Friday, 21 July 2017

Dominic and the Rockhoppers

What a privilege to be asked by a friend to help them launch their poetry collection. But what a nerve-racking thing it is to read someone else’s work in public, with the poet (and his family) listening attentively!

Regular readers of my blog will know that I always write with spoken word and performance of poetry in the forefront of my mind.  How poems sound out loud is crucial to how I create them. I’d go so far as to say all poetry should be out loud, that’s when it really comes alive.

So being asked to read someone else’s work out in public, while they are there listening is a huge privilege – but it does make for shaky knees!

The Rockhoppers poetry performance group participated in the launch of and why we were all going, the debut poetry collection from Dominic Williams last night (July 20th).

Myself and my three Rockhopper colleagues (left to right in the photo -- Maggie Harris, Mel Perry, Annie Butler and me) were honoured to be asked to take part and we each read a few of Dominic’s fabulous poems as well as some of our own.

It was a fantastic night for spoken word, brilliantly compered by Sion Tomos Owen, and held in the friendly surroundings of Octavo’s café-bar and bookshop in Cardiff Bay.

and why we were all going is the first publication from Three-Throated Press, the new poetry imprint from publisher Iconau (Ferryside, Carmarthenshire).

It’s a beautifully produced casebound (hardback) pamphlet containing a collection of poetry that comes from the heart and affects the emotions, but also appeals to the intellect. I’ve put a selection of comments from other writers about this new work below.

And do look out for the next launch from this imprint coming soon: Rum Dark Nights by Mel Perry (yes, she’s one of my Rockhopper colleagues). 
Info on Iconau and Three Throated Press, plus how to order books:

More on the Rockhoppers:

Praise for and why we were all going:

"Dominic Williams is the madman on the train who asks the great questions, 'is the quill mightier than the thorn', 'why do the clouds drift in confusion?' He takes us from the bawdy Atlantic, from soft clouds in Ireland to the Viking vowels of Scandinavia, but always rooted in the depths of the Welsh soul… Such sensitive feelings expressed in poetry are to be welcomed and cherished. Such feelings can oftentimes only be given voice in poetry… In these pages there is much and plenty to ponder.” – Kevin Connelly.

“Evocative and playful, burrowing deep into the mysterious liaison that exists so profoundly between people and place.” -- Rachel Trezise.

“Not only is this the work of a Bard, it is a paean to life, to loss and to the burgeoning awareness of one’s own mortality. The book takes the reader on a rattling railway journey of a life, in all its hues, from a random encounter with a drunken madman to a man coming to realisation about his place in the Universe.” – Michelle Dooley Mahon.

“Williams understands that writing is not only an intellectual pursuit; it comes from and appeals to not just the head but also the guts and the muscles and the lungs and the gonads and the blood. In other words, he gets it.” -- Niall Griffiths.

Friday, 23 June 2017


                       hair knotted with brine
                                          sharpness of salt

                                                        soft touch of a breeze

                                                                           seaweed scents

                                        hot gritty sand on bare feet

                                                                cool water around ankles

                                                                         as tide pulls    


                                                                        draws you

                                         seagulls call and shout

                                                                  horizons are everywhere

                  a world tensed tight

                                                       with struggles



                                                                       becomes free

                                               and you know how it feels

                                to see forever

                                                                         as far as love

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Postcard to my father

On Father's Day. This prose poem is for my Dad. (Walter Biggs, 27/7/1912 - 24/6/1978).

Postcard to my father
I have wanted to go back to that place for so long, to breathe the same air, to be where you were when that final event happened, by the loch those many years ago. Could you see the view as you left us? Was the surface water rippled in the breeze, or was it blue, flat and clear? Could you see the pebbles underneath, smooth and round? How green were the trees in that midsummer midday? Did you smell the warm grass, taste the minerals of earth, hear all the birds singing? Did the golden eagle soar above the white clouds? Did it fly away towards the distant Cairngorms? Did you think of me? Did you wish I was there?

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Bluebells and sea pinks

 Welcome to Spring!

Bouquet by the beach

Wet wool hangs raw from barbs on a fence
where the smell of sheep had gathered,

ferns uncurl in woods to hide bluebells,
their fragrance sketched all over the air.

A thousand flowers of hawthorn open,
tiny stamens like dots of dust

on a perfect white cloth.
On cliffs where water falls sea pinks hug slate,

make thrift in abundance, overlaying
seaweed traces on a breeze.

Salt stings your lips, ties knots in your hair,
tickles your nose, fills your head.

In the café a caramel cookie rests
wide and flat, sweet and delicate in its thinness,

on a bone china plate; fragments of chocolate
soften in the sun,

and there is coffee. I breathe through the steam,
catch scents of chocolate, of bluebells, and the sea.