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ENGLYNION Y Glowr Poer y llwch o’r pair llachar - yn ei boen, Yn ei boen aflafar, Poen ei gymal, sw^n galar, Rhed y cec ar hyd y cwar. Y Lleuad Ael y lloer dros ben i^al llwyd - awen fud O’r hen fyd le’i magwyd, Oer y ias, y mae arswyd - Golau gla^n a glo y glwyd. Y Madarch Ca^f ofn sydyn y cyfarch, - gwddw gwyn, Agwedd gwael yr alarch, Llai a brych yw lliw ei barch, Y tir mud yw ty^’r madarch. ENGLYNION Y MISOEDD Ionawr Oer a gwyn, mud yw’r gweundir, - oer y dydd, Y duedd heb flagur, Daw her sydyn yr eryr, Ar naws y dydd hirnos dyr. Chwefror Dan y lloer mae adain llwm, - a daw’r gwynt A dyr gwan a’i fwrlwm, Daw naid ddu adain ddwn, Aradr oes yn ordrwm. Mawrth Y mae rhith ia^l y Mawrth oer - yn gyllell, Yn gell llymder di-loer, Ar y byd yr eira boer, Ar faes is, ar fis iasoer. Ebrill Golau’r coel ar foelydd - ar eira Eryri, ar henddyd Ar wyneb bryn, ar wynbridd; Golau’r haf o gil yr hudd. Mai Gwyrdd a mwyn yw grudd y Mai, - y goeden I gyd yn deg tyfai Y marw drom mae ar drai, Llwyn o gwsg yn llon gwisgai. Mehefin Cywain gwair yn eurlawn - ddydd o haf, Hedd a ddofa, gwres orlawn, Bendigedig a digawn, Yn ir y medd ar y mawn. Gorffenhaf Mal y don, mil adeinydd, - mal duedd Y moel. Dydd, yr hafddydd, Daw yn fwyn daw yn feunydd, Hwyl a sw^n yr hela sydd. Awst Nyth a gudd y gwenith gwyn, - y bladur Y blodau yn erlyn, Ehed o fraw ar hyd fryn, Aur ei darf, oer ei derfyn. Medi Mud yw mwyar y Medi - y cysgod Du, y cwsg yn hadu, Mwyn y byd min y beudu, A brwyn dan y Baran du. Hydref Rhedyn y cnawd, rhwd yn cnoi - ar lo main Reilwe mud yn crynhoi, Y cof llosg yn ei osgoi, Heddiw ddaw o wraidd ei ddoe, Tachwedd Llech y maen a llwch y mur, - y gragen hon O graig hen dy lafur, Uwch dy loes mae d’achlysur, O aeaf poen yr haf pur. Rhagfyr A nawr yr haul gwawr a gur - a’i rinwedd A’i raen, hael ei gysur, Gwledd rhag Faban Rhagfyr, Naws y dydd y nos a dyr. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Scans ENGLYNION OF THE MONTHS January Cold and white, silent the heathland - cold by day, Cold on darkness without flowering, Suddenly the eagle’s challenge, On day’s aspect long night descends. February Under the moon winged poverty - evil Comes with the wind and its howling, Black leaping of the dusky wing, Life’s plough is over heavy. March The surface of cold March’s soil - is a knife A cell of moonless poverty, The snow spits on on the world, On the field below, on the shiver-cold month. April An omen lights on the bare mountains - of Snowdonia, On the cold snow of old day, On a cold face, on a white soil; Summer lights and darkness flees. May May’s cheek is green and fair - the lovely tree Grows beneath the sky, Heavy dying is ebbing, Sleepy bush dresses merrily. June Hay harvest in gold-laden - day of summer, Deep in over-full warmth, Blessed and fulsome Succulent mead on the peat. July Like a wave a thousand wings, - like blackness In the blazing light of summerday, Sound and merriment hunting sap, Fair game and perennial gathering. August A nest hides in the white wheat - the scythe Threatens the flowers, He flies in fright above the hill, Golden his source, cold his ending. September September’s blackberries are silent - in his sleep, In his own shadow; Gentle world of the cattle barn, Heather under black Baran. October Fern in flesh, rusty biting - on the coal grains Of a mute railway, gathering; Burn the memories to avoid them, Today comes from yesterday’s roots. November Slate and stone and dust of wall, - this wall From rock of labour, Above the hurt you built your era, From winter’s pain the pure summer. December Now the sun strikes the dawn - with virtue And lustre, generous comfort, A feast for December’s Child, Taste of day shatters night. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Cantref Gwaelod Y mae hoen, y mae hunllef - y gwaelod Yw glywed o bentref, Ar loer, ar fo^r oer ei lef, Rhed y gwynt ar hyd gantref. Y Capel Mud Cip law main, y capel mud, - a ger heol Ei gri hallt uwch gerbyd, Y saim brwnt du yn symud, Ei arw boen ar y byd. Y Gaeaf Hir Duedd cul y dydd caled - heb ei haul Heb ei hwyl, gwres deled! Gwres ar lwyn a gras ar led, Yfa’ fedd, haf a fydded! Y Dref Fawr Llif o fwrlwm, lliwiau llon - yr ennyd Ar naid y dydd eurlon. O mor gul y mae’r galon, Du’n y dw^r o dan y don. Y Chwibon Yr enfys, arch oer enfawr - uwchben y Chwibon; sain ei oriawr Ger swyn lliwiog a gyr sawr Ar hoen a sw^n yr henawr. Yr Oen Newydd Ar y gwys hir ei goesau, - daear wych A dyr gyda’i neidiau, Hwyl i gael, hela golau, Dros y mawn yn drysi mae. Y Golau Wedi’r Glaw Moel o waed, y malwodun - yn llisgo Ac yn llosgi’r ennyn, Glaw yr aeth, gloyw’r eithin, A braf yr haul ar y bryn. Ffoadur - I Gyfarch Edward Kluk Katowice Y brad mor hyll o’r brodyr, - carcharu, Cyrchu’r gw^r yn Ragfyr, Dwr oer ei enaid a dyr, O hel ddoe haul a ddeuir. Yr Adfail Mud yw llechi’r to^ a’r mur; - y graig hen, Y gragen, hon o’th lafur. Haf dy bi^n, yr hafod bur, Y blodyn dan y bladur. Yr Afon Sw^n y dwfr, sain a dofrwydd - ar y graig O’r grugiau, bodlonrwydd. Haul y naid fel y nodwydd, Rhed afon ar faen yn rwydd. Yr Hen Lowr Duedd a ddeil dy ddwylaw, - oes byr dan Ysbryd y se^r distaw, Banner goleuni gerllaw, A dan eu byd, du’n y baw. Natur