Teithio /Journeys by Matthew M.C. Smith

Matthew’s “Underland”

IceFloe Press

Cefnwlad / Hinterland

He stands at dusk in tyre tracks, sump-destroying ruts; the lane between the terraced houses of Welsh stone leading to waste ground. Grass is hip-high and dandelion seeds lift off, take flight freely. He walks among the wreckage of abandoned cars.

The cool of evening envelops him. A day of scratches, scrams and stings. Bramble cuts raise staple marks on bare skin, on his ripped stained shorts, new maps of blackberry and grass in towelling. The haze of a bonfire permeates long gardens, drifting to shrouded trees; thickets of unclaimed land. Birds pipe down; rooks, crows and blackbirds settle on coiled boughs.

Evening’s pink blush engraves the sky with electric-orange. Shinning up onto the rainbow-rusted car bonnet, he turns to the sun; it bleeds out battery acid over the pulsing artery of the low west highway. From the distant hills above Nazareth chapel, the lights of villages…

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