Thursday, 18 June 2015

a thousand little Persian horses slept

The sun beats its unutterably beautiful cadence down onto the wriggling and delighted wild things of olde Devon. I am gathering: goatskins, peculiar essays on rarely-glimpsed green skinned deer of remote forests, tortoise shells, clothes for a feast, rugs for a hearthside, smoky wine, and a gathering of stories so potent they make flames become flowers that spark loose and lively from the wayward clang of hammer and anvil in the unconsecrated dark of our secret souls. Tomorrow we gather on the moor again, the little school, my secret darling - holding up its part of the world in the way that it does. See you soon scholars.

So, i must be swift. Lots of news coming, of trips to Sweden and Canada, encounters with National Theatres and distant islands on the pacific-north west, and a collaboration with the magnificent MARK RYLANCE (Wolf Hall, Jerusalem) and PAUL KINGSNORTH (The Wake, Dark Mountain Project); entitled LOST GODS on Sat 22nd August as part of the Edinburgh Book Festival - google for details i'm sure. Tickets will go fast if not immediately i think. I'll also be teaching and telling in the wondrous confines of a Yurt on the side of the Thames for the Crick Crack Club on July 31st: COMBING THE DRAGONS HAIR. I will give this all more stately run through soon. I've also got to submit to the requests to come one day to Australia: i really will start to think about it. A good advocate of the country (literally) emerged out of a hedge near my hut this morning and reiterated it, so the runes are gathering their emphasis.

Some Lorca lines straight from that very shepherds hut: especially dedicated to anyone that recently attended the astonishing Great Mother Conference in Maine. What a time.

No one could comprehend
the perfume of the
dark magnolia of your belly,

No one knew you martyred
love’s hummingbird amongst
your teeth.

A thousand little Persian horses slept
on the moonlit square of your brow,
Whilst i, for four nights swept close
your waist, great enemy of the snow.

Somewhere between gesso and jasmine,
Your gaze was a pale branch of seeds,
i roamed through my heart to offer you
those ivory words which say:


Man, that is panache.

Manana (Morning)
7th August 1918 (Fuente Vaqueros, Granada)
To Fernando Marchesi

Waters song
can’t die.

It’s the erotic sap
which ripen the fields,
It’s the blood of poets
who’s souls got lost
in the paths of nature.

Harmonies spill
from her welling crag,
sweet rhythms
she abandons
to us.

In bright morning
the hearth smokes,
and its plumes are arms
Lifting up the mist.

Listen to love affairs
erupt in the water
of the poplar grove,
wingless birds
abandoned in the grasses!

The serenading trees
with their snapping and cracking -
the rough plains becoming
mountains of serenity -
they change;
but waters song
won’t quit.

It’s a song that curls
with light,
loose with dreams
firm and soft,
one moment tame,
then full of sky.

In the rosy bliss
of dawn
she is mist;
the moons honey
flowing from
buried stars.

Is the holiness
of baptism
not god become water?
Glinting our heads
with the blood of grace?

There’s a reason
Christ confirmed himself
in her.

It’s the reason
stars rest in her depths,
the reason
why ample Venus
engendered herself in her breast.

We drink love
when we drink water.

This love
streams both
tame and divine,

it’s the story of the
whole world,
the wily old tale
of her soul.

She’s large with secrets -
from human mouths,
let’s be honest; we all kiss her
and she quenches our thirst.

She’s a casket
of kisses
from the mouths of the dead,
captivated forever
with the sisters heart.

Christ could have been
more direct with us:
confess yourself with water
told us to turn in
our fears - all that pain
and meaness,

who better, brothers
to hand in our trouble
than to her who rises to the sky
draped in
sheaths of white.

When we drink water
we become kids again,
and that’s no bad thing,
it’s a pure moment:

our sorrows drift before us
in rose garlands,
our eyes consumed
by acres of gold.

No one can ignore their destiny.
It’s the sweet water in which
we drench our souls.

Nothing compares
with your sacred shores
if deep grief
has given us its wings.

Copyright Martin Shaw 2015


rosierabbit said...

seriously, this australia thing....what do we have to do to bring it from the hedge out into the light of day?? indeed this bright, hard, old-new, secretive, story-ripe land is calling you. i'm sending her into your dreams now, throwing any runes that'll work at your feet...please, if there is anything more concrete we can do to expedite your appearance do let me know...

A mermaid in the attic said...

Australia, yes please! Although I suspect that reaching both sides might be asking too much, I'll put in a plug for the West side!