Friday, 4 June 2010

Having read his anguished words

Having read his anguished words

I too am moved to dip my pen
into the spilled inkpot of a
Welsh sunset:

Dear Iago,

My wonderful ancestor, the mangels docked
you kept the knife and grinned
your way to the hunchback rain-soaked
church beside the sea. You found it locked
and bolted; the place in darkness. Empty.

Below, in the Ship, others like you
in brighter humour, were crowding the bar
noisy over the price of lamb the latest haul
of fish.

Iago, under your blue slate slab
below the trembling hill pray rest
easy in your seashore bed.

gw 2003, 2010
note: a version of the above poem won 1st prize in the Autumn 2003 JBWB poetry contest. These and links to other contests can be found at


  1. RS Thomas was one of my first brushes with " modern poetry". I like this not only for its poetic content but also because I know both buildings that appear in it!

  2. Ah, so you've supped in the Ship too :)-
    I keep meaning to go back for a pint. And the fish'n'chips in there ain't bad, I seem to remember. We enjoyed the B&B in the little white cottage, just up the hill, overlooking the bay.

    The bardic Rev. R S Thomas coming out of the shop complained about a 'big' bus blocking the little bridge in the village; he demanded to know what such a big bus with so few passengers was doing in the village. 'It's a bit like your church!' replied the driver.


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