Dawyck Anthology

A fine new poem from Gerrie Fellows, who also visited the Garden one fine day in September and wrote a guest blog (http://walkingwithpoets.com/?s=Gerrie+Fellows):

Seeded 

i

 

In mid-September   

a chill

among the uncut grasses                                                   

 

of an almost wild place                                                                    

quick birds in the undergrowth               Betula ermanii

papery barked    flares gold                                                      

 

almost wild                                     

as if in an orchard gone to seed                        

                           small dark berries of      Prunus grayana

feathery grasses    creeping buttercup      Miyama Cherry

seedheads of sorrel                                       

 

almost wild

as we say of a garden    run wild

in a season’s brief generation

yet tended:

 

 

a garden of the found                             collected, transported   

as seed or cutting:

 

                              cinnamon-barked      Rhododendron calophytum

                                                               carried from Sichuan

                                                               by ‘Chinese’ Wilson

 

                                  felted leaves of      Rhododendron bureavii

                                                               borne from Yunnan

to this damp island

where folded lichens grow

                        on the patchy barked      Nippon Maple

                                                               native to the montaine forests

                                                               of southern Japan

 

 

Under my hand:

                           the peeling husk of      a Flaky Bark fir

                                                               that might have grown

                                                               in Tibet’s high, slow altitudes

 

                               the corky bark of      Sequoiadendron giganteum

                       resistant to the fires of      its native place

(seeds falling from scorched cones          regenerate on ash)

 

 

In the labels we rub for knowledge     of name or origin        

                                                               place is elsewhere

                                                               an echo

                                                               a suggestion of the exotic

 

                                                         yet Korean whitebeam

                                                               and Spirea japonica

 

grow in this shady glen

in starred and creeping mosses               native to this place

 

and in late summer

                                 purples cones of    the Nikko fir

 

lie flared and empty    

flung outward         seeding perhaps      becoming native

in this new ground:

 

 

ii

 

this place

to which after 8,000 years                       Pinus sylvestris

has become native    

               earth enmeshed by roots of      birch    oak

                                                               Fagus sylvatica

 

from invisible entanglements                  Cep, False Chanterelle

                             fleetingly revealed

                                                               beechmast

                        lifting on a swirl of wind

 

 

Do air and water    (autonomous entrants

from the unaligned)    partake of it?

 

Leaves silvered in air   

turn light to sap    vision to substance

 


Molecules of water    restlessly

travelling      transformative    

of tree, soil, rock         of place

 

flow    through this particular habitat

this particular climate of temperate cold

 

are themselves transformed

                     through tree, soil, rock      becoming place:

 ************************

late addition to the Anthology

from Dani Gill in Galway:

The Cherry Tree

 You stooped over the roses like they were your children

Gloves, you wore none

and I knew each time

I watched you bend

that it would make your arthritis hurt.

And still you say you miss the garden.

 

In summer everything full bloom,

you

surveying your work

each petal

glorious

each shadow thrown

sacred.

 

There in the yard you crossed gravel to prune

Ivy, climbers

Dyed the wood for the trellis with your own hands,

fed clematis through terrace

Silently sowed things for all seasons

so that we would have colour year round.

 

You matched flower beds with the house

Plinths; cream magnolia

and weeded the ditches across the road

because they looked

neglected.

 

You went

Late spring

everything out

every tulip

every rose

 

           

On a dry summers evening I

am planting,

Taking roots into my hands,

I put them in and fill and think like a gardener.

I shovel until even my arms are sweating,

Push rocks to the side,

soil stained

gloves abandoned.

 

Standing back, it looks ordered and right and in place

 You will come and see my garden

a single pink cherry unbroken by wind

its branches still, centre, silent.

