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BARIANE LOUISE ROWLANDS

 

Bariane Louise Rowlands obtained a degree in English Language, Literature and Theatre Studies in the UK and became involved in community arts before living in the USA and New Zealand.  In New Zealand she taught creative writing and in 2000 founded ‘The World is Poetry’, a Wellington multi-disciplinary cooperative. Upon returning to the UK, she took up painting where she has had success selling her work privately.

 

Her poetry is best understood in terms of its exploration of the development of paganistc values in contemporary ideological constructs such as feminism, holistic theory and ecological awareness. She has a collection of poetry, A Fool in the Pack (Argotist Ebooks), available as a free ebook here

 

 

 

ANNABELLE

 

Annabelle was hiding

And she clawed at her throat

Naked, exposed

She could smell the sweet calling of fruit

And the cold earthy flow of water

 

Annabelle was hiding

And she clutched at her chest

Framed, constricted

She could hear warm air from the land

And the rustling song of the trees

 

Annabelle was hiding

And she gouged at her arms

Embroidered, seamed

She could feel the calling of the sea

And the birds beating time on a wing

 

Annabelle was hiding

And she tore at her hair

Entwined, captured

She could see the sun, a blazing orb

And the gentle pasture’s dancing arms

 

Annabelle was hiding

And she scratched at her face

Alluring, set

She could touch the gloaming crescent mask

And the deepest dark rocks of the land

 

Annabelle was running

And she tore her belly

Fertile, alone

She could taste the edge of freedom

And the blood coursing wild through her veins

 

Annabelle was crying

And she cradled her form

Sighing, laughing

She could feel the tired years of duty

And the hot rush of life from her womb

 

Annabelle was dying

And she covered her eyes

Exhausted, calm

Testing her feet in a dance of their own

And ripping her roots out from the ground

 

Annabelle was flying …

 

 

THE PELT’S CALL

 

Under a raven shroud, breath and mind throb

Air cavities heave, the body perspires

 

Wake up ......... filacious light is beckoning

Elevates haecceity from its husk

 

Wake up .......... flesh and bone, eyes stare through the port

Crackling static prisms mesmerise:

 

She is autonomous, celestial

Reaching heights, piercing the sky with her shriek

Searching the heat of shimmering thermals

Buoyant freedom puffs rippling feathers

In robotic angles, eyes and head twitch

Such skill, weaving she cuts cloud with no trace

 

And I smell blood, fresh and crimson beneath

She, under the span of speckled copper

Circles her ovoid belly, alighting

To the grainy golden vastness ......... wake up

 

A shield, wears my face in rainbow plumage.

This woman of troubled journeys is all -

The sun, swift, weightless, to reach inner peaks

 

Back track in the dark, rest in heavy flesh

Pallid in the night ..... crack ..... she tears forward:

 

Mammal ......... a bear in muscular prowling

And she claws the dust with flexing haunches

Her rumbling voice soars the canopy

Of emerald, echoing in the shade

And bark through to mountainous chiseled crag

 

I smell water, cold and gushing, tainted

With soil and stone. Her muzzle circles, tastes

The earthy calling in snuffles, licking

She, surrounded, leathery pads immersed

In the rocky crescendo of movement

Sees vast zinc essence. Silvery darting

Flexes her hunger but I am more thrift

And pluck inspiration from sable depths

Wake up ......... I see my name and its pelt calls

 

Always she carries her name in the dark

For in sleep she is both woman and beast:

For the mortality of blood runs deep

The waters of knowledge, ever flowing

 

In shields I’ve seen my face. I am awake

 


ABSENCE

 

I am watching you walking away

Do you think me alone, standing here?

You can not see my eyes …

They are full of space

 

My feet upon Earth -

Obdurate flesh -

Creatures scurry beneath …

Skeletal cracking

And all transpires within a heart beat

 

How easy it is

Garments given at birth

Fall melodiously to dust

And I fear no cold of day or night

 

My soul leaps high

The eternal warmth of dawn

Embraces me

And I will believe it

You do not see they sky …

Swiftly passing continuous flow

Infinite seasons flick over

And I am filled with dancing

 

A palm cupped world

To pour upon my face

A thick light that floods towards me

Washes absence to mirth

 

Torrential tears are mine

Their sweet salt tastes of compassion

I need nothing but this

The sloping land …

A reflection only of the rolling I posses

I am happy you left me here

A wisp amongst life hey!


