Sand dunes, sharp with pampas grass, muffle
Caernavon Bay, St. George’s Channel,
the Atlantic. The Ffraw’s estuary flows
narrow as an eel. The curlews call.
The non-conformist chapel is up for sale
and the visitors’ centre does funeral teas.
The highway bypasses the village,
though here, fourteen centuries ago,
was the urbane, Christian court of Cadfan, Prince
of Gwynedd. Nothing remains. The Vikings
razed the wooden palace. He was buried
some two miles away, the slate gravestone
inscribed in Latin not Welsh by his heir:
Catamanus rex, sapientissimus,
opinatissimus, omnium regnum –
Cadfan, wisest, most renowned of all kings.
A penchant for dissension kept the Celtic
empires shifting like sand. They founded London,
Paris and Vienna but Rome and its
civil service, under new management,
finally seduced and traduced them.AberffrawAtlanticCadfanCaernavon BayCelticcurlewseelFfrawGwyneddLatinLondonnon-conformist chapelomnium regnum’opinatissimusParisRomesapientissimusSt George’s ChannelViennaVikngsWelshYnys Mon‘Catamanus rex