Archive for December, 2012

31/12/2012

Limit of Learning (They Took the Sky)

 

Those skies were never meant to end.

Off west the distant Irish coast,

And east the millstone cities smoke:

Horizons wide enough for dreams.

 

Then came the day they closed the sky:

One little push, one breeze to blow.

They left the air but took the far,

So less and less would raise their heads.

 

Together we would wish the Earth,

Instead were left with measured ground,

And shivered at the thought of worlds

Beyond the confines of our plots.

 

We reached, we yearned, we stared, we learned:

And then they took away the sky.

 

.

30/12/2012

The Sylph of Air and Time

 

Between the treetops time has curves

Where decades twine like blackbird’s songs,

Where centuries are interlaced,

And pasts are born from future space.

 

To work the weave you sway with trees,

And wind your mind up through the leaves.

Your neurons switch from time through time,

Through interlinking rings which bind.

 

In them you’ll live what might have been,

And twist back out through what is not:

All knowledge of the lives and deaths,

Are hanging in the forest’s breaths.

 

The chaos of this heavy air

Creates the mirage we see there.

30/12/2012

The Sylph of Dales’ Song

 

Above the hills and northern dales,

Above the outcrops on the moors,

Above the mists and passing rains,

Above the senses and the dreams,

 

It saw the world for what it was.

It smoothed the waters, rocks and flames.

It watched the changing, watched the lulls.

It wrapped the world and lungs it filled.

 

It quivered with the wings of birds,

It gathered all their voices up,

It kept them for the sun to breathe,

It kept them for the stars to grieve.

 

Above the beauty of the skies,

Above the tales, above the lives.

 

 

15/12/2012

Song 10: All Things Must Pass

 

The fear and pain, the joy and love,

And everything we ever love,

Unfurls the universe of love:

We pass away, and we are love.

 

The scent of wood smoke from the fire;

Through frosted glass, a shooting star;

A flock of sparrows in the snow;

A note you wrote ten years ago.

 

I read the tales of Gilgamesh,

See broken hearts on river beds.

I walk the ancient woodland ways,

My worth is breath, my nights are days.

 

A life is made as seconds pass,

The birds all know their songs don’t last.

 

 

Here, now, where I listen to All Things Must Pass, by George Harrison

 

linked on to dVerse OLN75

15/12/2012

Song 9: You Are The Music

 

You are the music of my life:

Like freedom on a Highland loch,

Where grebes can dance their wildest dreams,

And mountains hang like summer clouds.

 

You are the music of my pasts:

Where molecules of memories merge,

And sadnesses and joys are joined,

And riotous the stories’ births.

 

You are the music of my world:

The self-absorbed and self-proclaimed,

The moments which meant all to me:

And all of which just had to be.

 

The strings of place, the pulse of time,

This world of music, world of mine.

 

 

 

Loch Ruthven, Highland, where we heard You Are The Music by King Creosote.

15/12/2012

Song 8: Morning Hollow

 

Across the valley, through the trees,

The ruined graves and abbey walls.

A robin rolled its autumn song,

All else was silent, still and calm.

 

Our fractured memories slipped off down,

The pilgrim pathways of the past.

The hills and woodlands soaked our loss.

With every step we gave you up.

 

The morning hollow, evening void,

Your spirit dance and voice now hushed.

To earth or sky or water lost:

The nothing where the sadness was.

 

We stared across the changeless view:

The moors and rivers now held you.

 

 

Bolton Abbey, Yorkshire, where we thought of Morning Hollow by Sparklehorse.

13/12/2012

Song 7: Do You Realize???

 

A universe of bursting mass,

And circling, cycling lives and deaths:

Repeating forms, forever on,

All came to stop that rainy day.

 

Confetti scattered, Solent salt,

Balloons and cakes and Tennyson:

I’ve never been as scared or proud.

Your strength and beauty linked in gold.

 

The planet span about our day:

Our photos placed that point in time.

The sun would never set again.

Our memory had merged as dreams.

 

And arm in arm we took those steps,

Then floated through the ocean breeze.

 

The Isle of Wight where we heard Do You Realize??? by The Flaming Lips.

12/12/2012

Song 6: Waterloo Sunset

 

 

Their life began in simple steps,

As all the greatest stories do.

A train, a bridge, a longing glance,

And talking hours in Waterloo.

 

The huddled, shuffling city streams

Rolled by with hushed transparent forms,

Their fingers touched and time stood still.

The river passed beneath and through.

 

And off into the night and lights,

From which a million lovers fled.

They found a café – dragged it out –

She missed her train and then again.

 

Each parting brought them closer to,

The start of life at Waterloo.

 

Waterloo Station, London, where I heard Waterloo Sunset by The Kinks.

12/12/2012

Song 5: Always Something There To Remind Me

 

She dug a marble from the ground,

And laid it back to mark the grave.

Some lives were never meant to be:

The kitten barely breathed at all.

 

The ice of Leith, the summer breeze,

The spring and autumn Pentland rains,

The poems spoken through the snow,

The poems of the cobbled roads.

