Lex Runciman: “Hillside at Laugharne”


A fine morning after mist has cleared, the far view
Welsh hedges, small pasture, rooks, oaks and elms.

And though on this stony churchyard hill
Dylan Thomas is not here, is not the white cross here,

Yet to sit on this grass is to think of him fondly—
Not his folly, not his poverty, but his outsized wishes—

Language so dense-fitted for mouth and tongue
Sense can disappear and be hardly missed,

Though in their best blest assemblies
Those lines of consonants and vowels conspire

To all the song-clarity ears might bear
And sight know and thought ask, blood and breath

At the moon’s one door, mortal, cup-full in its arriving,
And cloudy, starry, lonely in its going away.

Lex Runciman is the author of six collections, most recently Salt Moons: Poems 1981-2016 (Salmon Poetry, 2017). An earlier volume won the Oregon Book Award. A new book, Unlooked For, is forthcoming, also from Salmon Poetry, in 2021.

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