My angels were singing

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(the view from Carningli. Newport Bay Pembrokeshire. photo by MM)

 

My angels were singing : a poem for St David’s Day

 

This poem was conceived over a a few spring like days, during February 2008 – out walking the dogs, watching the birds, and thinking of those who have died, who do – I believe – watch over us.

Nearly 10 years on, I am still fortunate indeed to live and love in a most beautiful part of Wales, and, in my opinion, one of the loveliest places in the world. This is, I reckon, my ‘go to’ poem!

 

I stood near the house

where Grace once lived,

My angels were singing.

 

I watched as birds

and daffodils dived.

My angels were singing.

 

It’s spring and the sun

bursts fat and alive.

And my angels were singing.

 

Old crow, silhouetted against Carningli rock,

purple shadowed on blackened burnt bracken,

gorse and heather reeling :

the after shock.

But my angels were singing, still.

As seagulls wheeled across the bay,

catching sea breezes,

tumbling at will.

 

The Irish Sea lies beneath

becalmed and silvered blue,

and my angels were singing.

 

Wales’ favourite saint remembered

the new season breaks forth, springing,

flowers dancing, church bells – ringing.

His angels – singing.

 

Seasons, people, live and die,

here and now is for the living.

But remember those you love or loved –

do try.

And let your angels be singing.

Let your angels be singing.

Dydd Gŵyl Dewi hapus


Strumble Head

At Strumble Head

 

A half hour stolen from the day, so

I came to Strumble Head.

The sea, blue grey rolling hillocks.

An oyster catchers cry splitting the bay.

Foxgloves, daisies, sky blue candy tufts,

and a cormorant, jet streaming the billows.

 

The intermittent mirrored wink of the lighthouse

gleaming, sun streaming.

Always, the inner gasp as a breaking wave

behoves a porpoise – or impossibly not.

Simply in my dolphin dreams?

Ever, the reverberating of the gulls,

persistent squalls, mews, occasional screams.

 

Outside this bubble, a world becalmed

The noise, the mighty chaos and upheaval,

and the smaller fuss, went on.

In Germany, a man, armed

Took a fatal spree, a cinema shooting run.

A composer died, aged one hundred.

Refugees lay, exposed in 50 degrees of heat,

unhindered by aid, a blanket between seven,

no tents, no water, no food.

As the waves primped and plumed,

I wondered

how it is that,

across this planet of ours

the odds remained:

Uneven.

 

As people on our islands voted

Again, again, again…

My mind was tumbling, Strumble bound

To past walks with you, picnics and dogs.

A curious seal, whiskered and severe

Head bobbed brightly in a cove we know.

The coast path meandered, stumbled.

Lost, then found.

 

Then, returned to my small reality,

albeit cage dragged and reluctantly.

My heart and soul ablaze, it’s true.

For Strumble, Penrallt and so much else besides.

Gifted, treasured,enormity

this sea bound, cliff scaped endless beauty.

The odds are stacked,

my card marked…

My reward:

From, my ever treasured you.

 

This poem was written on the day of the UK Referendum (aka Independence Day – ha, the irony!) I shall continue to seek refuge in the beauty of landscape, environment and the unconquerable nature of Nature itself. And, am grateful to all – most especially HB, for this was written expressly for you – who have spoiled me with love and affection. 

I am indeed, a most fortunate man.

 

 

 

 

 


A poem for St David’s Day

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My angels were singing : a poem for St David’s Day 

This poem was written a few years a go now – and I have shared it previously. I wondered about ‘recycling it ‘ but (rightly or wrongly) I love this poem, and, given that St David’s Day is an annual event, well….here’s to him, to Wales and the Welsh, and ultimately ; to us all!

Ddiwrnod da ac yn flwyddyn wych I ddod.

 

I stood near the house

where Grace once lived,

My angels were singing.

 

I watched as birds

and daffodils dived.

My angels were singing.

 

It’s spring and the sun

bursts fat and alive.

And my angels were singing.

 

Old crow, silhouetted against Carningli rock,

purple shadowed on blackened burnt bracken,

gorse and heather reeling :

the after shock.

But my angels were singing, still.

As seagulls wheeled across the bay,

catching sea breezes,

tumbling at will.

 

The Irish Sea lies beneath

becalmed and silvered blue,

and my angels were singing.

 

Wales’ favourite saint remembered

the new season breaks forth, springing,

flowers dancing, church bells – ringing.

His angels – singing.

 

Seasons, people, live and die,

here and now is for the living.

But remember those you love or loved –

do try.

And let your angels be singing.

Let your angels be singing.

 

 


How I wish – A London, Christmas love song.

Dedicated to Jules and Bea (Beazley) for their wedding, 6th December, 2014. May all your wishes come true.

