I am quite proud that my husband, who is no stranger to poetry but seldom feels inspired to write any, came up with a version of this poem in May. I liked it enough to send it off to my former editorial team, Constance, Jeff and Kath who very kindly advised Noel on how to revise it — which he did. This is its third revsion. All I did was point out some words he could well do without (mostly ‘the’s). The resulting poem is I think, a sincere and lovely tribute to his fellow Swanseaman, Dylan Thomas who died the year Noel was born — and to the park they both knew and loved in their youth.
Cwmdonkin (in tribute to Dylan Thomas)
Opposite the café
over milk-skin, cappuccino stones
in the low grove the brook runs.
Waters bubble and babble.
The park sings
in November sun.
I follow it under the road
as it meanders
past trees and grass
until it dips through
the chasmal pipe and runs over sand and shingle
at last consumed by the sea.
I lie in the jingle-bell grass
in the woody exam-time smell.
In dreams I wander pell-mell woods
entranced by the robin’s song
I wake to the ring of the park-keeper’s closing bell
his loud shout of: ‘everyone out.’
Laurels smell of dusk.
The Upland’s Hotel opens its doors.
A bitter smell of beer, warm fires,
friendly banter with the boys.
And after the pub, strangers’ faces mingle
staggering home through dim winding streets
the view of the sea
and the waxing moon ahead.
Especially for his October Wind EDITORIAL by Oonah. A tribute to Dylan Thomas
My guest poet next for November will be the very talented Kathleen Cassen Mickelson, former managing editor at EDP and now editor at Fine Linen.