Ddyn Dirwyn graeth ar darian gron, - ei aradr Ar draws blaned ddirion, Ei raen hyll ar y nen hon, Yn y gwys nid yw’n gyson. Y Golau Wedi’r Glaw Y glaw mawr ar arogl mawn - yn tasgu Ar hoen tesog brynhawn. Daw aur o liwiau orlawn, O ddw^r oer gwlyb ei ddawn. Niwmo Barf o lo yn ei berfedd, - a sug ei Ysgyfaint y pydredd, Yn haf ei foel yf ei fedd O lwch caled dan lechwedd. ------------------------------------------------------------ The Long Winter Narrow blackness of the hard day - without its sun Without merriment, warmth arrive! Warmth and growth and grace abounding, I drink my mead, summer come! The Great City Flow of chaos, bright colours - the instant Of a leaping day clothed in gold. So narrow is the heart, Black in the water beneath the wave. The Curlew The rainbow, a cold and mighty arch - over the Curlew; the sound of his timepiece A colour-enchantment, savour And sound of the old hour. The New Lamb On the long furrow his legs - pound The fine soil, leaping, Great happiness, hunting light Over the peat, he goes wild. The Coalminer Dust pours from the fiery cauldron - in his pain, In his pain, in his harsh pain, He combs the dark sound As the pick runs along the seam. The Moon The moon’s brow over moorland - silent inspiration From the heaven that bore it, The stars are frightened - Dawn, a fair cradle, nets them. The Mushroom A shiver as I meet it - a sharpness Like the white swan’s neck, Silent grey is the colour of its pride The dumb earth, mushroom’s abode. Light after Rain Bloody moorland, a snail - slithers And burns the moment. The rain has gone, the gorse shines, The sun’s slow light on the hilltop. Ugly betrayal by brothers, - imprisonment, The assault in December, Freezing water cut his soul, From yesterday’s hunting there will come the sun. The Ruin The roofslates and wall are dumb, - the old rock, The shell, this from your labour. Your summer’s pines, your pure summer’s pasture, The flower under the scythe. The River Sound of water, a soothing enchantment - on the bedrock Made of mountains, contentment. The sun leaps like a needle, A river runs swiftly on the stone. The Old Miner He holds darkness in his hands, - a short life under Silent starry spirit, A banner of light nearby, And under their world, black in dust. The Nature of Mankind Fervent scar on rounded shield, - his plough Across a charming planet, His ugly aspect on this firmament, Carving a jagged furrow. Light after Rain Heavy rain on fragrant peat - pouring On the warmth of an afternoon. Gold will arrive, a fulfillment of colours Made of cold water able only to soak. Niwmo A beard of coal in his guts, - and draw in His lungs the corruption, In his moorland summer he drinks this mead Of hard dust under the hillside. CYWYDD Marwnad ei Dad Hedd y llan, hudd y llencyn, Bo lwyd gwsg dan blodau gwyn, Y bugail bach ar fachyn, Twyll y ta^l, tywyll tyn, Glo a baw, clai dy gawell, Addewid gam oedd dy gell, Canaf glod i dy dlodi, Dwys yw hedd y glowr du. Yr hen frain ar hoen fryniau, Yn y llan mae’r golau’n llai, Malwoden dan ddeulen ddu, Oerni nwydd, haearn ynddi, Yn y cof hun y cyfan, Yn y maen ac yn y man, Y mab dwys rhwng grwys a gras, Hudd heddiw mewn hedd addas, Ef oedd fawr, ac ef oedd fur, Gwyn ei gof yn y gweundir, Ef oedd hael o fedd heulwen, Ei ysbryd nawr, sibrwd nen, Dewr yr ysbryd cryf, derwen Fawr y brwyn, yn fur o bren. Io^r mawr y nenfyd ‘r oedd, O gwmwl aur, o gymoedd, Mawr ei fri, a gwawr ei gof, Graen ei oes a drig arnof. Scan Elegy for his Father The peaceful llan hides the youngling, Let grey shadow be under white flowers, The little shepherd on a hook, Was fed deceipt, dark and binding, Coal and dirt, your cradle’s clay, False promise was your cell, I sing praise for your poverty, Sullen peace for the black collier. The ancient crows on aspect of hills, In the llan the light dims, A snail under a black leaf, Cold material, iron in it, In memory sleeps everything, In the stone here in place, The sullen boy among crosses and in grace, Sleeps today in apt peace, He was great, he was a bastion, Blessed his memory in the heathland, He was generous, of sunlight’s mead, His spirit now whispers in the void, The brave, strong spirit, the great oak Among heather, a wall of wood. Great man of the gods’ making he was Born of golden cloud and valleys, Great his virtue, his memory dawns, His life’s aspect dwells in me. Y Machlud Dirwyn graeth ar darian gron, Yn frwd elyn afradlon, Mo^r o waed ar lwydni mud, Fflach lem o’r haul yn machlud, Gwledd gafodd naws ei gleddyf, Llosg ei awch yng nghochni’r llif, Gadael y wna’n ei gadwyn, Gras mawr, y dydd, y gwres mwyn, Gwrid gynddeiriog awr ar gynn, Ei dasgu, oerni’n disgyn, Ar dir dwys yr aradr dyr, A’r gwys ni ry o gysur, A hoen y nos yn nesai, Duedd llwm ac agwedd gwae; Haul o lid a grael o lw Ar y mo^r, ar y meirw, Yn gochedd diwedd heddiw, Y machlud a’i lid a’i liw. Scan The Sunset Savage scar on round shield, Fervent, wasteful enemy, A sea of blood on silent greyness, Flash of the setting sun, His sharp sword had a feast, The edge burns in the crimson flood, And he leaves in chains The great grace, the day, the fair warmth, Great anger of the burning hour, Its pouring, descending cold, On a sullen earth the plough beats, The