VISIT TO FERN HILL
by Byron Beynon

VISIT TO FERN HILL

I walked there,
following the road
three miles or so
out of Llansteffan’s reach.
That unhurried summer
the tranquil Tywi flowed
through high August country
as the abundant sun made salt,
soon the river disappeared from view,
I was alone
before a private house,
where amongst the dark
conifers and lattice of dizzy pylons
a childhood world
was one recalled.

His words of celebration and praise
brought me here,
a boyhood recreated
unaware that innocence
would end;
outside that day
a sign warned
Beware Guard Dogs
In Operation,
presented no clue
to his untethered wordscape
where a green fraction of fern
was placed on the mindful page,
an abiding calligraphy,
nature’s reading
by the filigree of strong leaves.

GIRL READING

I see her
standing alone
engaged with words
that the mind’s eye
translates into private thought.
How many hours
has she inhabited this place?
Shut inside a landscape
where language
makes a difference,
absorbs and changes things.
She focuses on pages
that turn quietly
with the eloquent breeze,
like those silent years
biding their time
under skies and fields.

MUSÉE DU LOUVRE

An umbilical queue of people
is attached to Pei’s pyramid.
Once inside I take the escalator
that descends from the modern entrance
to the underground bookshops and cafés,
where visitors pay to enter
the wings of the museum.
A bewildering choice of rooms and corridors,
a plethora of antiquities, paintings, sculpture,
the calm Mona Lisa
behind bullet-proof glass.
‘In the Louvre at one o’clock’,
Mary Wordsworth met Annette
for the first time, and Caroline
always called William ‘father’.
I am a victim of fascination,
a magnet for the flow of life,
its fever, its vanishing point.

HAWKSHEAD

A schoolboy carves
his initials on a desk,
Ann Tyson nods
over her bible
by the fire,
her lodger
warmly remembers
the freedom to roam
the pleasure to read;
in his wandering
Wordsworth recalls
imagination’s vocabulary,
the ethereal dawn of a young mind
opening like a bud.

About the Author:

Byron Beynon lives in West Wales.  His work has appeared in several publications including Adelaide Literary Magazine, Confluence, Agenda, London Magazine, Poetry Wales and The Yellow Nib.  He coordinated the Wales’ section of the anthology Fifty Strong (Heinemann). Collections include Cuffs (Rack Press) and The Echoing  Coastline (Agenda Editions).

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