Posts tagged ‘Freedom’

22/10/2013

Wandering

 

I took a train to see the world.

Each station brought me something new:

An angle never seen before,

A chance of colour, shape and sound.

 

I don’t suppose you saw me go:

Just couldn’t see the world like that,

Just couldn’t see the grey old dust

As tracks which led to somewhere grand.

 

I took the train and saw the sky.

You’d never know the blue I saw.

A destination never holds

The freedom of a wandering heart.

 

I don’t suppose you missed me much:

For after all, to you I’m dust.

 

 

This poem was written as a response to the photograph by artist Cheryl Garner. It is part of an on-going journey.

The photographs, with poems, can be found at:

www.thecheesewolf.co.uk/category/vicarious-journeys/

the work of Cheryl Garner can be found at:

http://cherylgarner.squarespace.com/

 

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20/10/2013

Train Leaving

 

That lost, bewildered look she loved:

So why, today, was he a wreck?

“Forget the night”, she said again.

They fell in drops about her feet,

 

Those heavy tears, they fell inside.

She made her smile for one last time:

It formed a line about her lips

Which wasn’t there the day before.

 

The first he knew she’d walked away,

A rueful cast upon her frown.

So there he stood, alone and cold:

He wished he’d worn a better shirt.

 

He wished he had a clever line.

The platform span and she was gone.

 

 

This poem was written as a response to the photograph by artist Cheryl Garner. It is part of an on-going journey.

The photographs, with poems, can be found at:

www.thecheesewolf.co.uk/category/vicarious-journeys/

the work of Cheryl Garner can be found at:

http://cherylgarner.squarespace.com/

29/09/2013

Stepping Out

 

The dress was blue and never aged.

She dropped it on and felt its cool

The same as on the autumn day

She bought the dress, without his say,

 

Her week revolved around these streets:

Her home, her walk, her week of work,

The wall which held a wagtail’s nest,

The ruts on pavements, worn by years.

 

She passed his parent’s former house:

The new folk kept the garden neat.

She passed the chapel, then the pub.

She felt the village watch her walk.

 

He never said he liked the dress:

Or if he did, she didn’t hear.

 

27/07/2013

Minotaur on the Moortops

 

He tries to sink back through the earth,

Through iridescent slips of schist,

To where the rock can douse his eyes,

Quench fire of sight, dull iris light.

 

The space – which counts the stars as months,

And judges time by shadow falls –

where lives can howl and show their age.

Each tick of sun and moon: a death

 

Up here, where echoes never start,

He lays down low and feels through peat

The rocks beneath, the subtle heat,

The walls where blood is merged with night.

 

Unfreed, unbound, and lost beyond:

The air is thin and spiked with sound.

 

 

27/07/2013

The Minotaur’s Freedom (video)

 

 

 

A short video for my poem “The Minotaur’s Freedom” (which can be read further down this collection).

07/07/2013

Hare

 

Those eyes, which take the souls and run

From hedge to far and vanished hedge,

Can pierce right through the skin of time,

And see its luminescent depths.

 

With unmatched speed and dancing heart,

A spirit dreamer, cast from minds,

Runs out across the plains and moors.

It runs not “to”, it runs “because”.

 

They watch us with our weighted gait:

Our feet, our arms, our thoughts in clay.

So slow, we live within a day:

A single, monstrous, leaden day.

 

They watch us with those eyes of light,

Those eyes which see beyond our sight.

 

 

03/06/2013

A Week in Slovenia (Part 4 – From the Adriatic to the Alps)

 

1. On Piran Seafront

 

Ten thousand years of people stare

Off out to sea and feel its breath.

Ten thousand years of questioned souls

Who turn, and shrug, and build their worlds,

 

Those years are here within this point.

Entranced, we watch the fish and boats:

That silver dart, that bobbing float.

We are those generations now.

 

Then Trieste fades and Piran falls,

The bells un-ring and we are back.

