On a Welsh Beach

M.C.Escher (Wikiart)


‘... dyuot tri ederyn, a dechreu canu udunt ryw gerd’

“... three birds came and began to sing a song to them, and all the songs they had ever heard before were unpleasing compared to that song. They had to look far out over the waves to see them but they were so clearly present to them as if they were with them.”

                               §

                     Birds of Rhiannon singing, where sea meets sky,
                     A shifting border at the merging of worlds
                     Their littoral music like the tides on the shore
                     Ebbing and flowing onto the land, into the air;
                     Cloudscapes of sound, now drifting, now clear
                     Like the horse she rides: now here, now there;
                     The boundaries of time, of place, don’t cohere
                     On the island of Gwalës on the sea, in the air.

                      The company holds in a vision somewhere,
                      A blissful communion, a binding of hearts,
                      Until a hand reaches out to open the door
                      And the song melts away in a breaking wave
                      So the land and the sea and the sky
                      Take their place in the world once more.


                                       §


“When they looked through the door all the losses they had ever suffered fell upon them ..... as if they were waiting to meet them.”



Quotations from the Second Branch of the Mabinogi. The company returning from Ireland with the head of Brân spend eighty years on the Island of Gwalës, though when they return they are no older and no time has passed in the world they left to go to the island. 


1 comment:

  1. Love the lines 'The boundaries of time, of place, don’t cohere / On the island of Gwalës on the sea, in the air.' I guess this could relate to all places where the Birds of Rhiannon sing. In my local valley they sing in the dead of night in midsummer!

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