***********

from Kathrine Sowerby:

On not visiting Dawyck

I’ve heard there’s a tree

that smells of brown sugar

branches known to weep

leaves the colour of biscuits

orange, yellow and heart-shaped

********************

from Luke Allan – this beautiful, minimal poem. My post does not do justice to the stitched four-page original in two colours in its card folder:

PERPETUAL DEW CALENDAR

 

 

 

 

JANUARY

 

 

not yet dew

 

 

 

APRIL

 

 

dew any moment

 

 

 

JULY

 

 

dew now

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OCTOBER

 

  

not yet dew

***************

from Ellen McAteer

Walking the woods at sundown

a choice of paths

following the light

we find a lantern tree

the dying leaves

like stained glass

in the dusk

it gifts us a brand new conker

in its green wrapping

and a dry leaf

cupped like a hand

prompting talk of childhood Summers

family roots, branches, stalks

the freedom that Winter brings

to the leaf

*************************

from Linda France:

Sofa Wellingtonia

 

or maybe it’s a bed –

the world’s tallest headboard.

I install myself against

forgiving corrugations

warmed by low sun.

Afternoons like these

we are never alone.

Until I’m startled back

from my sequoia dreaming,

the cushion of stilled time –

a pheasant’s rusty alarm –

home from that sweet home

when trees are all

the furniture we need.

image: Tris Tolmie

*********************************

A poem from Mark Weiss (New York):

Processing the common data.

These sensitive appendages are what you see.

Prehensile   prebucal
grabs and bites, comes forth
like the tongue of a hummingbird.

Motu perpetuo of tiles
of the distribution of weight a study,
weightlessness, symmetry become
the natural order. World
and garden, 
there are rules
to be found.

Naming fingers.

2 cows = pig.
Let us assume
an abstract finger.
Many arguments.

I am the lord or lords of disorder.

Hunger   says the cat
brings down the bird

Amphibians? 
Bought it.
And mosquitoes rejoice.

The disappearance of figure into ground a result of experience unmediated
by inhibition–that all phenomena are equal, absent the interests peculiar 
to the moment and the observer.

The world devoid of sentiment or choice, outside ourselves at best become 
unnavigable hallucination. Which is to say, if you can’t reduce it to a map 
and a path you can’t walk it.

Champêtre. Champing at the bit.
Befall the fell fate.
Pecks its way forward on the grass.
Paths rich with the ooze of slugs.

For obedience threaten the wayward child with abandonment.

Confusion of horse and horsewoman.

Not so much self as trajectory.

Where else have you found this degree of order?

I am he
who walked
from tree to tree,

tore off shreds of cloth
to mark a passage
and all that was left
was shreds of cloth.

My wife that was.

Put it behind me—wind’s in the sail and the car
lurches with impatience. What freedom
compares to a tank of gas?

Its liquid grace.

Soars downwards,
wings vertical,
flap flap.
Contact.
And hops, not sticking
the landing.

****************************************

Book of the Peony

by Gaspar Orozco from Mexico, translated superbly by Mark Weiss:

Flower, no flower.

(…)

 It arrives like a dream of Spring

                                                for how long?

 Flower, no flower.

(…)

It leaves like the morning clouds

 

 Bai Juyi

 

1

 

*

 

The first page of the book of the peony is lost. Something about mirrors and snow and roads found after long travel. Something about slow architectures, fires that leave the walls standing but the interiors reduced to ashes. Something about the lost lights of the city or cities lost in the light of dawn. Something about the most delicate aromas and a tingling. It’s useless to try to remember. I have tried. The words too fast, too slender, too passionate, for memory. Compelled to return to write this page again.

 

The first page of the book of the peony is always still to be written.

 

 

*

 

I built a city around the peony.  Its first ring opened onto the water—red gold—and spread outwards: circles upon circles. First I built a bridge that was broken in half and a pavilion facing north. Then I built a temple white with the salt of the sea and planted a garden white with the salt of the wind. The radio antenna that transmitted encoded messages at midnight was the refuge of birds that flew over the island. A moment came, without my noticing, when the city began to design itself, growing as much awake as  sleeping. Other buildings followed, among them a zoo filled with animals with a blue gaze and a glass planetarium to witness the trajectory of a single star. Now there are too many places that I don’t know, too many streets without names in unknown neighborhoods where I will never go.

