"Ponderynge together yestardayes promise, and two-dayes doyng"
(Hall's Chronicle - 1548)

"Goronigl gwyr yr Ynys" (Lewis Glyn Cothi - 1450)

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Leaving ... Finding the Way

As for those who leave
everything we know
to walk the paths of forgetting,
what do they leave
behind them when they go?

Memories, certainly, for those of us
who stay - their presence
in our sense of who we are,
what we did with them and they with us;

Their deeds that continue in the world
they left, that chain of cause and effect
that death can never break;

Their presence in a universe where they
will always dwell, though identity
shifts and re-assigns cell by cell

because, though lives are lost,
Life always finds the way.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Soul Light

Out on the bog the heron's wingbeat
Fractures the waters below disturbing
It's mirror image so that I know
That life transcends death, though

The reflection is no longer there
As the bird lifts away from water
Into air, its other element but one
Where its soul life is clouded

As the sky is as if empty unlike
The otherness of water which contains
An other self and depths that swirl
Beneath the glitter of sunlight, soul light

Within the pond's absorption of the
Spectrum of the rainbow so that
Only a clear greyness shimmers
In the wind's fanning of quiescent fire.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

A Sunken Lane

Coming through the hollow ways
From open tracks across the hills
The path dips low beneath the trees
And, like a muddy river, falls

Between the banks of writhen roots
Clasping the walls of soil and stone,
The woven sides of a winding street
Roofed by leaves of dappled green

Shading out the distant sun
Of another world in the open air:
Here the gloom enfolds within,
There the gleaming light is clear.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Roman Burial - BATH

Did she come for the waters
of Aquae Sulis, to bathe or drink
from them? Did she come to the Goddess

of the springs welling hot from the earth?
Certainly she died here
far from her home in Gaul, though still

among her own people. Her memorial
a stone on the road beyond the walls
as Roman law decreed, tells us all

we know about her :"Rusonia Aventina
of the Mediomatrici died aged 58
and is buried here", ad fontes aquarum.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

John Cage, 'Metamorphosis of a Piano'- (On Sonatas and Interludes)- aTon...

Preparing a piano with screws and nails to play John Cage's 'Sonatas and Interludes'. The Atonal Hits YouTube channel also has performances of several of the pieces played by Illya Filshtinskiy. I met Illya and Katha on a walking holiday on the Isle of Skye two  years ago and  I have followed the channel ever since. Inspiring modern music!

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Storm Over Vesuvius

Vesuvius as the storm clears from the hills above Sorrento.

After the heat of the day, the afternoon brings thunder.
After the glare of the sunshine , dark clouds gather.

Across the bay of the sirens Vesuvius looms
But the flashing fire and the crashing booms

Come out of the air not the earth through the mountain:
Today there is no flow of lava, no burning fountain

Of molten rock to bury the ancient towns below in ash
But a relentless fall of rain engulfs the ruins no less

For half an hour or so then passes as soon as it came
As the clouds disperse and the sun fills the sky again

With fiery light. I look across at the volcano where standing
Two days ago on the edge of the crater I watched steam rising

Through a fissure from the heat of the boiling brew below
So I knew that someday once again it would break and blow

Fire and thunder into the sky and transform the land as it did
When the Romans of Pompeii and Herculaneum, though they hid

In cellars and other shelters, could not escape its coming, its storm
Bringing them immortality, their towns dug from the ashes and reborn:

The empty shells of their houses displayed as snapshots of the past,
The empty shrines of their gods a testament to what was lost.

Monday, 25 May 2015

A Glimpse of Summer

Last night, in the late twilight, but before it was dark enough for any stars to show, Venus blazed towards the western horizon with the crescent Moon and Jupiter nearby. This brought the approaching magic of the Midsummer season in spite of the coolness of the day. Yesterday began with rain but by evening the skies were a clear blue with hardly a cloud. Later, in the half-dark, I heard a night bird calling : a single note followed by a double note. What was it? Not an owl, though their calls are frequent through the woods across the valley at night. It haunted me to sleep.

Today it is cloudy again. No rain, but the woodland soil is wet underfoot. The stream rushes down the valley edged along its wet banks and up the rocky sides with beds of golden saxifrage. I sit, as often, on the seat by the well and drift into summer on the sound of the rushing waters. The small garden by the well-side is in full bloom. The meadows are lush with green speckled with yellow buttercups. The wood greening to shade as the leaf cover fills the branches. The path from the well to the ancient yew winds through a deeper shade past the younger yew trees that surround it.

As I emerge from the yew bower back into the light, Summer steals surreptitiously out of Spring.