A simple man,
He liked the crease on the water
His cast made, but had no pity
For the broken backbone
Of water or fish.
One of his pleasures, thirsty,
Was to ask a drink
At the hot farms;
Leaving with a casual thank you,
As though they owed it him.
I could have told of the living water
That springs pure.
He would have smiled then,
Dancing his speckled fly in the shallows,
by R. S. Thomas
from Not That He Brought Flowers (1968)
Come to our Revival Meeting by Idris Davies
And this is the sordid dream of the drunkard creeping to prayer,
And the maddened mob drowning the noise of the birds
Frightened and fluttering in the dusty trees,
And all the hysterical converts insulting the heavens,
The brown pond sticky with the thighs of the damned;
And here comes a fellow to shake your liver
For out of his nightmare he leapt
When the moon crept up behind the Iron Bridge
And the garage heap, where the trollop sat waiting
To sell her filth to the fool. And I saw
All this shabby mockery of April
As a neurotic’s delirium, his hallucination
Of apes and angels and dog-headed ghosts
Mingling and whirling and circling and dancing
Among the decaying boughs that laced like serpents
The ripped edges of the darkening sky.
O Lord God, save us from tinned donkey,
From Soviet scientific magazines,
From the Scottish Sabbath, from American war films,
From the demagogues of Aberdare and abadan,
And above all, O Lord God, save us from the Pentecostals.
by Idris Davies
Fun facts: There are a number of iron bridges in the Aberdare area due to its industrial heritage but it is perhaps the one across the Aberdare Canal being referred to.
The Scottish Sabbath is the practise of doing nothing on a Sunday including all shops and other businesses being closed to keep the sabbath sacred.
Aberdare is a town in the Cynon Valley area of Rhondda Cynon Taf, Wales, at the confluence of the Rivers Dare (Dâr) and Cynon. Aberdare is 4 miles (6 km) south-west of Merthyr Tydfil, 20 miles (32 km) north-west of Cardiff and 22 miles (35 km) east-north-east of Swansea. During the 19th century it became a thriving industrial settlement, which was also notable for the vitality of its cultural life and as an important publishing centre.
Abadan, famous for its oil refinery, was the site of the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran, also known as the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Persia, was the joint invasion of Iran in 1941 during the Second World War by the British Commonwealth and the Soviet Union. The invasion lasted from 25 August to 17 September 1941 and was codenamed Operation Countenance. Its purpose was to secure Iranian oil fields and ensure Allied supply lines (through the Persian Corridor) for the USSR, fighting against Axis forces on the Eastern Front.
Pentecostalism or Classical Pentecostalism is a renewal movement within Protestant Christianity that places special emphasis on a direct personal experience of God through baptism with the Holy Spirit. The term Pentecostal is derived from Pentecost, the Greek name for the Jewish Feast of Weeks. For Christians, this event commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the followers of Jesus Christ, as described in the second chapter of the Acts of the Apostles.