 

I don’t remember when, but there was a night the peony disappeared from the center. I don’t know what energy held it together, but the city remained standing. From a distance—because I write from a distance—the city sparkles like the shards of a broken bottle in  the sand.

 

*

I cover the windows of the room facing the river with black paper. No light, except for what comes through the small tear that I made in the paper. Camera obscura. The weightless film of the world seeps through a pinhole. The inverted image of the island sticks like a damp salt to the ceiling, the wall, my hands, and the back of my neck—to the white page: the infinite peony that glows in that moment—copper changing to nocturnal gold as I watch.

 

*

Within the flower

the firefly burns:

there is no memory

 

 

*

 

The idea of that peony unfolds fully-formed in the mind. Then the brightness comes forth, the unimaginable energy breaks free. Touched and overcome by so great a discharge, the skull becomes transparent and is filled with light—a vessel overflowing with the singular glow of that image.

 

 

 

 

*

 

Your fragrance

made visible: the night

light-filled

 

 

 

*

 

Unknown flames

are reflected

in the mirror

 

Kikaku

 

 

Facing the mirror, the peony bends its empire. It demolishes and rebuilds its double in the depth of that water. Nonetheless a slight fracture between the two hemispheres of the fire is noted. Two times, one light. If forced to choose, favor the reflection—it’s the truer.

 

 

*

 

The black peony shines brightly on the final sharp edge of the moment. Its escape scorches the surface it reaches—the sky of the mouth, the white of the eye, the parietal violet. You will find its outline scratched on the wall of the furthest cell of the empty madhouse, on the only image rerun on the blind television. Its diagram  burns on the smoky mirrors of the leprosarium, on the x-ray of the inferno that hides in your entrails, on the garden tattooed on the corpse’s fingers.

 

The black peony shines brightly with the total silence that covers the earth in the aftermath of lightning.

 

 

*

 

 

High tide

in memory the flower

a dark fire

 

*

 

Watching the peony’s light until it vanishes. Watching the vanishing until one vanishes. Then and only then, within your eyes, will the peony be.

 

*

 

The deepest arcanum of the peony isn’t its light, its untameable flame, its boundless sparkling palace. Nor does it unfold in its opalescent shadow, that small nocturnal opera. You won’t find its enigma in the open sea of its fragrance, in its perfume of a thousand petals that storm and mountain, snow and sand take turns with.

 

The peony’s ultimate art, its mystery, is given to you in its trembling.

 

*

 

The peony

turns noon

to midnight

*

 

 

It was given to me to cross each leaf of water, to overcome the wax aromas behind whatever hid the wild honey. I was granted the power to loosen the knot that binds the circle of mirrors. Prenatal privileges I owe to my opaque and incomplete constellation. When I crossed the threshold of this warm room my responsibility was to search within the flower for what it sought outside itself. A communion of the found and the lost.

 

When I reached the depth of the peony, it opened itself to the sea, it broke in an endless wave that annulled all distance.

*

 

The end of night leaves beneath your eyelids a peony’s slender glass. This happens when the dream withdraws but still retains its power over you. The flower is real, each petal a vivid truth—a sorrow from the first fire. But it’s not about that peony. Enclosed within this flower by the magnetic dictate of the dream, though separate, though reflected: the lightning.

 

*

I follow your scar:

a thread that guides me

through the labyrinth

 

*

 

The poet Ou Yangxiu wrote in 1034 his “Account of the Peonies of Luoyang.” Somewhere he mentions the peony “Wei Huang,” one of the most costly varieties then, with as many as 700 petals. Its rare color he defined as “double pink,” the same term he used to describe the most intimate hue of certain courtesans. But it was also the name that he gave to a kind of dream, in which beings and places are seen once and never return. A kind of dream, it is written, that change forever the lives of those who receive them.

*

Remake the ocean from a drop of water. Raise mountains from a stone. The leaf contains the forest within it, as a grain of sand retains the memory of every dune. The history of time can be reconstructed from the fading patch of light on the wall.

