Forest Coal Pit, God and Garden

Dear Monty,

From Waun Fawr

Longmeadow looked lovely last night - edited and framed as it was by low angles.

I have not tuned in to the new radio series of 'Shared Planet' yet, but understand the concerns that are highlighted and which drive us to find solutions.

On a walk with Charles Hawes from Forest Coal Pit to Waun Fawr on the Black Mountains we contemplated the fate of our species and this planet we think we dominate - our conclusion was the inexorable drive towards human catastrophe! Cheering thought. It in no way phased us that we seemed to agree that we can do little - and we continue to piss into the gale - even though it splashes back in our faces. We laughed but not in an arrogant and ignorant way - we laughed because of the recognition of the fact that the universe and this planet will continue and change - we are but a destructive blip in the vastness of time.


Mountains and vistas
Monks and mysteries
Culture and ethnicity

We walk the forest in dread darkness
The golden sunlight filtered out

Breaking out 
We pant and gasp up steep contours 
To rise above valley and bare reservoir
In the streamer ed sky of linear clouds -
Ghosts of airliners heading west -
We see ravens and raptors

Ponies on the ridge ponder human intent
And move as though definite
Along their intended path
Only to halt
To wait for some token of our love
Some scrap of food perhaps
To fuel them on this bright day
A sudden bray and snort
And the relationship is strained then ended

We strain as we climb again
To the ridge end
The gliders silent at eye level
To a trig point now redundant
Save as a destination
For us to pause
For the task of another climb

We mounted Waun Fawr without knowing it
And rested on a lower peak
Then down
Knee shatteringly down
Tumbling down the slope
Edged by a fossil forest
A scar of grey stumps
Following a stream as clear as crystal

At the conclusion
We returned to the familiar
And the ugly

The litter left by humanity


National Botanic Garden of Wales

The coal tip garden

God and Garden

I thank God for the garden
The clatter of drying leaves
Interspersed with robin and chaffinch song and the shadow of a red kite above

There is no vista here 
Except for the garden and the trees beyond
Which on most days smother the sound of cars
Except on an east wind

Oh but it is a haven!

Why thank God for it ?

Most of our ideas  of God come from others ideas and from what we think we know
We shrink back from God these days equating the name with hatred - rage
Why believe in a God that seems - according to some of his followers - to enforce worship and obedience upon us - and if it is worship - can that come from violence and intimidation - is it true worship ?

I don't see God like that
I just see vastness and intricacy beyond my knowledge
Subtlety and mystery

I saw all that in the back-lit wings of a tortoiseshell butterfly warming itself
I could be rational - I could read up on the research about its need for pattern and colour
All I know is it lifts my inner being to a place beyond human 'wisdom'

The indomitable intention of God is to continually bring into being a never ending creation - one beyond our control
And this is what I see in my garden below the coal tip
In leaves 
In sounds
In insects
In the changing seasons
In light

How rich I am
How blessed I am

'How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news'

We so need good news.

The hills of the Upper Swansea Valley


ps My feet aren't that beautiful !


  1. Hey Paul, do I detect a note of positivity here? I hope that wasn't the map book that Charles was reading - he can't read maps you know (see his blog for confirmation).

    And I do like autumn leaves resting on the lawn, provided it's someone else's lawn and I don't have to clear them up.

    The photo of that pathway at NBGW squeezing past the overhanging tower of acanthus confirms my thinking that it needs someone to go in and overhaul it (I don't share your liking for the place, sorry - see Elfin Safety would have a field day with gouged out eyeballs, bleeding arms and the like.

    1. John, positivity Paul - mmm that might catch on ! I would normally be out there with the rake to tidy up as soon as the leaves fall - but I decided I like the look of them - I realise I cannot stop autumn - it's all part of the purposefulness.That path at NBGW was one I did not attempt to follow - but I thought the abundance beautiful.

  2. I have cracked the problem of the disappearing comments which both Charles and I have experienced (and maybe others too)! My solution's based on using a Google+ (G+) account which anyone with an android device should have. So ...

    1) In a browser log into your G+ account.
    2) Leave that browser tab/window open and in a separate tab/window, open your blog.
    3) Type the comment (leave the Comment as box below as its default "Google Account".
    4) Select the comment you've typed and copy it to the clipboard. Then click Publish button.
    5) You get a message to say your comment is being published but it disappears and you're left with an empty comment box BUT the comment as setting changes to the name of your G+ account.
    6) Paste your comment back into the comment box and click Publish again.

    Voila. Works 100% for me anyhows on your blog and on others hosted at Blogspot.

  3. What an amazing post; you have captured all those best elements of our walk and made them into a poem. Great stuff.

    1. Thanks Charles - I hoped it was as close a representation as possible x


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