a poem by Gillian M. E. Alban
Written while on a poetry retreat at St Beuno’s in July 2018:
Peaceful Vale of Clwyd, I came harried,
Sharp as a raptor, bleeding from wounds
Thirteen years in the making. I stepped
into this valley, hardened and helpless,
losing my persistent battle against forces
Defying me, dwarfing me, scorning my efforts
to help, to mollify or even engage. I revived
Hopkins, his struggle and sword, shining shivering foil
as he faced his own beast for Andromeda,
finally resolving to be so happy, oh so happy.
Here I climb Rock Chapels, survey dappled
homesteads with grazing cattle unaware
of yesterday, without encroaching tomorrow.
I lift my steps to the hills, survey the plains
to Snowdon, side-step my life. Now
words scarce seem needed, as I forgo the
beast who appears dissolved
without a fight. Will she overwhelm me
Tomorrow? Will that morrow never come?