An occasional series of flash, or sudden, or short-short fictions

Monday, 22 October 2012

English, Welsh

Ghosting the metalled road
that climbs the valley side,
a wall is divided by a
perpendicular fence. On
one side, the bricks are
cemented; on the other,
dry stones are laid with
deliberation. At the posts,
the dry wall is scooped
by careless feet climbing
or hopping into woods beyond,
to walk the dog, perhaps.
Not far from here, R.S.
Thomas, the bitter bone
of language between his
teeth & tongue, was pastor
of the church at Chirk;
the Marcher land, between
and both English and
Welsh, a border scooping
west at Gobowen. The
hills take mist like brothers,
the farmers Thomas wrote
in English, Welsh an alien-
ated tongue, to him.
Raw-boned, in greatcoat,
rough stone face, abroad
in cold fields and white ring,
he brings to mind my grand-
father. Both upright on
bare earth, perpendicular,
loving language that was not
their own, seeking something,
what? from a Word that
could not answer.

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