harrow gives no comfort, And night’s aspect nears, Desolate blackness, aspect of sorrow; Angry sun, whose grail is a curse On the sea and on the dead, In redness ends today, In sunset and its fury and colour. FREE METRE VERSE Aberfan (Refrain from “Gwalia Deserta”, Idris Davies, the Miners’ Poet) We are crushed who now lie in this sultry grave Now, forever, we are stilled, An earth, an age, apart, “And who robbed the miner Cry the grim bells of Blaina” Man’s black hand is evil on our brow, The slurry and the sword cut deep, For us, the prey, in this indifferent soil now The mourning blind mists weep. “Even God is uneasy Say the moist bells of Swansea.” The spared have heard the valley roar A shadowed, deathly psalm, They claw in horror at the shroud of coal, Still, we the dead lie calm. “They have fangs, they have teeth Shout the loud bells of Neath.” The blue scarred hold us as we bleed, Take us as the carrion, The burning eyes, the burning sun, are blind, For now the day is done. “O what can you give me, Say the sad bells of Rhymney?” (First published, “Contemporary Poets”, 1974) In the Damp Winter Air In the damp winter air A bare latticed willow frames the lair, The noon dark valley with the red shoulder, Of the dead mine owner. “No dumping of rubbish” to the green flowing stream From Clydach Merthyr Colliery, Craigola Seam, Bubbling on its ancient bedrocks By order of the National Coal Board. Rusting ferns on a dusty Christmas day Adorn an old lung shaft that a death ago Drew spring’s life to a catacomb, The rain pools tremble with the ghostly wind, Mirroring a purple wreath. A rusty skeleton with corrugated bones Is enthroned in exploitation’s rotting corpse, The pay office is bricked up rent in grey lament, Bitter toil, primordial strife, a ruin. The tram rope is a gallows in the packed path, Of death’s grim domain, timbering rules, Faded on the bone, whisper windy defiance, The old cross sower is burned in the wood. A low god breathes dust, Beware of the engine that carried him here, The willows mourn his mortality, His soul is at sea. (First published, “Contemporary Poets”, 1974) For a’ That We are one with the wind And laughing earth, Eternity smiles in our image, And carries us from the prison Of mortality. (First published, “Contemporary Poets”, 1974) Mae’r ffyrdd yn dawel, Ac yn berlau coed y gorwel, Ar ffedog rhew’r nos mae’r lloer Yn syfrdanu’r mecanyddol. A’r lo^n syth, enfawr, Yn rhuthro at y wawr Fel tarw at y dur Dan drwch o eira mae Gosododd yr oerfel ei linyn Yn dawel ar ei ganfas A’r heol syth yn feddw-gysglyd A ddiflanodd ym merthi’s tywodydd, Y swyngyfaredd berffaith newydd. Y tarw’n suddo i gyffur ei gleddyf, Ei wely cynnes yr eira dwfn. (First published, “Poetry Wales”, early eighties). Scan In Snowdrifts near Bow Street, Dyfed The highways are quiet, Trees, horizon’s pearls, The moon, night’s icy wizard, Astound all things mechanical. The straight unyielding path That rushes for the dawn Like a bull at the steel Is buried thickly in snow. Cold draws its own circle, Woven on a delicate cloth, And the bull-road, sleep-drunk, Floats to ground in snowdrifts. A perfect enchantment, The bull sinks into the drugged sword, Welcomed warmly by the white matador. Y Nos a’i Harianrod “I saw Eternity the other night Like a great Ring of pure and endless light All calm as it was bright.” Henry Vaughan Trobwll yn rhewi’n sydyn yn d’afael Yw’r eiliad olaf. Tragywydd ar dafod y boddwr, Cywydd o ddeigryn y dw^r: Trobwll yn tynnu at ei phurdeb, Yr arianrod. Ar dduedd y domen o lo gerllaw Mae’r mynyddoedd oeraidd distaw, Dychrynllyd maent, diderfyn, A’r golau’n chwyrn. (First published “Poetry Wales”, early eighties) Scan The Night and her Silver Ring This whirlpool freezes Your last drowning second, Eternity on tongue, Cywydd, tear, of water: The silver ring beckons. On a black tip of coal nearby The mountains are cold and distant, Terrible and eternal In the fierce light. Pisa, Mawrth 1982 Mi a ddiflanais fel gwlith rhwng bryniau o feini Meini’r blynyddoedd fel cymylau’s addo’n drwm A^’r Arno i rodio’n dawel A llygredd eu henaint, yn araf i’r gorwel; I lifo ble ddoe eu cyflymder A darodd a^ dwr y graig, Fel gw^r a gwraig Eu plant yn feini llyfn. A’r tw^r ar hanner ei ddisgyn Mi a welais ddyn y dewin Y addo wedi’r llif Gwyrthiau ei bensarniaeth fel nawdd, Gloria mundis, clawdd, Arian afon ei oesoedd fel tarian Yng ngwacter nos I ddisgleirio ym medd-dod a ffos. Gweithredoedd ddyn, o’i ogofau Yn danllyd a’i gerbydau Ymladdant am aer I ddilyn y disglair; Yn yr Arno yn dawel ger ei bron, Yn gysglyd ym mronau’r don, Toddi maent fel gwlith o’r gwair. Ma^n yw’r meini, Tywodydd yn eu breichiau, Bryniau cyntaf Pisa, A dofrwydd afon yn difetha. (First published “Poetry Wales”, 1983) Scan Pisa, March 1982 I have vanished like dew between hills of masonry, Stony ages, clouds that gravely promise To journey with the Arno, quietly To frail old age, to the slow far distant horizon; To flow away from yesterday, Whose waters struck the rock with vigour, And sculpted children As man and wife. The half fallen tower Is man the miracle maker, Seeding after floods The fruit of his skill. Gloria mundis on its banks, The river of his ages flows Around his stony shield, And