A red kite, but no osprey (dedicated to Catrin Finch and Seckou Keita…and the Dyfi Osprey Project)

2015 flowers, family, friends 052(PHOTOS by Marc Mordey – the Penrallt Eagle, created by the blacksmiths

at Dinas, Pembrokeshire)

 

(The music, like the bird itself

Soars

Above the Dyfi Estuary,

and over the mangroves

fumbling their way to the

Isle de Palétuviere

as the pirogues drift down glassy water

and a pelican dominates the jetty)

 

In Pembrokeshire,

a red kite

eddying the cloudless sky

imperious above our crop dusted fields

might spy

siskin, finch, wood pigeon

a thrush, jack hammering a snail

between two stone dogs

keeping their green mossed vigil

A young jackdaw

striking a cormorant pose

bewitched by the chimney

beating time on the ridge tiles

 

(It’s hot, this year)

 

There are swallows skimming

and Amazons at sail in the bay

muted blue below

 

(and the harp still swoons

and the kora

flying fingered fishing line

rocks a gentle rhythm

whilst I am at sea

in a pyjama striped hammock)

 

Blue tits, dipping for water

in the stone bird bath

that celebrates a golden grand-parented wedding

of 50 years ago

 

There are lilies blooming

amidst the dying embers of foxglove

and jasmine perfume teasing

romping in a green gaged balloon of bush

St John’s Wort in full throttle

And pink flushed, sunset resplendent

oliander, a whisper of Greece

and the road to Milapotamos

that we took

so long ago

 

(and the opsrey, Dinas, fledges

takes fleeting, freewheeling flight

and feels Wales on its wings

maybe anticipates

instinct, deep chested and hidden

Senegal sunshine

 fat flowing river

sea hawk’s delight)

 

The honeysuckle is draped

and honeyed

whilst the weather vane is stilled

the umbrella stifled with gaffer tape mends

no breeze

no sirocco

blowing the wind southerly

from Africa

 to lighten the atmosphere.

 

(but, no fear

for the music still plays,

swaying, stirring, evoking

 the sea,

Carningli

Dinas Head

Morfa Head

and the Land of Song beyond

still here

still here)

2015 flowers, family, friends 051

 

 

 

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Teabags (in memoriam)

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Teabags 

 Late July 

Stuck on a train

Wishing myself elsewhere

I find myself

Caught unawares 

Remembering

Again

Emptying the cottage of

The final fragments of

Your long life

A teddy bear

In fact 

Two

An address book

Long yellowed and sweated 

Christmas cards 

An alarm clock

Parker pens

Photographs and poetry books

No longer gracing your shelves 

As we delved deeper into 

Long lost cupboards

Light bulbs

Defunct 

An iron, kitchen roll 

Tin foil, chicken soup

We left

Breathlessly sad

And

As my train journey drags

Here I am

My mind full of the image 

Of the small pottery jar

Stuffed with brown tipped

Teabags. 

 

Rosemary (Blossie) Beazley died on 4th May 2015.  This poem is for her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


VALENTINED – for H B-C-M

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I’d like to tell you what’s on my mind

how you’ve been truly Valentined.

But, sad to say,

you are away,

and I am left behind….

 

So, instead,

line by line,

I’ll have a go,

though possibly ill defined

and

inadequate, I know,

to capture, collate,

yes, celebrate,

the essence of my Valentine…

 

You’re Greek sunshine,

butter cream, refined.

Gambian river trips

little egret sun flushed wingbeat dips

in African magical time.

Mimicking the whistling song

of the little owl,

spurning luxury Egyptian cotton

for the favoured

budget beach towel.

Coffee flavoured,

early morning bird watch savoured,

the gruffly monkeyed howl.

 

You’re the startling sweep of starling,

the hummingbird roosting,

the bullfinch soft and pink,

the wren, the goldfinch,

flamingo, osprey, parakeet,

the jacana too, quetzal sweet.

If you were a bird,

a thought, perhaps absurd,

I’d have to name you

Darling.

You’re still adored,

in Chilean fjord.

Blue whale spotting

semi globe trotting

sharing the longer view.

