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Tag Archives Bala


It was an iron hard January Sunday

before dawn when I left Bala – that one street,

Bible town – for the first time and forever,

a white fiver in the lining of my coat.

I shut up the rented, furnished cottage,

putting the key through the letter box.

I heard it rattle on the slate floor,

and walked down the dark track to the high street

with its single gas lamp. I had my father’s

cardboard suitcase for my clothes, my mother’s

worn music satchel for my poems.



As we walk on the path by the Dee, glad
a low wall keeps us from the river in spate,
its white waters covering the flat rocks
that stretch half across the river’s breadth,
waters whose unvarying roar fills the town,
we see, coming downstream from Chain Bridge,
bounced erratically by the relentless
torrent, a child’s ball, plastic, red, bright as new.

Later, as we cross the bridge to climb the hill
to the Llangollen Wharf Tea Room for
a welsh rarebit with smoky bacon,
having assumed the ball would already
have left Wales,