the vacuum of night Strikes home on the black and frenzied earth. The works of man Are illustrious cave-born dreams, A brief firmament To the quiet Arno, Lapping in its ancient waters The morning’s dew. The stones are dust In her arms, The gentle river Bears to the sea The first hills of Pisa. Yn y Labordy Yma’n ddiogel dan ei glo Mae’r gw^r gwyn yn agor ei ga^n A thinc gofalus, llywodraethol. Yn hecian yn ddall yng nghalon y nos, Beth oedd ond wargaledrwydd Mae nawr yn chwarae rwydd A^’r fformiwlai. A phan mae’r gynnau mawr yn tanio A’r arfau newydd cryf yn glanio Fel dyrnau brwnt ar blant ein byd, Mae ef a natur yn gyhyd A^’u galar mud. (First published, “Poetry Wales”, 1983) Scan In the Laboratory Here, safely locked away, A man in white is declaiming On a very careful, controlled, beat. Hesitantly, almost blindly, in the heart of night, What used to be just stubborness Became easy playing With formulae. And when those big guns fire, And powerful new weaponry, dirty fists, Hit the children of our world, He and nature lie content In mute confession. Streic y Glowyr Yng nghwmni’r hen gellwair Ma’ pob dyn call Yn cadw’n dawel fel cadno dilys ei dwyll, Yn dywyll, yn ddall; Distaw frenin dirgel yn ei lys, Yn feistr ar y ffw^l ei dynged. Mae’r haf yn oer yn ei gastell unig, Dan y ffrwyn y dyn ffyrnig, Yn malu’r muriau, grawn gan rawn, Ei oes yn gyfiawn. Scan Miners’ Strike Accompanied by an old lie, Every salaried man jack Keeps his face shut, is a fox intent on deceit. He obscures himself, is blind At a kingly distance in the court, Master of that fool called destiny. But in his castle, summer freezes, The brave warrior is ensnared; In beating at the walls, grain by grain, His being turns dust to dust. Viva! Viva! (April 1982) Ysgyfarnog Mawrth a ddiflanodd I gyfeiriad ei gorwynt, Nawddsaint Ebrill, mae rhyfel ynddynt, Eu cnawd a ddur y llynges llwyd Yn canu’r calan ar aelwyd Y cyfiawnder ger eu bron. Yn eu hesgyrn, dirgelwch, Yn eu gwaed, difyrrwch Diniwed eu cyrff yn malurio’r don. A dadlau mae’r tonnau hallt A thynged eu dagrau’n torri Ar ynysoedd unig eu glwadgarwch - Clywch! Viva ! Viva! Gwedd y weddw Ar wyneb ei llain yn sych ac yn arw, A gwyneb ei chariad yn lwyd yn farw! Ebrill a^’i gawodydd daeth a therfyn i’w ddydd. Scan Viva! Viva! (April 1982) March hared madly In a great storm. April’s idols have war in them, Their flesh drawn in steel of great warships, Welcomes in the new day on the doorstep They rightfully call theirs. In their bones lies murky hatred, A marrow of unfinished business, Their bodies innocently thrash the waves. The waves are bitter, steal the waters Of she whose tears break On lonely, patriotic islands - Listen! Viva! Viva! New widow screams On faces of our dry and barren dreams, A dead and grey complexion. Y Filltir Scwa^r (Er cof am Tomos Elim Jones, Craigcefnparc, ei ddadcu) Miloedd o leiniau disglair, Mi a gymeraf wres i’w wydd, Gwau ef bridd yn frethyn aur. Edafedd dyfroedd afon, Fflach o fywyd bythol hon, Ennyd y dydd, dw^r ei oriawr, Deil y wawr yn nhardd ei don. Mi a glywaf Blant yr Haf Yn chwerthin yn ei gaeaf, Dilladach llwyd eu tlodi mawr A dry y nawr yn harddaf. Llachar, hir, ar hyd y bryn, A welaf ddydd yn ennyn, Yr hen fro hon yn fam ei byd A’i chwm ei chrud cyntefin. Dros fy wyneb mae fy llen, Arch y garreg oer uwchben, Fy ngharchar unig oedd i mi Yn nhywyllwch ei thalcen. Caeth i’r glo nid ydwyf nawr, Ond glasder nenfrwd enfawr A ry i’m eto olau ddydd, Aer y mynydd, pe^r ei sawr Mi a grwydraf yn fy haf, Yng nghwresni’r brethyn harddaf, Yr ysbryd cyntaf eto’n rydd, A’r pridd euraidd amdanaf. Scan The Square Mile (In memory of Thomas Elim Jones, Craigcefnparc, his grandfather) The sun on Mynydd y Gwair, Thousands of shining measures, To his loom I’ll take day’s warmth, Of soil he’ll weave the wool cloth gold. Threaded in river water, Life flashes eternally, Day’s instants in the stream, Fragments of his rising dawn. I hear now Summer’s Children Laughing in their winter cold, Grey rags, poverty, Flash in harmony. Vivid infinity, beckoning hill, I feel the daylight glow, This ancient land is mother, The cwm her first born cradle. My winding sheet lies over me, A cold rock arches over me, Encaged in woven cold, Threads of blackest coal. But I am free of master coal, And the great blue arch of day Breathes life into me, Once more the mountain air. Arm in arm with summer And dressed in finery My spirit freely wanders My soil my cloth of gold. I’r Glowr Yng ngwresog haf, ef y llencyn, Gaeaf yw yn lwch ei wanwyn. Scerbwd mochyn yn ei loes. Gweled y meistri yn dy wlad, Rhedyn lliw dy waed yn tagu’r had. Haid o ddefaid ydyw’r wedd, Yn gorwedd yn ei pydredd. O ddyfroedd canrifoedd tlodi, Glo dy ddilladach disglair du. Lluniaeth a llan dy ddwy gell, Glo caled, clai dy gawell. Medd-dod byd oedd dy gyfnod, A thi a ganaist ei glod. Milenium milain fel clog amdanot, Barrug iaith, olion arnot. D’ysbryd yn sarnu’r chwedlau, Yn crwydro lle by trai. Yr hen frain ar dy fryniau Yw milwyr duon yng nghae Dy ddoe, a thi y plisgyn o’r Somme Malwoden, cragen drom. Trefydd anferth y byd newydd, Gweigion maent gan ddydd, Ar drothwy bedd, wrth eu bodd, Yn gwreiddio am ef a’u creodd. O feibion yr eigion braf, Tybed a thi yw’r harddaf? Glaw’r