 

I rebuild for myself an empire from this petal.

*

 

They asked him the color of the peony. He didn’t answer. The conversation turned to other subjects. A little later, the man—of whom nothing is known, except the power of his pen—quietly retired from the place. They saw him take the stony path toward the southern mountains.  Nothing more was heard of him. On the table was found a wrinkled piece of paper on which these words were written: The color of the thin wound that the eclipse may open in the water only once. And it remains in the gaze.

 

The invention of the this incident is attributed the the poet Meng Haoran. It would appear on a page of his “False Memories of Hanshan,” an album that brings together drawings, stories and poems. The only known copy was lost in 1864 in the fall of Nanjing, the final incident of the Taiping War.

 

*

 

From your scent

I reconstruct

the vanished city

 

*

 

The peony, unfolded on my body. Like a centipede that sticks its sweet needles into its enemy, thus are odors submerged in the skin. With eyes half-open I come to see how amnesia crystallizes, how its weightless quartz is formed in me. In the fullness of time, a brief flight separates the peony from my body: the rising of a dragonfly above a mirror, of a hummingbird whose ember iridesces above a snowy path. The shadow of the ascension: union. I closed my eyes to flood myself with darkness, to keep the attendant fire beneath that black wave. The suspended peony consumes the eye that dares to touch it.

*

 

Alchemy of open eyes. The peony seen before birth. Its light left suspended in the gaze until it finds its unique shape on the surface, its identity among the ten thousand beings. Then the other color of history begins to flow, to blur—a hovering copper, the briefest cobalt of disappearances. Alchemy of closed eyes. The flower that never stops unfolding, never stops fading. Phosphorescence that beats within the hearts of all shadows, sharp dew that covers the island in its disintegration through the night.

*

The flower’s darkness

between my fingers:

a lost aroma

*

 

The butterfly has lost its little battle. As it’s about to approach the peony the wind overwhelms those frail bronze wings. The infinite distance of that which is closest to us. Traversed by the same force, the flower trembles. The butterfly will attempt the impossible once more. And again. And yet again. You know it and I know it. The creature and the flower subject to the empire of the wind. In this one second film Hokusai reveals to us the exact mechanism of fate.

 

*

Crossing the island to get to the peony. Every voyage to the peony is secret, every glance at it will be both enigma and risk. So it’s a matter of a silent journey in the dark interior of noon. To approach this fate you rid yourself of past lives, skins tattooed by styluses of other waters, by the shadows of other winds. You will arrive thus before the peony, stripped of memory, all language lost, a page unwritten on which the only light proceeds from the memory of a tree. A traveler without memory, you will never be sure if you returned from this voyage once before.

*

 

Two peonies. One, imprisoned in its cocoon, a jade eye, waits. The other, an apparition, a ghost peony. An anemone set in the water of a previous morning.

 

Bada Shanren painted this in March of 1699, a present for a friend on the day of the festival of flowers. He accompanied that image with a poem about the flower to come and the flower that ruled in the light of former days. At the conjunction of those two times the peony that trembles at this moment is born.

*

A locked garden:

the peony burns

its secret light for you

 

*

 

 

 

The burning edge of the petal. It’s there the danger lies. Evidence of a dawn immobile on the sand. Proof of the end of a world and the birth of another. On the reverse, the emblem of salt on its last voyage. Whatever may graze this cutting edge will be cut in two and lose one of its halves forever.

*

 

The firefly

is extinguished on the petal:

there’s no forgetting

*

 

Writing the remembered peony, coming back to mark the path of its labyrinth, I won’t come to the end. It’s not that the bottom of a subject which is perpetual transformation is unreachable—memory, I know, is a drop of water that changes and evaporates its landscapes every minute. Rather, I believe in leaving the door ajar, neglecting to close the windows so that the sea of night may enter and change with us into day, that the land of day may end by changing with us into night.  There’s no conclusion. No end. The peony leaves unfolded on our eye its incomplete outline, perfect in its imperfection.