 

A FOOL IN A PACK

 

The fool dances on tip-toe

Waving arms with imbalance

A dog in tow ...

Its unquestioning quarters

And dry tongue from licking

In the light of the moon

Is oblivious

 

I am the fool

Precariously balanced

Charming in laughter

Follow me not

For it takes but a pebble to make me fall

 

And when mountains are hostile

And a simpleton fragile

And shaling faces reach tumbling heights

All the track long is dancing and laughing

For a fool and their dog on tip-toe

 


RED RIVER DAWN

 

Dawn breezes up beyond the river

Its steeled channel, red now in the sky's wake

Sleepily I reach myself across heaven’s seam

Upon glossy pools, my eyes hold the retreating stars

Do you dare me to slip into the ocean?

It is mine you know, I will sing Pan's law

And down in the depths upon the backs of beasts

shell boats will carry it at my command

 

But in his stead, loose your hands in Earth

Your eyes open to nature's melodies

And you will see there, beneath bark

The sap that you may drink of

 

I might roll and dance you, till stone is soft

Between, below, above is the lava of my soul

It flows swiftly catching the dreams of love

Their faces keen in the fiery glow of Heaven

 

Could you be captive in a Deity’s delight

A spell that stitches the web of seas and suns?

I would taste tears as waves bite the land -

Dust swirling swarms to no end nor no beginning

 

The secrets of myth will slip into your thoughts

So that you might know the hunger of Celtic dance

Timeless fire sparks in mortal words will strip themselves

And you will be of and in the Fair Isle's mossy dreams ...

 

 

CUMULONIMBUS

 

Look skyward to a flock that’s simmering

Deep within lies a monstrous obscenity

Dark copious form of liquid blackness

Emotive squall with downcast obliqueness

Mirrors a heart that sleeps silent and low

 

A passionate force till the wind dies down

Clouds draw back as the sun sucks up moisture

All is arid and still, suspended pep

Of suffocating immobility

 

Why, as the world revolves do people walk

With laws from sunshine, palsied voices?

 

So I rush to the bend with open arms

Embracing anger, feeding, stalking

Lustful for life and impassioned by storms

 

 

PIRIE STREET

 

Oranges upon my tongue

Burst into youth

Wine kissed the lips

Burning my cheeks

Laughter was liquid language

Paint and poetry, embers in friendship …

We lay on the floor

Just talking, listening

Whilst skies ate the sun

Window frames tumbling from the walls

And I was falling free across the city roofs

 

Skin like music, cells that sang

It will take me seven years

To forget

The melody now

Is almost a childhood

‘I want to thank you’

But can’t  ...

 

My heart was too old

My needs too few

My want of it all too deep

 


PROMISING EARTH

 

Watch my hair, it falls around you

Follow its course along my spine

My skin has no form till you find its shape

I feel myself made, caught in your palms

 

Will you turn me, mould me as Earth

Kneed pliability till you are consumed?

I would hold you so that you sigh of home

In me, in you, beyond such beauty

 

The Heavens have lost their stand and Earth

Its stony spin dwindles to nothing

Let it stop, all be still for this time

For you are mine and I am yours

 

Our flesh feeds life so that it might rest

Air a sigh, fire our heat

Earth is touch, and water ebbs

Know this land with plentiful embrace

 

If I strip bare the Earth's contours

Reveal to you its fragile pulse

Open to you what I have denied Heavens

Will you know me, hear me, guide me, teach me?

 

Do not bypass bark nor knoll, nor stream

I am waiting there for you to see

Come be, there's singing, truth and life

Beneath suns, amidst night I feel you feel me

 


THE MEXICAN DRINK  

 

I will never forget the taste of satin

It binds me in the dark

Your lips

Bite my wrist

Blue blood, a grey ocean

 

I bleed into the waves

White hooves beat my heart

Carry me, dance below

The mottled light is precious

 

Your hair is the drifting bed

Reeds free in the current

Twist me at your pleasure

I will keep you safe

 

Stars slip in and out of view

Ships pass over, their hulk

Cuts pulse … bellied shadows …

They will not touch you

 

You are mine, do not breath

Need no cloth of sunlight

Play amidst the emerald sway

I will keep your there, save you go

 

The ocean is an infinite echo

I weep for its song

It is me you feel, a cry ...

Caught up in the clouds

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

copyright © Bariane Louise Rowlands