efengyl ar y wawr, Cymylau’r cymoedd ar lawr. Scan To the Coal Miner Of Black Gold Warm hearted youth of summer In spring’s old dusty winter, Black shepherd of the coal seam Hooked like pig meat on a beam In his greed ravaged country Whose hillsides choke bloodily, Whose burden of sodden sheep Dream corruption in their sleep, Bears black centuries of poor Dressed in the rags of folklore: Dreams of truth and sustenance Framed in golden elegance, Prisoners of a drunken time, Eulogies of filth and grime. Cloak of thousand stones he wears, Frosty echoes of the years, Songs and myths and mysteries Buried in his tidal seas, Croaks of crows are piercing, Black soldiers dimly marching For his Somme; time’s fragile hell He bears like a snail his shell. Great cities far, far away Echo emptily by day, Dance the dance of time’s hard beat With his world beneath their feet Day supplicates to a new night, Shows him, in a silent light, First son of the mighty sea, Who will bear, will always be. Dawn’s evangelistic rain Buries the Valleys again. (Accepted for publication, “The Salmon”) Sacred Progress (In Memory of Harry Jones, Pont Nedd Fechan) I In Wales the gods had set in concrete Patterns of somnolence and innocence, Petty rules their caesars hoarded Crushed the little people In narrow lines of thought and action. They scarred her with accent and attitude, Blithe liars both, Impediments as hard as coal and steel Which bar her the way to constancy, Her sun’s blood splashing always On jagged edges. Across her face they stick to walls of stone and iron, Their ruin stares stilled in her hills, The self-imprisonment of beings That lithe as wolves had savaged her With mines now numb and statuesque, Each an acropolis Under the fierce hammering of early winter rain, A bludgeoning castle of intruder stone About which man and brother Squabble for succour, And lie to the weary traveller. The waters have scattered In arid plains and towns Sterile from long argument With the featureless land, They have carved for the intellect Vast highways, Their feet in chains. High above Thermopylae The vicious eagles scream And missiles darken The golden Parthenon’s brow. Across the walls and broken stones The winter slashes, Godhead is corrupt. The war-like machinery Of many a century And the ruins of symmetry Crowd at the lowering cloud, Arid in the atom’s awakening. II They bent the backs of tiny relatives, Fugitives in monstrous galleries Crawled like ants for betterment: Ideals like lead. Strange in mode and purpose They breathed filthily The dusty entrails of the earth, Found the old war dog Growling a hoarse familiar tune. In the black gutters of their hills Their day was their night perpetually, For many a blackened Troy The small ants scuttled, Built the Titans’ furnace on their shores, Wrought weaponry for pointless wars, Incestuous grumblings of their makers, Obscure, terrible emperors Of the Western World . Beyond the Pillars Their labours of Hercules Exploded in battle, Dreadnoughts from the land’s hard guts Gave to the sea Incarnate savagery. III Who are left undrowned Astride skeletal rock Torn bare of trees and greenery Black with dust and gravity In the hidden sun, The ruin of mankind Is devoid of pity, Whose epitaphs are coldly calculated, Whose destiny is foreseen. They are Doric columns Strewn on the ground In Old Parnassus, Pits of black sludge, lumps of slag, Where once the pastures clawed, Progenitors of childhood’s visions Vanquished. Here broken on the walls That human faces made in unison The tell-tale drops of moisture Among the desert grains Endeavour to embalm a golden age. IV The graves are set in concrete towns and cities, Here the collier’s offspring wrestle, Woven in history’s labyrinths, Wrought by platonic bureaucrats, Among corrupt professors, Oozing days and clinging To the origin of classes, Their spring of knowledge That will never dry. Here among the mortar they will die. Slowly the golden sun’s corona Is pushed to darkness - The earth’s wound gapes in the void. V The round shield bares a savage scar, Alone on the horizon’s line The earth is a bloody grail, Night’s fires move and leave With the sun, promising with tomorrow a new age. Under the moon’s pale aspect I go home at end of day, Goetterdammerung’s hour Asks praise from setting, On the grey horizon, drinks from the burning grail. The savage twilight burns, And great cold descends. The plough has broken its earth To seed the stars in a great cold void In which pain and guilt are dissolved. Black and light are harrowed together, The firmament is starred. Promise grasps the grail and drinks For light through the black night, And the day’s great cities Lie until dawn in unease. (First published in “Spectrum”, Lampeter, Wales, early eighties) George and the Flagon George now oozes years of academia, And is languid as cigar smoke in his cups, That aromatic sheen, cold vortex, beckons To the used and servile forces, And the turgid elements are fused. They distort his time’s horizon Like the howling Irish sea, its landmark flown. Young time flowed from giving earth, Water bearing willow leaves; The boyish years were bent with gravity, Though he envied the bright kingfisher As it flashed to prey across