Welsh Mandala


Cars, lorries, sheep liners moving up and down the road

stopping at pubs for a cheery one

where the coals glow, damp logs fizz mid-daying

the sun laced light on the grey-grass hills

dark firs sentinel beside the farms

cheerful sheep eyeing the black foraging birds

red god firing a thousand hearths.

Today, Mrs Sims, the Post Office lady bustles around in the rain

to open the door. "Horrible weather!" she says,

"Starting a cold too -"

Two letters for Poland - I tell her

"Poland is it then?" she eyes them doubtfully

"Where's that then? Europe is it?"

"Not quite - a bit beyond - but will be someday!"

"Ah - yes!" she finds it in the book,

triumphantly. "43 pee then it is twice over."


Already in the early afternoon

light fades grizzling the land no shadows now,

A giant owl perches on a fencepost -

no just a fencepost really,

presences swarm in the groves the crannies

of the hills, the old Welsh spooks,

the powers reaching the not-quite fearful

heart greening in the dark light

fading, yellow flames

in the village houses far below.


December 1998