*

 

You call it peony. I call it emptiness.

 

New York, Autumn and Winter 2010

 

 

 

 

2

*

 

Red enveloped in a reddish light. Facing me, only half the peony. The other half hidden in the impenetrable obsidian of this nocturnal return. Thus, half-open, the divided flower invited me to detach the flame from its flame. And I didn’t do it, mortally wounded by the kind of weariness that had separated me from that apparition. I asked myself, of course, what fire would burn in the invisible part of the flower? What letter of fate would have been inscribed in that zone forbidden to me. What part of me would have been boiled away in that aroma, in that unreachable dampness? Like being at the gates of a city impenetrable in the beauty of its half-light, but that now you would have no interest in entering, because you know that there’s nothing there.

 

Here I merely note the red and black: colors of the final dream.

 

 

Los Angeles, October 2011

 

 

At the stroke of a midnight in 1765, Master Ito Jakuchu discovered the unstable temperature traversing the territory of the flower that breathed in the half-light. It’s not clear if the discovery occurred in one of his dreams or in one of that summer’s vigils. What’s important for us is the detailed record he made of that vision, the first of the 27 that he gathered under the title Images of the Colorful Kingdom of Living Beings. There is a violent stillness in the petal, an immobile turbulence that spreads its phosphorescent venom like a wave washing over the onlooker’s nervous system. Time changes from snow to flame and flame to clotted blood. Daiten Kenjo, poet-friend of Ito’s, noticed this, and named the painting Beautiful Mist and Fragrant Wind. A luminous, revealing mist, an iridescent wind that causes what it touches to boil. Time like the peony, like the peony that melts within our eye.

 

In the powerful unfolded petal he could see its fall, and in its fall his own disintegration. Could this not be an early image from the pen of the poet Bai Juyi, his first lesson of beauty? Since we will never know beauty entirely, however, the poet gathered from the soil of the Empty Gate a handful of those petals. He sent them to his friend, the Buddhist monk Wang, to learn whether another answer to the infinite enigma locked in that flower could be found.

 

We have no record of the monk’s reply.

 

Here I leave the flaming peony, burning in its transparent flame. Unfolded in the darknesses of its aroma. Wounded. I leave the peony in the disarmed water of this night. I entrust it—like a light maybe never to be seen again—to the time of this blind moment that melts away as I write.

I leave it here, illuminating you.

 

The outline of the map is made on the apex of an egg with the tip of a hair. It’s a secret garden of Suzhou, known to a few for the rarity of its peonies.  The garden of the master of nets, according to the tiny letters on the gate. At the far edge of the eastern side, on the shore of the lake, the melancholy walker, touched by a thirst for clarity and a yearning for oblivion, will find the Cabin of Belated Spring.  Because of its remote location, it’s the best place to witness the moment when the petals unfold. Its name comes from a verse by Su Dongpo: “Only the peony flowers even in a late Spring.” It’s said that the solitary wanderer will find there what he looks for, once the last flower of the year has dissolved into the air.

I take the object carefully in hand and observe it for a moment in silhouette. Translucent, orange, almost blood-colored. Afterwards, I leave it on the surface of the pond.

The egg, and the tiny garden, sink slowly into the green water of a pond.

 

The cage fits in the hollow of your hand. It’s an imperial prison made especially for a fighting cricket. Delicately carved out of red wood, a peony spreads its petals in a labyrinth with no exit. Stamped with the year 1725, the cage belonged to Prince Bao, before his ascension to the throne in 1732 as Emperor Qianlong. The prince kept in it his favorite insect, a cricket with a purple head that never lost a single one of its innumerable matches.

 

They say that on the shortest night of the year its song can be heard escaping through the holes in the lid. They assure us that the cricket waits still for the gate to be opened to face its final battle.

 

And that all those who have been at any moment a prisoner of the flower may live forever.

 

I close my hand: I capture the burnt flower.

I open my hand: nothing.

