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Tag Archives Loggerheads


Since late February it has barely rained.

The river is low. On the far bank

is an oak, scorched, blackened in last year’s storms.

Some way downstream birdsong seems louder,

the wind’s soughing through the leaves more intense.

Suddenly, between the trees, a wide, white path

of broken stones appears. The river has gone!

Somewhere, in this deceiving landscape,

in this bucolic dingle oceans made,

in this valley of lost industry,

dappled, silvery waters hurry,

like lightning, down limestone swallow holes

into the abundant dark.



The Afon Alun rises from hidden springs

on the peaty Llandegla moors, and courses

through ruined mill races to this valley

of ash woodland and wych elm, hazel, oak,

of vast limestone cliffs, of redundant lead mines –

a place named for a dispute between two landlords.

Here the river waltzes, tripping over stones,

and its tawny shallows ripple and gurgle.




My mother and her two sisters, often

at loggerheads, rhapsodized about this place.