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Posts Tagged ‘words’

THE CORNERS OF SPACE

Follow the sun beyond the horizon
And there will never be a sunset,
Never a horizon.

The old poets knew this – that their voice
(River and root of it) runs through distance
And no ends are there to those meanings.
Each sound, a door to deeper dimensions.

(No owls tonight, though a slivered, smiling moon.
Between the song of the pines and the river:
Restless tumbling dreams.)

Here is the vertiginous well of the sky
And its steps, and its chambers.
The view of horizons and their echoes.

(Confusion arises with questions:
Clouds billow and change shape;
Gravity has little hold in dream states
Except by habit.)

Circumference, the vastness of mind,
The corners of space, encompassed
By a single breath,
Dissolves on exhalation.
A rainbow disease brought to a stunning collapse –
Endless blue.

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TALIESIN SUTRAS
A collection of rambles through hilly literature with strange, unexpected viewpoints. Could be developed or expanded, elucidated, made easier to understand, be given commentary. But the nature of the Taliesin poems themselves have a similar terse sutric layering, a self-absorbed witnessing of their own creation, a multi-depth layering of references, religious and mythic. So I have left it as it is. Unfolded process. A voice coded. Serpent sounds. (The conscious mind drowns without understanding. Let it sink down, breathless. There are tides too deep for breath. Yet they are the ones that sustain, perhaps.)

1
(Dyfalu)
Riddling technique

There are three here
The dark deep
The sun of life
The son of man.

The cross of matter
The spiral of time
The balance between.

Light nailed upon the directions.
Light spinning about its heart.
Annwfn become flesh.

It is of stone and cast in light.
Hoisted above the archway
A dial for eternity, serious instruction.
Like these others, bound in skin, given harbour,
Kept safe for meaning, an older language, still revered,
Just in case secrets remain that will point the way out.

2
(Trioedd)
Triads

Snakes from a point,
Tongues from their mouths.

Development over time.
Enclosure of three fields
Fluidity of emanation

Geometric expectations.

The hooded spirits
(Genii cucullati)

Three cloaks, winter water,
Hidden eyes, secret owls.
This otherness stands forth.

The body is being hidden – unrevealed.
Three things the oracle says:
I shall be silent
I shall be moved
I shall form words.

I shall be still.
I shall be disappearing.
I shall re-emerge.

Magical sustenance:
Three lines is all I need.
A beginning, a middle, an end.

Something will dissolve
Something with coalesce
There will be song and eyes
There will be a return, though
An index of the dead
Is all that remains here.
How much has been forgotten!
We were reborn to remember
But might as well be crows and beetles.
Three is a continuity
Three is a rebirth
Three is the source
Three is where the origin is.
Bard as source.
Bard as river.
Bard as ocean before silence.

3
The Wild Calling

In the presence of the ancestors
Who whisper animal words in our ears.
Wrapped in leaves, these horns are mine,
(I, the son of the conversing stag),
I will speak from out the wood,
From out the cracked stone,
Wild-eyed, wild-tongued, wild in song,
Shouting storm with truth.

The wild informs the world.
It brings news of roundness.
I will speak to you the truth
From the deep shade of the tree.
Cocidius – the red one, the tree one.

4
Transforms

Whatever he moves through
He is followed and caught.
Wherever he goes
He can’t escape the chaser.
Regardless of inspiration
And enlightenment,
He is eaten.
Because he has become inspired,
He is chased.
Three drops:
One pattern.
Food and eater,
Hunter and hunted.
Inanimate tool,
I am wielded.
These changes, these forgettings,
Fermentation.
The wanted whole remains
And continues on.

And is it then the words and their meanings that chase and consume?
Having uttered, a world is set in motion. It will ferment and rot.
One will become another, even if memory still is.
The fixation of a form, its nomenclature, its declension.
It remains, inadequately clothing silence. Coagulating dream.

Having loosed and lost a thought,
The mind is tied, dragged as a shoal on a tide, wave on wave.
The wise one will ask questions that have no answer.
That is the door to the Otherworld, a door ajar, guarded in silence.

5
The world is of words, the words are pictures.
One beneath the other, layer on layer.
The poet fades as his voice grows.
The music of the heartbeat.
The heart that tells the tongue,
The fire that lights the eye,
The wind that carries the soul.

The snow is on the dawn hills,
Rose pink the slow clouds.

Of course, of course, there are golden chains,
Well-wrought from tongue tip to ear to mind.
We are servants of words, slaves of words,
Drowning in their dreams
As the sun and moon drown in each horizon,
Drawn up by the light, by the deep unfathomables.
Rocked and swept away, the unceasing waves of language,
Other worlds, shepherded, piloted to see more than this,
That is still this.

6
These words, not to be understood by fools,
Nor to be understood by the wise:
The utterance of poets beyond the foundations of the world,
Between the sea and the shore; as deep as mountain roots;
As weightless as a hawk’s wind, as tragic as rainbows, as grim as midnight.
Haunted words, ghosted, translucent. Fermented words, boiled, reduced.
Sublimated they become something else,
Though none can say exactly what.
Edge and dream and paradox.
Genealogies of rivers, cataracts of winds, piled up
As centuries and places, never abandoned, always within the heart’s round cauldron
And in the pearl-edged heart within the earth.
A mystery of fabulous questions, an army of silent trees,
Self-created progenitors, whispered on.

Where are the bones of the mist
And the two cataracts of the wind?

