From the Ackermans’ seat near the lift bridge
on the Llangollen Canal – tree-lined
for the most part but open here – the view
has become a perennial favourite.
We watch cyclists, joggers, walkers pass,
and the narrow boats that have journeyed
from Nantwich, Dudley, Worcester – and we nod and smile.
But best of all in late March/early April
are the lambs on the pasture opposite
that rises, with occasional oaks,
gently to an escarpment that ends
beneath high limestone cliffs that sever the sky.
This part of Wales was once near the South Pole –
and has variously been: deep-sea mud,
crumpled, fractured by the movements of the earth;
a shallow, fertile tropical sea;
a swamp with giant mosses; a vast, hot,
featureless desert inundated by the odd
flash flood; an ice sheet shaping the landscape.
All gone in the shake of a lamb’s tail…
The ewes chop grass as if they were on piece work.
Their offspring thrust at them for milk or stare
at something new or lounge in the sun
or explore the barbed wire edges of our,
oh, so temporary world.