Gwrthryfel

Gwrthryfel / Uprising: An anthology of radical poetry from contemporary Wales, edited by Mike Jenkins, £12 inc. p. and p., 180pps., 4 colour illustrations, ISBN 978-1-912710-48-5

From CULTURE MATTERS

Containing my contribution:

Notes for an Ecologist

It is the Earth itself that is the treasure, not
what is buried in her – the shining hoards of
carbon that feed the rolling mills of the dragon.

We had a life once marked out by the rising
and the setting of the Sun, and by darkness,
with bright Moon and and dark Moon, dark cloud or stars.

To the Earth we cleaved for love and for shelter,
her stones were our hearth stones, her trees made our fires
and we cleaved the earth for a giving of seed.

Our implements bit deep into clay and marl, into
shales that resisted the shares of wood and bone
but were shattered and ground by iron and gritstone.

Our fires then were the fires of the Sun, furnaces
blazing in the heat of the day, cold blades we made
that would pierce shale and bone: steel to carry a life away.

We mined ore from the rocks, cut stone for our walls,
dug pigments for staining. Some gave blood in recompense,
others gathered wealth from wasted lives.

We painted our world with the mind’s brush
and shaped a story with sharp quills of thought,
sat back satisfied as bright day faded to night.

We viewed it all then in imagination’s starlight
waiting for dawn to bring it alive. Dawn comes
gun-barrel grey over the subdued land. We grieve.

For the knot that was tied is broken forever
though we try with gestures to the way of right-living
to be something more than brave green consumers.

We find time to mourn for the forest peoples
who prayed to Faunus before their lands were taken,
for the scattered tribes who dwindle in cities.

We have a creed now: to love the Earth,
be carbon neutral, protect the climate.
Will this bring expiation, this guilty posturing?

What of those who profit from the crimes
that revenge themselves on our children,
who impose even death vicariously?

There is no refuge, nor any sanctuary.

Wildlife on the House

I thought these marks on the wall under our porch were mud splashes until I looked closer and found them to be spiderlings (Araneus…?) bunched up together.

A few days later they are beginning to disperse….
….and a few are beginning to make tiny webs!

Although we are willing hosts to these, for the first time in many years we have no martins nesting in the eaves nor swallows in the back of our garage. In fact only one sighting so far this year of either of these birds passing overhead when there have been several flying around daily in past years.

They may be late arriving, and the warmer southern winds that are now blowing may bring them. We will certainly miss them if they don’t come.

Blackbird

If sitting in a garden listening
to a blackbird singing
were all that there was,

it would be enough!

Ruth Bidgood

I’ve just heard the news that the poet Ruth Bidgood died on March 4th in her hundreth year. I remember going to a reading by her when she was ninety and wrote about it HERE

My review of Symbols of Plenty containing her Hymn to Ffraid is HERE

Hers was a life well lived with poems well written.

Polyphony

Polyphony

Many voices, woven sounds
loosely meandering, yet
tightly bound in harmony,
each line following
its own time
but tuned to another,
fabricating a flow
of music, a ground
of being, a belonging
one to the other:
exclusively inclusive
reflecting a perfect
social order.