Thursday, 31 July 2008

Wales snapshots - all 10 in the right order

1   Heron - Last year, I saw you there, over where the river smooths into blackest shadow. Pose frozen like pale grey stone, your bead eye shone keen with one intent. I flinched as you flung out a ruthless javelin beak. White flash. Black water. Silver fish. This year, I'm waiting for you.

2   Beams - Blackened pine beams angle above the doorway, framing this stone house. A plain door with sporadic wandering eyes watches my sleep. Black iron latches keep me safe. Above my bed, I track the places where branches once span out of this tree trunk, follow the flight of a dark bird.

3   Recipe for a perfect day - Walk along a singing river. Follow it's thunder through a gorge of shimmering pines. Climb a heather lined track. Lie on warm rocks. Eat lunch gazing at a vast panorama. Meander down a crooked slate path towards a still blue lake. Stroll the river bank home. Smile beside a fire.

4   Bilberries - In the hypnotic buzzing breath of crickets, I sit tuffetted beside a gurgling stream. Wonderful mountains lie all around me. I want to stay til dawn. Soon, I am leaving this inspiring place. My legs take home the memory of each step I've climbed. My hands are stained purple from bilberries.

5   Candles at breakfast - The wind changed. It ran through the house swirling dust from last night's cinders. Sheets of rain cut in from the west. The dark river spat against rocks. Blankets of cloud sucked colour from the hills. Candles flickered at breakfast. I wrote at the open back door wrapped in rugs.

6   Blame it on the bog - High in a remote valley, the sky sank to earth. Sudden rain beat down. We headed for home, anxious. Tiny streams ran joyous, swelling and uniting, turning mossy stones into hazards. Exhausted, I blamed my tears on the bog. Then I realized, this mountain wants to hold a tarn here.

7   The view I painted last year - In my living room. Unfinished. Painted last year on a clear morning before footsteps creaked through the house. I put it aside when a storm loomed. Today, I look out towards you, hidden again in low rain clouds. The map leaves you unnamed. I leave you unpainted for another year.

8   Spring water - Crystal clear. Lively hint of cool metal at the back of your throat. Best drunk long, neat and icy, close to it's mountain source. Tings against your tongue. Widens the eyes. Quenches the driest of thirsts with a gasp. Traces of bilberry, peat and quartz birdsong. Softens a hardened heart.

9   The map I haven't put away - A temporary rug across my floor. Abstract shapes. Flowing neat lines. The first day I stretched to hold you I wondered how it would be on a mountain with wind and weather. The path I was taking meant I had to turn you over, flapping, in a headwind and drizzle.

10  Afon Glaslyn - I drag my finger across the creased map searching for your source. Somewhere hidden, cupped in a high hand of mountains, you are springing from rocks, beginning your wild run. Waterfall, lake, river, gorge, estuary. In an echoing cavern deep in my head, I can hear your lulling white noise.

Ideas are still bubbling away regarding these pieces. Not sure where they are heading yet, however, I wanted to view them all as a sequence and in the right order.