his mind, True master of those elements. The years made a stoned and cold laboratory And have ossified his soul. Slabs of fishy flesh Now gasp for air among retort stands That grasp their fill of water by the throat As languid George, befuddled, wakes, then roars Among the cataracts of hell. Sunset Firmament, fervent traitor, bloods the day, Scars that were cut in morning’s side Have endured time like a squire on the dole. That half known, half tamed savage, Black night, has betrayed his age. For the sun, no longer young behind the plough, Has watched the one he had always known so well Build his jagged cities, plan his wars, Ever thirsty, ever hating, ever frail, Sucking poison from a dusty grail. Vessel of earth no longer smells of warmth, And Chivalry, Sir Percival of old, Lie with the outcasts of the dirty city’s night; Man, who left the field of old, Is dying on a cloth of gold. Gw^r a Welais yn Henwr Anesmyth, gwan, baich yw d’esgyrn Ar dy wyneb syched am ruddhad, Tydi y plisgyn o’r Somme, Malwoden dy gragen drom, Fe daflaist dy gawod fain o berlau Gerbron dynolryw, Ieithoedd y gwacter du, A’u celwydd yn pydri d’awen. A gefaist am dy boen Y blaidd yn bygwth y ddafad dawel. Gwelir y golau’n disgleiro’n dy gadwyn, Nofia at y war. Tydi’r hen grewr a wasgaraist dy degwch, Gola’n tasgu Ble’r oedd y niwmo mor gyffredin a’r baw, Yn mygu’r heulwen a glaw. Tydi’r hen gaethwas, Edmygedd wnaethost a^’th ddwylaw O’th awyrgylch budr, ei gwaed yn frwnt, Ei llaeth yn ddu i’th grud, Rhoddaist i ni gerflun o gymlethdod; D’unig wely, eiddo in ni, ein horiawr, Gwelir dy sathr ar ein gwawr. Free Translation I Saw You Old Weak and uneasy, your very bones a burden, You thirst for release. Crawling, a snail, Bearing shells from the Somme. All around you, fine showers of pearls Have been thrown at Mankind; Into the languages of his eternal night. They lie to your soul, Wolf-glare among his many flocks. The dawn searches in sheep’s clothing, But the morning light is silent, You swim weighted by many chains. Ancient creator, You once were light Where the niwmo was as common as dirt, Strangling air and life with dust, Sunshine with eternal rain. Ancient slave, Administered By the filth around you, The cradle’s black milk, Carve for us a sculpture That is complex and forlorn, Your blacker grave. Your destiny is ours, Footprints in our dawn. (Accepted for publication, “The Salmon”). Dream Elegy for Human Bondage “I’ the how dumb deid o’ the Cauld hairst nicht The warl’ like an eemis stane Wags i’ the lift; An’ my eerie memories fa’ Like a yowdendrift” Hugh MacDiarmaid I Again and again, look to see, Look to sea, again, again and again. Past gaping teeth, jaw open, jaw shut, Shut and open, over and over again. Rain storms, years outside heard, Still heard, jingle-jangle jungle sound, Two mouths gaping, brute saying, Four walls answer, beat around. Look to sea time, gone, gone past, Gone again, gone, gone again. Wave crash, clock tick, Beating, pendulum pulling earth, Beating again and over again. Heart and mouth, earth boned, caged. Look to see, flames in eyes, Fire smoking, clearing, Look to see, look to sea, Through eyes not seeing, Ears not hearing. Don’t hear, don’t hear, over and over don’t hear. Look in eyes for death time coming - Behind eyes may be light, Dead black night hides nothing, Shows the grey wet town not there - Gone, gone again. II Hate tick hate tock, Years beat, beat by, Ears beaten to earth, beaten to crust, Beaten to melting rock, And hear again, here again Small man, mind amok, no thought, Amok in hate and echoing again and again, Tick, tick, tock of clashing teeth, Words fall dead to earth, Falls the rain, grey, grey, old. Thousand years of falling, Winds burn men who hate And weave them into walls And echo years of bitter words. Words, teeth clashing sound, Noises, deep hatred, Music harks in cloisters, A plain song for pain, Echoes are golden in the grey day. Worlds are plain heard, yesterday Which shakes with sound, shakes windows In a dulling grey winded day, Grey day, again grey, grey again and again grey. Thousand ticks make plain song, Held in four walls, fingers point and shake, Clicking teeth and ticking flesh Grow fearful in the idol’s cave, Man molten, earth screams. Clock waits awhile, waits, waits, Ticks on, again on, on and on again. III Light-dart on water, come and gone, Come and ever-gone, come and gone again, Dance, sun-fluted fever, Silver dart, golden flute, Do not hate, sing warm the day. Melted rock in bursting light That comes once in one place only, Melts to water, pulled to sun. Shaken stone is all the world, Four walls fall to light and sound, Cannot keep warring teeth. Jagged lands fall to sea, Sea seen again and again and again, Fists pound rocks to atoms, Worlds gape in open mouths. Time returns to sea, In the mighty sun Survives its agony. The Second Coming “And what beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born,” William Butler Yeats Ugly is the sleet’s edge, That cuts this contemporary eve, Dirt thrown at the skin, the frail shield, Of this town on the doorstep of Christmas. Out thrusts its beery head to ice and cold To bellow at man and destiny “Come and partake of your pleasure”. Wallowing on the pavement, Old