 

We lived in books and Richter prints,

We breathed the northern lights of earth,

Yet on the edge of perfect voice

The silence and the shadows fell.

 

I walked along the city streets,

Alone, alive in memory’s words.

 

Edinburgh, where I listened to Always Something There To Remind Me, recorded by Sandie Shaw.

 

12/12/2012

Song 4: One

 

The night of summer winds and storm

And hoping that the rain would fill

The helpless silence of my fears:

I found a tree and offered prayers.

 

The wind had picked a broken fence,

Cartwheeled it passed my open door.

It smashed into a neighbour’s car:

I locked my door and walked on by.

 

Pathetic miles on mile I traipsed

In blistered cold towards the Downs.

Before the hills I found a wood,

With branches falling, streams in flood.

 

I picked the tree, I left my words,

Then fell in tears of true despair.

 

Lewes Road, Brighton where I listened to One by U2

12/12/2012

The Ghost of a Ringtail by Gavin Jones – Martin Harper’s blog – Our work – The RSPB Community

The Ghost of a Ringtail by Gavin Jones – Martin Harper’s blog – Our work – The RSPB Community.

11/12/2012

Song 3: In My Life

 

We held ourselves together then,

As close as sea and shingle shore.

And all who saw the breaking waves

Would know the depths that friendship found.

 

The mystery was, it meant so much,

But drifted like the ocean spray,

Like flint embedded  in the chalk:

We learnt, precarious and lost.

 

And time has shown the scheme of things,

The streets we took which had no plan:

Divergent lines on hazy maps,

And always there seemed no way back.

 

But now I see those lines were waves,

Which love and friendship held through time.

 

 

Brighton, where I listened to In My Life by The Beatles

11/12/2012

Song 2: Road to Nowhere

 

I drank another strawberry wine,

And danced for hours with flailing arms.

The streets were made for running wild,

And lost or free, it all made sense.

 

The flames from which the house was built

Had licked and teased my teenage mind,

And burned me through with blistered towns:

The wreck I left, the wreck I was.

 

And in another club or pub

I drank another strawberry wine,

And fell in love, and fell apart,

And planned another shining start.

 

I didn’t know the words for life:

I took a guess and sang too loud.

 

Blackburn, Lancashire where I heard Road to Nowhere by Talking Heads

11/12/2012

Song 1: Souvenir

 

The forests where the adder slept,

And where my loneliness found peace,

Were rich with beechwood Sunday rains,

And softened by the Autumn songs.

 

The drip of drums through scented larch.

A fractured truth which filled my heart.

Escape and acorns broke the hold

Of screaming homes and severed schools.

 

I ate the beauty of the earth:

Russula, Parasol and Cep,

I gleaned the music picking hope

In melodies which set me free.

 

For always are the two entwined:

A Souvenir, a stand of pines.

 

The forests of South Wales where I heard Souvenir by OMD.

.

10/12/2012

The Ghost of a Ringtail

 

The moor was bright with wisps of mist,

And floating cotton grass in down.

The pipits pointed skyward wired.

So light the sun, so still the moor.

 

With pivot, dart and kiting wings,

The ringtail took the northern ridge.

She filled the widest sky with sight.

So light the sun, so still the moor.

 

Forever had her line owned flight,

And now the last in phantom form,

Eternal drifting beauty’s spell:

Though lost to life she haunts the hills,

 

The emptiness and quartered grounds,

So light the sun, so still the moor.

 

This summer, within sight of my home, one of my country’s rarest and most beautiful birds was shot – possibly by someone in the employ of a local landowner.  I despair of our species, I really do.

08/12/2012

Free Trade (Lothersdale Lead Mine)

 

The scar remains, two centuries on:

A sterile field, a poisoned rock.

The dust in summer, streams in spring,

Still thick with arsenic, lead and zinc.

 

A hundred families mined the ore,

They scraped their living coughing blood.

Salvation came in crusts of bread

And praying for the skylark’s song.

 

But far away the freedom flowed,

And wealth and light and flowers bloomed.

In silk and satin, trade and faith,

The spirit of the age was writ.

 

So hollow are those words of joy

When carved in stone on children’s graves.

05/12/2012

Jekyll’s Garden (Lindisfarne)

 

The sea has cast its books as spray,

Its prayers are fresh with western words.

The sea – the circling sunrise sea –

Has sealed the island’s lips and lives

 

For here the world can wash and wait,

Can hurl its gales and comets crash,

For here the world means nothing more

Than mysteries from a distant age.

 

Upon the wall the wheatear flicks

Its tail and picks at thistle threads

From interlocking beds and dips

Away towards the castle rock.

 

It seems that time has lost its way,

For here the sea turns all to spray.

 

03/12/2012

A Simple Song of Silence

 

This emptiness we fill with song,

And flowers, birds and loving words.

But in our night the void returns,

And even tears are simply spent.

 

The days and weeks each add their lines

Which call the cold to take its toll,

And silence haunts the smiles we form,

Our tears won’t slow the passing time.

 

I cannot bear the joy you missed.

So here we sit and watch the glow,

Of embers slipping into ash.

The music dies and we are left

 

With nothing but tranquility,

And tears which well but never fall.