Goodbye Old House

It was a dark moonless night

when the clock struck noon

and the cat turned and looked at me twice.

She shot from the room

like a bursting balloon

waving her tail in the air.

(To be fair she had done it all week,

every night, but I hadn’t paid much attention.

I’m too tired out to much care).

The door-frames kept clicking,

the floorboards were creaking

and the clocks were all ticking too fast.

I followed the cat

(I’m adventurous like that)

and there, by the fire,

sat the family choir

smiling and telling their tales.

(I remembered their songs from before)

They were the old ones,

the aunts and the uncles,

who had lived long ago in the Valleys,

and no-one had told them

that they weren’t alive any more.

I wasn’t surprised.

Everyone dies, in their time,

But I knew this time wasn’t mine,

so I bowed myself out of the room

while they hummed a gentle old tune.

I knew beyond doubt

it was time I moved out

so I picked up the cat

and, smoothing her cares,

I tiptoed slowly downstairs.

We sat on the step

all night long, in the wet,

and I sang a new song in the rain.

I wished there had been a full moon

but when it’s time to move on…..

well, it’s time to move on, just the same.

There is no going back there again.

Old moon, new moon, half moon or sickle,

the removal van can’t come too soon for my liking.

No one should live in a sad mausoleum.

So I’m burning their boats, like a viking.

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Omens

i see it
through the window glass
the sickle of the moon
it curses me each month
my pockets always empty
but what can money buy
broken mirrors bring bad luck
fresh water from a running brook
will break that seven year spell
good omens come in threes
so do accidents
twice the deadly lightening strikes
i shelter by the oak
the owl blinks his saucer eyes
and I become the mouse
the full moon brings me blessings
strange shapes in fallen twigs
the book i learned to read
though i was slow to talk
the trees let in a flickering light
i take the secret woodland walks
i watch the birds for signs
the patterns of their legs
directions of their flight
the music of their cries
the rapture of their song
i have the old protections
rowan berries in my hat
fingers crossed behind my back
i have sweet dreams at night

The Rocking Stone

On Cadair Idris, close by to the bottomless lake of Llyn Cau, I spent the night on a Rocking Stone, with a youthful desire in my heart, to be a Poet Bard. Legend has it that a night on Cadair’s cold flank gives the curse of madness, or the blessings of Seer or Bard. I knew the risk to my mind and the risks of the rocking stone, the balancing of the stone, a balance to be held on a dark night, high up and all alone. I sat and prayed in silence to the moon and stars above, looking up with eyes wide open, alert to the mountain, the rock and the wind that blew in that desolate spot.

The night was long. I came down with the dawn as nothing; an empty vessel waiting to be filled. No-one, nothing at all. Aware that I was very small.

Ten years later, or was it five, and does it matter how old I was, I spent the night on a rock atop a Tor, looking out across a wide open remote moor. I saw the creatures of the night as they scurried about and eyes shining and blinking in the dark. I heard the song of the wind through the rocks. Nothing more. It was enough.

The night was long. I came down feeling I belonged to something though I knew not what. I became a journey begun.

The night I spent on the cliff edge where the wind sings in the grass above granite rock, the waves beat on the rocks below and seven hours became one. Time slowed, or the stars and the moon sped by, who can tell which, the night I sat high on the cliff edge, the moon path spread across the sea, glimmering on water, reaching out to the a far horizon.

The stars, with the moon at the centre of all, moved in a slow ballet of curved motion across the sky, the constellations shone out from the web of night, a rotation eternal, a moving wheel. Beneath me the tide rolled in an out, fast. Time did not stop, it slowed or the world sped up while beauty shone out high above.

Seven hours became one.

If I can, by a shift of my mind, alter seven hours to one could I change one hour to seven and make life longer or can I pull seven hours into one? What is time but illusion? The days of a child are long, a summer an eternity. Seven hours could easily be as seven decades to a shorter lived creature than me. Does a butterfly live six score years and ten in so short a span as a day.

The earth is a rocking stone held in place by the moon while the sun brings it life. Time does not exist. Life and death is all we have and are but we are not bound in time.

We are all finely balanced on the stone. We either fall off or we balance.

This is all I have learned on the Rocking Stone. This is not the end of my journey, a journey I make alone.

