Cyclist

Torqued from the same stock as Writer,
once a tightly wrapped mapwright,
now spiritually elemental,
seeks the release of the road
from the slowburn spells of the human.

Finds Anotherworld
to Writer’s under rooted Helln
in the jigs and reels of spinning wheels and
the song of cross-wind through taut spokes.
Weaves magic from the warps and wefts
of the sun and the moon-tides,
tracing the desire-ways of the seasons

Knows the writer’s soul maps,
the memory maps,
by heart and more,
but craves the speeds of
eclectic, expressive, ecstatic terrains
to paint the world in different brushes
and seven ways of seeing.

Three Sevens

forward motion;
an infinity after Big Bang,
where Time is measured in igneous gases,
with sediments and layerings of rock;
reaches Still Point,
a last then lost
vestige of momentum.

writer;
birthing cyclist, casting for motives
for a snowbound journey,
navigating Time in fiction,
layering word-sediments as a proxy for living;
captures Still Point for a moment then
feels reciprocating urges of entropy.

cyclist;
lives forward and never past,
rejects Still Point,
disentangles the memory-chain
from the cogs and sprockets of proxy;
sets out for the breathless blissful summit
and the kaleidoscope roads.

Carry forward, add

caught up in the
imposter lands
between
Lost and Found…

a holding of Blue
on marble edge…
water;
soft lensing swell
seeming still.
meniscus;
hanging on by
tense
addition – subtraction.

but that kind of Blue
is metaphor,
another way of
saying and seeing that
my quarantaine quelled
febrile forces,
and opened gaps
for loss to
level and leave for
a new found land

to Carry forward, add.

Sky-drum

Not long after an afternoon muezzin song the storm cloud fills and stretches out over mountains to the north. Spikes of lightning puncture the horizon hills.

Slow motion eruptions of cumulus build to thunderhead. At cloud-walking pace it ambles south; rain sheets seething through valleys in the lower hills. Rain sweeps a parched Gunlukbasi. Mountains fade to grey, disappear.

A grey-brown sworl breaks from the base. It passes overhead with wisp clouds at the leading edge spilling off and shearing into rotating tendrils. The breakaway cell grinds a slow turn in the sky and funnels; I gaze into the maw of a putative, but improbable, tornado…

Lightning lands ‘close’ by. The sky-rip pulses: ground, sky, ground, sky, ground. A seconds-long wave-length of silver, molten and incandescent.

In the south over Fethiye, rolling up and over Babadag, a smaller cell, reaches the boil, bubbles over. A meagre flash, barely noticed. A breath of time passes. I’m sundered by an air-burst inches over-head. No roll of overture only cleaving detonation.

Six raindrops fall with no time signature into the Blue. Each lands so softly ripples are soon quashed by inertia. A third quarter rainbow projects on a dark cloud. Air calms but is unwashed.

The cockerel has crowed throughout unbowed.

Clines of Blue

Two thousand miles and more from home, in the sound shadow of local and distant muezzin calls echoing around high mountains, I think about David Hockney’s question when you are creating an image; what colour is it?

There is a homage here as well to Nan Shepherd’s elemental writing on white water in ‘The Living Mountain’ and Rebecca Solnit’s canon of reflections on the blues of distance in ‘A Field Guide To Getting Lost’.

dark, motion-free
an indeterminate leaf
flounders at the
bottom of the blue.

climbing down the steps
the water is unseasonably warm
but welcome.
water tricks vision
waves, ripples
refracting location….

finding the dark
I make swirls of
water with my feet;
still dark and vague
the leaf rises quarter-way
hangs,
then descends.
next swirl
rises higher into
sunnier depths.

a sycamore like vine
hangs vertical
holds station in the
quivering lumocline
showing
brooks, streams, rivers,
the venuous structure
linking luminous earthern skin.
form holds proud
in the water world;
in the air
collapses…


a zephyr bursts
through baked air
setting discard leaves
asail
on the blue.
the vine fleet
reaching the windward shore
grounds,
soon waterlogs.
saw-palm slivers
cling on.
a frond finally falls….


previous words
look at,
consider the blue of blue.
I move across
sun-scorched
sole-searing
marble;
descending from air
to blue
feel the first chill caress
mix clines of blue
floating;
still;
in
but not
of
blue…


stroking forward
two parts drift, one part swim
at half-hover
in the shadows
and shades of shadows
the myriad mass of
refractions of,
reflections of,
blue.
backwash; breath-bubbles
cycling – recycling
alliterative waves
rebound within the bounds of
blue.

yellow ladybird,
unknown flower timeclock,
slice of saw-palm frond
sailing by…

Rules Of The Road

Re-reading Robert Macfarlane’s The Old Ways I discovered a section on the work of Vaclav Cilek that I must have skimmed over on the first read. As it is illuminating to seek out and read the primary sources that have caught the attention of a writer I set out on Cilek’s trail.

