Saturday, January 3, 2015

Mountain rhymes and reasons


White page written in red ink, a trembling hand misspelling stone.
A climbing wordsmith struggles here to articulate the lines.
Vague sentences hang from every page.
The previous author fought to handle the grainy texture,
his pen breaking repeatedly on the rough paper-stone.

Little wonder his words make no sense today; loose paragraphs
peppered with lichen stars, abbreviated using heather devices.

I would rewrite the story in my own words if I could decipher
the opaque script.
Cefn Goch is an old language, like Cornish.
A dead tongue poured over by romantics and mystics.

Words no longer spoken must remain hidden in the stone vaults.
Remembered in the oozing cracks and weeping edges that carry
the story.
Perhaps I will tear out the faded pages and start again, writing
a new ending to an old tale, or singing the stone in my own voice.
Pitch perfect.


Vagrant amongst the peregrine nation.
They are out there...somewhere....betrayed by the
mumbling rituals carried on a blind wind.
Swallowed amongst the fragile towers and peeling walls, 
they play their shadow games.
Pale scars on the high alter are drawn by empty hands.
Grey rocks and sods of earth explode and collect
on the scree slopes below.

Every now and then voices stun the void between us,
half men, half beasts, stumbling down the mountain's
damned aisle.
A box of crows ruptures the air,
a flash of colour which stains the emerald moment
and roots us back to earth.
They are on our route!


Gibbous moon over Slioch,
a frozen orb tilting towards a lunar sea,
gifted from twilight.
A frozen mountain hangs in a salmon dusted dream,
fixing itself in memory.
Up there I would find myself
amongst the bleached crow bones and starched heather.

Standing on air while the sea wind whips around my neck,
lifting hairs from stretched bare arms,
A discordant song ripping across my mind.

Feeling muscle rhyme with stone,
dance across lichenous slabs to arrive
beneath the raven walls and
find the hoary rib melt in my embrace.

Slioch...rainbowed in September's gloaming,
a fragile frieze stretched out and tacked to heaven.

If only I had the palette to paint you.


Folded in stone, the dark island whispers across the sound.
A velvet cipher captured between a quiet sea and a red washed sky.
In my dreams I land on Jura's clouded shores and carry the ashes
of my haunted past to scatter amongst the lilting paps
and diamond lochans.

I would bear my bittersweet wonder in a soaring stone
My scars cleansed in the salt blasted air.
Quiet voices caught in a ripping wind carry across the weeping
moors,fixed like a stone cross to an ancient world.

In Jura's heart a man could find his poetry and his art,
trawl its dark waters and find nourishment and wisdom.
Climb her mountains to find his children.
Make love in her sea caves; a bed built of driftwood and sand.
Fall asleep in ancient churches, a salmon sky cast through
the lime girt walls.

On Jura a man could dance and never lose his breath.
On Jura.


Working the green seam under a louring sky.
Cobs of earth and shards of stone tossed into the steel void
echo through the skylark spaces. 
Eagle Crag- its peeling face a drum
played by tired fingers.
Hanging from vapors, his swaddled frame bends the wind, 
slowly unwrapping the pallid core of the crag,
he moves through countries of stone, 
reaching deep into raven spaces.
All feathers, white fur, brittle skin.

A rock arcs to earth, exploding on the scree
before rolling through the bilberry door.
Muffled voices rant in corners; each player fixed in separate
hemispheres,connected to this spinning orb by instinct and fear.

William of the orange fleece; mining rock,painting stone,mixing oils.
Caught on the barbs of imagination.
An image of rapture fleshed and embossed on his own fire washed canvas.

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