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.
“All things must pass. Mankind is as grass.”
Two calves adventured, maybe misdirected
or spooked? Perhaps, a dog?
dived into the grassy basket of Matilda’s field,
not equine, resurrected.
In the morning,
a delicious day, already sun baked by nine
June, “in like a lion”,
jet steams, cats cradled patterns
streaked the blue backed, split of sunshine,
and I found one calf
nestled into a bower of bracken
nettled and serenaded by the marshmallow pink and white
of baby breathed hawthorn,
bordered by buttercups.
There it stayed, the whole lazy summer’s day,
nervous, ill at ease
unwilling to gambol or feed
unwilling to make hay.
Three farmers came
as the evening slipped away.
Stealthy summer sunset.
Dinas Head diminished,
a fishing boat scarred by light
a duskling starshine
in the breathless bay.
“They’ve only been out a day or two,
everything a new sensation,
even the sunlight is new.
Don’t know grass
Nor bonded as a group.
They simply don’t understand
what it is
they’re meant to do.”
We herded the two runaways out of the gate
leading them lane wards
as opposed to astray
through the greened canopy
outfoxed by foxgloves
the elders floated subdued, ethereal amongst the elderflower
motes, particles, as we passed
and into the railway sided field.
The man I walked alongside of
of those, “our friends” likewise lost,
of the ties of this small community
the roped weight of history.
And a hint, a nod perhaps,
towards the incoming stream
a Westwards eddy,
and suggested, maybe implied
the consequential claim:
fragmentation, discord, disunity.
In T shirt, shorts and wellies
no farmer, I,
we talked on, joked a little,
a slither of gossip, happenstance,
and yet, a sense, a fractioned hint
akin somehow, to distance.
The calves were happy though.
“Let them eat cake”.
Dusk dropped the lid
and we parted.
“Perhaps you’ll write a poem”
Marc Mordey 12 7 14