Poems by Robert Priddy - Time and Mind Cycle

Watery Origins

My very first sighting
of the blue haze ahead
as we crested the hills
gave release, such relief!
"The sea! O the sea!"
I'd been dying to see.
"Where you live you must have
a view far across water"
Did this augury arise
from a meeting, a dream?
My mind shrouds the source.
Now I watch from our window
wave-wrinkled currents
of light on the fjord.

Faraway Mood

The drawn-out half-light's flitting bats
dart on the stillness from the fjord.
Pines that sharp-outline the horizon
their silhouettes all gloaming-edged,
dark-silvered wavelets on the ebb,
the muffled fishing smack's 'kdunk, kdunk'
and a distant concertina stirs
the memory's strings, an oft-played air,
longs, plaintive, for home port.

River Cam bridges revisited

Trailing my hand in silk silty water
Dan punted us on the backs of the Cam
the old breed of rivermen, still charging their price
the pole just as heavy as the fine if we lost it
all watched from the bridges, awaiting a spill
or tangles with willow fronds hanging around us
sweeping aside five decades of my life
I then and I now - indistinguished identity
I went down onto the same river twice.


From the cellar cask
another winter rose,
fresh from the salt
again it's bloom breathes,
from darkness plucked.

The past cloys within
its violet essence sweet
upon the tongue
its purpose underwritten
unread by us

(Note: In the Middle Ages, roses were preserved
in casks of salt for midwinter freshness)


Vast and labyrinthine
this dreamworn structure
spreads in all directions
- regions of awareness -
the weft and warp of vision
forming it, like land
- as meadows, caverns, lake -
shapes filled out by mind.
Encircling this domain
I tend the old estate
its halls and attics,
crumbling wings,
while storeys rise
by unseen hands.

Fancy Mind Free

The mind's delights that seeped away
its flimsy filling without weight
like reflections of a shifting light
in a thousands cut-glass prisms...
spinning, multiplying reverie
across empty infinity.

Iconographic Mind

Images in mirrors
made by my mind
reflect, imagine anything.
What would I find?
is the future I see
what I wish should be?

Silver screen within
- whatever you show -
what is your whim,
and whither come or go?
You reflect my regard
plus all I discard

The world that your forms
are enacting for me,
as if from without
which I cannot but see...
no need to presage
for I'll not engage.

Secret Face Of The Muse

Such overpowering beauty veiled,
mask within mask till none could tell,
- unless one chanced to catch that eye
before some lattice swiftly closed
through which its radiance is bestowed.
A life of fragile grace concealed
that grovelling takers may not reach
through longings blind and unrefined...

Continue to Cycle of Seasonal Poems