Published on 25 Jan 2019

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?