Walking – toward the town – down Henlys Lane,

its low, lichen covered dry stone walls

adorned with bird’s-foot trefoil, its borders

with cow parsley and, where run-off

gathers from Baron’s Hill, red campion,

we note ahead, amongst the cattle,

the usual, large flock of herring gulls,

facing south in the low-lying marshy field.

All as we have come to know and like.

But, today, we hear an explosion – loud

enough but too workaday to be thunder.

We stop and look beyond the library,

the castle and the Straits to search the mauve

galleries of Bethesda’s slate quarries.

Nothing disturbs the distant, hazy stillness.


Later, on the way to the car, we pass

the unfinished Plantagenet castle

the final subjection of the Welsh made

redundant and hear a second blasting

from across the waters – and I know

how favoured our generation was removed

from wars, and how, like flowers, tenuous,

robust, our path to the future or the past.




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