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Tag Archives Holyhead

HOLYHEAD BREAKWATER COUNTRY PARK

The harbour breakwater built from limestone blocks

was the longest that the Admiralty

had commissioned. How important Ireland seemed!

 

On the Country Park lake sown with lilies

an old man sails his battleship. The lake

was a man-made pond that served the brickworks,

built to make the harbour buildings that are dressed

in the limestone quarried from the crags

beside which visitors park their cars.

 

A grass path leads through heather and gorse

down to low cliffs above the pebble shore.

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THE AQUEDUCT

At the bottom of the valley – here briefly
more gorge than valley – the ice age river
runs white and rapid. Deep in its narrow banks
rest the vast brick columns of the aqueduct
that carries, in a narrow cast iron canal,
one hundred and twenty seven feet above,
water from the river tapped upstream –
Thomas Telford’s genius, recognised
as one with the Statue of Liberty,
the Taj Mahal and the Acropolis
and become a stop for Japanese tourists.

Above the valley along the toll road
Telford built from Holyhead to London
is the scattered village developed and named
for the aqueduct –

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THE SOLITARY ANGLER

The fog bell sounds every thirty seconds.
A shag bobs in the swell by the lighthouse
painted black and white with the legend
‘No Passage Landwards’ on its east and west sides.
An occasional heavy wave thumps the beach.

I climb the high bank of sea-smoothed pebbles
from the landward side and hear and feel them
chafe and slip. At the seaward foot of the mound –
a petrified wave three times my height –
an angler stands, motionless, his rod propped
on a tripod, the line taut in the tide.

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