“Alchemy” by Gillian Clarke

“All night the moon stares at the stream

strumming its way over stones,

stopping it dead in its dream;

gazes at the field’s ghost

where all the white night long

no mouse, fox, hare has passed.


Moon, witch, goddess, alchemist, old stone,

strikes trees to iron, silver, steel, stills sheep

where they stand asleep in their bones,

till dawn, the sun on the sill of the world,

when all the night-work of the moon

is hallowed, haloed, turned to gold.”

Moonlight, a Landscape with Sheep c.1831-3 Samuel Palmer 1805-1881 Purchased 1922 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/N03700

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14 Responses to “Alchemy” by Gillian Clarke

  1. Pingback: “Alchemy” by Gillian Clarke – lampmagician

  2. Dewin Nefol says:

    Hey Monika, Namaste 🙂

    You’ve elegantly dipped the tip of your Blog-posting lip
    Tempting us all with rhyme!
    How fine on Halloween to read Gillian’s dream
    On a leaf beneath moonlight by a babbling stream
    Where I a moth enticed by an Alchemical Moon
    Find form fluttering until I swoon,
    In the hazy hallowed haloed bloom
    Of your silver threaded inky-loom.

    Happy Halloween! Hoping all is well.

    God Bless. Namaste 🙂


  3. Dewin Nefol says:

    Hey Monika, Namaste 🙂

    I returned again to enjoy the poem and also image you’ve used…the dusting of gold upon the swarthy ink inspired thoughts of Pluto who I always image to be cloaked in colours of grubby gold. He is the outsider, the dark one 🙂

    I had chance to visit the second-hand store today on the way back from work and bought 3 new tea cups. They are hand-spun clay cups sold as a set of three. AL are midnight blue in colour and two carry Moon crescent symbols whilst the third has a Sun symbol. I was curious to understand why there were two Moons in the set of three cups, not to mention the fact tat they were in the shop at all just waiting for me to buy them 🙂

    I filch two Moons waxing balm
    Darken voluptuous beams,
    Pillage two Moons waning yarn
    Plunder silver seams
    I absorb one Sun’s auriferous glow
    Devour scintillating shine
    Drink one Sun’s golden flow
    Make her eternally mine.

    God Bless. Namaste 🙂


    • Hello Dewin,
      This is indeed extraordinary – I mean your purchase, which really sounds delightful. And grubby gold is really the most exquisite colour. I was amazed when the first photos of Pluto emerged – the sheer power of it was breathtaking.

      These days I am trying to do some inner work but I really hope to return to more active blogging and responding to my comments faster.



      • Dewin Nefol says:

        Namaste Monika 🙂

        It would be true to say you’ve been missed from Word Press and as too your insightful, engaging posts. In your absence remains your blog, which continues to tease and tempt the little grey cells and have them flutter ever higher into the glistening 🙂

        The word ‘grubby’ sounds a little salacious when in truth the maddening dark intensity of Pluto is unfathomable and deeply alluring…like black magic, or the Dark Arts, one almost feels compelled to travel into darkness to be taken over by him, swallowed whole, overwhelmed, exposed, made vulnerable, laid bare, stripped of the superfluous, glued together with gold and delivered shiny new like a spring-born lamb 🙂 Personally I think Pluto gets a bad rap when in actuality I view him as a shadow much like Kali…maker and destroyer of inner worlds.

        As to the shop purchase, I am still pondering the meaning of this curious trio but feel comfortable considering it quite remarkable. It makes me think of William Blake: both artist and poet and also blessed with cosmic consciousness. He seems a very Plutonic character, once declared by Wordsworth that ‘there is something in the madness of this man which interests me more than the sanity of Lord Byron or Walter Scott.’ More exacting still is a description by T.S Eliot who described how ‘because he was not distracted, or frightened, or occupied in anything but exact statements he understood. He was naked, and saw man naked, and from the centre of his own crystal…There was nothing of the superior person about him. This makes him terrifying.’ Like Pluto 🙂

        I’ll leave you to your inner work and wish you well travelling into darkness. Your mind is a lamp illuminating the path ahead, you’ll not get lost in the dark nor will Pluto surprise you.

        Until next time, take care in all ways always 🙂

        Love and Peace. Namaste 🙂


        P.S: Check your email spam file, I posted a comment here that hasn’t materialised. It related to a previous post you left.

      • Dewin Nefol says:

        P.S: Purely for curiosities sake – Pluto has 5 Moons: Charon, Hydra, Kerberos, Nix, Styx. Such great names for Moons and Pluto has a whole harem to muse in the dark…no wonder he is terrifying bwahahahaha 🙂

      • P.S. Alas, I cannot find anything in my spam folder…

      • Dewin Nefol says:

        Alas, I have no copy 😦

      • Dewin Nefol says:

        Hey Monika, Namaste 🙂

        I’ve just written this poem…would you like it as a comment here? 🙂

        ~ Purple ~ By ~ Dewin Nefol ~

        Puce made purple on a hillside:
        Were it not for the bruising hue
        No one would ever really know,
        Where bruised Wizard’s sometimes go.
        How are the wings healing Monika?
        Are you yet ready to fly?
        To lift away from mediocrity,
        To rocket into starry skies?
        Pluto will never surprise you Monika:
        Are you forgetting you’re one of the few,
        Who come and go through Hades door,
        Without having to pause or queue,
        Why Monika,you glister, Mercurial you!
        It’s what you do to keep your sanity,
        When others lose their way, when
        Passage through an Enchanted Door,
        Finds a Lover with whom to pray.
        Not pray with prayers although that is what they are,
        But to meditate upon Love bestowed by a Star,
        In sight of Love’s perfection Truth is in reflection,
        Light and Darkness within our Heart.

        Namaste 🙂


      • Dewin Nefol says:

        Hey Monika, Namaste 🙂

        I am off to the land of Zzzzz,
        May I leave this poem with thee?
        Golden hearted yet exquisitely grubby,
        Left by Pluto in a comment for me.

        ~ Purple Pussy ~ By ~ Dewin Nefol ~

        Purple Pussy sitting pretty atop a high Turreted Tower,
        Exquisite Empress, Reigning Temptress, passionate Sacred Flower.
        Where I Above and she Below alone upon a satin pillow, one
        Lavender scented immaculately presented groomed to perfection,
        For She the Purple Pussy is a Goddess in reflection.
        Tis why an Eagle circles and endlessly stares,
        Tis why a Snow Leopard paws where others never dare,
        Where only a Cat would brave the cold, else ride the ice or be so bold
        As to pad quick path to an Elevated Bower: and there melt
        In Light of a Purple Pussy’s Power.

        Namaste 🙂


  4. 1weaver says:

    just gonna sit here for awhile with these magical perfect pictures …wow

  5. Jeff Japp says:

    Thanks for sharing. Was unfamiliar with her.

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