The Fisherman by R. S. Thomas

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,
Not understanding.

by R. S. Thomas
from Not That He Brought Flowers (1968)

Reservoirs by R.S. Thomas

There are places in Wales I don’t go:

Reservoirs that are the subconscious

Of a people, troubled far down

With gravestones, chapels, villages even;

The serenity of their expression

Revolts me, it is a pose

For strangers, a watercolour’s appeal

To the mass, instead of the poem’s

Harsher conditions. There are the hills,

Too; gardens gone under the scum

Of the forests; and the smashed faces

Of the farms with the stone trickle

Of their tears down the hills’ side.

 

Where can I go, then, from the smell

Of decay, from the putrefying of a dead

Nation? I have walked the shore

For an hour and seen the English

Scavenging among the remains

Of our culture, covering the sand

Like the tide and, with the roughness

Of the tide, elbowing our language

Into the grave that we have dug for it.

 

by R. S. Thomas

from Not That He Brought Flowers (1968)


Ronald Stuart Thomas (29 March 1913 – 25 September 2000), published as R. S. Thomas, was a Welsh poet and Anglican priest who was noted for his nationalism, spirituality and deep dislike of the anglicisation of Wales. M. Wynn Thomas said: “He was the Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn of Wales because he was such a troubler of the Welsh conscience.”

R. S. Thomas believed in what he called “the true Wales of my imagination”, a Welsh-speaking aboriginal community that was in tune with the natural world. He viewed western (specifically English) materialism and greed, represented in the poetry by his mythical “Machine”, as the destroyers of community. He could tolerate neither the English who bought up Wales, and in his view stripped it of its wild and essential nature, nor the Welsh whom he saw as all too eager to kowtow to English money and influence.

As Capel Celyn was flooded in 1965 it’s almost certain one of the resevoirs referred to in this poem is this lost community. Capel Celyn was a rural community to the north west of Bala in Gwynedd, north Wales, in the Afon Tryweryn valley. The village and other parts of the valley were flooded to create a reservoir, Llyn Celyn, in order to supply Liverpool and Wirral with water for industry. The village contained, among other things, a chapel, as the name suggests, capel being Welsh for chapel, while celyn is Welsh for holly.

Storm Awst by Gillian Clarke

The cat walks. It listens, as I do,

To the wind which leans its iron

Shoulders on our door. Neither

The purr of a cat nor my blood

Runs smoothly for elemental fear

Of the storm. This then is the big weather

They said was coming. All the signs

Were bad, the gulls coming in white,

Lapwings gathering, the sheep too

Calling all night. The gypsies

Were making their fires in the woods

Down there in the east…always

A warning. The rain stings, the whips

Of the laburnum hedge lash the roof

Of the cringing cottage. A curious

Calm, coming from the storm, unites

Us, as we wonder if the work

We have done will stand. Will the tyddyn,

In its group of strong trees on the high

Hill, hold against the storm Awst

Running across the hills where everything

Alive listens, pacing its house, heart still?

 

by Gillian Clarke

from The Sundial, (Gwasg Gomer, 1978)


Fun facts:  Glossary: Welsh = English

Awst = August

Storm Awst = August storm

tyddyn = [farm] smallholding

Lucky Strike by Jeremy Hooker

Returning from a raid,

just missed the tower

where, over the West Door

the Wild Man with oak leaves

wound round his body

faces the Dragon

wreathed in vines.

 

Crash landed at Church Farm,

ploughing itself in,

churning up the loam.

Two crew dead.

The Flight Engineer

periodically revisits

the old country, resuming

his portion of the pasture.

 

by Jeremy Hooker

from ‘Debris‘ a sequence of poems

Farm Wife by R. S. Thomas

Hers is the clean apron, good for fire

Or lamp to embroider, as we talk slowly

In the long kitchen, while the white dough

Turns to pastry in the great oven,

Sweetly and surely as hay making

In a June meadow; hers are the hands,

Humble with milking, but still now

In her wide lap as though they heard

A quiet music, hers being the voice

That coaxes time back to the shadows

In the room’s corners. O, hers is all

This strong body, the safe island

Where men may come, sons and lovers,

Daring the cold seas of her eyes.

 

by R. S. Thomas

from Poetry for Supper (1958)

Wonderfarm Young Coconut Water with Coconut Pulps

Young Coconut Water

Eau de Coco Chair – de Jeune Noix de Coco

Kokosnussatt Mit Fruchtfleisch

11.1FL. OZ. (330ml)

Purchased from Tesco for £0.50.

