Tuesday, March 23, 2010

In Retrospect















High walls do not keep
a terror out, but
lock the terror in.
Bright citadels live in fear
of outsiders and were built
by those who have everything
to lose and nothing to give.

In those cities were too many old men
poring over books, plaiting
words into their own shapes,
far too many young men
pouring blood from scripts,
swords placed in their hands.

The path homeward was narrow
as you started out,
but then, as you progressed, grew wide
and though you began on your own,
you soon found others at your side.

Together now,
we can look back down
at those awesome structures,
which once seemed to us
impenetrable, so tall,
and see, at last,
where small cracks are forming,
and know those grey slabs
will fall.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Myrddin's Daughter (for Catrin Finch )















She can conjure sunlight anywhere,
light a rainbow in your hair,
pluck wind sound from the sullen air,
soothe a wildcat in his lair.

She suspends us in her glass
where safe in her mysterious clasp,
as breezes toying in long grass,
in seconds hours fly and pass.

She can make the night sky throng
with voices summoned by her song,
oh how they make us yearn and long
for the places we belong.

She can strum the strings of Bogota.
She can raise Tryweryn's star
and though we listen from afar,
she reminds us who we are.


After hearing Catrin Finch perform with the Colombian group, Cimmaron, in the Taliesin Theatre, Swansea, Friday March 12th 2010.An unforgettable night. Myrddin is Welsh for Merlin and an alternative Welsh title is Merch Myrddin.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

High Definition Tsunami


















Flickering
mango, amber, nut brown,
men thrashing around
dark water swells,
ice white water crashing down
scouring once ground.

Green faces, violet lips,
mangled cars, beached ships,
khaki men and guns,
white, clip-boarded, ant men,
yellow earth movers crawling
through once towns.

Silver tongued men,
smart, fawn words,
bronze faced ones
glide past dead men,
zebra-striped, sleep walking men,
red eyed, silenced once again.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Next year in Al-Quds


Though we ourselves lack food,
we treat our guests as all men should,
sprinkle crimson petals at their feet,
singing
next year in Al-Quds.

We raise our young
to distinguish evil from good,
that all the stars are ours,
singing
next year in Al-Quds.

Reliving
lost childhoods,
grey men laughing,
singing
next year in Al-Quds.

Dancing
where winding walls once stood,
young men rising,
singing
next year in Al-Quds.

Fleeing
hawk dark woods,
doves winging,
singing
next year in Al-Quds.

Friday, March 05, 2010

School Photograph


Familiar faces
every one
frozen awkwardly
in that moment.

Head leaning
to one side,
inquiring,
I didn't really want to know,
eyes closed,
I didn't care to see,
teeth bared,
I was too timid,
whisps of hair intruding,
I was careless.
a careless pose,
I was ignorant,
contrived arrogance,
I thought I knew.
blissful ignorance.

Familiar memories,
in all their eyes,
through every one.

She promised to meet me
at the end of the road.
An opportunity lost.
I didn't care
to please her.
An ambition achieved.
He swrore
he would forgive me.
A hatred nurtured.
She asked me
if I was responsible.
A moment of fear.
He was balmed.
Uncontrolled laughter.
The other one
was rewarded.
Unashamed sadness.

Familar feelings
recalled
at inconvenient moments.

She left a note
explaining.
This is no time for self reproach.
I destroyed
the evidence.
Everybody does that kind of thing.
He was watching
through my open door.
The past must be buried.They all knew
the truth
in the end.
Exorcism.
Somebody
will have to pay
for the damage.
Think of the future!

This photograph
has been ripped to pieces
many times,
yet patiently
reconstructed
and neatly sellotaped
each
and every time.


This old, new poem actually dates back to 1966 and my first
year in Swansea. I was lucky enough to have one to one
tutorials with Vernon Watkins and he encouraged me to
play around with line structure.