This March day is replete with the bright warmth
of spring and ewes bleating for their lambs.
Cropped, walled grass rolls like a green, chequered sea.
The name translates: ‘Hillock of the black grove,
the dark cell’. The sacred trees have gone:
with the Druids, out-run by Rome’s legions;
and the wheat fields, which fed all of Cymru
before the Plantagenets came. High ground
and megalith survive: sign-posted, fenced.
A passage of shale slabs opens on a round
PARADISE ISLAND, BAHAMAS
The sting ray slipped from the azure surface
of the narrow, empty sound, its wings
and tail so large and swimming in the air
for what seemed so long, we stared, speechless,
and, after it had gone, said: ‘Did you see
what I did?’ and looked along the silver beach
for others who’d seen but no one seemed amazed.
MIRABELLA GULF, CRETE
Under the cobalt waters are mermaids,
Minoans, Cretans, Venetians, Turks, Britons,
August ’91, the Gulf War over, Kuwaiti oilwells almost saved,
Kurds beleaguered, Marsh Arabs gassed…
From Schipol’s Duty Free, slow with tourists,
to Immigration at O’Hare, slow with Croatian refugees,
seemed like a long day with an early start…
But for icebergs still loose and multiplying
along Greenland’s uncompromising coast,
the tawny, unmarked miles of tundra,
the empty, unpeopled miles…
The canal dapples the office ceiling.
Upstairs, the fugitives are still as dust.
A siren unpeoples the city.
Into the waiting sky, with the raucous gulls
and the chestnut, her words like breathing…Her life
has turned, beyond all her desires, so
brutally to art…They packed and waited:
beyond, a locked compartment to themselves
and telephone wires curvetting by –
then countrysides of shuddering, noisome wagons.
She died alone.