 

***********

Poems from Alec Finlay:

after Ezra Pound &  Samuel Johnson


 

(I)

 

A RISING

EARTH-BOUND

ROOT

 

tree

 

 

 

 (II)

 

 

trees die and the dream remains

 

 

the dream dies and trees remain

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note

 

On his Tour, Johnson bemoans the lack of trees in the Highlands, goading Boswell, as his friend recalled: ‘As we travelled onwards from Montrose, we had the Grampion hills in our view, and some good land around us, but void of trees and hedges. Dr Johnson has said ludicrously, in his Journey, that the HEDGES were of STONE; for, instead of the verdant THORN to refresh the eye, we found the bare WALL or DIKE intersecting the prospect. He observed, that it was wonderful to see a country so divested, so denuded of trees.’ In the Dictionary Johnson quotes Shakespeare to characterize the rooted quality of a tree. The second of these poems in homage to Johnson follows a ring in Ezra Pound’s Canto 90.

*********************************

A long walking poem/ meditation from Juana Adcock from the Camino de Santiago:

The Science of Perambulation

 1. Orisson, horizon at the edge of the valley

The first thing you notice is pain, of course.

Aching thighs, coxis turning slightly. Pain

au chocolat. Tiny muscles in your bare feet

elasticate against angular gravel

brought from elsewhere.

Looking down at the sea clouds

frothing between the peaks.

The horned sheep’s long, grass-coloured hair

swaying in the wind drawing thin stems.

The act of balancing what was brought

against what others have.

The house that hangs from your shoulders,

the washing line from the strings of your sunhat,

the stones that roll from your toes up to your hip socket,

clicking.

How to walk until you’ve used up the last grain.

How to sleep, small, alone,

watching the tail of the Milky Way turn

on the earth’s axis—a staff of almond wood,

its smooth bark in your hand.

2. Roncesvalles, valley of prickly shrubs

The Song of Roland was all about horses,

about drops of Saracen blood hanging from thorns,

and oliphants singing heroes where only death –

I drink from Roland’s fountain and watch

the water get stuck between words,

oui le chanson meaning nos vamos

pa’l otro lado

how the erdara letters were carried in gourds and wineskins

in the bellies of lutes and the jugulars of juglars

through txabolas and akelarres

over mesetas, valles y campos

finite earth

3. Irotz, the other iron-clad

Between the oven of Irotz and the mount of Nerval

there is a swarm of straw-coloured locusts.

They fly bloodwings in the air around your shins,

bump onto your blessed pilgrim toes.

You crouch through the dusty stridulation,

knees creaking, hips clicking like locust.

I want to untie your sandals,

wash your feet in my tears like a mystic.

You know there is abundance

in having nothing.

4. Ciraqui, the circus of surplus

A monument of haystacks

red-struck by dawn. Castle-like.

And a cohort of knackered sunflowers,

bowing their heads for our sins.

How I wished to be alone.

How I left behind a man

dragging his suitcase.

5. Alto del perdón

The hill of forgiveness isn’t much.

It’s more the round stones, coming down,

castigating knees. Little olive trees,

giving and giving. The metallic growl

of industry, eating away at the land.

The packs of humans, descending en mass.

Pretty leaves, I wish I could keep you.

6. Grajera, grains of higher

SW W NW, floats the compass before my eyes.

A snail, translucent in the morning sun

slops that slowness is the quick of the ambulator.

A sprig of lavender in my hair, and how we woke

by the lake, on cracked mud, phosphorescent blue

mould, like the sceptre of that blue

flower of thorns. But that’s not

what I wanted. I always knew what I wanted

until

until

My legs, spread out in front of me

I rub medicinal oils in preparation

for a day’s work.

How did I never know?

7. Burgos, land of burials

I ride my stone horse to the cathedral –

those stone carvings pointing up to the sky.

Like the cementery cypress

sending sick souls up. My hips closed,

flirting with the fall. Tall windows,

to watch the red rooftops,

the windmills flying away.

8. Meseta, table plain

¿Caminante no hay camino?

Worst lie in poetry.

The path is well marked

in yellow arrows of urine.