Cilek proposes a set of Rules for Pilgrimage in his essay Bees of the Invisible – An Awakening, which pays homage to Rilke’s much-quoted quote;

We are the bees of the invisible. We wildly gather the honey of the visible, in order to store in the great golden hive of the Invisible…”

These are not regulations or admonitions they are instead a set of observations based on thirty years of often subterranean journeying. There is a mystic quality to these but he acknowledges that a playfulness, a tongue-in-cheekness is required to engage with them.

I was strongly reminded when reading his words of the different feel between two ancient sites in Derbyshire. Arbor Low broods timelessly like his description of Avebury whilst Nine Ladies has a sleepy, dormant ambience. Wycoller in the Forest of Pendle which has river crossings that span many centuries sparkles with the invisible.

His Rules led me to think playfully and poetically about my own Rules of The Road.

The Green Rule

The Road;
– goes up or down or is flat by degrees in-between,
– is different for you and everyone every time and in every time,
– is weather, season, time and space,
– is the way and where you are going,
– reflects you back, is a telescope, microscope, kaleidoscope,
– asks silent questions, offers impertinent answers.

The Red Rule
You make The Road the road that it is; the road has no personality; you respond to the road; the road is you and you the road.


The Blue Rule
There is no compulsion on The Road. Go where you please, when you please; be as fixed, familiar or free as you wish.


The Purple Rule
The road may be long but is never lonely.

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

If you want to read a translation of Cilek’s article that was published in Artesian magazine you can find it here on Tereza Stehlikova’s website – Cinesthetic Feasts

https://cinestheticfeasts.com/2013/07/04/genius-loci-cilek/

Robert Macfarlane’s Guardian piece Rites of Way: Behind the Pilgrimage Revival about Cilek and other pilgrims can be accessed here

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/jun/15/rites-of-way-pilgrimage-walks

Decompressing

Babadag hoards cumulus
soaring, boiling, till
they tumble downslope,
threaten rain
in the lee
of opulent down-draughts.

At mid-day a half moon rises …
I reach into Ingold’s
(not so dark) Materials,
Life
searches for me;
escapes between the line-worlds of
Deleuze and Guattari;
breaks free of Heidegger’s Clearing –
Life
lives unbound by the printed word.

Evening falls…
pool lights take
blue to a turquoise hue
tempting a night swimmer
to gather
a dipper-like
aquatic silver-skin.
from lit, languid limbs
bubbles spill,
foam,
fizz,
mimic phosphoresence …

The light pool
demands the curiosity
of insects;
bats gather,
wheel, flip, turn,
skim surface tension
in comfort that no
Little Owls
will give silent
devouring
chase.

A Poem In Three Halves

1.

zephyral
boreal
austral
circling
compass rose,
stilled in the Sargasso
roaring in the Forties
driving Coriolis
ocean-surge
occluded fronts
onshore.
overland
helming over hills
I, Wind,
prevail.

2.
his toy yacht
heavy in hands
proud shark-fin steel keel
massed to balance the flux of wind
solid wood block hull,
not sail-boat sleek,
green sides, buff deck, yellow line
a dowel mast and gib, string rigging,
white cloth sails.
below the waterline
robust, resilient, rigidly
over-purposed, over-engineered.
above the line
flimsy, fragile, friable.
rudderless,
nothing to helm with,
only one heading,
whatever wind prevails.

3.
poets disagree
over The Third Half…
overwhelmed
by projects and possibilities,
tangling thought-webs
spun
in search of execution,
inundated
by writing implements;
pens in red, black, blue, green
pencils in all of H and all of B
notebooks piling higher
waiting for the first
tentative passes of pencil,
or eraser if thoughts
miss a step or beat
between
thinking and writing,
styli, keyboard strokes and
screen taps
on glass
on phantom surfaces
in app after app
on cloud upon cloud

all crave
treasures of attention…

a beat misses
then another.
ventricles cavitate,
fail and stall
into radio silence.
contraband thoughts cut loose
from buoys and moorings
drift away
on the ebb
and unwitting call a poetess on

in reverie
she, in residence
physical, prevailing
harshing. blaming.
immutable.
needing to be
knowing,
connected to
the good,
the true,
part of that
bigger picture.
feeling I was
intruder
into her dreams
but like wind on
toy yacht sail
her prevailing
is
just air moving
through dream-webs
so I jibe and tack
away