In the light of Yesterday



Llewelyn took me to the mines of Wales,

showed me the black face of the pit,

the swallow and spit of its shovelling mouth

its glutted gut, splitting at the seams.


I saw the light of Aberfan extinguished

beneath the spewing spoils of slack.


Llay, Mostyn, Gresford, Bersham,

here the houses hunker under a pitiless drab

like consonants pitched against the hard-pushed vowels

of cenllysg and glaw, mining the light to its core.


I've seen the hues of hills, the values of valleys

modelled by a throw of shadow, a slake of brilliance.

I’ve seen Snowdonia tremble in the chroma of Bala

I’ve drowned in its breathtaking spectrum.


In the shaft of open cast sunlight,

the shale glitters like a beautiful memory.


It’s the mercurial climate that weighs on me,

the corrugated land battened under a slate-sky slab

and always, the spectre of harrowed men

hacking and picking at the bowels.


Cenllysg - hail

Glaw - rain

Published in Issue 16 of Prole