Rain Again

The rain in Spain
does not stay on the plain

Rain
              When it rained in South Wales, it rained everywhere soaking rich and poor alike. There was no escaping the eternal wetness of Welsh Rain. Whenever we traveled, especially by bus, to another part of Swansea Town, it would be raining there too, but, as my auntie used to tell us when we came back home: “Smile now. Look happy. And remember: we had lovely weather all day. The sun was shining over there where we were. Raining here, at home, all day, was it? What a pity. You should have come on the bus with us!” I remember her smiling, all wrinkles round the eyes, her false teeth shining white, as she flashed a horse’s collar coal-scuttle of a grin, absolutely shameless. But we’d back her up. We’d all smile happily and laugh, and dance, and jump up and down, basking in the joy of the falsified sunshine of her wonderful smile, her shining false teeth. And she was right: where we had been together, the sun had shone all day, in spite of the umbrellas, our wet, cold feet, and all the undoubted evidence of a day of rain.

 

Empty Nest

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Empty Nest

The wind at the window
scratches tiny notes.
I can no longer hear the tune
nor read the words.

Who walks beside me
as I pace my lonely path,
abandoned in this empty house.

My self-portrait
stares back at me:
a splintered selfie,
framed in a sliver
of silvery glass.

Above me,
a monkey moon,
that itinerant tinker,
walks a fractured way
over broken glass.

The knapsack on his back
is cobbled together
from cobwebs and clumsy
veils of drifting clouds.

Comment: Another Golden Oldie from that same throw-away manuscript that I discovered a couple of days ago. I wrote this one the year after my mother’s death. My father was in hospital and I had flown back to Wales to visit him. When I was not with him, I wandered alone in a large house, empty of people, but filled with memories. The whole experience was rather surreal, just like the imagery I conjured up to describe it. Early spring, but a cold one. After hospital visiting hours, I wandered an untidy house and an unkempt garden. My mother had departed. My father was on the way out. I was alone with a life-time of memories. “No hay pájaros en los nidos de antaño” wrote Cervantes in the Quixote. “There are no birds in last year’s nests.” With no brothers, no sisters, no close family, and no friends left in Wales, I found that out the hard way. Those days of wandering, ‘upstairs, downstairs, in my lady’s chamber,’ taught me that most difficult of lessons in the hardest of ways.

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Striations

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Striations

There are striations in my heart,
so deep,
a lizard could lie there,
unseen,
and wait for tomorrow’s sun.

Timeless:
this worm at the apple’s core
waiting for its world to end.

 Seculae seculorum:
the centuries rushing headlong.

Matins:
wide-eyed this owl
hooting in the face of day.

Somewhere,
I remember
a table spread for two.
Breakfast:
an open door,
a window that overlooks
a balcony and a garden.

“Where are you going, dear?”

  Something bright has fled the world.
The sun unfurls shadows.
The blood whirls stars around the body.

“It has gone,” she said.
“The magic.
I no longer tremble
at your touch.”

Comment: A real Golden Oldie. The lizard, it’s probably an iguana, came originally from Oaxaca, Mexico, and now sits over the door on the front porch. I had to bend his tail to get him into my carrying bag, poor thing. I found this poem in my poetry discards file, though what it was doing in there is a mystery to me. I think I discarded the longer manuscript in which it was included. Never mind, I have re-found, rediscovered it and it merits a place here, on my blog, along with the iguana. Byddwch lawen: rejoice and be glad.