Many thanks to David for reading his poem as part of the In Conversation With: Keith Bayliss and Roger Moss event. To see the recorded Livestream, click HERE

Venus of Blaengwynfi by David Thomas

as they always have

women and men

carry shopping

push prams

change channels

 

dig over

dig down

dig in

 

quarrel

eat

sleep

shit and dissipate

 

cwtch out

cwtch in

dissent

agree to disagree

 

find common ground

almost inevitably

about them

and within them

in such a place

 

deep below the bachgen carreg

the boy of stone

a mean old mist

uncoils about the cape

 

smoke rises

from the odd chimney still

 

memory persists

 

on the bwlch

muddied and befuddled

sodden hooves

mark off the fallow

 

all she ever really saw

was here

all of her

lies here

all

about her

here

or hereabouts

 

she knew little more

but she could

perhaps

be knowing

in some uncertain ways

 

the south wind

chasing up behind her

brought her promise

once upon a time

 

the north wind

with its deceits and lies

and coldness

left her barren

 

old superstitions lingered in the gut

unchecked

a gwyllgi

braced against a wild twilight

the ceffyl dwr at large

in a landscape that resonates

with whispered memories of men

long gone

one way or another

boys again to her

carrying

still

on the four lips of the wind

 

spiteful demons

spitting and cursing

swearing and frolicking

sparkling on the dark mantles

of the hills and houses

raining down their spears of ice

dancing fantastic in the sacked church

plundering the spoken word

screech and belch and gutter

no more

as they always did

for the want of succour

in the narrowest of streets

in the narrowest of nights

and days

 

and the ones she cherished

and the ones she loved

and the ones she longed for

and the one

she cherished and loved and longed for

and desired

before her

born

known

gone

remembered

and forgotten

 

never the pick of the bunch

when her heart

finally stiffened

beyond resolve

or resolution

all that remained

was

a sense of something

logos

pathos

a faint impression

 

and wonders

still

perpetually unfolding

for some reason

above

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