Breaking Light: part one

plane sunrise

i

 

It is late. It is early.

 

3 a.m. Too tired to sleep,

awake-dreaming.

Feeling the house breathe around me,

its unfamiliar night sounds, a

strange landing.

The pores of my skin

are a million unblinking eyes.

You have set me off

like a spinning top.

Made my head explode with light.

 

As you lie next to me,

I listen to the white noise

of rain on your attic windows,

whispers in the static.

 

Even in the city I feel Her near.

 

Lady Autumn,

I can hear you

washing your long russet hair,

a weeping willow sifting the wind.

The rivulets reveal its lustre,

like a wave-wet pebble on the beach –

your colours unveiled, a whole paintbox.

 

Everything becomes more beautiful

the more it lets go –

the more it releases its inner life.

The promise of frost brings

the spectrum to the surface –

the colours the light let go of.

We see what isn’t absorbed.

A leaf, in Spring, not-green, becomes

in Autumn, not-red.

 

What the world sees is

what we cannot contain inside us; it

spills out –

breaking light,

the way love splits us open.

 

Copyright ©Kevan Manwaring 2010

Continued tomorrow

First published in Soul of the Earth (Awen 2010) and soon to be featured in the forthcoming Silver Branch: bardic poems by Kevan Manwaring (Awen 2017).

https://www.awenpublications.co.uk/

Soul of the Earth Awen 2010

 

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The Taliesin Soliloquies: Black Hen

Black Hen

 

There is no hiding from me.

 

I am the destroyer of worlds, I am Carrion’s Queen,

Valkyrie, Kali, Cailleach, the Morrigan,

the Washer at the Ford.

 

I will strip away all that is non-essential –

I will find your weakest point

and tear you apart.

 

And yet,

I only have your best intentions at heart,

I want you to show your truth.

I will only snatch you

if you stray from your path,

If you lose your centre.

If you lie to yourself.

 

I am the black mirror –

your soul’s dark night.

The blind maw, your worst fear,

the smothering mother

who on her young feeds.

Never fulfilled,

a raw hole of need.

 

Black Annis, Baba Yaga,

there’s no escaping my hunger.

Let me eat you, obliterate you,

taste your strength.

 

If you are strong, you will endure.

 

Denial is another dying.

Death only takes from you

what you refuse to give.

Release into

the serenity

of oblivion.

 

Copyright © Kevan Manwaring 2017

way of awen by me

From ‘The Taliesin Soliloquies’, originally published in The Way of Awen: journey of a bard, O Books 2010; to be included in the forthcoming Silver Branch: bardic poems by Kevan Manwaring, Awen, 2017 https://www.awenpublications.co.uk/

The Taliesin Soliloquies: Grain of Wheat

grain-of-wheat

Listen

amongst glistening ears of wheat,

hear my tiny heartbeat,

a mouse’s feet.

Hiding on this threshing floor

from Ceridwen’s impeccable wrath.

I have been hot-blooded and cold,

scale and feather and fur –

many skins have I shed

to escape the crooked one’s fury.

Will the chase never end?

 

Stillness now is my best friend.

 

Hide in plain sight,

one of the crowd.

A poet’s fate I would fight,

give me mundanity,

run-of-the-mill respite.

Yet, I am Henwen’s tears –

with my body bread can bake,

beer can brew.

 

Transformations never end,

only you.

 

Soul-winnow on life’s threshing floor,

strip away the husks

until only the quintessence remains,

the divine spark, let out the light,

with the Uncreated One,

reunite. Relief in release from this body, this burden of being individual,

separate from the source.

 

Why struggle any longer?

 

At this ultimate threshold

I shall yield.

This field of potential will be my fire.

 

Come, dark crone,

pluck me from the dust –

take the bones of my being,

crush me to ash-flour

in the mill of time.

 

 

Copyright © Kevan Manwaring 2017

way of awen by me

From ‘The Taliesin Soliloquies’, originally published in The Way of Awen: journey of a bard, O Books 2010; to be included in the forthcoming Silver Branch: bardic poems by Kevan Manwaring, Awen, 2017 https://www.awenpublications.co.uk/

The Taliesin Soliloquies: Hawk

Red-shouldered-HawkI will catch you with my eyes alone,

freeze you in mid-flight.

Fierce-stare,

my shriek splits the sky.

Wind-hover,

I am master of the air.

I am the calm at the centre of the storm,

the eye of the tempest –

nothing escapes my lightning-gaze.

