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Caernavon Bay is below, and to the west

the Irish Sea. The restive winds and waves

are lulled now to a breath, to a swell.

In the distance the London-Holyhead train

crosses the causeway. A multi-decked ferry

from Dublin is entering the harbour.


After the Druids hid, and the Romans left,

there came a multitude of saints, mostly

martyrs, not infrequently princesses,

renowned in death for healing the heart’s anguish.

St Gwenfaen – ‘Blessed White Rock’ – was one such.

Roscolyn’s plain parish church dominates

the high ground where her cloistered cell had been.


Someone has put a bench outside the churchyard,

perhaps for those returning from the saint’s well

on the headland, their torment gone, abated.

The dry stone walls and sheep-grazed fields stretch

in a soundless haze this kind summer evening.




© Copyright David Selzer
1 Response
  • Jeff Teasdale
    September 25, 2020

    Rhoscolyn; ‘my’ village, David, feeling more ‘at home’ here than Macclesfield on many occasions. And the church, reputed to have been designed by George Gilbert Scott. We sat (my wife and I) on the bench only last Sunday looking out over the island across to which we – without knowing it yet – would be kayaking the following day. There, resting on the water in the sun in a deep seawater-filled canyon after a long fight with the 5 knot falling tide, a close encounter with a huge Atlantic bull seal. Head as big as a bucket but made of wet ebony, he stared me out, face to face, for quite some seconds, snorted gently, and then slowly sank, black into black. The Rhoscolyn Beacon will never look quite the same again….
    Thanks for this, David. Your pieces trigger all manner of thoughts and associations.

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