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Elegy for Idris Davies
by Caroline Gill

Who hears the bells of Rhymney as they toll?
There are no drams to draw along the tracks:
the empty tarmac waits for laden trucks,
but hollows in the hillside tell their tale.

The winch and winderman have long since gone:
deserted pits are crudely steeped in slag.
Would Shelley’s spirit ring out once again
if flames of silver leaped to greet the lark?

A sloping cemetery will testify
to times when angry voices could be heard.
An echo rises from the Rhymney bard:
it rocks and rolls a piercing lullaby.

The grass is brown: brass bands have lost their sheen,
but April’s music trickles down the rill.
A shaft of sun makes rainbow-puddles shine
in terraced streets, to light the poet’s trail.

Allotments snake along the mountain road,
with weathered water butts of blue and green.
A raven waits while seeds of hope are sown,
but wigwam-canes stand vacant and betrayed.

A poet plants his footsteps in the mire,
through furnaces and forges razed to soil.
Bare strips of sky and horizontal moor
arouse defiant voices in his soul.

Stonemasons shed their monumental tears
in mounds below the monkey puzzle’s arm.
A sombre moon casts shadows on the dawn:
a valley dreams beneath the midnight stars.

First published by Peter Thabit Jones in THE SEVENTH QUARRY (issue 3) Winter 2006


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