You cannot hide, little bird,

The slightest movement, and I shall strike.

My fatal blow, the last thing you’ll know.

My talons, the reaper’s sickle.

My beak will break your neck.

Why fear? You won’t feel a thing

when you’re dead.

I have a whole autumn

in my feathers.

Sharp-shadow,

I wear the forest’s shroud.

I am the birthmark on the sun’s face.

I come to blot out your light,

the last thing you’ll ever see.

 

Death’s friend, come to take your hand.

Let me free you

from your tiny parcel of soul.

 

Copyright © Kevan Manwaring 2010

way of awen by me

From ‘The Taliesin Soliloquies’, originally published in The Way of Awen: journey of a bard, O Books 2010; to be included in the forthcoming Silver Branch: bardic poems by Kevan Manwaring, Awen, 2017 https://www.awenpublications.co.uk/

 

 

The Taliesin Soliloquies: Wren

Wren-2

All the birds of the forest

gave me their plumage

except flower-face,

cursed of the sun.

I am the smallest

but I fly the highest.

Through my cunning

I become king.

Yet that crown places

a prized price on my head.

Sunbird,

they hunt me at midwinter –

those wren boys,

sticky fingers reach

into my round nest

wren house.

King for a day,

then, cruelly slain.

As I must die

so the true king

within me

can live.

Cave-dweller, eaves-dropper,

doomed to dwell in a gilded cage.

Counting the numbered days

until my destiny’s sharp edge.

I must perish for my people,

the smallest must

become smaller.

With gramarye from cauldron-wrung,

wrench my quintessence

 

from the vengeful air.

 

 

Copyright © Kevan Manwaring 2017

way of awen by me

From ‘The Taliesin Soliloquies’, originally published in The Way of Awen: journey of a bard, O Books 2010; to be included in the forthcoming Silver Branch: bardic poems by Kevan Manwaring, Awen, 2017 https://www.awenpublications.co.uk/

 

The Taliesin Soliloquies: Otter

River-Otter-1262076372yQjlRvz

I am water-dog, wave-dancer,

the river, my playground.

Sleek-head, ripple-eye,

the wet flames of my fur,

the dripping snout of my muzzle

hiding a grin of fangs.

I am the comedian of death,

fate’s fool,

I shall hunt you down,

be your shadow,

never ceasing.

when the time is right,

I shall pounce, seize you in my jaws,

and you’ll not stand a chance.

You’ll be mine –

hook, line, and sinker.

And yet,

I am a child of joy,

I know the secret of play.

I’ll dry your feet, saint or no,

and await your blessing.

I’ll cover your harp,

I’ll keep you from harm.

Fill me with red gold, Hreidmar’s eldest,

the blood-price of the magician’s son.

Watch me dance in the brightening current

and you’ll forget your woes.

Yet once my teeth are in you,

There is no escape.

Cold-hearted kelpie,

I will drown you in my element –

my river shall be your grave.

 

Copyright © Kevan Manwaring 2010

way of awen by me

From ‘The Taliesin Soliloquies’, originally published in The Way of Awen: journey of a bard, O Books 2010; to be included in the forthcoming Silver Branch: bardic poems by Kevan Manwaring, Awen, 2017 https://www.awenpublications.co.uk/

 

The Taliesin Soliloquies: Salmon

salmon_forss-1

Scales glittering like water in the sun –

a fast-running river

sweeping away all stagnant energy.

I am long-memory,

the oldest of animals,

though newly born

by my stolen art.

I slipped free of death’s jaws,

shed fur, my moonwarm blood,

came to the waters for rebirth.

Sliding through a glassy world,

hidden to the human eye.

Escaping by the skin of my teeth,

drawn by instinct

back to the source –

by urgent need

to seed the soil that sired me.

Leap the waterfalls,

run the gauntlet of rapids,

predators,

ever pushing forward –

one slip and I’ll be swept back.

A river of questions searching

for their ocean answer.

To push or surrender to the flow,

yield to her deciduous embrace?

 

 

Copyright © Kevan Manwaring 2017

way of awen by me

From ‘The Taliesin Soliloquies’, originally published in The Way of Awen: journey of a bard, O Books 2010; to be included in the forthcoming Silver Branch: bardic poems by Kevan Manwaring, Awen, 2017 https://www.awenpublications.co.uk/

salmon_forss-1

salmon_forss-1