Wednesday, 1 December 2021

Gateway

 A poem written on a recent holiday to the Llyn Peninsular, where we stayed in a cottage on top of the cliffs overlooking Porth Neigwl, also known as 'Hell's Mouth Bay'. A region so loved by R S Thomas. The photo is sunset behind Ynys Enlli.

Gateway

Something loosened

knots unravelled

a sluicegate gave way

 

as I watched the new moon sink

over the settled sea

of Hell’s Mouth bay.

 

A curlew call pierced the air

from another place

far across the silence

 

a linnets’ chorus scattered

sharp sparks of song all over

the stark hedges of top field....

 

This, followed close by 

the click of cogs settling       inside    me.

Light flickered as

 

crowds of starlings arrived on telegraph wires

and covered the field in spangled wings,

prattling marauders, picking from the ground,

 

their meals enriched

from the leavings of grazing sheep

and Charolais cattle who stare with gentle eyes.

 

In the dunes of Porth Neigwl

we watched a stonechat flit

among bramble briars

 

it’s flirty mate chanting

a call like turning metal cogs...

clickclick peep clickclick peep

 

and later, in the dusky dark of top field

I leant on the farm gate

and looked to the shadow of Ynys Enlli

 

where that slender mooncrescent of gold

slid into the sea

and something inside me

slipped

into place.



Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Reclaim the land

Apparently three million more people are making valuable use of their gardens to grow fruit and veg, thanks to lockdown. (Royal Horticultural Society figures).

Here's a poem I wrote early last year, a simple little poem that I hope says a lot. There's a link at the bottom to some easy planet-friendly tips for gardeners from the RHS.

Reclaim the land  

Grow things,

prepare compost, rich and deep

get your hands in the soil

feel the goodness there

breathe the warm scent of it.

Set seeds and take cuttings

nurture your earth

plant trees



make orchards of apples, plums and pears

raise fruit and veg for your table,

and for your neighbours,

grow things, just grow things,

grow.


This poem appears in this 40-page book of poems and pictures, 'In the Garden' which was produced this summer by a group of poets in south west Wales. Copies are available direct from me for £5 inc p&p.

Here are 10 simple planet friendly tips for gardeners from the RHS ... 

https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/gardening-for-the-environment/planet-friendly-gardening-tips


 

Sunday, 25 July 2021

Poetry of a sandwich

This poem can be performed while eating a sandwich made of mixed green leaves

(or not, in which case you have to imagine that I have a sandwich ...)

Poetry of a sandwich

So many wonderful words in this sandwich …

lollo rosso, a flamenco dancer

 with deep red frilly edges

tatsoi, the crunchy Chinese leaf

frisee, robust and strong

names to get your tongue around…

mizuna, mild, serrated edges

escarole, pale-hearted but substantial

romaine, deeply green and strong

lollo verde, lighter than its red cousin

bataria, more frilly

little gem, compact and beautiful

oak leaf, green or red, and sweet

chard, in many colours.

Add zest and spice with spiky rocket

(protects against cancers)

pungent watercress

(the Greeks say it brightens the intellect)

a bitter kick of radicchio.

Add a few leaves of nasturtium

for a real bite! …

a peppery flavour, and a natural antibiotic.

(Also said to be a remedy for hair loss,

and good for circulation)

A pansy flower or two will purify the blood.

It’s an anti-rheumatic and laxative too.

(Don’t eat too many!)

for texture, taste, health benefits,

put your greens in your sandwich,

savour all the flavour…

              eat all the words!


 

Thursday, 22 July 2021

Aurelia aurita

Quite a lot of these around in Cardigan Bay just now. These moon jellies are harmless and quite beautiful.

Aurelia aurita

Moon jellies bump gently

against my body

 

as I float in flooding tide

early morning, late spring.

 

Creatures without brain

blood, eyes, or heart

 

yet beautiful free swimmers

pulsing movers

 

alive in their own light, iridescent silk,

with violet ornaments, carnal signals.

 

We let the sea swallow us

and drift together

 

while they murmur untold stories,

older than dinosaurs.

 

First published in Words for the Wild, 2020,

and in  'Before we Breathe' my third poetry collection (Littoral Press 2021)