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In a sentence it tastes like gone off water. There are little bits of pulp floating in the liquid. It is post vomit phlegm.

The look of it when poured in a glass is as you would expect. A slightly misty looking clear fluid with white chunks floating lazily throughout and gradually rising to the surface. It reminds me of the phlegm you have after a severe bout of vomiting.

When it first enters you mouth it is cool on the tongue but quickly the taste emerges in a steadily increasing body temperature way. The texture of the fluid seems to change within your mouth as if it goes from a fluid to that of a viscous, gravy like, texture. The chunks of coconut flesh only further enforce my sense that what I am drinking, in the way you ‘drink’ a thick broth soup, is in fact someone’s phlegm. There is a taste there but I couldn’t identify it. If you have coconut in other forms then this is a far less sweet taste and much more… I will say earthy but it would be more accurate to reiterate that it tastes like saliva mixed with digestive juices.

The coconut pulp rather than adding to the experience is like regurgitated pieces of vegetables which you end up chewing or spitting out. A foul experience only taken up to the next level by its inclusion.
I drank this once and will never drink it again. Do not drink this. If you want coconut water/milk go buy an actual coconut and drill it.

…and now all the information on the can…

Applied in E.U & Australia
Nutritional Information
Typical values per 100ml
Energy 38Kcal / 159 Kj
Protein 0.1g
Carbohyrate 9g
Fat 0.1g
Of which saturates 0g
Fibre 0g
Sodium 25mg
Preservative (Sulphur Dioxide)

Applied in Canada
Valeur nutritive / Nutrition Facts
Par 330ml / Per 330ml
Valeur % Valuer Quotidienne / Amuont % Daily Value
Calories / Calories 126
Lipides / Fat 0.3g 0.5%
Trans / Trans 0g 0%
Sodium / Sodium 81mg 3%
Glucides / Carb. 30g 10%
Sucre / Sugars 15g
Proteines / Protein 0.3g
Vitamine C / Vitamin C 6%
Calcium / Calcium 7%
Fer / Iron 7%
Magnesium / Magnesium 22%
Phosphor / phosphorus 5%

Applied in USA
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 Can
Amount per Serving
Calories 126
Calories from Fat 3
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0.3g 0.5%
Trans Fat 0g 0%
Sodium 81mg 3%
Total Carb. 30g 10%
Sugars 15g
Protein 0.3g
Vitamin C 6%
Calcium 7%
Iron 7%
Magnesium 22%
Phosphorus 5%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calories diet.

Ingredients: Young Coconut Water, Young Coconut Pulp, Sugar, Potassium Meta Bisulphide 0.003%.
Ingredients: Eau de Coco, Chair de Jeune Noix de Coco, Sucre, Potassium Meta Bisuphide 0.003%.
Zutaten: Kokosnussatt, Kokosnussfleisch, Zucker, Potassium Meta Bisulphide 0.003%.
Ingredienten: Kokosnootsap, Kokosnootvruchtvlees, Suiker, Potassium meta Bisulphide 0.003%.

There is a recycling ying yang arrows like logo.

Refund at collection depots where sold in S.A. (Apparently for recycling the can you can get 10 cents in America.)

Under License Of: TRADE OCEAN HOLDINGS SDN. BHD. Malaysia.

Manufactured by / Manufacture Par: INTERFOOD SHAREHOLDING COMPANY Lot 13, Tam Phuoc Iduatrial Zone, Long Thanh Dist., Dong Nal Province, Vietnam

http://www.wonderfarmonline.com

There is also the logo to denote this drink is in accordance with Halal according to the Islamic Community of HCMC VN (it was quite small so this may be inaccurate).

On the bottom of the can is some ‘best before’ information. Packaged: 22 08 2014. Ends: 21 02 2017. So I am now aware I drank something canned nearly a year ago. It is probably the same case with other canned goods but you are never made aware of this…


There are a few misspellings on the packaging which is concerning. When it was on the shelf it was just by itself amongst the other ‘foreign market’ items including snacks and cooking ingredients so I guess they don’t have much confidence in it. I don’t get the impression it is something that keeps fresh for very long. It was quite gross but now you know what it is like if you were ever curious.

I wonder what the next review will be…