Posts tagged ‘river’

03/08/2013

A Breath (A Stream) – video poem

 

 

A video poem of the piece A Breath (A Stream). This video poem was filmed in the summer of 2013, and is of the upper reaches of the River Wharfe (Yorkshire Dales National Park, England).

It is one of a series of video poems made to accompany my 14 line poetry.

 

The words for the poem can be found in this collection (below).

Advertisements
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

11/04/2013

The Frozen River

 

To fish the lonely winter beck

He wears a summer hat of straw,

And walks for miles through snow and ice.

There is no other human trace.

 

At night he has a makeshift hut

Of bark and reeds and bended birch.

The fire he lights is cold by dawn.

He’ll stay until his brandy’s gone.

 

A heron has the further bank.

They eye each other with respect.

As snow is falling, heron flies,

And drags behind a trail of drops.

 

The river steams with freezing mist.

The old man’s breathing joins the cloud.

 

 

Poem after Liu Tsung Yuan

 

11/04/2013

The Halcyon Beasts

 

Above are creatures born of flies

Which stab and spike and reek of blood.

The tales all speak of nests they make

From neatly piled up bones and scales.

 

It’s said their wings are sky made flesh,

And dry as drought their awful skin.

It’s said they scream beyond all sound,

And move so high they breathe the clouds.

 

And if these creatures mark you out

There’s nothing you can do to hide.

No reedbed thick, no lily-pad

Will keep you safe, will save your life.

 

The creatures of the deathly air

Form rainbows from our world’s despair.

 

 

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.

 

 

26/01/2013

The Waters of the Acheron Gorge (Walk No.1)

 

The storm had turned the river white,

And everywhere the waters flowed.

The plain trees dripped and deadwood drenched,

A thousand springs welled through the rock.

 

We took the river, cold and deep,

And waded past Achilles’ stream.

Our footsteps on the gravel bed,

The same as heroes, gods and men.

 

And from the water, plants and air

We sensed a deeper current there:

The flood would usher in the heat,

And Demeter would swell the fields.

 

From facts we walked, from knowledge fixed.

Then – story drenched – emerged in myths.

 

 

02/01/2013

The Echo Sylphs of Winter

 

The day closed in with mist and rain

And hills dissolved as shadow clouds.

The limits of the air and land

Were waters flowing, merged and blurred.

 

The river rolled its mirror heart,

And trout were birds and birds were trout.

As peat-smoke was the mid-day sky:

It sank through depths of weed and pike.

 

A dead tree, shattered by a storm,

Now spiked its bark into the fog.

As fungus drenched its core in spores

And from its tips the tree dripped life.

 

The air was heavy, forests light,

The river floated, day was night.

 

 

07/11/2012

The Tides of the Severn (1982 – 2012 – 2042)

(“Look deep into nature and you will understand everything better”:  A. Einstein)

 

When free I cycled past Llanwern

Where all about was coated bronze,

And warblers chattered in the reeds,

And sang away the thumps of steel.

 

Then past the railway, orchard, church,

And out on to the flat and green,

Where grey was liberated earth,

And land was sea and sea was sky.

 

My bike had kicked the salt and mud

Until my legs were driftwood black.

As oystercatchers yelped and fled

I flew the bike to scatter more.

 

Then out as far as land would hold,

I stopped to place myself in life:

How distant Newport seemed and small,

Out here where worlds dissolved and flowed.

 

In thirty years I might return

To where that marshland used to be,

To find how even memories

Are washed away by rising tides.

 

In thirty years I’d look around

And note how cities fought the sea,

And blamed the sea, and blamed the sky,

And built their barricades so high,

 

And there I’d stand, a crooked man.

A mile inland from where I rode,

I’d watch the Severn lap the church

And wash away the graveyard walls.

20/07/2012

The Song of Ondine (River Wharfe)

 

On rocks the minnow rapids dance,

And dippers walk beneath the play.

In silver skins of feathered air,

They take the sky and make it swim.

 

Between the flits of wide and shallow,

The river digs in deep and settles.

Its banks are full of martins’ burrows.

Its calms are ancient, cool and still.

 

And that’s the point where waters white

Are sucked into the mouths of trout,

Which hang, then turn and dart, then hang:

A momentary flash, then gone.

 

And through them all her singing flows:

The dipper, trout, the clouds, and time.

02/01/2012

Grey Wagtail

 

The river racer, foam of sulphur,

Is dart and shivered mercury.

A scattered feather, pitched in peat,

Which whisks the water’s surface clean.

 

A never still, a bobbing weave,

A flight and dance, a flip of tail,

Its tick tricks time, alarmed and shrill,

Is chasing after waterfalls.

 

Then up and gone on undulations:

A shallow trace of wings and air;

A shadow left on deeper reaches;

A moment’s fire of fight and life.

 

And left, a woodland’s damp is hanging,

Awaiting echoes from the streams.

 

(first published in the collection “From the Shore”, 2011 – Shore Poets)