Poems about Wales














A Welsh Wordscape


To live in Wales,

Is to be mumbled at
by re-incarnations of Dylan Thomas
in numerous diverse disguises.

Is to be mown down
by the same words
at least six times a week

Is to be bored
by Welsh visionaries
with wild hair and grey suits.

Is to be told
of the incredible agony
of an exile
that can be at most
a day's travel away.

And the sheep, the sheep,
the bloody, flea-bitten Welsh sheep,
chased over the same hills
by a thousand poetic phrases
all saying the same things.

To live in Wales
is to love sheep
and to be afraid
of dragons.



A history is being re-lived,
a lost heritage
is being wept after
with sad eyes and dry tears.

A heritage
that spoke beauty to the world
through dirty fingernails
and endless alcoholic mists.

A heritage
that screamed that once,
that exploded that one hold time
and connected Wales
with the whirlpool
of the universe.

A heritage
that ceased communication
upon a death, and nonetheless
tried to go on living

A heritage
that is taking
a long time to learn
that yesterday cannot be today
and that the world
is fast becoming bored
with language forever
in the same tone of voice.

Look at the Welsh landscape,
look closely,
new voices must rise,
for Wales cannot endlessly remain
chasing sheep into the twilight.

(from Selected Poems)

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rydw i am fod blydi i am
rydyn ni rydw i rody i
rodney rodney i am
rhydyn am fod I am I am I am
rydw i yn Pantycelyn Rhydcymerau Pwllheli yes

I am bicupping mainly cym sticker ardvark
the dictionary cymro hirsuit weirdo
on fire arrested finger-pointed rhydych chi
imperialist long-nosed pinky cottagers

roeddwn i'n fine yn y bore oherwydd
y heddlu not able anyway little zippo
lager considerable influence
tried to burn it not enough alcoalcohol
corner shop four-pack Diamond White Red Stripe
brns your heart out

rudin wedi dysgu hen ddigon ol' mouldering
Welsh Saunders Mabinognog crap
nasty blydi books we're a digidol neishyn
smot superbod sam tan brilliant exampl

ac yn nawr?
bod ar y satellite no defense
carchar poms yn saesneg
dim yn gallu handlo'r cymraeg
ril traditional blydi welshman

(from Useful)

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ords Beginning With A From the Government's Welsh Assembly White Paper

a a assembly an assembly assembly assembly and assembly and assembly assembly assembly assembly assembly annexes and arrangements assembly and assembly affairs and authority accountability a achievement assembly autumn assembly a affect an an assembly assembly assembly and a alongside a an assembly assembly assembly allocate assembly and and acts assembly assembly assembly administrative agriculture a an annual and authorities and agency and authorities are accountable address assembly and answerable across assembly assembly assembly assembly assembly and arrangements are assembly assembly are assembly agriculture and and and and arts and annex a assembly approval assembly all after assembly assembly affairs and and assembly assembly and a and account appropriate assembly acts and are acts a assembly are assembly a authority and and able as and a assembly authorities agencies assembly able assembly assembly and a and and a a a assembly assembly and able able assembly about a assembly and a assembly as appointments also and assembly assembly as assembly assembly against as as able and authorities against and assembly are a and a assembly assembly and assembly assembly a affairs assembly authorities and and and and all and ahead and are across and as assembly and assembly a attuned a agency and authority authority and and and and and any agenda assembly a assembly able a a a adopting assembly and and are a authority and afford an ambitious and a an as as an and air and agencies assembly a and administration agency a and assembly agency already an all and and and agencies authority authority as a and and assembling and authority are agency acquired and and address an a a across and assembly and appoint agency a a assembly authorities at and agency and a and an agency assembly assembly agency arrangements and agency authorities a and attracting and and assembly action action action and a and a assembly assembly agenda assembly at all agenda assembly and and appointments also and are also a and a and an authorities agencies and advice advice approximate a assembly and at affairs annual a and assembly and actions assembly assembly assembly and a administering assessment agency assembly assembly assembly a are and agriculture aborigines advisory assembly and adequate appropriate appropriate areas and approximate arrangements are appropriate approximate appropriate arrangements and assembly art assembly are arrangements approximate appricimate appropin approximarly approximin approximit approximate appropinate appropriate approlution approximate apprealin approling approf appross apprit approx approximate appropriate arsembly approt approt apprit aparse amprim arsenit arsenit arsenit arsenit arsenit arsenit arsenit arsenit arsenit approximately assembly and arsen assembly all art and agriculture agenda appropriately alltittle all al aswoon apricot artle at assen ash arsenit assuitable assuage annual after amiddle approximate appealment apparliament arprat aprat art arse alltold approximate flatart anti anemia academic and averted arse art all assembly anti any attitudenal arseweakness all appropriate approximate approximate apripple affected arse affected all affected and any affected apathy apathy and responsibility for ancient monuments arses arses arses and wishing wells