Fighter, then writer,

trader, waiter, painter too,

there’s no way (nor reason for)

of pigeon holing you.

You’re Newport Bay,

Parrog ice cream delicious days,

the shifting Welsh seashore.

You’re Costa Rica,

Argentina, Falklands and Uruguay.

Senegal, Canada, Utah, Montana,

Venice, Florence, France and Spain.

Oh my!

How can it be so?

You take me to

the sweet by and by,

again, again, again.

You’re laughter in the morning,

London show nights,

Parisian delights,

and ever, the afterglow.

 

You’re the best of every day

in each and every way…

 

I could go on,

but maybe best confined,

to render you sublime,

my constant wish

to remain entwined,

to cherish and adore,

my ever lovely

Valentine…

 

So please,

once more,

be mine.

 

 


Remembering David Bowie (he’s a Blackstar)

 

It seems strange to me, almost uncanny, how the death of someone one has never met, and now, never will, (and of course, probably never would have encountered anyway!) can feel like such a personal loss. I felt this following the death of Terry Pratchett and now do so about that of David Bowie. And, as witnessed by the incredible amount of tributes and commentary, lots of other people do too.

The statement that an artist provided the “soundtrack to my years” is, of course, a cliché – but hey, David Bowie is right up there amongst my inventory of magical musical discovery….of lost summer mornings abandoned to song,  of sneaking a disc onto the radiogram (in the early days, prior to the Dansette) of the thrill of the new, crisp covered LP, of talking though the nuances of photos, lyrics, sleeve notes, with various friends. Of life, of love, of sadness and of the sheer, brutal thrill of new sounds, new visions. Rest Well Mr Bowie – you deserve no less, well at least, as far as my – inadequate – book is concerned. 

  

As suburban adolescence slid by

Our small town’s parks disturbed by smoke, cheap beer, chatter

Indiscretion and mild obsession

You, somehow, showed us what might matter

Sometimes snarled lyrics, harsh guitar

At others, a love letter, whispered

Hermione and the Starman in harmony.

 

Later, we rode from Station to Station

Having been a Lodger, Low, an occasional zero

 

Rock and Roll Suicide denied

Dogs, cats, diamonds amongst the genocide

And yet, you sang, the possibility that even we

Even I

Might become, reclaimed, refreshed, a Hero.

 

Last night, the moon split by dark cloud

(A favoured line, of mine)

I sang to you,  windswept and westward

though this is not America

skybound, space scattered, unfettered

Blackstar indeed

As the radio waves vibrated with your muse

So sad, so very personal, somehow

Dear David, wondering

Where are you now

Where are you now?


There’s strength in numbers…..

This poem was requested by my former employers at Alcohol Concern, as a contribution to a drugs and alcohol journal. It’s really hard, or at least I find it so, to write a poem ‘to order’ but I do hope that this goes some way to representing the amazing achievements of a lot of people who live, work, volunteer and take part in the community life of Fishguard and Goodwick. Hats off to one and all of them.   

 

There’s strength in numbers

What are the ties that bind?

Good times, sad times, celebration and commiseration.

The chink of glass, the drowning of sorrows,

take a drop, take a little,

taken too much on board?

“Ain’t you got no home to go to?”

How do we talk this through together

without condemnation, lecture, or impunity?

 

We start to chat,

a little bit of this, a little bit of that.

Meeting here and there,

coffee shops, church halls and draughty rooms.

And out of conversation blooms :

Coffee mornings, storm warnings,

Scouts, Sea cadets , the Army youth too,

Brass bands, Lifeboats, Coastguards

Fishguard and Goodwick, the beautiful blue.

Lion’s gentle roarings

(“you’re like a breath of fresh air”).

Are the old folks all grumpy?

Do the younger ones care?

Let’s celebrate our age friendliness, with Festivals and Fairs.

Soroptimists, many other optimists too,

but also nay sayers who

would have us believe that

there’s nothing to be done.

Bring on the school children, Bowls Clubs, Rotary and Round Tablers,

Fishguard AFC players, Sound of Youth ravers, Good Neighbours,

each and every one.

