Posts tagged ‘knowledge’

20/10/2013

There is (No Like)

 

The thoughts are drops which form and roll,

Are watched a while like birds or breath,

Like everything that they are not.

Within themselves there is no “like”.

 

To journey and become again.

To be a thought amongst the thoughts.

To pass beyond all hope and loss.

To be the emptiness of thought.

 

When nothing is the world, there is

In golden light, in umber night,

In waveforms scattered out: there is

No space but space, no time but time.

 

There is a thought which rolls and forms:

A single drop of all there is.

 

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/

 

17/09/2013

The Knowledge

 

A nettle soaked could set a curd,

And burrs could wrap the butter pack.

A copper pan could spoil the taste.

For sixty years she’d made these notes.

 

The life within, the voice without,

The cream and structure, rind and heart,

The village and its changeless ways:

For sixty years she rose above.

 

The young she helped and coaxed on through

The mysteries, rituals, places, times –

Between the ageing racks and shelves –

For sixty years, traversed the gaps.

 

Her hands are supple, soft and strong:

They play her secrets like a song.

 

 

 

16/09/2013

The Next in Line

 

She waited for the perfect age,

When all the edges fell away,

And language came to mean much more

Than angry taunts and lines in sand.

 

She waited for the smile to grow

Into a subtle arch of peace,

Until the skin had formed and filled,

Until the dresses calmed and flowed.

 

She waited, as she always did,

And when she moved it made such sense:

Her daughter would begin to learn

The secret silences she’d borne.

 

And so began her long decline,

And so began her future’s rise.

 

15/09/2013

The Silent Keeper

 

She held her breath and life whirled round:

It blasted, blew and buffeted,

But somehow, silent, she stood still,

As if untouched, she stayed her voice.

 

Within, she held the secret tales,

And slow, she acted out their ways,

And slow, she carried on the lives,

Of all the slow and silent ones.

 

And all the rest just passed her by,

Ignored her quiet, hopeful words.

They lived so quick they barely lived.

They spoke so fast they made no sense.

 

When she breathed out, all history bent,

But no-one saw their world whirl round.

 

15/09/2013

Her Lineage

 

Her warmth was bundled up with tales,

Her knowledge flowed on through the years,

The gentle heat, the milk and sweet,

The alchemy of cultured thought.

 

And in each bite, a crunch of salt,

The memories of mountain peaks.

From ninety generations formed:

A slight and sliver, ash and heart.

 

With such pride she gave her love,

With each remembered trick and tip.

On every drying shelf a tale,

Another history of grace.

 

She carried secrets to her grave.

She took off much, but left her soul.

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

09/06/2013

A Week in Slovenia (Part 7 – After Thought)

 

1. Tourist Boats

 

We skim the surface, hide from facts,

We see ourselves reflected back.

A dreaming ocean laps through streets,

A knowing sea floods round the trees.

 

We are the silver and the gold,

We shine our light on glittered crests,

We speak as if we lived these lives,

We dive for pearls and bring back shells.

 

And this is how we see the world:

As waves, as mysteries deferred,

As everything we want to be,

As everything we never were.

 

We watch you work your grinding shifts,

And think we see the harbour lights.

 

 

2. Borovnice

 

I come from salamander peaks.

Around the veins, around the mind,

I bite as mountain vipers strike,

As sharp as pine, as deep as time.

 

I loosen tongues, I calm the fears.

My red is black as blood is thick.

I’m crisped by snow and swelled by May.

Within my soul the rivers flow.

 

The mountain clouds and owls arrive.

You hear the church bells call the hours,

And half awake you hear my voice.

I offer up my essence here.

 

My hillside memories are true.

I filter rock, and ice and dew.

 

 

3. And What Will Become of Us?

 

I hope you find a job this year.

I hope you find the love you need.

I hope your stories will come true.

Not much – I know – but hope is all

 

That anyone can give right now.

And yesterday the markets filled,

And yesterday the sun was bright,

And yesterday they sang your name,

 

But now the wind blows from the north.

Across the plains, the dragons stir.

From deep within the mountain caves

Come sounds we wished we’d never hear.

 

I hope you keep the joy and peace.

My thoughts are with you through these years.

 

 

4. Holiday Photos

 

Somewhere an avalanche is still,

The point just seconds from its fall.

I close my eyes and count out loud:

The avalanche awaits the pull.

 

I’m there, beside the mountain lake.

The waters clear, then from above

The ice does not collapse. The world

Does not come tumbling down on me.

 

The stillness is beyond itself.

The lake reflects the silent peaks,

The forests barely breathe at all:

I see a cloud refuse to roll.

 

I’m there – just for a while – I’m there.

The avalanche just hangs in air.

 

02/06/2013

A Week in Slovenia (Part 3 – Part Forgotten)

 

1. When Summer Comes

 

When summer comes the fields will fill

With flowers as rich as sun itself,

The clouds won’t form around the peaks,

The streams and waterfalls will dry.

 

When summer comes our days are long,

Our swallows laze against the sky,

Our lakes will haze and we will swim,

We’ll live our dreams and drink our wine.

 

We wake and find the air has ice,

The snows retreat but still have bite,

The birdsong has an urgent force:

We wait to take a breath of sun.

 

Forever waiting, never here,

When summer comes the end is near.

 

 

2. Unmarked War Grave

 

How many layers before the skull?

You breathe the air, you touch the grass,

You scrape the earth, you search for tracks,

But rarely can you see beneath.

 

The silence of the mountain air

Reverberates amongst the trees.

Old shots rebound from bough to bough,

From tight-lipped year to silent air.

 

And if you could reveal the skull –

Dig back once more the soil and skin –

What would you find but naked bone,

Corroded name tags, wasted times?

 

The silence held the truth too long:

That what was gone has lingered on.

 

 

3. Contradictions

 

The ivy rose to touch the sky

Whilst dragging down the tree it crushed.

The castle high above the lake

Had also found a sky to touch.

 

The mountains seem to stand as truths,

Yet on their slopes their lies are writ.

They’re not immortal: just like us

They rise, they age, they turn to dust.

 

A bridge is built to span the gorge:

An enemy will burn the bridge.

The bridge will fall and find its words:

The enemy will do the same.

 

The world is wrapped within itself:

The opposites have tales to tell.

 

 

4. Sentinel

 

Behind the trees a woman waits.

Her dress is grey, the snow is late.

Her youthful dreams inspired her once,

But now they eat her from within.

 

She waits to meet her southern guests,

No different from the other times:

They’ll pass the café by the slopes,

They’ll walk straight on and to the slopes.

 

She thinks of times when this made sense:

When eyes like hers had hidden depths,

When snows in May were something rare,

When friends had love and time to share.

 

The snow would fall from now to June.

The southern guests would pass by soon.

 

 

5. Burja Bora

 

The mountain butterflies all fled

Extremes of scarring sun and storm.

The butterflies had lost their wings.

The winds so strong they tore off roofs.

 

The winds so strong they broke their hearts.

The mountains turned away and wept,

The leafless forests bent and cracked,

The butterflies found caves and hid.

 

The butterflies found caves and slept.

They spent their years in worlds of thought,

They rolled through centuries of doubt,

They let the hurricanes abate.

 

And when at last they crawled back out,

The skies belonged to voltine moths.

 

 

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