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.