Christmas was a cradle, An infant on a cold black lap Is now the roaring sea. He will awaken, quickly awaken, And cut at the night like a scythe, Hammer back the frosty dykes Of piety. The sea with net and legend Partook, partook of the many grey fish That the waters bear, That he found there. Marwnad (Mehefin 1982) Cleddwch a^ ryfel eich difyrrwch, Trugaredd aeddfed, hedd, Fydd gyda’ch ar eich traeth, yn ildio Ar ddiwedd y dydd I freichiau’r Iwerydd. Drosoch mae hunllef y nos Yn llifo’n swrth i’r bore; Geiriau llyfn y golygydd Yn clecian am feirw newydd. Yng Nghymru machlud gwlyb, Eich anial oedd y glaw, Patrymau’r enfys, A chymylau, caeau, melys Fe luniodd yn eich baw. Fe dasgodd fel adenydd ar y wawr, Dros Dy^ Cyffredin newydd sbon, Y chwith yn sgrechain gyda’r dde, Yr awyrenau creulon. Free Translation Elegy (July 1982) Let peace bury the frivolity of war, Mercifully spreading, Yielding at the day’s end To the great Atlantic sea. Let go the night, Let it escape to day; Smooth editorial mornings, Gossiping of the newly dead. Wales is always a wet day, A wilderness of rain for you now. Rainbow patterns, Clouds, sweet looking fields, Are drowned in sorrow. Pour and beat wings of dawn, Wings of Parliament, Left and right in harmony, The cruel missiles scream. Y Ceffyl Gwyn A mi ger yr afon ddu yn crwydro, Fe’th welais, y cawr gwyn, bythol gawr, Golau’r gwyfyn, Dy holl fyd yn wyn Dros fychan ddyn A^’i dafodydd yn rhedeg i’r mor, A^’i gysgodion yn llisgo amdano. Y march gwyn wyt yn camu’r graig, Hi a’i cherflun amdanot. Ar filltiroedd amseroedd Pedolau o olau Ar y mawn fel efail, Dyrnau hunllef, briwsion bywyd, Y gwreichion o’th bedolau, Hunllef ar ganfas caethion y dref. Cynddeiriog anadl, Llwydni corfforol, O’u hamgylch storom wyt, Rhyddyd wyt y ceffyl gwyn, A mi dy fardd. Free Translation The Celtic White Horse Briefly in time’s torrents A white and eternal giant, In the firefly light You are blinding. In modern man’s minute domain, Where history flickers to the sea, Waters rush contrarily. White Horse of Celtic Time, Hammered in the rock, An instant of sculpted fire On the dark and ancient miles Pound your hooves; Peat flashes on the anvil Among the ruins of culture And a stallion thunders. The canvas of the modern city Is vulcanized. Grey commercial beings Are seared In a howling forge. Ancient freedoms and knowledge Bear away the underling. He was opaque and ordinary, Was born of dignity and hope, Felix et Regula, twin images of Zurich, Faith and Order, Two faces, ancient and cold Swiss stone, Reflections on the Zurichsee, Is hanging on a cross beam, Swinging on a hole in the garage floor, Ambushed by black infinity, Bounteous time is eternal. Shivering high on the Celtic Rhine Is an anonymous Welsh speaker Labelled like that by strangers. He is older, much older, Much further away than ever could be. Suddenly, an office, a clockwork box, Purgatory, decorative chocolate, High on the Celtic spine of Turicum Is all of Jim, a memory. For Jim is a bit of old Cambrian News, An afterthought in Irchel and Dyfed, As fleeting and pointless as profit, Jim was found dead in his garage you see, Very early one morning, He died of anxiety. II Two thousand winters deep In the packed Alpine glaciers That tower over merchants, Contemporaries confused in time’s tram lines, He is dressed in finery, Is cloaked, purple wreathed, Is bronze and glittering gold, Spiralling triskeles In life’s mighty furnace. Is fierce and fiery. Irchel on high and Dyfed gleam In the harvest of Celtic time, Brilliant Alpine oratory, Towering Land of the Young. III Jim became a stranger’s tale, A monosyllable For tourist consumption, Aber is not pronouncable The Uni is administered And governed from afar Transmuted into bacon By landladies for visitors To sun, sea and scenery. The eternal stranger Lies packaged for posterity Born to toil and remnant values. Son of Dignity the bearer of shields, And Hope the eternal provider, Eyes the horizon And yearns for the Land of the Young. The visitors despise abstraction And spiralling thought, No longer keep the tongue And blaze with random anger Detonated by a game of rugby. Their brilliant, blazing, aureal sun Will never rise. IV There are fragments Of magnificent light In farming talk, But lie buried in weeds That grow from a time That was resplendent. A time that steeled in starving winters Was generous, And wove into birth the fibres Of a many coloured land. V Deeply carved Were these triskeles And were caught and classified As disposables When a technician is stamped as redundant. Pointless egotism Needs its human sacrifice In a damp eccentric town That bears no trace of finery, Of what men should be about, Nor of admonition From the old land. VI Cloaked in redundancy But cold in ancestral land And its many saintly waves He appeared unmoved. He was determined to. At the end of a boring week He was sentenced to die. He had been profitable And had brought amusement to visitors, Some Welsh themselves, Had toiled dutifully In his ancient piety And he would die quietly. He was spared minutes of time As the sentence came Snipped from busy schedules. They, not he, wrote history. For the sake of decency He would be given these minutes. This was