A careful listener
On being Welsh in a land ruled by the English
I am the all-seeing eyes at the tip of Worm’s Head;
I am the teeth of the rocks at Rhossili;
I am the blackness in Pwll Ddu pool
when the sea-swells suck the stranger in and out,
sanding his bones.
Song pulled taut from a dark Welsh lung,
I am the memories of Silure and beast
mingled in a Gower Cave;
tamer of aurox,
hunter of deer,
caretaker of coracle,
fisher of salmon on the Abertawe tide,
I am the weaver of rhinoceros wool.
I am the minority,
persecuted for my faith,
for my language,
for my sex,
for the coal-dark of my thoughts.
I am the bard whose harp, strung like a bow,
will sing your death with music of arrows
from the wet Welsh woods.
I am the barb that sticks in your throat
from the dark worded ambush of my song.
Continuing with the audio experiments of the last couple of days, here is my voice recording of On Being Welsh. This poem can be found, along with several other Welsh poems, in Though Lovers Be Lost, available on Amazon.
Comments on the readings are very welcome. For my regular readers, if you have a favorite poem of mine that you would like to hear, just let me know and I will record it, specially for you!
I am indebted to my friend Jeremy Gilmer for this second reading of On Being Welsh. We will be collaborating on the creation of sound files and posting contrasting readings of various poems to see how different voices and rhythms change sound and meaning in poetry. Hopefully, this is the first in a longer series.