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Posts Tagged ‘Winter’

I thought I had posted this late last year, but cannot find it anywhere, so maybe I didn’t, after all. The winter skies of the Cambrian Mountains and whispers from Taliesin and the Ordovices, Iron Age tribe of the uplands.

THE HIGH PASTURES OF HEAVEN

About its turrets are the wellsprings of the sea.
Clouds wrap the mountaintops,
Rivers run full with meltwater.
The dear horizon is our fortress,
Saviour from the revolving sky,
Pinned back to harmony.
One voice that is not one voice
That is one voice, the mind
Of the poet on wandering roads.
How is the poet like a hedgerow?
A tangle of blackthorn inpenetrable,
Interwoven, sharp with sorrows,
It bursts into pure blossom,
Its fruits are bitter truth that sustains
Through deep frosts.
How is it that poets and flowers are alike?
None knows when the sweetest
Shall spring up, though the seeds
Are everywhere.

The centre of the land here is a silent fortress, ageless.
Held motionless, it remains
Whilst the seasons roll their seas
Across the valleys.
Such emptiness in a heart, so
One can hear the tumbling flows of feeling
Before they cloak themselves in sound,
The sound before the language,
The language before the meaning,
The meaning before the comprehension.

The ravens knit the valley airs.
The weight of beauty, near unbearable.
So in the centre is silence untamed,
Rolled psalms of poignant distance..
Each path, each road, only now here
Because of the thousand weary feet trudged before
With stick and dog following the fluttering,
Oblivious flocks to and from the high pastures
Of heaven, the summer pastures of delight.

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It is the rocks that make the river sing,
The world that gives us song.
Bones creak, branches heavy with snow,
Breath captured must release.
Spring will come.

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THE BLESSING AND POISON OF GOOD WORDS

no moon, but a single
sickle call of an owl
in the deep valley

cold stars are winter’s eyes
as warmth leaves the world
and darkness wraps all up
as close to silence
as one can think.

by rivers and stars are we lifted up.
by rivers and stars are we brought low.

silent voices dipped in cloud.

I shall sit in darkness and dissolve into light.

dissolve into endless light.
dissolve into light.

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LOST HAIKU

Autumn leaves.
The path ahead obscured.
That is why I am so late!

Only one leaf left
On the old tree –
And that is a bird.

(Basho on biophobia)

The old pond.
A shopping trolley pushed in.
Profound emptiness.

Midwinter road.
Around the corner:
Sunshine.

A half moon sunk low.
In the valley. Listen!
The river, shivering.

The past turns haiku.
The valleys dissolve in rain.
Dissappearing light.

To culture silence
Become that grey backed heron
And watch unhurried.

Dark water
The ash bows down
Reflecting.

The smallest day.
Mosses, lichen, drip their own green light.
Darkening woods.

Foot in mouth
I walk words
Tasting damp leaves.
The spiral of green moments.

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LONGEST NIGHTS

the smoke of owls
and the sparks of their prey.

the howl of darkness
and the howl of the dawn.

mist tumbles off the snowline,
jaundiced is the air.

fields lie fallow,
their farmers large as hills
and dark, watching for good time.

tumbled clouds tangled
in the sallow valley.

Scarce enough warmth
to go around the village,
scarce enough words.

a golden light within
everything, though.
pooled translucent light.

a river story blessing.
a famous birth
and a death that disguises glory.

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the year sweeps seasons
like a passionate cloud
from these soft hills.

and the bitter cold is here
and the turbulent waters
and the fire that talks loud and soft,
singing of snakes and angels in the grate.

and the hush-now, hush-now of cars
speeding past to work in the draughty town.

the trees dark and bare
sliced in thin moonlit night.

yesterday, the deep, blue-shadowed snow.
now, a knifing wind, a fast melt
and word of valley floods.

bless the bones of things,
though they may ache and ache.
on bitter slope the memories slide.
it is a thin sinew
holds everything together.

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TO WAKE IN WINTER

To wake in the long darkness
And feel the slow cold seep in.

To love, and to war against those
We do not love, is not enough.

Drained and wan, the ache of it.
The decay of worn roads and reasons.

The ravens are silent as they push
Against the folds of cloud.
The hills ripple but they do not rise.

We miss the touch of sudden sunlight
And a simple purpose to go on.

Is patience a curse or a virtue?

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