A PARABLE

Ynys Goredd Goch, Menai Straits © Sylvia Selzer 2008

 

For Caroline Reeves

 

We pulled into the lay-by above the straits

so that our friend could see the view: Telford’s

iconic suspension bridge, beyond

the Carnedd Range and, below us, Ynys

Goredd Goch, Red Weir Island – a house,

out-buildings, disused fish trap, slipway –

surrounded by The Swellies, tidal whirlpools

and surges driven by the rocks and shoals.

 

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THE HARE AND THE STONE

And suddenly she is a hare, eyes bursting

with fear. Her husband snaps her neck. Fingers

smell of tea towels and dust. Their son gobbles

at her nipples, his father’s eyes unfocused.

She dreads the key in the lock. Sometimes,

she wakes to find him thrusting at her crotch.

She is a hare, paralysed on a cold,

edgeless ground…Even through windows stuck fast

with paint, dust whispers, gathering on lips.

If, like a surgeon, she were to cut him,

she would lay bare a pebble,

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VALLE CRUCIS, LLANTYSILIO, LLANGOLLEN

Valle Crucis Abbey, Richard Wilson, circa 1760

 

 

Where willow stoops in curling shallows, May

stirs branches that creak like rigging or rub

like silk. The cuckoo sings its unsettling,

solemn roundelay. Sun gilds the abbey’s

west wall. The glassless rose window is a

blinded eye in a Romanesque skull –

indulgence in a wilderness. The Blood of

the Lamb coursed through the old ways of Keltoi,

Celtae, Celts. Time the dissembler leaches

the earth of language,

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SURELY

So many years of marriage should be marked,

they say, by china – the product, of course,

not the place. So a sturdy mug for us

from the Five Towns – or a translucent

teapot from Nanking? China, it is:

willows by a stream, a template of an

eastern Eden and, on the bridge, two –

or three? I know a better token.

 

Two pear trees in our daughter’s garden were

remnants of an orchard before the town grew.

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BATHING AT LLANDDWYN

I watch the three generations – mother,

daughter, grand daughter – walk, hand-in-hand, in

toddler steps, to the sea’s edge, and paddle

in the calm, beryl blue waters of the bay.

Opposite, along the Lleyn Peninsula,

over its mountain – The Rivals – with its

three summits, a white, single seater flies,

its engine echoing across this August day.

Laughing in the shallows, they have not seen it.

Their splashing drowns the sound of the plane

absorbed into the distant heat haze.

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