Wednesday 27 February 2013

The Ringses.

The Sung Version, 2009.

The curve of the path
The light on the hillside
The pines upon the ridge against the sky
The rush of wind & the sound that they make
The breath in his body as he climbs.

His song in the air
His hope, his fear
His muscles working hard at the hill
His memory of having been here before
Childhood like a flavour.

Sunlight, early in the morning,
Daily miracle of millenia
Blesses his passing
To the wide open hilltop
With moor scent sweet upon the wind

The view is as vast as his intention
To recognise that ancient mind
To reveal that world of adventure
& if you're open to the mystery
You never know what you'll find

Hills that are gathered like shadows
Laid hard & grey against the sky
Rounded by unthinkable time
Speak of a depth which we do not remember
Hills are Relatives.

Fell Sandstone
Ruin of ancient mountains
Bare flat platforms of stone
& back there in the prehistoric solar mangrove
Someone's playing a trumpet on the river bank.

So he comes all the way up from there
Through a thousand forests
Some revisited underground
Over fossilized ripples in the sand
Revealed by a later generation of waves.

Up through the old pine woods
That lead from the seacliffs to the hills
On paths beneath gorse & buckthorn
& winter bird swarms coiling
Like smoke in the sky.

He can hear the ancestors sing the songs of life
Living presence within the land
We dream of them
& they dream of us, we say:
They have their ways, live closer to the Root.

They are leaving ghostly finger marks
Visionary ripples, rings & cups
They slowly pecked out the forms
Of the mystery
Waiting to be revealed.

Circles & spirals of song
Like fruit on the branches of a tree
Constellations of pits
Covered by lichens & leaves
Messages from so long ago.

His own fingers have found them
& his wonder is a deep stone well
He need no explanation
Of their art, for it is art:
Maybe the highest of all.

The Ringses.
Perfection in a moment of knowing
The oneness of the ancient & the young,
The immanence of the wave that carries us all along
Patterns: a stone, a hill, a tree, a human hand.

A version of this poem can be found in my book, The Art of Conversation with the Genius Loci .  

Capall Bann Publications   tell me that the new revised edition will be ready by next week.

Other news! You may also be interested to know that my long poem Buddha of the Carboniferous,  has been sent to the printers this week.

Tuesday 19 February 2013

The Power of the Elements is Ageless.

photos by anne patterson

You're a
Ragged ogre
Jagged dark
A blade-crumb
Ash-flechette blanket,
Stream & rain dissected,
Bathed in fume,
Rearing troll-dark
From the bank
Huffing steam
Like a lung engine.

You're a
Lonely pillar,
Of the black strand,
Basalt columns
Hand cut by the
Frosty sea giant
With his wave-cleaver,
Home to the company
Of fulmariners.

You're the
Of merging
& separation,
Voice rainbow
Of the cliff division,
Blessing of
Primal waters,
Milk of the earth-cow,
Of the thunderer.

You are a
Of earth-force
Leaping forth
Into sunlit
Air of day,
Of the deep
& ancient world,
Birthed out
As an infant ray.

You're the
Green chorus,
Sun-mother's veil
Of mountainside shout,
The flicker feast
Of the flux line,
Luminous eminence,
Light pillar,
Pointing down at us.
Iceland 2013

Wednesday 6 February 2013

Welcome Home!

Original photo by Rainbow

Welcome Home! The gate-keeper says
To Druid-Town, to the bender ring
Where the mad, the awesome & the beautiful,
The feral children of Albion's rocky shore
Share their blood music & ancient lore;
Their stories & wisdom, their skills & their strength
Their tears & their cups of tea.

So here we stand, a druid tribe
In song-wave ringing, heart to hand
Face-light caught by the season's ray
Eye story life lines,
Warp & weft of Awen's mandala,
We come from all over the wondrous world,
Come in through the oak-leaf door.

The ash-bottle archive testifies
To the Dance of Life, to the hug circle,
To Earth's Blessing, to every kind of weather;
Countless small acts of kindness & love,
Rhythm of songs, pregnancy of silence,
Ritual power as we face the Mystery;
The Mystery of magic & of mirth.

The green & pleasant root-mother
Feeds & waters the family at her table
Ancestral hills, ancestral wood,
Ancestral presence in everything,
Ancestral dream-field; the ancestral word
Which we dare to utter so melodiously
Beneath the ancestral sky.

The druids of the ancient world
Who sang to bone & star, to stone & sun
Met beneath leaves to whisper triads there
Merged their blessings into Britain's Land
May they bless protect & guide us in the visioning of their art
To hold & be held, a sacred guardianship;
The love of all existences!

Original photo by Laura Cooper.

This was written during OBOD's Imbolc Camp 2013; now known as White Horse Camps at a session dedicated to the discussion of archives & photographs & the sharing of stories from the history of camp so far.