Posts tagged ‘truth’

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.

 

26/07/2013

The Apple Trees (Video)

 

 

 

 

video of my poem The Apple Trees. The text version is earlier in this collection.

 

 

23/06/2013

Peripheral Vision (Turrell Light)

 

The dark absorbs all sense of self.

A draining whole, negating space.

I stand and stare, alone and small,

A mind as lost as light itself.

 

There is no movement, nothing drifts,

The echoes of the first and last.

As flux eternal overwhelms,

The grip on truth disintegrates.

 

On truth: on what was built as such.

These fragments dazzled by our words,

These hopes and histories which choke.

That truth, that fraud, collapses in.

 

And I am left: a tiny thing,

A light in light, a flame in flames.

 

 

09/06/2013

Night Birds Calling

 

In other times, on darker nights,

The ones who carved the stones would quake

At forest howls, at spirit streams,

At shadows flitting through the trees.

 

But us: we see the lights of planes,

We hear the distant hum of roads,

We search the nightjar – tick that box –

We walk straight lines of forest tracks.

 

Oblique we stand – their world breaks through –

There’s distance here that we can’t know.

We hear the birds, we sense the fear:

Religion, science, mean little here.

 

Our pride and indolence are new,

These creatures scream from something true.

 

 

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.

 

 

20/04/2013

Under the Tree

 

So let’s not say that time will end,

Instead let’s watch the summer light

Come pouring through the valley leaves,

As if there were no other place.

 

And let’s not say it passed us by.

The earth beneath our feet is firm:

It stays the same – it doesn’t change –

We touch it, know it, share its pull.

 

So yes, we’ll simply linger on,

And take our shelter from the rain.

We’ll wait until the wind has calmed.

We’ll wait until the sun returns.

 

These moments, here beneath this tree,

Mean everything to you and me.

 

 

18/02/2013

The Prophecy of the Raven

 

I.

I see the silence of my grave,

The wind, the hill, the mists of dawn,

The open beak and broken back,

The feathers thick with blood and moor.

 

I see the sunrise on my bones,

And light the tips of flightless wings

Which flutter in the gentle breeze,

As up above a skylark sings.

 

I see the fungus raid my flesh,

And watch myself dissolve in earth.

The seeping soil that once was me,

Will host my cold and strange rebirth.

 

My call rings out with joy and life:

I’ve seen beyond this pointless strife.

 

 

II.

I see an ocean in my eyes,

My feathers brushed with scales of fish,

My learning heart is formed of sparks,

I sense the tremors of the sun.

 

I see these pasts unfurl their tales,

Though barely one has yet begun.

I know the path that each will take,

Entropic embryos of fate.

 

I see my breath will join the breeze:

A moment’s warmth then lost in clouds.

Those clouds were once my pulsing blood,

They soon will fall as ocean rain.

 

I see my place and know my time:

I call from lungs, from heart, from mind.

 

 

III.

I see the world come round again,

The days of sleek and gleaming hue,

The night of warmth and sheltered wing,

The feathered signs, connected lines.

 

I see the places we once flocked:

The silent mountains ground to dust,

The ancient forests thick with moss,

They melt away in lakes of loss.

 

I see the passing of my kind,

But sight continues on through time,

Beyond the vanished arch of earth,

Beyond the burning universe,

 

I see what will be, not what might:

I shake my feathers loose for flight.

 

 

IV.

I see beyond the light of now,

Through cold eternities of space.

Out there where all the cycles end,

I see the elements descend.

 

I see that emptiness in life,

The ice within the spark and flame,

The pleasures burning in the pain:

I see the sun within the rain.

 

I see the dissipating whole,

Each smile’s inception births a death.

The reason why the pasts collide:

They are the future, form its pull.

 

My wings will take me to the stars:

But ever distant they fly on.

 

 

V.

I see the beauty in your kind,

And how the few will fear your rise.

They try to crush your nascent form,

Deride, despise and spread their bile.

 

I see the distant turn their backs,

And others shout to hide your cries.

They buy and hoard their island shames,

They warm their claws in stolen lands.

 

I see a constellation formed

From stars beyond your senses reach,

And in that gathered throng of stars

Another knowledge will be lit.

 

I call toward that beacon’s pulse:

I see your hope begin to rise.

 

 

VI.

I see tomorrow, cold and dark,

But in the ashes seeds will crack,

And something good will bloom again:

Something simple, pure and free.

 

I see a place where every word

Is set for all to hear and hold,

Where those who live and those below,

Are given space in which to grow.

 

I see the ones who suffered most

Respected, cherished held aloft,

And power flowed from one to all,

Together sung, together born.

 

I tumble through the misted skies:

And call to all the things I’ve seen.

 

VII.

I see your plans and see your pride,

The shields you raise to passing time,

Disputed tales you hold as truth,

When miracles are not enough.

 

I see the mountains ground by ice,

Until they fill the river plains.

The deepest oceans touch the clouds,

Within their depths volcanoes rage.

 

I see your cities spread and rise,

Their fortunes fed by starving mouths.

Your churches made to scar the skies,

Their limits set within your minds.

 

I fly above your world of gold:

There is no future here foretold.

 

VIII.

I see the rocks which were a sea,

The bones of fish on mountain tops,

The fertile lands and desert sands,

They are the journey we will make.

 

I see the cooling universe,

The metal heart of aging stars,

The moment when it all unites,

The moment when the silence falls.

 

I see beyond the end of time,

Beyond the consciousness and pain.

I see the track our spark will take,

When all is nought and sight will end.

 

I raise my beak and shake my wings:

I call the wondrous state of things.

19/01/2013

Like Hummingbirds and Astronauts

 

Above the chaos, lives and clouds

A stillness – silver, pure as light –

Envelopes all and coats the stars,

Creates the blue and planet’s curves.

 

Above, in flight, as one we flow,

As lines, as points, as rippled air,

As pressure nodes of thunder’s birth,

We burst a universe of wings.

 

And there where blood and breath won’t flow,

Our feathers brush the edge of space,

And on this stratospheric arch,

Our wings touch tips then head for Earth.

 

We carry in our hearts the calm.

We’ve seen the truth: it’s all there is.

 

 

19/01/2013

The Carpenter’s Oak

 

Beneath the patina of oak,

The sap of ages weighs the worth

Of prayers and hopes, of rights and wrongs,

Without the curse of falling leaves.

 

The carver and the carved are found

United in this judge’s bench.

In every cut are questions marked:

Belief and doubt are scratched the same.

 

And where the rational preaches calm

The oak will stretch a hanging rope.

Its shadow falls on certainty:

The measured minds will lose their voice,

 

Beneath the words the oak spreads roots.

Behind the incantations: fear.

 

 

(poem inspired by various stories of M.R. James)

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.

 

 

17/05/2012

The Minotaur’s Truths

 

It’s just the same wherever cast,

The skeletal remains of beasts,

The broken doors, and backs, and will,

And eyes which shine at thoughts of death.

 

The innocent will take the blame.

The ones without will give it all:

The miners, herders, old folk, kids.

The shoeless walk the hardest path.

 

And deep below the brutal horns

Are gouging at another throat,

And taking yet another life,

And making yet another pound.

 

The creature knows the way of things,

It counts its truths and deems them fair.