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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