Cymraeg dailyconnectionwithnature nature poetry

dod i glawr (‘Stiniog)

August 26, 2019

The title of this poem is a Cymraeg idiom ‘bring to light’, ‘Stiniog is short for Blaenau Ffestiniog, a place in north Wales where we used to go mountain biking. Some of my deepest connections with the land have happened after a particularly gnarly day of exercise. There’s something about pushing yourself physically across a landscape that allows the mind to seep into new places. There’s a lot of talk these days about how little value words have, it’s probably because we overuse them, and we overuse them because we’ve forgotten their power. I think perhaps Robert Macfarlane & Jackie Morris are the closest we’re coming to reclaiming some of that power with their Spell Words. Sometimes I see mountains as great echo chambers that intensify thought; this mountain I saw as a great pile of words that I didn’t understand (y geiriadur mawr – the Cymraeg dictionary). I wrote this poem to explain what happened after a day riding the downhill trails at Antur Stiniog. The quotes are from the Tao Te Ching, Ben Okri and the Latin is from Horace. I’m tickled by the idea of a mountain giving birth to a mouse. I suppose I’m laughing at myself in this poem. I had such grand ideas of how to write about this connection and all that came out was this little farty mouse ?. But also there’s a sadness at recognising how great the disconnect is and that‘s reflected in the fractured nature of the original piece. This poem is part of the longer Coflyfr sequence ( and also appears in Hanes.

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