mynydd y graig

by Eleanor Smith

hill seethes with rain
bone festering with moss
wind scraping it raw

sweated and curled
with furze and fern

hill is carcass hollowed out
ribs holding the sky

buried under clouds,
only its shadow visible
like a whale underwater

invasions of plant life:
hill is bruised
with heather and gorse

hill is labour pangs, crystallized
hill was a giant once

hill has craters in its skin like you
full of rain
hill cracks like your voice does

hill turns your breath into clouds
makes your ribs hungry for sky

i remember when the night was green

several small wet stars were hanging from the white concrete balcony.
the sky was black. there was light in the leaves.
the rain was falling and i was in dolgoch again, where the sound was eternal,
from ledges, from moss.
i looked up and the sky turned purple-dark, gwrym as in middle welsh,
and the trees were black and i loved them.
the whole night smelt like a gift,
the great dark gothic church across the balcony was safe as anything.
i and the trees were the only ones awake to see the orange streetlights,
and there were leaves, everywhere. 

high tide

the sea and a bitter wind
and the great swelling dark that shakes you
like a dog – your skin flickers –
you feel translucent.
the shine of it like a whale, this water.
it swallowed stars and they drowned.

how heavy the valley feels behind you
in all this dark.

you can’t see water-colours in the dark
but you can feel them in the sound.
wind in the grass, the cold all around.
an eerie treble soars in your chest, high and thin.

the tide is as big as the wind. as small as a wingbeat.

white spray lashing flicks a switch,
your skin lights up. it’s too small, cold and wet,
your lungs too light to bear this.

the wind gasping-cold, the beat of the waves
in the wrist of the rock.
crash-retreat-hold-release. somewhere underfoot,
rock, salt-scarred plant life.

the cold bite, the song in the dark –
breathe water, breathe salt

from whence cometh my help

the wind for my hymnal
the holy holy moss
censers flinging birdsong

the stain of heather and gorse
as light crosses the glass hills

the rain, the rain, the rain
the benison mist

everything echoes

thin streams like veins of light
god roaming the mountains like a lion