Yorkshire Fog

For Gwyn on Midsummer’s Day

If You had a grass it would be Yorkshire Fog.
From Your sleep of death,
from Your dreams,
come

see it
through my eyes.
Let us be one this Midsummer day
as I walk at night with you through Annwn.

I will speak not of Yorkshire or Lancashire,
roses or dragons red and white,
of the battles we each
must face.

Your Fog
is wiser than
these worries like grassheads,
here one day and then gone the next.

Last Night

was the night
you were furthest
away from the world
like a distant asteroid
– like Pluto.

From now
you’re coming back
– your land of ice and darkness
will thaw and the mists will make it beautiful again.

From the coffin where you dream of nuclear winter
you will step into a new suit of armour.

Summer is a’coming to Annwn
and winter is already
on its way here.

This poem is based on my gnosis that whilst it is summer in Thisworld it is winter in the Otherworld. It is addressed to Gwyn ap Nudd, a Brythonic ruler of the Otherworld and Winter’s King, who is killed by his rival, Gwythyr ap Greidol, Summer’s King, on Calan Mai, and sleeps through the Summer.

After I received this poem in a vision this morning I looked up Pluto, a planet named after the Roman King of the Underworld and saw that, in Japanese its name is Meiōsei – ‘Star of the King of the Underworld’. I thought this was very beautiful and apt for the planet that rules my birth sign, Scorpio, much as Gwyn, my patron god, is the ruling force in my life.

I then returned to an essay by Brian Taylor called ‘Photographing the Underworld? A Note of NASA’s Pluto Fly-by’ which has had a big influence on me. Here he speaks of how the photographing of Pluto ‘ruler of occultation, and protector of the integrity of mystery’ may have been saved from being an act of ‘casual intrusion’ by the plutonium powered spaceship carrying the ashes of Clyde Tombaugh ‘discoverer of Pluto’ (as a kind of offering to the underworld gods?).

Brian also speaks of how he ‘traced the exteriorisation of Pluto in the history of the nuclear era, and found the planet’s signature etched into the geography of the discovery region, most notably in an extraordinary spatial co-incidence. Pluto was discovered in 1930 at the Percevall Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff Arizona. Ten years later Plutonium was manufactured at the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in California, and five years after that the first atomic bomb was detonated at the Trinity Test Site north of Alamagordo in New Mexico. Curiously these three sites fall in an almost perfect straight line, about a thousand miles long, that maps the connection between the planet and the nuclear project on to the land in the most unexpectedly graphic way.’

Coincidentally I have been returning to these themes, which I touched on in The Broken Cauldron, in the later sections of the new book I am writing, which explores more deeply the influence of the gods within the modern world and Gwyn’s connections with nuclear war and nuclear winter.

At the bottom of the essay I saw an old comment I left for Brian in 2015 mentioning a dream I had about Gwyn and nuclear winter, leading me to recall it. Brian notes that the spaceship made closest contact with Pluto on a dark moon and the moon was dark last night.

For Tonight

I am a shape who shifts
like the costumes of mosses
like the rabbit eyes of trees

Tockholes I

leaping out of my skin
plunging into the dark arms
of underwater trees

Tockholes III

for once knowing beauty and fluidity
as I run down stairs without
missing a single step.

Tockholes IV

I am the waterfall and its deep pool,
the sun reflected and the fear
of loss surrounding him
like the magic of Faerie,
the golden ball,

Tockholes V

the secrets found by bees
crawling into the purple caverns
of foxgloves emerging centuries later
coated in dusty wisdom.

Tockholes VII (copy)

Can it be possible
that I am wide awake
like your rival as you dream
these enchantments

and here, now, even
at midsummer

the aspen trembles
at your name?

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

*This poem is based on a walk in Tockholes Wood on Midsummer Eve and is addressed to Gwyn, who remains a presence in my life even in his absence from the landscape.

Solstice Sun Down from Preston Bus Station

Old sun sinks
into the bowels of the city
which holds me in its windows,
in panes of light golden as mead.

Dusk arrives in a purple cloak,
dresser of towers and spires,
not softening the concrete brutal curves
of this maligned iconic genius

whose rawness of might is like a clenched fist,
whose vulnerable underbelly knows the hope
of arrivals and vast pain of final departures,
busking, shrieks and the reek of piss.

Yellow and pink the city lights up,
etching its electronic dream on a moving backdrop;
the palimpsest of museums, mills and stadiums
that have fired our consciousness

and kept us small and discrete,
a match box car and two tiny figures
lost within a car park’s cosmic changes,
sole witnesses to its theophanies

until the arrival of the suicide watch.

Solstice SunsetView from Preston Bus Station