The fish all hide, the sun is bright,

I hold your hand, we are alone.

 

The Adriatic Sea is blue:

It always is – is ever new.

 

 

2. When the Birds Fly Low

 

You see the point in being close:

An avalanche destroyed that house,

An earthquake took the town that day,

You closed your heart as war raged on,

 

You see the way the birds fly low.

You buy the cheese and share the bread.

A flock of alpine choughs descend:

They work as one, they fly as one.

 

As snow is creeping through the trees,

A dusting through Arolla Pine,

It brings its memories of times.

The birds fly down amongst the town.

 

You turn your back upon the cold.

You feed the birds and drink your fill.

 

 

3. Rainfall in the Julian Alps

 

The sun won’t break the clouds today.

The mountain crags have gathered rain,

The sparrows hide beneath the eaves,

The church bells echo hidden peaks.

 

The peace of circle patterned slates:

The point before the rivers form.

Within a pine a blackbird preens.

The air is still, the rain is clean.

 

A miracle has formed the sky.

Here in the sky, we are the sky.

The snowmelt cycles up, then through:

We breathe the ice of years gone by.

 

Within the clouds I see the sun.

Amidst the rainfall there is song.

 

 

4. Night in the Julian Alps

 

We do our best to kill the still

With street light, owl hoots, cow bells, cars.

We build and burn, we run and hide,

But up here nothing comes our way.

 

The mountain’s cold and silent depths,

The forest’s growth on rotten roots,

The haze which twinkles dying stars:

They are the silence we can’t dodge.

 

We think we are unique in this –

Us falcons, martens, humans, frogs –

Not caught in headlights: we freeze at night,

And stare into the mountain depths.

 

The long collective mass of life

Is just a tiny flick of light.

 

 

27/04/2013

Egyptian Vulture

 

How many ways to kill our pasts?

On wings which carried deserts north

The pharaoh’s birds would soar with souls.

We clipped those wings and pinned those souls.

 

How many desolations built?

From mountain peaks to Shiva’s shrine:

We emptied every one of birds

And wondered at the silent skies.

 

How many ways to carve our guilt?

Those perfect wings, those lines of flight,

Which glide from life to life beyond.

Those messengers of ancient tombs.

 

Out of the sun there wheeled the birds:

How many ways to praise this world?

 

20/04/2013

Corncrakes (South Uist)

 

The sweetened stench of kelp in lines –

As long as reef and Viking old –

Comes tangled with lamenting seals,

With diver’s wails of freedoms edge.

 

And through that sharpened sense of sky,

Across the machair, orchid wild,

The corncrakes called and answered spring,

And sleepless summoned summer’s nights.

 

These are the worlds of ocean spray,

Of distant deeps and tangled sedge,

Of histories hidden in the sands,

Of islands on the brink of time.

 

Through scented tides they call the moon:

The corncrakes mark the passing years.

 

12/04/2013

Waiting for the Swans

 

I felt the water rising up

And turn to mist around my tongue.

I slipped and fell, the mist fell too,

And up the waters rose within.

 

I lay beneath and dreams became.

I saw the sun, I heard the moon.

It whispered solitude and turned

The mists and waters through my bones.

 

I held the fish within my chest,

A flicking heart to measure years.

And hooks and wires began to tie

My ankles, wrists, my empty eyes.

 

But soon the swans will pull me free,

And let me rise again to see.

 

 

12/04/2013

River Butterflies

 

There are no river butterflies,

Although the river runs with wings

And azure tessallations glint.

I close my thoughts and pass them by.

 

Past sparkling games of liquid words

Where fish reflect the skies above

And ice and summer merge in flight,

Amongst the clouds of millstone grit.

 

Above, below, the air will flow,

The trout turn bridges into speech,

And hide beneath their arch of lies.

They make their truth, they dash for proof.

 

So rarely do we speak of things

As free as river butterflies.

