Sunday, July 31, 2011

Waldo Williams - Two Fields

The only thing I have to say about this plaque, why is it so ugly?
The Bluestone that was brought down from Carn Meyn in 1989 by helicopter is opposite this stone on the other side of the road.

More discreet

'Wall of my childhood, Foel Drigarn, Carn Gyfrwy, Tal Mynydd, My support in all independent thinking'

Again I have written about Waldo elsewhere, he is supposed to be be one of Wales finest language poet, and I suspect his poetry rhythm lies in the Welsh language.  He grew up in the village of, Mynachlog-ddu which lies under the Presili range of hills.  He was a pacificist and was part of the group that fought off the land around the Prescelis hills  being taken over by the government for military exercises, hopefully my other half will write about it elsewhere but it is an interesting facet of history.  It would have been similar to other military land such as Salisbury Plain and Dartmoor, a place for tank training, etc.

Whilst the battle was fought and won, it is interesting to remember that W.F.Grimes in the 1940s, an archaeologists who wrote about this area, and also the prehistory on the downs in Somerset, was employed by the war office to sort out way out airfields for WW2,  Lansdown had one, also Charmy Down which lies on the opposite down to Lansdown outside Bath.  Also, there is an airfield just outside Solva (by Nine Wells) now disused, all of which had prehistoric barrows and cromlechs on them,  The RAF station of Brawdy still remains, though I'm not sure it comes from the second World War.

Somewhere in my photos I have taken photos of the remains of a burnt out plane on the flanks of the Preseli going towards Carn Meyn, from what I can remember 6 men died when the plane came down, strange that bits should still remain from such a long time ago, but a plaque remembers them and a few pieces of burnt out metal are there in this remote part.

Those fields – I’ve walked across them - they are
Extraordinary fields, though inaccessible to the seeker
After transcendence this is no loss for the page
Holds them in view and they extend into the margins
Between field hedges and the nets of the Hunter

In many places and times where time
Is arrested and held captive by a tether
Of stillness long enough to feel chastened by silence.
Sunlight touches a wall on a summer afternoon,
Shadows enclose a moment which passes from forever

To forever: Such blessings are felt to be precious.
But hearing beyond them voices calling in a common
Tongue of work and worship echoing through centuries,
And knowing that they witness this moment
When all is still, so that being alone

Is to be with them, resonates beyond solitude.
Voices heard in the echoes of whistling lapwings
Tremble to life over empty meadows; each hand,
Each tongue unique in the passing of time yet fused
In a moment making one of many things.


  1. "A tether of stillness"---what a lovely phrase--I wonder why in company of others we are apt to be afraid of stillness...?

  2. You like poetry MM, there are books translating Waldo's one book of verse, but probably hard to find, and of course the lyrical note of Welsh is lost, a most complicated language....

  3. 'Stillness' of course makes us uncomfortable, it is as if we need always to fill the silence with polite chit-chat..


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