Photo by Armstreet. www.armstreet.com. Used by permission.
The vase would be for the yellow sun-streaked
daffodil, its brilliant bouquet untold
in hues, Wales aristocracy of gold
under the watch of gothic castles, meek
out of gentle song of a thousand trees
next to black international velvet.
Where the spires rise to the morn’s fiery stealth
the ink drawing can scarcely describe me
as I am now, my hair white, my eyes bright,
I am in waiting as the country’s sight
is just out of reach too. The stone upon
stone of Caernarfon and Harlech’s dim light
seeping out from walls within walls and tide
waters brimming far away dreamy shore.
There is light in this vase of yellow-born,
like the sun streaming across the miles, bold
and high cliffs, isolated nature, old
red sandstone, rugged cliffs battered by storms,
wild grass hosting a long Skokholm haven:
seabirds, in heath and salt marsh, St. John’s wort
rises serene; three-lobed water crowfoot—
with whisper of dew on ancient heaven.
In the grassland there are the tree mallow,
small nettle, sea campion—the guillemots,
chiffchaff, willow warblers, common whitethroat,
over mudstones and Red Maris. Fallow,
the linen of the garment lay in knots,
and the seamstress laboured at the new cloak.
With yellow dress now tied at her thin waist,
lace enamel lapping at her pale sleeves,
the ties drew back the bodice, and the lea
glistened from beyond her locked garden gate.
Ghostly was the sound of rabbits footsteps,
quietly the dawn transpired its gold knock;
the meadow courted her favour, as clock
ticked on and guided her elder years, debt
to those who had shown her guidance, advice
over the years always wise with graying
mentors’s speech, their moment joys and shadows,
until she knelt with sentiment, chastised.
In the will of God: saints—deepest praying—
stone upon stone was an altar hallowed.
The moor, grasslands and coast, rife with curlew:
eerily they call, and townspeople lift
their heads—shaking at the suicide rifts
which rise to sky and echo; almost rue
their grey feathered existence were they not
shrieking a blood-chilling eloquent call,
frightening as Eden’s vine at the Fall,
her austere fertility entwined brought
images of fruit and flow’r to the mind,
along with temptress of the gnarled tree,
where pressure from the dark side stormy, breaks
down walls of the imagination-kind.
Pecking in the mud with icy curved beaks
each curlew contrasts Snowdon’s snow-flaked peak.