 

 

for Ludwig Wittgenstein

10/04/2013

The Spirit of the River

 

She spent her life apart from folk,

And all her dreams were river dreams.

She watched the weed which hid the pike.

She crept through rushes by the streams.

 

As winter drew the evenings in,

She’d bend the willow, thread the sedge,

And sleep beneath the branches bowed,

As warm as otter, curled as mink.

 

On mornings, white with frost and snow,

She’d break the ice which formed in rings

Up by the bank where water’s slow,

And find the haunts of torpid trout.

 

She’s spent her life – and spends it still –

In river dreams, in drifting free.

 

 

10/04/2013

Sticklebacks

 

I had a jar of sticklebacks

I’d netted down amongst the weed.

I sat and watched as they watched me,

Our stillness shared for forty years.

 

With azure, scarlet, silver sides,

Eclipsed the joy of my field guides.

The book I’d read on every night

Would now be left to prop a pile.

 

The jar contained the living truth –

The eyes, the spines and fragile tails –

I’d felt them wriggle on my palm,

Their life as real as mine was dry.

 

I watched them breathe through gaping mouths.

I watched them stop, grow dull and die.

 

 

27/03/2013

The Southern Way

 

We stand and watch the setting sun

Drag lines of brent geese to the marsh.

The hedges, fences, ditches, walls,

We’ll break them when the darkness falls.

 

Across the counties of the south,

We’ll rise as one to till the earth.

Communion held amongst the fields,

On common land, feed common mouths.

 

Across the span of time and space,

We reach to plant and cultivate.

With digging pamphlets, hoe and word,

We’ll turn the furrows in our land.

 

In battles for those Surrey hills,

We’ll fill the dark with freedom’s seeds.

 

 

24/03/2013

Questions on a Homeless Night

 

I wonder

 

Have you ever been alone?

Just you, a cliff, an empty sea,

A past and future lost for words,

A pallid memory of the sun.

 

To feel the swell of night’s updraft,

The pull of moon towards the tide,

The drag of skeletons in chalk,

The thought you never had the time.

 

And have you ever found the strength

In silence, stars and drifting gulls?

And knowing there is only you:

Just you, a cliff, an empty sea.

 

The silver waves and shingle roar:

I wonder, has your life meant more?

 

(Brighton, 1989)

 

03/02/2013

Three Colours: Blue

 

The beads of simple, tinted glass:

Between each one the links of loss.

The music of their chimes when touched:

The glittered schisms, splitting light.

 

Each facet shines with bitter dreams.

Each angle cut betrays a past,

A slight, a trap, a loveless chill,

And yet a life which always was.

 

The threads which bind are rarely seen.

Beneath the beat, a universe;

Between the beads and solid earth

The scattered force of freedom’s cost.

 

The grief which comes with cutting loose

The bluest segments of the sky.

 

 

Response to the film Three Colours: Blue.

26/01/2013

Walking to France (Walk No. 6)

 

The rock thrush calls through vultured skies,

And high above the spirits build.

The valley plain has seen the change,

As voltine butterflies emerge.

 

The gathered heat has history’s tongues,

And summons up the mystery’s ghosts.

The Perfects’ silent, deathly pyre,

Which lingers odourless and long.

 

The mountain griffon circle round,

As step by step we walk the track

Which wartime settlements had planned.

Ignored by all, the bones are dust.

 

Across the border nothing’s changed:

The Cathar’s rock thrush sounds the same.

 

 

26/01/2013

Pass Through the Cuillin of Skye (Walk No. 3)

 

This single line which marks a map:

A trail a single footstep wide.

And human understanding wanes

A single yard on either side.

 

The Viking sea laid at my back:

A highway through the ancient isles.

Ahead a gale and mountain track:

This vicious land where death is wild.

 

A hurricane hurled through the hills,

Drove rain as sharp as Cuillin peaks.

The track became a test of will,

As far from hope and help could be.

 

This singularity that’s life:

Absurd and free, I left the path.

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.

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.