Woops! Let’s go cavorting! (silly one)

woopie-doo-dah, doo-dah-day
let’s fly, and fly, fly far away,
over the hills, a far flung thing

who’s to reason or wonder why?
i see no reason here to stay
i can hear the fairies sing!

have you forgotten we once flew?
the hour is late but not too late
i have a wish for morning dew
and mountains high
and rushing rivers wide and deep
and the holy grass beneath my feet
deep in the woods
where the shadows play

come prepared
follow the hare
spin three times
bow to the moon
here comes the breeze
here comes the spin
whirling like leaves up to the sky
the wind that’s strong will lift us high
but don’t let it blow your top knot off!

Portmeirion

My mother said,
“Bow three times, low,
if you see the new moon
through glass.
And be sure to turn
your purse over.”

We rarely went on holiday.
We had no money.

Not far from the sea ,
an Italianate village
overhangs a Welsh river,
with statues
preserved from the past,
stone mermaids,
washed ashore.

We stroll in a dream,
eating ice-cream.

Sunshine comes and goes,
overcast by scurrying clouds.
We hope the weather will hold.

On the pavement I found
a pebble,
a ring
and a discarded wrapper
that caught the sun.
It twinkled.

Scrawled on a scrap of paper,
”The end of the world is nigh,
don’t look now but we’re watching’’

There were roses and apples
piled in a basket.
I wondered who left then there.
The bell rings in the tower.

We went back to a cheap hotel.
It was over.

My lover is away.
My lover is often away
but it makes no distance.

I dreamed of my father last night,
we wandered room to room
as he shared his wisdom.

“How can we believe what they tell us now
when we know they have lied before.
Its all manipulation,
since 1984 and before.
Think about Aldous Huxley.
He knew.
That man had vision.”

When I was a child I dreamed of flying,
flying above the blue curve of a bay,
probably flying homeward.

Outside my window
is a wall, overgrown,
with moss and ivy.
Goodnight room,
goodnight window,
goodnight moon.
Hello Cupid and Psyche.

Calling Venus

memories, sunlight, shadows
there are no delusions in here
seeking illumination
i have no illusions
so why am i lost again?
i am not lacking in bravery
i am even strong
this is not a prayer
help me to understand
the trees are obscuring my view
take me up to the hills
show me the path i should follow
send a message, a comet, a flash
clear away all the clouds
so i can see the moon
and the brightness of Venus beside
show me my guiding star

Owl

the distant moon is on the wane
circled round with frosted light
it shines upon the silvered grass
and lights the windows of the town
the rooftops wear a coat of white
the night is still, the lamps are lit
the diamond sprinkled stars shine down
the air is chill, the house is quiet
but i would wander back again
to old familiar paths and lanes
where hedgerows cloth the hidden walls
and up above the rounded hill
with all the land stretched out below
from wood to barn in silent flight
the owl swoops past in shadowed night

Seven

One for sorrow.
Time is borrowed.
Lost and broken by our fears
All our dreams will fly away.
When we know our days are few
We treasure all we have by this,
No time to waste in bitter tears,
The years will pass us soon enough

Two for joy,
When dreams come true.
For every sorrow, comes a kiss
And love is found, in simple things.
Profound delight, the way to bliss,
The bursting throat, the leaping heart,
The song of life the blackbird sings.
Bring the rainbows, bring the flowers,
Joy is brief and flies away.
Remember it in darker hours

Three for the gentle girl i met.
So easily she passed me by.
I never thought to question her
Where she went or even why.
Three times she passed,
Three times she went
And now she’s here,
Before time’s spent

Four for the boy, now a man
He tries to grow, he tries to know,
He tries to do the best he can
And in the trying finds his strength.

Five is starlight’s silver sparkle.
The moon above shines down on us,
Pulls the tides where waters flow.
Silver rings and ankle bells,
Unicorns and secret spells
Mark the paths for those who know,
In the land where magic dwells

Six for gold, the loving cup,
The treasure of the alchemists
Wrapped in story,
Ancient rhymes
All the mysteries unfold

Seven, the secret never told
The one we learn as we grow old
Seven Sisters in the sky
And all the stars mapped out above
Predicting love and harmony
And we so blind we do not see
Eternity may beckon us.

The wise ones never know the answer
There is no truth in certainty.

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

Based on this old magpie omens rhyme ………

One for sorrow
Two for joy
Three for a girl
Four for a boy
Five for silver
Six for gold
Seven for a secret never to be told