Welsh poet, Byron Beynon

LIMESLADE

Early morning, a bay opens

out towards an inconsistent sea,

a greasy haze on the quiet

surface of the water

where a labelled can floats

free with the tide’s pulse.

Nearby another artery of communication

hardens as the day’s strength of light

climbs to shape the colour of this scene

where cold steps descend,

witnesses of insecure waves

expanding towards an unsettled horizon.

JOHN CLARE’S CREMONA VIOLIN

He held a wedding gift

from Hessey his London publisher

in his Helpstone hands.

The landscape’s minutiae

he knew by heart and loved,

it listened for the beating of his heart

true to the countryside’s inhabitants,

owl, hedge-sparrow, wren,

the flight of insects,

field-cricket, fox, the ancient badger

that sensed the sounds and rhythms

he’d observed.

When Clare played his violin

on a Northamptonshire night,

the bar was full of promises,

boasts oozed through cracks.

Turning for a moment

he closed his eyes,

concentrated on a note

which circled everyday lives,

waited patiently for 

the urgent tempo of the dawn light. 

AT RHOSSILI

A trinity of hang-gliders

already mobile 

turn and furrow

along fertile strips,

the unique day’s tide

breaking on the exposed sand

below with naked ribs of oak.

Landscape assimilates

the past, 

recalling history, 

a lost village, 

limestone deposits born

as mud in a shallow,

warm sea.

Vivid sails now wander

across this space 

to witness shadows of aerobatic

survivors caught within

time’s churning imagery. 

LISTENING TO BASIL BUNTING READING
5th February 1982, Keats House

The sound of Friday evening rain

on February streets

full of damp shadows and electric lights.

A bearded man

entered a restored

house and sat down inside

the Brawne rooms,

his cupped fingers

held grey smoke

which curled from

a Players cigarette,

as he smacked

with appreciation

the glass of red wine

from a table

covered with books.

He spoke of meeting Yeats

who by heart

recited twenty lines from

To Peggy Mullet,

as words from

Briggflatts and What the Chairman Told Tom

filled the generous air.

A silent conscience

in a fine room.

The dark wind of time.

Do those “weeping oaks grieve?”

And how sadly he said

“I was in love with Regents Park.” 

FREE

I held it in the wrapping of my hand,

felt the drum of its life,

a stir echoing like secrets

unwinding to places it knew;

finding wings, a declaration,

a passport to flit

as I relaxed my touch

to allow imagination’s untethered

flight to form again.

This music of a receding wilderness,

a life unlocked, 

destiny re-won,

praised aeronaut 

Welsh poet, Byron Beynon

Byron Beynon lives in Wales.  His work has appeared in several publications including The London Magazine, Wasafiri, Poetry Wales, Cyphers, and the human rights anthology In Protest (University of London and Keats House Poets).  His collections include Cuffs (Rack Press) and The Echoing Coastline (Agenda Editions).

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