2015 has been a mixed bag of weddings, funerals, illness, celebrations, separations, crashes, injuries and one major fall of a roof ( wait till I see you in January, Adam)and I know now, as I write, that 2016 will feature more partings. I have friends leaving, family renewing wedding vows, another significant birthday, a significant anniversary, a graduation and none of these mine. There will be successes and failures, and the friends, who know me well know exactly where my stresses are. Some days I feel as if I am watching it all unfold from the centre of a circular cinema – a bit like the one in Arromanches. But then, that the trouble with writing – I watch a lot.
Thank you for reading my blog this year. I hope to continue uploading poems and excerpts. I had hoped to have Plygain Part three ready but for some reason it won’t write itself: Angharad is stuck in a torch-lit procession to chapel with her father, and I can’t get either character beyond the lane and there’s a false note in it something not quite right. The Frankenstorm has put paid to the time to struggle with it for the time being.
I really appreciate the fact that my friends and family, at home and in the US stop by to read here. Feel free to leave comments even if you don’t like something but be gentle and constructive too – some days it really is like putting my heart on a platter!
I wish you all a happy, and healthy 2016. For myself I wish a little more resilience so that I can keep writing when life and work take over. So, in memory of a beautiful autumn day, where my sister and I watched salmon leap in Betws y Coed, I include here a first draft of a poem. I also include one of my favourite poems, Unigedd which traces my thoughts as I gazed at an image from Keith Wither’s collection, and how my mistake and mis-translation forced me to think about something.
with heartfelt thanks to Keith Withers for his PhotoArt.
Ways of looking:
Unigedd: first I though it was a mistake – a typo,
Surely a mistranslation –
loneliness – unigrwydd-
his black framed photograph
holds its own space
small on the wall
of decommissioned godspace
The trees charred tendrils slope from the
dying light towards the
ember coloured bracken slope
as if Moses had passed by
forged by his loneliness or solitude
in a non god space
I scrabble for the words
He waits until the light is right
The salmon vault the rock cliffs
over and over – their bodies muscled
by river water – failing to overcome
surging currents swollen by
this autumn deluge.
We are immobile on the bridge
while they – intrepid –
search for the path to the spawning ground;
drawn home by red and amber hues
while earth turns in on herself.
displaced in cascades of rock and water, one
circles the riverbed; is seduced by the undertow
in search of a chance to seize then
a moment of sunlight and spray –
black, bowed and gleaming in the lemon light;
slick and wet he falls
in fresh water