Just an ordinary man of the bald Welsh hills,
docking sheep, penning a gap of cloud.
Just a bald man of the ordinary hills,
Welsh sheep gaps, docking pens, cloud shrouds.
Just a man, ordinary, Welsh doctor, pen weaver
cloud gap, sheep sailor, hills.
Just a sharp shard, hill weaver, bald sheep,
pilot pen rider, gap doctor, cloud.
Just a shop, sheer hill weaver, slate,
balder, cock gap, pen and Welsh rider,
Just slate shop, hill balder, cocking,
shop gap. Welsh man, cloud pen.
Just shops, slate, cocks, bald sheep,
Welsh idea, gutteral hills, ordinary cloud.
Just grass gap, bald gap, garp grap,
grap shot sheep slate, gap grap.

garp gap
gop gap
sharp grap shop shap
sheep sugar sha
shower shope sheep
shear shoe slap sap
grasp gap gosp gap
grip gap grasp gap
guest gap grat gap
gwint gap grog gap
growd gap gost gap
gap gap gwin gap
gap gop gwell gap
gap gop gap gap
gap gap gap gap
gap gap gorp gap
gap gap gap gap
gap gap gap gap
gap gap gap gap
gap gap gap gap
gap gap gap

immigrant slate mirth grot gap
bald grass, rock gap, rumble easy,
old gold gap, non-essential waste gap,
rock docker, slow slate gap, empty rocker,
rate payer, wast gap, cloud hater,
grasper balder, pay my money, dead,
trout shout, slate waste, language nobody
uses, bald sounds, sends, no one pens,
fire gap, failed gasps,
dock waste, holiday grey gap,
hounds, homes, plus fours, grip sheep,
four-wheeled Rover: Why not? Soft price,
grown gravel, sais

The problem gaps, ordinary television,
nationalist garbage, insulting ignorance,
shot sheep, invited bald interference,
don't need real sheep where we are,
sheepless, sheepless, Welsh as you are, still,
no gasps, gogs or gaps for us,
point our aerials at the Mendip Hills.

from Poems For Ghosts

Sat in the front row at the Jesus College, Oxford conference on bilingualism and translation - R.S.Thomas. On the platform Finch wondering if he should read Hills, a poem about language and Welsh television with its lifted and permutated first line. Should he acknowledge the Thomas source? Explain the poem? Read something else? He ploughs on. "This is poem which takes a famous line as its starting point," he says. His delivery is wound-up power. R.S.Thomas with his wild hair sits like a statue. His face does not flicker.