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SOMETHING TO BE SAID (MAYDAY)

Pauses grow longer, a melancholy may soon creep in.
We cannot escape our own voices.
( “We rarely go out these days and visitors, though longed for,
are a great discomfort”).
It is a wild guilt that wants our words in other’s heads.
Always a nuisance and a pleasure
to be infected with poetry,
to admit the familiar voices, to see which one leads, this time, the hunt.
Gwyn ap Nydd collecting souls, the ghosts of words,
The white words, the vapoured words,
the haunted words – as poetry is.
‘White, Son of Mist’ – like the morning,
the first attempt at May, after a night of rain,
new in stillness and birdsong, mist on green land,
the ash trees still thinking about their coming fountains of flowers,
roots wriggled so deep in the past, and aching old.
The dunnock’s sweet descent.
It filters down as if spider webs
And gold dust – the flecks
Of memory and forgetting.
A city with loud inhabitants, unkind and strange.
A darkness punctuated with doors and reasons.
As if it didn’t matter, everything collapses.
The moment passes, the tongue gives up.
It cannot make the chords that the brain sings in,
Just one note at a time, syllable by.
There is something to be said for silence.
The way the mist in its own dreaming gravity
Slides along the slopes
And settles in the cwms.
The way it shifts space.
The way it delineates what is not itself.
With what would we fill these silences
Should all the voices stop?

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SUNSET 6 ( only one, and not even that)

There is only one moment, and not even that
As it slides between words spluttering the certain.
There is only one breath, and that has left us as we find another
Between noticing and forgetting the wondering of it.
This is the only sunset, and not even that as it rises and fails
Sudden with colour brash and tender.
One moment gone, one breath, all changed,
One colour impossible to name.
Life becomes fragments if it is held still, perfection palls
And is deemed a failure by universal canon.
The word, a particular curse of our natures,
An intelligence of demons. Too clever by far.
All nouns are lies, all adjectives suspect.
All thoughts – an endless twittered birdsong
In a forest of neurons.
All dreams – a continuing rumble of juxtaposition,
A sunrise and sunset, of edge and horizon,
A slipping through gaps.
Avoidance of the void is the creation of pain and of beauty.
Race westwards: eternal sunset.
Race eastwards: eternal dawn.
Each view only as true as its edges.
Each poem, a breath to be neither accepted or rejected,
Not certified nor censored.
A sign of something passing by, that is all.
Cloud banks over a setting sun,
Hills caught golden, pricked out and pounced.
Delineation of the immeasurable.
A noble picture, or perhaps an articulation of foolishness.
A fragment of eternity rushes by.
The emperor sits on his throne and does nothing,
Yet all revolves about him.
The old sage leaves by the western gate.
No one see his ox cart winding down the road.
He whistles to himself between his teeth
A folk song of the river and the moon.
The sun has set now.
The lights of the distant city begin to show.

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THE ART OF POETRY

It is myself tumbling over words
God’s engine roaring a gobby throb
Through heart and nerves and up
To drowning tongue and out free
Into virtual sullen air.
Once solid rooted sense now willowherb whisp
And whatever-you-will, blown breezy and rain wetted.
A garden of weed unruly in bitter pale sunset.
More holy are the turning worms
Silent in their utter diligence to earth.
More holy the first few crisped furls of ash
Let go falling to ground melting for future loveliness.
Myrddin out of mind again and railing.
Everywhere the road turns are madmen
And reckless thieves.
Prophets tearing clothes wander footless into fields
And weeping eat the grasses there
For they can do little else.
Then later, carefully in glowing cursive,
Copy out their rantings for a future offspring.
Little despair misinterpreted once again,
An art of poetry, penultimate.

I have been attempting to get a poem together for the local Llanwrtyd Eisteddfod, but I really do not like working to given subject matter. I have, over the course of the last few weeks created bundles of words that are strewn around the subject matter, but none, (or maybe just one), carries the spontaneity and flow of energy I would like. After reading and making slight adjustments to what may be the best of the bunch, this tumbled out by itself ( as it were). I will likely post the Eisteddfod submission later in the month, and maybe a few fragments of the rejected pieces around the same matter before that….or maybe forget the whole thing for a bit.

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A truth that believes

A truth that believes
it is the whole of the truth
Is a poison.

There are ghosts
In the dark, draughty attics
Believe themselves
Kings
Who are owed.

But it is not so.

A point of view
Draped
Over a few seconds
Is not, for sure,
To be relied upon
To define an aeon
Nor a purpose
Nor a good yarn.

All philosophy
Summed up and sundered:
The raven, sharp-eyed
And hungry
From his cliff nest
At break of day.

Expectant
Of
Nothing.

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But ‘we’ is not circled.
We have no edge ( though we think otherwise)
(though we think we think).
We think beginnings and endings,
we think words, breath, silence, breath,
intake the other, exhale the other.
cannot remember any moment beyond
a circumscribed horizon, cannot, even, the dreams,
nor the memories, for sure (was it, was, was it so, was it not?)

There are, of course, clues.
Vagrants, with a certain mildewed smell,
mutter slewed directions, their demon-bright eyes.
(but those we shun, as shadows,
as churchyards at night, as the insisting amoral voices in the mist,
peripheral, shuffled, ambiguous).

The long halls, the rooms, the chambers.
My dear Giordano, such equations, such equators.
So few and tired are the moronic habitual paths,
so broad the primrose paths
to Hell untrod, unstudied.
A rumour of damnation, like a roll of distant thunder,
a storm coming. Well, certainly, there is a storm coming.
From the edges to the centre, from the centre to the edges..
An ending ( of sorts).
And then it echoes around another’s skull.
Seed syllables.
The end of worlds.
The beginning of worlds.

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