Travels around a headland - gardens, arty thoughts and pictures.

Dear reader,

While the gardening world pours over Chelsea, I pour over art, gardens, hills, vales and sea.


On the Lleyn near Rhiw
This Art Nouvaux room with its fireplace in a cottage made for two.

I am nearly dead like Gilbert and George.
Taught once by a Royal Academician
With a balding head
He told me that I could draw better than him
By way of encouragement
But not my path then.

Now my path brings me to this small den
A break away from the valley
And the rigour of waiting
As a painting of mine travels to Crickhowell.

Each time an artist or poet writes or draws a line
They hope it will carry them to a place of love acceptance and even praise
Much like the two men hung with medals for being one voice of rebellion
It's all fake really - our rebellion
We all need rest and sweet dreams.


Peninsular Tales

There are those that would always overshadow
But they are shadows of my own making

I had no sweet dreams
Just murderous ones here in this room
Calling for help with no voice
This has happened before on the north west tip of Wales
These vivid nightmares perhaps connected to the land
Or perhaps I just see myself as I truly am.

Above this hellish bay whose broad open mouth swallowed sailors
A muck spreader clacks with its attendant pong
Moves along under our noses

Aberdaron seven minutes away by car, an hour by foot
Lands you in a bay
A fault in geology
A river cuts through it
The same river that curves past Ty'n LLyn
A peregrine hovers over the cliff
While older people like me walking with two sticks look to rest
To sit in the sunshine or burst for a pee after drinking too much tea
And eating biscuits.


Plas yn Rhiw - Heaven and Hell

Hell in Hell's Mouth Bay
Made in our day of ingenuity
Plastic returns from the sea to haunt us
It does not return to the earth it came from

Fishing nets cast from the wrong side of the boat
Float in on the tide
We stride through our waste - bottles, bags, chairs
There is no fishy breakfast being cooked on Hell's beach

Meanwhile above the bay
The straw hatted masses of the 'garden aware' classes
Sip tea seemingly unaware of the signs that the idyll is tainted.
Below the beautiful garden
The dead seabird with nylon strangling its decaying gullet
Screams - paradise is well and truly lost despite your blue sky,
Rhododendron, box and yew.

The charm of the old life
A distant memory.


Seven and a half miles around the headland from Aberdaron over the highest point
Watching peregrine , wheatear, chough
Fishermen lifting pots returning small lobsters and crabs to the sea


Porth Oer

Dogs not allowed to whistle on the sands
Blue sky
Flip flops
Mares tail
Red campion
Turquoise coves
Toes dipped and frozen
We found a quiet cove with winding gear
Rusted and broken
A starting handle rusted to its winch.


Caron Llanbedrog

Victorian rock and pool garden
Candelabra primula
Hilltop garden made for the spring


Ty'n Llyn

The couch cover has maroon waves
Like the seaweed on the shore
Cushions patterned with waving floral forms.

It sits so well in its country
No pretensions
Just stone, wood, plaster
And a tiled floor

The dog domestic was sick on the tiles
Heaving, retching
Whole body convulsing

This is the cottage of a dream - not ours to own
With field and barn
Swallows and jackdaws and bats in the roof

It faces out on the hill
The ancient hill, forted and lumpen
It once provided a life from its land - crofted
With animal and vegetable and fruit sustainable
Until life demanded more

This is a quiet place
Not dominated by the car
Walls solid against the wind, rain and hail
Two coasts either side

This place where our dog was sick
Has seen the lives of many humans
The bed posts have gouged a memory of intimacy on the wall
The beef cattle stare at the windows looking in
Chewing, grinding, ears pierced and numbered
Like theirs, our days are numbered

How many mouths have gaped at the view at the top of Mynydd Rhiw ?
Standing up there looking down
On the arm of Wales
Reaching into the Atlantic

I reach inward for a memory of connection
Outward the wind stings my eyes
I weep.
On the trig point
I dig to find a meaning

We need a context
A thread of truth
A hill to call our own
A familiar place to live and leave

I'm not sure if I have found it
Or arms to hold
To banish the fear of falling

I look for the connection
To some fixed point
But there is none here
Apart from the sky
Oh God I try
I try.



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