Wednesday 3 July 2013


Croeso i Croesor

Green shoulders welcome us
Ancient and rested;
A whole valley in its heart,
Steeped with a steady breath,
The beating of wings,
The slow step of a foot on grass.

I see it in sunshine,
bluebell fields with the
sharp smell of wood sorrel,
and Cnicht in its majesty-
lit up like a statue. 

Quarry carved hills-
scars left protected
(a snag on barbed wire
only scratches the surface)
And in these hills lay rivers,
by these rivers,
moss, and secret dens.

Someone blew magic in the wind,
years ago.
Tying us all up with a reedy thread,
placing a pebble in our palms
and sticking mud between our toes,
gently weaving us all
into the tapestry,
the big picture.

We are tiny specks on an eggshell.
But we will grow from our roots,
like the blossoms and leaves,
and the wind will whisper,
Welcome home.


That Time

Remember that bar
where we went that first time-
in a backward street 
facing the sunset.

Red door and windows, painted to look old-
a fresh lick though-
undeniably so.
Remember the table at which we sat.
The candle burnt
and we thought we were so above it all-
the flame, the street, the part of town
we’d just discovered
in our post-picnic haze.
(It’s the sun! you said)

Above it all- 
discoverers of a new world-
weary with new findings,
desperate for shock,
but eyes never wide enough
to notice the beauty.

We sat for hours 
looking bored.
You mentioned something sweet and final
as if we could never go back,
as if that point was the pinnacle.
Nothing could impress you, could it?
I acted unruffled 
but my heart was beating like a mouse’s 
under my thick layers.
Each time you mentioned the possibility of---
I frowned.
The beer travelled through us in an amber river,
down spirals of tunnels,
in darkness.

When it was time to leave and we were alone again,
in the backwards street,
I glanced.
To my side you were there.
But I could not see your arm.
You had your hand tucked in your pocket
playing with loose change.


Last Day

The water rippled
in the shade
As we used the creases of the riverbank
to spread, unfold.

Bones, we lay,
swapping timely schedules
for a wasted day.
Glad of it,
glad of the earth and moths,
and the smoke,
washing into clean air.

letting ourselves drift
one face to the next.
One voice enough-
twelve voices tickling-
the goosebumps on our arms.

The sun set shyly 
as we put our layers back on. 


In the words of Sylvia Plath...

I long to permeate the matter of this world...
belong to the grass and the stems, the roots
to push up with the daisies
and sing through their leaves
break off in the breeze, petal by petal
undone and hair flowing
feet in the ash, the burning ambers
and my head in the smoke
burning pine fumes up to the moon.
Down in the soil where it echoes heartbeats
and moles twist their noses at each beetroot sense
each twitch of the nostril
beating with its breath and fleeting with a cough.
To live in roots means darkness and warmth.
To live in roots means womb again
means birth on a different day 
and life on a different earth
from it and around it.
Earthy smells and grass stains
and forgotten conkers from summers ago
left there by boys who prance like lambs
from the top of the tree
to the faces in the lawn.
The silence of still- the stillness of silence-
permeates and breathes with long sighs-
tonight’s the night, I say with disguise.
Cat eyes glare from bushes
and question this night invasion-
sees no use in lament or regret-
we’re here now she says,
sandpaper tongue 
scratching to the surface of the words
and turns a blind eye on darkness itself.
As she prowls the roots 
she sniffs and finds me 
curled up like a foetus statue
rigid and stubborn in my ignorance
shut eyed and worn
not yet open to falling leaves
and the breeze they bring.
Whichever winter,
whichever spring,
each time table and life cycle
are contained in one breath,
and forced out,
let go in its return.