The beds of varicoloured reeds, fields almost,
stretch north and south along this bank for miles,
and westwards, nearly to Wales, across the wide,
silted river. Unseen marsh creatures scarcely
disturb the grasses. Egrets and herons
fly in and out of hidden lagoons.
Before silt, from here, the Dublin packet sailed –
with G.F. Handel and Jonathan Swift.
On the opposite shore are the ruins
of Flint Castle where Richard was dethroned –
‘…night-owls shriek where mounting larks should sing.’
Sun catches a window on Halkyn Mountain.
This year marks the first centenary
of the Amritsar massacre, the second
of Peterloo – but even now there are
doubters, equivocators, who minimise
the carnage, exculpate the perpetrators.
In the small car park behind us a car door
opens briefly – the radio announces,
in a public school accent, that there will be
never ending dystopia ‘until’
and ‘unless’. Today is the first of summer,
hot, windless, with dragonflies and bees
abounding. This remorseless marshland is
unequivocal – earth and vegetation
are ruthless, immaculate remembrancers.