necessary, Apparently. VII His long silent winter, Grains of ice now on frozen Cayuga, Knew no greasy landladies But was lighted by the very distant stars Roaring in time’s winds, He would be and yet not be In crabbed and selfish Aber, An occasional memory. With the river in Glyn Eithrym That was filthy with tips that killed, And coloured with suffocating dust, Wanton carnage, He would journey. There would be no diurnal sobriety And no pretence to life without end At the age of forty five. In the jungle of NYC The wind cut him to pieces Amid the crazed bullets Of modernity. VIII In the cold pre dawn When he was utterly alone, Elli, Teilo and Tysul moved unseen In the poisonous eddies of time. Three saints moved silently. Three Welsh speakers Whispering anciently Had no property for rent or sale, But beckoned to time, Greeted him as man, Imago hominis. He was a brilliant scribe and goldsmith again Of Colum Cille’s Scriptorium, Weaving triskeles. They greeted a man of great genius Who had wrought many an Ardagh Chalice And carved Glendalough. Full of courage, full of wisdom, These three had toiled in fields And knew the Code of Giving. They had hidden words and metres In remote hillsides, Many needles for a cloth of gold. They greeted him as equal, No longer slave, And calmed time’s roaring wave. IX Elli the fiery eagle Glides high among times And brings truth to Dyfed From the wild beehives of Skelling Fichil And its anchorite echoes Of yesterday’s beating waves. Thundering among the skies There speaks the truth That leaves drops of moisture on Elli’s brow. Corpuscular, ineluctable beads of water Binding earth to sea. Croeso adre, welcome home, You were butchered In howling deserts Of small ambition. Here you are among us And we will converse In our natural tongue. Our long day comprehends Every second of its harmony, Listens, absorbs, our words. It moves among our fields, Blistered with painful toil, As we swing the sharp scythe To succour winter With summer’s hay, So that shivering calves Live until spring And cycle time anew, Leave one more drop on the brow. In the pocket of the weary day Time gleans us words, Syllables, golden hay, Leave us poetry. Croeso adre. The great shire horse is wise With strength of fifty men, Ploughs surely, furrows arrows Even on the steepest valley sides. The emerald turns to bracken As we bargain with the soil That gave us words, ourselves, for toil. X Cut peat and strata of years In the drifts and pits and storms of time. The great and enduring Valleys. Teilo sparks the gleaming crystals And steam coal bursts into being, Blazes into freedom. Colliery shotman, free, no slave, Faced death on a daily basis In the anonymous cloisters Underground. Teilo greets him in the early dawn. Each element of forty centuries Is wrought in his greeting, Elements that detonate To firestorms In the vacuous blackness of redundancy. Creative machinery Is arranged in symmetry In the ordinary talk and cadence Of two trudging colliers. From the caverns of night They bring light. From the gleaming seam Teilo blows away The form stuffing bureaucrats And executioners. The relativistic sands Of Aber’s shifting beaches Are ocean steppes of howling hurricanes. The nucleus tears apart, A spiral of golden torque unwinds And the pen wielders are hurled Into cold void. Teilo warms him by the lucid, fiery coal, And gives him back his soul. XI Tysul the thoughtful, Shield of truth, Is an intricate silence. His gaze a deep pool. He paints the rocky, cruel land With harvest. His the burden of his Nation’s mind. Slate lashed together by rain, The slaves of Gwynedd toiling. Tysul gives him profound dignity In which faint words would be stones Thrown into silence. They would reverberate Like a steam hammer In the silent Scriptorium Of Iona. So silence is sufficient. Words would crush like a breaking sprag Beneath a mile of rock. Tysul welcomes him With photons of light, With hope freely given, Yet mined in monstrous cruelty. The new day arises And swirls on the axis Of Tysul’s vision. Crazed bureaucrats supplicate, Trapped in their passing hours By lines of stony walls, They see only transiently. Bound by their own gravity They ensure self-oblivion. They cannot hide their pitiless killing On highways of prosperity, NATO tornado claws them, The new eagle of Eryri. The paper said that the balance Of his mind was disturbed, But Tysul weighs another lie And adds a grain of eulogy To his harvest of mankind. XII I am free, do not grieve for me, But for yourselves seek destiny. Great bars and walls of iron Amid the savagery of warped time No longer impede. The Generous People have found me In my solitude and great pain, And have given me the village Of my youth Where life’s scythe Gives way to winter’s food. Wisdom in the warm breeze Is an eternity In the small fields of Wales. Flow upstream to the source of life The source of twin progenitors Where the nucleus of a Nation Wells indestructably. It is graceful and pristine Even in the ghastly grey pre dawn. In the Land of the Young His song is sung.

Source: http://www.aias.us/documents/mwe/poetry/ENGLYNION.pdf

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Chapter 13

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