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Posts Tagged ‘Wales’

THE THISTLES

Cloud is down over the hills again.
It drifts and rolls between field and forest.
The valley is lain out soft and still green;
It does not mind the warm rain.
There is not silence, but it feels like silence.
Sheep shorn and the hay is in.
The thistles have a royal flower:
In deserted places, proud,
Like ancient tribes before the Romans came,
They gather and stand still.

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JULY NOW

July now, and high summer days lay upon us.
In hedgerows the field maples smoulder a new red.
All the greens, more tentative now, tinted with heat and dust,
Weighed down by a glowing heavy sun.
The rivers are low and silent, bleached rocks butter-smooth.
Merciless will be the shadeless hills, growing pale and dry.
We seek the cooler air of woodlands
And walk out at evening with lullaby thought.
The nodding grasses, ripe and swaying,
And a full moon, crisp in a blameless sky.

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SUMMER DROUGHT

Here is the slow, curdled froth of midsummer.
The drift downstream through wilted greens
And the drying grass, sallow on pocked, lain rock.
Parched flaccid, pressed still in irremovable heat
Sun-ironed shadows and a dull buzz of flies.

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MIDSUMMER LIGHT

The woods are settled now and full.
Their heavy green skirts spread cool
And pleated in each valley’s green lap.
Nest and nested, crowned with shade,
They glow of a midsummer evening
Into a slow, white bow of twilight
Patterned with bats and owls,
A stretched and quiet expanse,
The tropic and declination of invisible motion,
A singular silvered attendance upon silence.

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SPITE INN

June settles in,
Warm and fine and easy.
Beyond Spite Inn
Clouds roll through the wet grasses.
Two cuckoos praise each other
Across the oak valley floor.
The old roads drip green.


Spite Inn is a ruined, but preserved, building on the road between Tirabad and Cyngordy on the northern slopes of the Eppynt. It is likely a drover’s resting place, and its name is thought to derive from its rivalry with another nearby inn.

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JUNE DRIFT

I am as blurred as the cleft of Cwm Dwfnant shrugged with cloud,
shunned in its darkness, up hanging from the heights, silent as a hawk.

like ladders the thistles grow, straight and high, and the sedges hustle
the grasses, cropped short, and rain-laden.

the woods, a hushed audience, wait for rain
that is as welcome as the sun, as welcome as the long, pale dawns,
as welcome as the naked starlit evenings.

sallow seed slides and drifts, amnesiac angels, bounced on warm air,
and shallow cool down by the gurgling river’s bank.

and the globeflowers at Nant Y Bran bursting and butter-bright as suns
on their long green necks. and yet they still cannot look into tomorrow.

where shall be ever planted the sweet heads of valerian
and the meadowsweet foaming up through the coming of another summer.

light drizzle rains down, slowly drifting east. a cuckoo mist, a cuckoo silence.
I am blurred as the sources of all rivers are, nominal, approximate.

this white drift is a moment that now dissolves the hills
and clarifies by shimmer and shade the valley’s deep and every fold.

the unknown and the known are not new dreams to us.
they clothe us and wrap us round, swaddled and held still, a long lullaby,
sometimes with words, sometimes with sounds,
sometimes with a warm breath
that is itself no different than love.

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These blurred, cool days are best,
Soaked with fresh green airs
Hedgerows smudged with bluebells,
Cowslip clouds lolling heavy in the grass
And the rivers running brown and full
Over hollows and heaped grey rock.
And everywhere the blackbirds sing
On wooded slopes,
And the flit and flick of swallows
In the slow rain.

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