The ruined, twelfth century limestone chapel
is Grade II Listed and the land owned
by the Welsh Assembly otherwise
it would have been converted into
somebody’s desirable holiday home
with views south through the empty windows
to woods and north down the moor’s sheep-cropped slope
across the sweeping, wind-surfing bay.
Who built the original chapel –
and the small side chapel with a vault
in the sixteenth century – or for what
specific purpose no one now knows.
For a time, in the eighteenth century,
local gentry used the place for private worship
then left it to the wind and their sheep.
The roof has gone and a boundary wall.
Maybe the original builders
hoped St Patrick would be wrecked again,
this time on the bay’s deceiving rocks –
had the altar ready for him to dispense
the body and the blood, to preach the faith
of fear and guilt in that hieratic tongue.
‘Peccantem me quotidie…Timor
mortis conturbat me..Deus, salva me.’
Not far from the chapel and next to the road
to the shore is a limestone cromlech,
its twenty five ton capstone placed on eight
two metre megaliths – each a metre in the earth –
perhaps five thousand years ago, and aligned,
like the chapel, more or less east and west,
and as enigmatic. We know nothing –
names, number – of the people buried there.
‘The fear of death confounds…’ Their remains
are catalogued in some museum
along with the pottery shards found by them.
A small child, a girl of five or so,
is flying a kite. It flutters noisily
like a prayer flag or a temporal banner
above the scant, abandoned chapel
and the emptied cromlech.