How I wish

You were with me now,

On this west bound train.

Your head nestled on my scarf shrouded shoulder, 

As hills, estuary and city-scapes slide by.

Seeing occasional bouldered tops, and

Winter scarred fields, with 

Cows and sheep reddened in December, shadow sharpened sunlight.

The train roars by, and 

Crows scatter, shocked but unruffled.

And the tinnyness  of maddening music

Moleing in someone’s headphones

Is suddenly stifled.

 

How I wish I was with you 

In Oxford Circus sunshine.

Salvation Army songed,

Santa thronged

Peacock motif light strung 

And subdued Swiss shopped.

Walking wok wards 

Or sipping our piping hot coffee 

In the Photographers Gallery. 

After viewing wind chilled,

Snowbound and desolate Finnished landscapes. 

The portraiture of Martina Lindqvist,

Startling and sublime;

Living and loving, on

best borrowed, London time. 

 

How I wish I was with you in an Uber car,

Being teased and cosseted all in one go.

The South Circular,

Wedding party bound and perilous slow.

The paper lights 

Small globes in a sun boundaried marquee.

The confetti, floating ghost petalled toward the uneven floor.

The rusted statues gaping at a glitter of guests,

Speeches, stumbles, extracts and jests,

Celebrating this days marriage –

And other such states of union. 

Past, present, the family bond,

Wherein New Zealand Eritrea, South Africa

Wales and well beyond,

Played their part, 

In sumptuously stated affairs of the heart.

I’m here, and the glass raised is in genuine spirit, but 

In my mind I’m on a Lizard Mountain

Eagle crested 

Canadian roof topped once more.

And then 

As now,

My word is forged, feather breathed,

To cherish, to adore. 

 

How I wish I could be with you,

Now

And evermore. 

  

 


The Secret Life of a Postman

I remember reading , and thoroughly enjoying, Lloyd Jones novel, ‘Mr Vogel’ and making the mental note that ‘I must read more of this man’s work’..but then, somehow, the opportunity has not arisen (or I have not made it happen).

Just lately I was gifted a copy of Mr Jones’ new collection of poetry – ‘The Secret Life of a Postman’, and what a fine present this has turned out to be.

I have been working my way gradually through this impressive selection of poems – it is a big volume and there is a deal of complexity in the words and rhythms of the poet : not a book to be absorbed at one reading, but a delightful, literary chocolate box to dip into and relish (and we are talking high end confectionary here!)

The range and dimensions of these poems is, simply, quite staggering ; poems of love such as ‘A brief history of love’ paint a vivid picture in relatively few words, whilst the title poem is both lyrical and enigmatic. Some are curiosity writ large , ‘Guidance notes for people wishing to design a golf course water feature’ being but one prime example. There are poems that reflect upon Wales and Welshness – for me, ‘Sacrament’ being a beautifully written and constructed poem that captures so much of that very special essence. ‘Poet in the kitchen’ gives a tantalising glimpse of the writer at work, and a good number of the poems here are intensely, yet not intrusively, personal in their tone. The writing is both of and in the moment – as well as some of the lines and subjects being steeped in history and classical reference.

It is very difficult to pull out favourites from this collection but, as the time of writing, I particularly want to commend ‘Aleppo’ and ‘The service’ ; I guess because, as is the case with poetry, music, novels and art the world over, something particular, specific and uniquely subjective makes me (you) reach out and embrace a verse, an image…tugs at your heartstrings and stays in your mind.

I am convinced that there will be poems for all herein that will leave an indelible mark and bring you back to this excellent, enjoyable and, on occasion, testing anthology. A great achievement and a writer who deserves to be celebrated well beyond the magical borders of Wales.

 

Marc Mordey                                                           To buy this book : go to  http://www.welsh-american-bookstore.com/News/lloyd-jones-secret-life-of-a-postman.html

15 10 2014secretLifeCvrSM


A link to a blog piece on our National Poetry Day (2014) event

lovely photos and a nice piece from Diana – we had a brilliant evening, a richness and diversity of poets , wonderful music from Lowri Evans and Lee Mason, delicious crepes provided by Beatrice of Ffwrn (and served – with great aplomb – by Helen Carey)  ….think we will return!!

http://dianapowellwriter.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/pancakes-poems-at-ffwrn-fishguard.html?spref=fb

thanks Diana


My Carningli Queen

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Carningli
Crowns the bay
As I stare hard
On this perfect summer’s day
At the blue-green world
Yawning beneath me.
Gasping to the top
I clasp at stone
And lay a new gift –
A blessing, ordered to complement
My bent –pin wishing well thoughts –
Atop the gathering cairn.
Rested, renewed,
My legs construed
To return me to you
And your melon scented kisses.
You – the jewel
In my Carningli crown.