Rain dance (for a cat)

Cat o black as silk night my friend
I knew thee breaking in like clarinet (the cat’s instrument)
     like harp (elven)
     like violin (holy)
& like the drum
A rolling, rumbling thunder drum, the waves of the sea,
The motor of creation, thrumming insistent,
A will to hold & be held,
Sweet cat of the rumble on my heart
O cat
Green-eyed, clinging-pawed, & nuzzling

I must learn water from thee:
Cat fearing no water, we remember thy craving,
To drink & to share,
To walk upon us in the night & rain upon our faces
(Take this water & drink, for it is my love)

I must learn water for it is not how I have lived,
I am more fire & earth, I am
The one who burns what lies in my path
& may burn myself, I am
The one who lies unwavering within the path
Granite, slate, bluestone —
Against this
The poet said to teach us to care & not to care
The storm is to be entered but not navigated
The current is to carry, the fate is mere fortune,
I must learn the flowing ahead & around

O cat my warm beloved
In these years of small homes growing larger
In these years of roses blooming slow but sweet
In these years of patience screaming & money bleeding
In these years of inflammation:
     cancer in thy flesh,
     my kind eating the world
     my kind eating my kind
     kindness eating kindness
     & now in long pestilence
How could I not learn water?

I could not predict thee,
Thy purr eternal, love aching & unbreaking,
But how thou might run lunatic in thy youth
& then the turns taken by tooth & bowel,
Lung & gland
& blood
I could not predict, I could not know,
There was the waiting
There was the knowing of my vow:
Protect this cat & love him, unto apokálupsis

& we are there, & we are here,
Friend o relentless one,
Rumbler of thunder,
Lightning runner,
Softest blackest cloud,
Who sought the water & gave it,
Who made it rain upon our faces —
I pour out the sea upon my face,
I raise my voice in plainchant,
The sea is rising,
The sky is boiling,
The water we may drink is drying,
& in my black silk shrouding half my heart
(gone, even if thou art reborn)
I wait for more water,
O my prince of beasts purring,

I will thank thee for the rain.

When is the time for poems?

When is the time for poems?

As an experiment, I started writing them every day, or writing a poem for every day, on the autumn equinox. After two months of starting and stopping and starting again, publishing a few here and leaving most private, then I went on a longer pause. Now, with astronomical winter upon us, and my brain feeling like it has endless dark time available and yet very little time at all — I think I’m going to wait on more poems until I can resolve to do them a different way.

Probably starting in May. That’s when I generally take on new things. And then I’ll probably write poems on just the new moon and the full moon. Doing it every day assumed a lot about where my creative energies really lay. Armes Prydein is eating me alive, in a good way, and then I have the capacity to do a few other writing bits and other artistic bits that I was already doing; beyond that, I have a lot of Life going on, and my various mental health crises keep cycling round and round due to social isolation, pandemic time dilation, and physical ailments. The latter involve things like an iron deficiency, a pending tooth extraction, and Mystery Issues.

If I weren’t writing anything else right now, it would be the time to try poems, but as it stands, it’s become rather clear to me that poems are not what my brain wants to be doing. And as far as the Mystery Issues go, it’s really important that I not overextend myself for the next few months.

Goodbye for now, poetry. Let’s meet again when the time is better. I’m glad I at least tried again; it had been too long, before, and I’m proud of the poems I wrote, including the ones I didn’t share.


Poem for November 23, 2020

Once I wrote about the rain—
A November night when rain was past
& I was very young or less than half
The age I then became

In those days I had to find pain or invent it
I knew a little but I was safe
From the long pain
The winnowing & worrying & whittling pain
Cutting every last moment
Down to splintered ice

I was young in that November
& thought nothing real of rain or night

Poem for October 22, 2020

Autumn brims with beings I have never been
& holdings I have never had

Cherish it— I still know how

Memories of what I’ve nearly found:
Here the edge of woodland all aflame
In reds too red & golds too gold,
There the young woman in the flannel
Scarfed & mittened & black hair flowing beneath the cap
Across the field by the woods she walks
Carries coffee to a boy she loves
Sips her own & sits to watch the very last carnival
On the last night before the dark breaks out

I was almost her—
I am always her

Poem for September 24, 2020

Poison in the garden —
Poison grew within the garden

Every herb a poison —
Every plant a thing to mind and tame —
But some too much
& we knew
So we uprooted

Lesson from the green witch to the millions —
Know what makes a balm —
Know what makes a bane —
Make no place for the toxin
If you would be undaunted

Poem: Heat

I’ve moved somewhere more rural, though still close enough to Boston that I can continue working there. I’ve already found that my new habitat is better at helping me write poetry, which relieves me because of how many years it’s been since I wrote any poems at all. Unfortunate, however, that this first poem is in response to a terrible disaster in the region.

It shall go with fire & fire,
as the water shall be still,
with the red and gold flowing bloodlike to the sky.
Not one safe home, every earth-vent open,
belching death from the hard hands—
we say hard from heartless,
we say not laborers but stone lords—
and ever there is much to spend
on starting fires,
and none for ending them.

Wood booming, breaking, ashing,
bodies sheltered from the home,
the home sent them out,
not wanting them gone,
for in the flame cries a soft voice
that there had been love.

When we go it shall be so,
with fire & fire,
all regret hoarse from smoke.

Llywelyn Jones

Poem: first hymn of the new liturgy

the mist was drifting
and the light was gold
and the strings were cutting
the mist was drifting
and we walked slow
over brick and under glass
the mist was drifting
and the leaves were gold
and the feet were tapping
the mist was drifting
over this, the city
in the minutes till sunset.

i had barely lived to see the ending
born and bled and looked ahead at the ending
in the mist on the city by the sea
it was a magic hour
seizing me in my few decades.

out the window, grey
and all the world grey
wet grey
and sinking.

D. Llywelyn Jones