Friday, February 8, 2008


Lying in wait
the morning of a day
waiting to happen

Down a broad, bracken-filled valley the elderly couple over from England. Immaculate ramblers. He, map case dangling from his neck, so sure of where he’s going. She, a little nervous, lags behind.

Treacherously the red pecked line of the Ordnance Survey Right of Way snakes off into the bracken. Unaware, they push on through a broken gate, DIM SAESON in a shaky hand.

In the bleached silence
of a dried up stream
bones picked clean

Past a shabby little farm, scabby corrugated iron and knots of orange bailer twine, the track beckons them on. Arms crossed, he is ready for them.

Smug, is it ? Think with their bloody map they know everything there is to know.

“A very good day to you !”

“You’re trespassing, man ! Go back the way you came !”

“Now let’s be reasonable According to the map, we’re on a right of way, you know.” Red faced, he fumbles with his map.

Knight of the shire
his iron visor
clamped shut

“Don’t you go telling me about my land. The path’s over there, under the bracken.” Eyes bulging, he waves his stick

Taut for war
his white knuckles
on the strung bow

Down the raod. “The Old Chapel” now, but “Capel Seion” it was when father had raised the hwyl. And the school is somebody’s holiday home. The shop bought by a couple from the English Midlands. Nice enough they are, but, well… Tea towels and stuffed red dragons. In there, you feel awkward speaking your own language.

She plucks at his sleeve, a careworn woman in a print apron.

“Chware teg, Glyn. Digon yw digon.”

“George, please don’t ! That’s enough,” pleads the other woman.

The women exchange glances. George shrugs his shoulders, straightens his back, and brushes past. Glyn, hands on hips, “sees him off”.

Bony rocks
thrust through thin pasture
the valley reappears

by Ken Jones
Aberystwyth, Wales
October 2005

The title is the last line of a poem by R.S. Thomas .”Welsh Landscape”.
Dim Saeson; No English.
religious fervour.
Capel Seion;
Zion, the Promised Land.
Chware teg, Glyn. Digon yw digon.
Fair play, Glyn. Enough is enough.

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