Community Forum, Town Team, County Council, Town Hall,

on ye come, come ye all.

Think about the’ tombstoneing’

before you make the fall.

Folks singers and poets, pancakes and pizzas,

pirates, playgrounds, snowmen and Santa.

Library, Theatr Gwaun, amongst the hubs.

Not quite so good, at getting into the pubs?

Yet, in our town of Transition

we are talking moderation,

not preaching prohibition,

thus no alcohol beer is the festival king

at the Seagulls Rugby Club.

Chamber of Commerce,

Last Invasion ideas – advance, and

if we are feeling none the worse

whisk me off to the Bay Hotel

for a Sunday afternoon Tea Dance.

Music, scones and jam, nothing silly

and the endless energy of Jockabilly.

 

 

Do we drink less, or more?

To find the correct answer, now that would be clever.

Let’s talk the talk, to find the cure.

But learn this we did, and learned it well.

There’s more strength in numbers

with people, the glue. Communities Together.

 

Marc Mordey (with ideas and comments – all much appreciated – shared by several Fishguard and Goodwick community champions) August 2017.


Rewarded by dolphins (the song of the 39 year old). Dedicated to Ida Heywood.

rewarded by dolphins coverI recently rediscovered a booklet/pamphlet of poems collated for me by great friends at ROCC, a charity I worked for in the 1990’s. Having had a read through there are some here that I like – maybe some revisions to be made, and some, all, resonate with the past….but I fancied sharing a few of them. Hope that you will like them. And here’s to us all – past, present and future.

This poem is dedicated to the memory of a dear friend of my mum and I, the inimitable Ida. I was returning from Ireland, having spent a few days with them both, when this was written.

Rewarded by dolphins – written on my 38th birthday, on the ferry from Rosslaire to Fishguard.

 

And what does a birthday bring?

A child being sick, before we leave the harbour,

making my breakfast, somewhat uneasy!

A memory of Ireland,

old places, old faces,

ice cream and cold Guinness,

and a beach, thick with shells,

and drummed by racing horses  –

beyond the house where Jacky stayed,

after they stole her Jack away.

 

And what does a birthday bring?

Cold hands in a strong wind,

and seabirds coasting the waves.

And I’ve a new, navy colour hat.

And five, yes five dolphins breaking out of the blue,

leaping, skimming, arching

and spelling out something new to come.

 

And I?

I am rewarded by dolphins.


The Three Women

This poem came on the 5th May 2017. It is in honour of, and with high regard for, the lives of Ingrid Beazley, Rosemary Beazley and Brenda Joughin.

May they rest well. Deservedly so.

 

The Three Women.

 

Maisie and I tumbled  and blew up the mountain.

Carningli, grumbling in the wind blown heat.

And I laid three bunches of posies from Penrallt

At the cairn, where others too are remembered,

A horse shoe, soil from Sicily and the USA,

A small plastic goat,

Fragments, incomplete.

 

Set the flowers down amidst the small rocks

As crows swept across, in shrouded flight

Jinxing their way towards Morfa Head,

the sea below them

indigo saltwater blue,

silver trailed, swirling,

dancing ever towards the Westerling  night.

 

Three women,

today, your lives we celebrated.

You are resting, sleeping, beyond age and now,

by life’s sometime trials,

untainted.

 

But you were :

Workers, mothers, sometimes warriors,

Creators, comforters, wives and wise,

lynch pins of this vexing world,

in your own,

differing ways.

 

The flowers are flags, splashes of colour to lighten our darkened world,

Honouring you lives, your loves,

the canvasses on which you so vividly painted,

across the years, the months,

the  weeks

the days.

 

We turn away now.

Homewards bound.

This May afternoon is muted, hushed.

Thrift, gorse, bracken splashed.

Splintered with sunlight.

Quietened by your passing

and by our loss of choices.

We, your family,

your friends,

your devotees.

 

And yet, perhaps,

now and then,

we will hear your voices,

enraptured, kaleidoscoped,

catch your cries of delight.

Lingering still

on the hot breathed breeze.