(from Food)

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(vcl, hca, some prse) aka Curtis Langdon. 1913-2000. Gospel. Austerity tradition. Jnd Iago Prytherch Big Band (1959), notch, crack, gog, gap, bwlch, tan, iaith, mynydd, mangle, adwy - mainly on Hart-Davis race label. Reissue Dent PoBkSoc Speial Recommnd. Concert at Sherman support Sorley Maclean (gtr, hrt clutching) sold out. Fire Bomb tour Sain triple cd for D Walford Davies (vcl, crtcl harmonium) new century highspot. A pioneer of dark wounds and internal tensions. In old age bird song and reliable grouch. Stood, was counted, still no change. To live in Wales is to become unassailable. "An Angel Fish" (Clarke). Expect retrospective, marvelling and statue.


(revised version from New Welsh Review)





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What If Dylan Thomas Had Lived

It is spring, moonless night in the small town, starless in the empty Assembly lot, not a pile driver in sight. The sloeback, slow stacked, bible-black, bureaucratic heap rollicks in the happy hands of Captain Morgan, and points its civil servant filled windows at the litter strewn streets. I shouldn't complain, they've made me a national hero, stuck my face on the wall and told me to write poems about Wales. Given me a laureates flat, beach wood, flash, bijou and free, overlooking Cardiff's bubbling bay.

I've lived to the Millennium and I've sold a few books but not as many as I would have if I'd died lovely and young. Even so it's been an age since I last scratched proper poems from my Boatshed. You don't need to now, you just make them up on the spot, shout them out in pubs, and I'm good at that.

Rhodri said I should learn the language, be inclusive. Dwyi'n mynd i'r tafarn am peint o cwrw. Easy really, especially when, like me, you look the part. But Llaregub to that. I've done what I needed. Told Brains to take my name off their awful ale. Wrote to Bob to tell him it's me who's Dylan. There is nothing much of Thomas in anything he's done. Joined a sports club and did a few arm raises among the larking lovelies in the stacked back bar. Always been fit, me. Then I went back to Laugharne and bounced their bright-eyed burger bar into the foam flecked sea.

Actually it's been tough being Welsh. It has. Out in America they've never really heard of us, despite me and my martinis, Tom and his voice and Shirl in her Ddraig Goch dress. My fourth wife, God bless her, was from Arizona and thought Wales was an island somewhere in the Pacific. All your relatives seem foreign, she said to me. Pretty rich coming from a Yank. I think it's our accent that does it. Not mine, of course, when I speak most people think I'm English.

I dream quietly in my darkened room watching the dabbed bay's dusk and hack a few words to keep in trim. God in his whirlwind silence put me here and here I still am. I light a slow black king-size and take an unfashionable pull. By the sea's side I listen again to the dark-vowelled birds. Like me still here. The barrage didn't let them drown.

My TV has got ninety-four channels, none about poetry and only a single one in Welsh, thank God. My favourite is the one where you ring up and bid for things and they arrive by post. So far I've bought a kitchen mate, a tankard with Huw Edward's face, two dozen solid-gold toothpicks and a pen which writes in the dark. That's to come, the dark. I'm getting on now, cobble cracked, lulled and dumfounded, well past my muffled middle age.

The Manics had me on stage with them at their Millennium bash. Grand old man of literature swaying drunkenly in front of a youth who'd never heard of him. I did Fern Hill to a sort of stadium rock backdrop. I thought I was doing ok until Nicky Wire leant over and told me he thought his brother was better than I was. My confidence went down the pan. I fell over after that.

That's the one brilliant thing, however, about this spindrift, scintillating, bile-bobbing new Wales - there are bars everywhere, hundreds of them, and they never seem to close. I've got the knack now of storming through with my shirt outside my trousers and getting fans to stand me rounds. Had to switch from brown ale to lager but that's no problem for a drinker of my qualifications. Met Cerys at some Cardiff night spot, bright girl, I've agreed to show her how to handle fame once she's finished her but of a lie down. I thought she looked a bit like Caitlin when she was younger. We're going to communicate by e-mail. Whatever that is. Communication, I mean. I was never really very up on that.


Taken from OneWales, the Western Mail's quarterly magazine



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Peter Finch

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