Once it was the colour of saying
Soaked my table the uglier side of a hill
With a capsized field where a school sat still
And a black and white patch of girls grew playing;
The gentle seaslides of saying I must undo
That all the charmingly drowned arise to cockcrow and kill.
When I whistled with mitching boys through a reservoir park
Where at night we stoned the cold and cuckoo
Lovers in the dirt of their leafy beds,
The shade of their trees was a word of many shades
And a lamp of lightning for the poor in the dark;
Now my saying shall be my undoing,
And every stone I wind off like a reel.
by Dylan Thomas
Fun Facts: ‘Mitching’ is Skivving, bunking, skipping school.
You were a snow baby. We should’ve called you Eira. You were almost marooned in hospital: jaundiced face yellow as egg-yolk, clutched head the shape of a shell.
You grew to your name, Bethan, grew round. Your plum cheeks swelled to its sound.
And now in town you let the flakes settle in your long hair, saying ‘Ne’ mind. I like ’em there.’
I played you Ommadawn: layers of cloud frost, hail and sun climbing till that lightning moment when you were born.
Wrapped still throught frozen nights, layers of a nest taken from the strands of our house: broken violin string, discarded lace and strap of a watch you never wore.
Your dreams hatch and drift with feathers of the pillow-bird you believe in no more.
by Mike Jenkins
from Red Landscapes
Fun Fact: Mike Jenkins’ daughter is the Welsh politician Bethan Jenkins AM, (born 9 December 1981), who has represented the South Wales West Region for Plaid Cymru as a Member of the National Assembly for Wales since 2007.