Wales Wales ...
Land of my mother.
and my Welsh speaking grandfather.
Land of Eistedfoddau every year in school.
Land of Dylan Thomas
when I was young and never easy.
Land of song and the music of words.
Land my English father adopted.
Land I loved and left
so long ago I forget my connection,
until I go ‘home’ and it slips back on
like I never left.
‘Come by yer and say that an I’ll smash you face in’.
‘Swansea girls are so common’, my mother said.
Land of ... memories
Bobby’s immaculately-pressed psychedelic shirts
and Jones the Stone - getting drunk and falling asleep
on the display marble grave in his father’s shop.
Skipping school to eat chips and pickled onions,
walk by the docks where old bedsteads and junk
stuck out of the water, not like now all posh,
‘don’t use that word’, my mother again,
‘it’s so-o common’. Don’t say ‘toilet’ say lav-a-try’.
The Small Faces and schools-out-for-evah.Goin’ down Langland or Caswell
to swim in the ‘Surf’s Up’ cold sea,
flirt with boys like Bronco Evans
and hold his hand crossing the rocks,
stopping for a snog every few yards.
Putting on dark glasses so me and Stella
can look old enough to buy a litre of cider,
then drink it in 3 minutes flat,
laughing and spluttering and falling about.
Skimming pebbles in Bracelet Bay,
drive down the long summer days
to Oxwich and Three Cliffs and Rhossili.
‘Where you goin?’ ‘Up the Beaufort, you coming?’
Or sitting in the Ups, talking to Tommy Trumpet
for hours over half a pint, talking rubbish ‘existential’ philosophy
and singing Wild Rover - No Nay Never no more.
Watching Barry John and JJ and JPR
show the English how to play rugby.
Gwlad! Gwlad! Plaediol oeth im Gwlad...
Siarad Cymraeg? Dim diolch.
No, not in Swansea,
eliminated by the English long ago.
Welsh, even after all these years away.