wwiThe Awkward Squad ww wwwwPoetry by Eddie Castellan

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I was going home through the Pyrenees in a wild rainstorm. It struck me how much I felt at home, as I would in the savage wastes of Snowdonia, that I have known all my life. I couldn't help dragging RS Thomas, my greatest poetic hero, and his peasant hero/monster Iago Prytherch into this poem, even if by the childishly simple device that Iago happens to mean James in both Spanish and Welsh.

RS had a fearsome reputation as a cantankerous old git but his words to aspiring writers: "As a poet, of course, you have not yet been born" seem to me to be a very gentle way of saying: "It's crap but keep trying (or don't).

 
wHomecoming with RS ww15 September 2009

I know root thoughts in the mountain rain
and in its luxurious gleaming grey,
realise a homecoming

disappointing for the tourists in shiny glass
but the pure and smoky wetness
touches me

of mountains that fight under cryptic colours
beyond the sweeps and tones of
emaciated filters

head-dressed and proud with the lost birds
shrieking, and daft Iago
hiding from RS

under the shouting attic of primeval nearly Spain,
I remember the tenuous grass
where I learnt slate

sinewy hills of Wales, whose spiky and desert
vicious charm was always
part of me

suddenly the distance threatens a hole with
pocketed sun. I do not want
to go there today

 


All poems and other texts on this site are the copyright of Richard Edward Hugh Castellan 2009