Gower

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Gower

To be Welsh in Gower is to spell it funny
and pronounce it worse: Gwyr.
It’s to know how to say Pwll Ddu.
It’s meeting the cows in the lane to Brandy Cove
and knowing them all by name and reputation,
which one kicks, which one gores,
when to walk in the middle of the lane,
and when to jump for the safety of the hedge.

It’s to know the difference between the twin farmers
Upper and Lower Jones.
It’s to recognize their sheepdogs, Floss and Jess,
and to call them with their different whistles.
It’s knowing the time of day by sun and shadow;
it’s knowing the tide is in or out
by the salt smell in the air
without ever needing to see the sea;

and now, in this far away land called Canada,
it’s hearing your stomach growl for crempog or teisen lap
whilst memory’s fish‑hook tugs at your heart
in the same way your father hauled in salmon bass
at Rhossili, Brandy Cove, Pennard, Oxwich, and Three Cliffs.

Commentary: I was checking Gwyr, the Welsh for Gower, where I was born, and found this interpretation of the name. <<G is for generous, your giving nature. W is for wise, more tomorrow than today. Y is for young, the years never show. R is for rapport, friends seek you.>> I don’t know if that’s me, but it certainly wouldn’t be a bad set of descriptors to live up to.

 

7 thoughts on “Gower

  1. Wonderful poem, Roger. You put me right on the lane, between the fields, populated with their two- and four-legged creatures, aromas, sounds…very rich. Thank you!
    Jan Hull
    See my sculpture

    ________________________________

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Gwyr is the best poem/story for me in a long time! Loved it! Chuck

    On Fri., Jun. 28, 2019, 1:48 a.m. rogermoorepoet, wrote:

    > rogermoorepoet posted: ” Gower To be Welsh in Gower is to spell it funny > and pronounce it worse: Gwyr. It’s to know how to say Pwll Ddu. It’s > meeting the cows in the lane to Brandy Cove and knowing them all by name > and reputation, which one kicks, which one gores, when to walk” >

    Liked by 1 person

    • I left Wales when I was 18 for France, England, Spain, then Canada (1966). It’s hard to leave those early roots behind. I guess the childhood memories return as we age. The Bay of Fundy is very much like the Gower Peninsula: I guess that’s one reason why I have been so happy here.

      Liked by 1 person

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