Posts tagged ‘language’

07/08/2013

The Summit of Pen-y-Ghent (Walk No. 7) – video poem

 

Pen-y-Ghent and Language

 

A video poem for Walk Number 7 from thecheesewolf’s series Ten Walks. This piece was filmed on Pen-y-Ghent (The Hill of the Winds) in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, northern England. One of the main themes of this poem is language and naming – in this case the names of hills. Pen-y-Ghent is believed to be the Brythonic name for the hill – it is very similar to the Welsh for “Hill of the Wind”. Clearly there is a Celtic resonance in the name, and there are many remnants of the pre-“English” cultures of the Dales. Indeed, on nearby Ingleborough there are the clear outlines of ancient round houses, and just up the dale from Pen-y-Ghent itself are the remains of a small Roman outpost. If you are ever in this neck of the woods, do try to check out Pen-y-Ghent, and the other hills around (Ingleborough, Whernside, Buckden Pike etc). It is a special place, and the food, wildlife and walking are all wonderful.

if you would like to read the poem, go to www.thecheesewolf.wordpress.com, it’s down below… Alternatively, click on the captions button on the video for a “sub-titled” version. this may not work on Kindles, for some reason.

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04/06/2013

A Week in Slovenia (Part 5 – Just Passing Through)

 

1. In the Lobby of a Hotel, Kranjska Gora, May 2013

 

Are we between the wars again?

Or back when Empires froze and stared

At mountains barely understood?

We take “the tour”, we are the world,

 

And then that gap has opened up.

There’s knowledge here no one can know:

Israeli cases, linen suits,

A sporting team, some Irish girls

 

(Who laugh, then buy too many drinks).

We all look lost, but some breeze through.

The world we are will shift and twist,

And leave us clinging to our pasts.

 

We see ourselves one step removed.

We pass our evening sharing time.

 

2. Listening to an Israeli Tour Group

 

I roll in music born of tongues,

The beauty of the unheard sounds,

The meanings gleaned from rise and fall,

The other worlds I cannot know.

 

A flow of fear and joy combined,

A mystery from a mythic prose:

There’s sun in there and lemon groves,

There’s salt and desert, birth and dreams,

 

And then the stillness when they leave,

Their final rumble lingers on.

I hear the echoes down the hall:

A question mark which breaks through song.

 

Whatever place the words come from,

The human voice always belongs.

 

 

3. Borders

 

One border is a mountain range,

An earthquake shattered caravan,

A sheer drop of broken seas:

We stand outside its distant age.

 

Another border has its plaques,

It hides in parks and deep in books,

It towers like the end of time:

We cannot touch its heroes here.

 

The final border has no words.

It creeps out from the forest edge,

It fights for life with every breath:

Its meaning is its force within.

 

We cross a line and sense a change:

The air is clear, the buildings strange.

 

 

4. New Europeans

 

The rain falls straight from limestone clouds.

She huddles tight beneath the roof

And stares at puddles, danced with drops.

The bus will come in half and hour.

 

In other years the water fell

On streets she felt she knew too well.

But now they melt around her feet,

Their patterns seem an old deceit.

 

Across the street another bus

Takes other people to the north –

Frustrated, tired and seeking truth,

Or work (whichever comes by first).

 

The rain falls straight, there is no wind.

The bus will come in half an hour.

 

 

19/05/2013

Lost for Words/Words for Loss

 

The words will cease one summer night:

Just midway through an opening line

A poem stops and calm descends.

They drain my veins these awful words.

 

The words have worth I never knew.

Their meanings hide in other minds,

They find their ways to pool their tricks,

They carve their tracks through broken hearts.

 

And I will stare at stars that night,

And see them just as points of light.

And I will feel the wordless dew:

Just notice it and know it’s true.

 

The words will mourn me in my void:

You’ll find the words despairing there.

 

 

26/01/2013

The Summit of Pen-y-Ghent (Walk No. 7)

 

So what is truth and what is not?

In words, the evidence of loss,

Of spirits swirling round the peak:

The nameless souls who named the hills.

 

I heard the songs, I saw the dance,

I felt the heartbeat in the rock,

I saw the springs of pasts converge,

I formed Brythonic words again.

 

This place – where lapwings guard the skies,

And ravens roll about their throne –

Has stripped my language from its roots:

My English never climbed this far.

 

Relentless winds have scarred its name,

Across the passing clouds of time.