soot.

.

Still the Great Work must continue.

In holiness we are rubbed out completely

imagining new wings, writing new musics.

.

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AWEN

Awen in the deep floating night.

Awen in the river darkness

Awen in the drops of rain

and the wordless cool vessel of being.

Awen in the scent of wood smoke

and between the lights and between the shadows.

The seesaw of the world,

this fragile weight of balanced moments

haunted by what has gone and seeded by thought

not yet flowered, not yet fruited.

The seed within the cell,

within the roots of blood

and the roads of time.

We are within. We are within.

The awen, our eternal passing breath.

—-

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SOLSTICE LIGHT

Listen, listen, the slow light of solstice morning.

Time shuddering, time standing still.

A word wind muttering indistinct, its rhythms and intent

As steady as oars would be, as steady as oar strokes across a glassy sea.

Listen, listen. We were all in one band, a magnificent number.

Heading west ( always heading west into darkness there, into the mists).

One raised his voice – the song we all knew.

One of those songs whose words would be ridiculous, banal,

Without the tune. Whose chorus impossibly united the living and the lost.

The glass sea slid by. Time ran out.

Some said it was a hard coming of it that year, but it was not.

It was not. It was as easy as breathing.

The reasons, so reasonable. The logic, implacable.

The rhetoric, bombastic and irrefutable.

.

The watchmen were silent, uncommunicative.

Impossible it was to know the minds of the doorkeepers.

We were there to free the imprisoned,

There to reclaim what had been lost,

There to carry home what had been taken.

Voiceless one by one we fell into silence there.

Burning bright as phosphor bombs falling from the air.

Bright as sparks hammered from the anvil.

The prize was claimed, as it always is,

The light released, the cave broken upon,

The tomb unsealed, the spell broken, the curse trod down.

But the world now, irrevocably changed.

Seven with breath, seven with tears still falling,

Seven tired and justified. Seven wan and clustered stars

Backward looking, racing on.

In a world, in a morning, not ours.

.

The slim waning moon floating into the stormy dawn,

Losing its light minute by minute. No longer noticed.

Fading into day.

I have cast out on the grass, seeds for the small brown birds,

For the hungry and the cold.

The eagles and the hawks have gone. The songsters silent,

The stately waterbirds, the watching herons forgotten in the fluttering rush.

I shall sing the names, uphold the excuse,

a psalmist counting off lines in a cold cell: the cajoling verses of warrior kings

For fickle vengeful gods, the rosary of blood red beads, the genealogies,

Until the shivering silver-edged awen fails, tumbling into mute silence,

Voiceless watching an unextraordinary morning.

.

If we had not been so strident, so golden,

Could we have passed the doors unscathed?

Had we understood what was asked of us,

Has we not mistaken guileless honesty as elaborate deception,

A trick to catch us out,

Could we be in those halls still feasting?

There with no needs to forget,

no weight of dust and falling radiant starlight upon us.

No need to elaborate the litany of the dead,

Compose harmonious laments, gather together the names,

as if they meant anything any more, as if we remembered

Their bright eyes, their smiles, their warm strong hands,

Their words around the fires.

.

The ashes are cold and must be cleared now.

Reset the hearth. Begin again.

The splash of sweeping oars and the crack of canvas receding.

Our bright futures looking westwards: the new approaching night.

It is not what it could be,

Not what was promised.

But it is what it is.

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Night Air

NIGHT AIR

This is their hall,
their echoing hall.

Acolyte owls mist and dust the snow flurry
that is an endless decease.

Heat of heart and heat of blood
rises wavering, steams, dissipates.

Cold eyes, lidless, remain.
Smiling, our ancestors by their fires,
looking down to see whatever passes
(the long roads, the short roads
To their welcoming circles).

This is their hall, domed and dark
where the warm soul of breath expires.

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SNOW SEQUENCE

River words turn running slow.
To see, to say, to move on.
A winter’s day has little warmth.

A winter’s day has little warmth.
We huddle around our hearts,
Crunch bowed through snow.

Crunch bowed through snow
Finding footprints to keep to,
White hollows the slipping lanes.

White hollows the slipping lanes.
Lines of hedge float empty
Cold smudges reasons to move.

Cold smudges reasons to move.
Time falls in flakes ending all.
Weighted we bob, suddenly uncertain.

Suddenly uncertain,
This is not the world we own nor shape.
Even names for things have dissappeared.

Even names for things have disappeared.
The river mutters between teeth of ice.
Slick and black the waters smirk.

Slick and black the waters smirk.
Glass cold whispers sliding by.
River words turn running slow.

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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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