Words lying empty, without breathing –
that don’t know why they exist at all.
Words with no goal, words with no meaning,
that shelter no one from the cold
and haven’t fed a single soul.
Words of impotence – of the weak!
Words that don’t dare, too shy to speak.
They give no heat, they shed no light,
but, with an orphan’s grief, go mute,
not knowing they are mutilated.
by Мария Сергеевна Петровых (Maria Sergeyevna Petrovykh)
translated by Boris Dralyuk
To live in Wales is to be conscious
At dusk of the spilled blood
That went to the making of the wild sky,
Dyeing the immaculate rivers
In all their courses.
It is to be aware,
Above the noisy tractor
And the hum of the machine
Of strife in the strung woods,
Vibrant with sped arrows.
You cannot live in the present,
At least not in Wales.
There is the language for instance,
The soft consonants
Strange to the ear.
There are cries in the dark at night
As owls answer the moon,
And thick ambush of shadows,
Hushed at the field’s corners.
There is no present in Wales,
And no future;
There is only the past,
Brittle with relics,
Wind-bitten towers and castles
With sham ghosts;
Mouldering quarries and mines;
And an impotent people,
Sick with inbreeding,
Worrying the carcase of an old song.
by R. S. Thomas
from An Acre of Land (1952)
She used it totally out of place
but natural as calling an infant ‘Babes!’
The poet’s moithered by all that pollution
like herself annoyed at my constant questions.
The word was her, chewing-gum twirler
giving so much lip and jip,
a desk-scribbler stirrer
using her tongue as a whip.
It was perfect for flustered:
I could imagine the artist
as all the complex phrases whirred
and churned, his hair in a twist.
No examiner could possibly weigh it,
no educationalist glue and frame it:
it leapt out like her laughter
and my red mark was the real error.
by Mike Jenkins
from Red Landscapes
English: Merry Christmas
Welsh: Nadolig Llawen
Russian: Счастливого Pождества! (с рождеством being the more informal version)
Polish: Wesołych Świąt
Christmas time is not one for me. It is a time for children and those who have others to share it with. To me it is the days of film repeats and being told how I am not part of the greater society. I worked Christmas Eve so I had no ‘run up’ to the celebration and it will pass like an anomaly.
During the Victorian times, when many of the Christmas traditions were first created or at least solidified as Christmas specific traditions (tree, cards, stockings hanging, decorations, caroling, mistletoe, etc), it was common to tell ghost stories and go for a walk after the dinner. Hence why Charles Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol featuring the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future. I think going for a walk in the fresh air would be a good thing to bring back as it seems people just hole up in their houses for the next few days rather than enjoy the Winter weather.