Stained glass chapel panel, originally designed by William Burges (2 December 1827 – 20 April 1881) courtesy of Wikipedia.
To be Welsh
To be Welsh is to have castles creaking in your bones,
Caernarfon, Carreg Cennen, Conwy
The wind’s drift in the feathered trees that is your hair
Oak, alder, hawthorn, holly
The rolling hills of your heels, strong and untethered
The mountains of Yr Wyddfa and Pen Y Fan in your knees,
An industry, an ethic, burning in your core
A dragon asleep in your chest, ready to roar
There’s a song in your soul and it soars through your throat,
There are stories of note that seep from your skin,
Yes, our history shows us where we begin, where we’ve begun
But you are the one, Wales is in you,
To be Welsh is just to do as you do,
It’s the tales you tell, the words you say
The telly you watch, the games that you play,
It’s a feeling that circles and sits in your heart
And you can give permission for that feeling to start.
And then, you guide the land, you make the Wales you need
She is yours to grow, we just planted the seeds.
Take her onwards and upwards, let her shift with the sands
It’s not all on your shoulders, but it is in your hands.
-Peter J. Donnelly
Teenager Encountering Dylan Thomas
In the white thighs of the Bible black,
As we tumble through the pages,
Morning slips under the door and back,
Evening in full spate of seered rages.
Your quiverful fields fetch holy fire
Speaks from dew drop risen,
And rising to fall again this Eved pyre
Sing praise damned silences barren.
Place the door of your ear to the book
Of her longing, listen to the wanting graveyards
In the double bedding sea where luck
Cries out in drowned ticking clockwards.
Bios And Links
is an actress and poet from Cardiff. Her acting credits include Shakespeare’s Globe, National Theatre and National Theatre of Wales. Her poetry appears in journals and anthologies and in June 2021 she was named Spoken Word Runner Up in national competition ‘Poetry for Good’
-Peter J Donnelly
lives in York where he works as a hospital secretary. He has a degree in English Literature and a MA in Creative Writing from the University of Wales Lampeter. He has been published in various magazines and anthologies including Writer’s Egg and Dreich, where this poem will appear later this year.