Friday, 21 December 2012
The house had recently been completely under wrapps while acquiring a new roof. This was all supposed to be top secret but the bush telegraph here is very efficient. Anyway, I think it is a good move as it means that Gerallt no longer needs to attend to the farm. He has been ill so this is a good thing although he is getting better now. He will still be playing host to the public, as he promised his Nain he would till he died. Anyway, no one could possibly do it better.
The Hedd Wyn book got a mention on Radio Cymru on the bck of that and we sold some copies but then everyone went off to Yr Ysgwrn after lunch at the village hall and Emma, Debbie, myself and the two Phils had an afternoon mostly to ourselves feasting on Debbies wonderful tast titbits. We had three friends from Dolgellau for an hour and so Emma and I did our readings, Emma in Welsh and me in English. The only other visitors were several ladies in black returning from a funeral, who bought copies but of course were not in need of entertainment.
The book is selling quite well although I am not good at publicity and don't have the time and energy to hawk it round book shops. It is available from Yr Hen Bost in Blaenau Ffestiniog, the Meirionnydd Book shop in Bala and the Siop Papur in Trawsfynydd. Also from my web site direct - Merilang
Tuesday, 28 February 2012
There will be an official bilingual launch on Thursday, Gwyl Dewi, and all are welcome.
Saturday, 14 January 2012
THE BLACK CHAIR
The hills of Wales are green and gold,
But the men who once walked there
Now wade through trenches in the mud
Of foreign fields where death
Stalks indiscriminate and cold.
These are fields but there will be no grain,
No harvest here but bones and flesh
As the blood mingles with the rain.
In Wales the yellow native poppy
Spangles hedgerows, unaware
Of how on Pilken Ridge the evil thud
Of shells breaks the loveliness
Of Flanders poppies, red as blood,
Crimson petals falling in the mud
With broken, dying men in awful pain,
Poppy petals mingling with their blood
And the blood mingling with the rain
Orders come from somewhere else;
Men who hold no hate for fellow men
Are herded like uncomprehending flocks
To keep a grisly rendezvous with death
Far from their native fields and fells.
Poets plead their pity and their pain,
The pen crawls on, and a slow silver vein
Of poetry seeps through Flanders mud
And flows with the blood and with the rain
Quiet and cold Arianrhod shines,
Silvering the slates of distant Wales.
But her poet is a soldier now,
Gone with the men who marched away
To a world of weary plodding boots,
bayonets and all that war entails.
Half the youth of Europe slain
In an incomprehensible war,
Where blood mingles, wasted, with the rain.
Far from the fear, the lice, the groans,
Men too old for war have read the words
Of those who face their Armageddon
In those distant, hellish zones.
And, ‘Is there peace?’ the bard intones,
Ceremonial sword raised above
The black chair under the black cloth.
The poet now is past his pain;
Black crows fly over Flanders fields
And the blood mingles with the rain.
At last the book is a real solid hardback and not a vague dream in my head. I had a lot of help from other people including David Gardiner who, miraculously, managed all the formatting for the printers. The painting on the cover is mine but not the technicalities.