Toilet paper strewn around edges

in case you weren’t sure.

Lest you stray

***********

A poem from Andrei Dosa, from Romania, a poem concerning both gardens and a bestiary . . . in a way:

positive. comparative. superlative

 

you got me into this mess you get me out

fool here she lives loved by a fuckin rat

there’s a golem in the back of my garden

i feed him sawdust and horseraddish

i’m taken down by opium all the time oh

there are only neon lights at the mall now

the church militates against our generation

i slip inside her a grip vice full of oil stains

the tv’s on a man’s sitting at the table

he’s reading something written on a paper

he says we’re out of supplies out of ideologies

 

********

A poem by Eileen Ridley, who visited Dawyck  (a companion piece to her poem below):

Another journey

It was like the taster to the meal –

the painting of the Jesus tree in the lobby

the books of wod

and the benches of ash.

The butterflies are in my belly

as I consider the mains of the arboretum –

its veins of paths running up through

the massive, the meaty, the lush

and the spiky and the silky.

And for afters, squinting in the sun,

writing on a tray,

replete with green.

*****************

A fine walking poem from Bridget Khursheed, who visited Dawyck today:

The walk to school

 

Our path’s geometry through the purple-headed grass

is mappable strong lines and blunt angles

a point of divergence when the stream is dry

or if we are in a hurry

an irregular quadrangle coinciding at the entry

to the rugby field

Its four corners marked by

fox’s territorial dropping

the nailed-shut gate of Bessie Reid’s field

a dead hedgehog

a sign prohibiting canine fouling

Within this structure are the dandelions

whose stems we can only kick free to convert

after the clocks have ticked away

swallows pink bellies just above them

that I always mark as martins

falcon pellets in the dried-up burn bed

or wet all-terrain sandals

and a plank bridge that does not fit the water

It doesn’t connect

a balanced spring dislodges

the wren’s nest

the kestrel and one fieldfare

pine cones and the worn-out path

the council try to discourage

salvageable litter on Abbotsford Road’s pavement

The weather we have learnt always and never perfect

in the scheme the nature of things

*********

Two love poems from the Garden

1: Happy childhood

It’s looking back.

You gain one way.

He doesn’t even notice

it’s flowering.

(Kath)

2: The Essence

I didn’t know it was a hard life.

I was an only child; mother lost a child.

Music has been my life; music running through my brain.

She had a warmth of brothers

I discovered the essence, an awareness

I discovered what real love is.

(Tom)

**************

Beats and Surrealists in The Garden

 

          I love these cold flowers of laughter                           

          Paths where the light has slipped                      

          Breezes from Eden cover us                                      

          The nasturtium is one of ourselves

                  

                                                Grown grass, grass green growing

                                                Flickering forest leaf shadows passed

                                                Fruit, seed & flower dance equally

                                                                In the moist chilly warm yin air

 

                             Hedged about with primroses, with promises      

                             They plant seeds, they smile                                     

                             Aria for the dancing light                                  

                             The sound is of bees                   

                            

                                                          The blue & the wind

                                                          Use our garden in a beneficial manner

                                                          Sunbeam perpetuates a steady ardour

                                                          Her heart of herbs

Participants

Alice Rahon, Diane Di Prima, Nadja, Hettie Jones, Emmy Bridgewater, Janine Pommy Vega, Jeanne Megnen,  Joanne Kyger, Anne Waldman, Maggie Graham.

*****

The Plant

A man in a grey-flecked hat
has an old Begonia grandiflora
that his father once gave him.
He waters it
with his long beard hanging
or his face in shadow
or his dreams unravelling,
the thin spout of the can
splashing at least eighty years
into the present tense,
the taut stems,
the flowering heads,
their resistance to humanity,
their fleshiness.

Em Strang

*****

Elemental charm
infusing inspiring
upward breaths from
the one point.
That centre where we
Meet all other beings.

Robert

One thought on “Dawyck Anthology

  1. Pingback: Dawyck Anthology | Cutia Neagră

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