Peter Finch

The picture shows Peter at 'The Merlin' in Budapest.
Peter Finch

A Welsh Wordscape

(from Selected Poems)

1

                                    To live in Wales,

                                    Is to be mumbled at
                                    by re-incarnations of Dylan Thomas
                                    in numerous diverse disguises.

                                    Is to be mown down
                                    by the same words
                                    at least six times a week

                                    Is to be bored
                                    by Welsh visionaries
                                    with wild hair and grey suits.

                                    Is to be told
                                    of the incredible agony
                                    of an exile
                                    that can be at most
                                    a day's travel away.

                                    And the sheep, the sheep,
                                    the bloody, flea-bitten Welsh sheep,
                                    chased over the same hills
                                    by a thousand poetic phrases
                                    all saying the same things.

                                    To live in Wales
                                    is to love sheep
                                    and to be afraid
                                    of dragons.

2.

                                    A history is being re-lived,
                                    a lost heritage
                                    is being wept after
                                    with sad eyes and dry tears.

                                    A heritage
                                    that spoke beauty to the world
                                    through dirty fingernails
                                    and endless alcoholic mists.

                                    A heritage
                                    that screamed that once,
                                    that exploded that one holy time
                                    and connected Wales
                                    with the whirlpool
                                    of the universe.

                                    A heritage
                                    that ceased communication
                                    upon a death, and nonetheless
                                    tried to go on living

                                    A heritage
                                    that is taking
                                    a long time to learn
                                    that yesterday cannot be today
                                    and that the world
                                    is fast becoming bored
                                    with language forever
                                    in the same tone of voice.

                                    Look at the Welsh landscape,
                                    look closely,
                                    new voices must rise,
                                    for Wales cannot endlessly remain
                                    chasing sheep into the twilight.


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