It’s been around ten years
since I wrote the poem below, on the second day of Allhallowtide, All Soul's Day (in Europe) or the second Day of the Dead (Americas), while living on the Gower
peninsula in Wales.
I had recently just
arrived back from a funeral in the US and was spending quite a bit of time walking on the beach.
It was always deserted, sand blowing across the vast beach when the tide was out.
Sometimes we’d see the occasional cow near the path that opened out onto the sand, but that was about it.
Day of the Dead, Gower
A white egret
banks against the wind.
Bottle of whiskey as offering, we wait
for a word
Start with a stone,
fallen from a wall
with the imprint of fish bones in that stone
start with the death of the fish, sinking
No, no, you have to go further back,
to the beginning, the face
beneath the face...
The puzzle of the dead,
Wild horses eat dune grass
(matted tails, salted bones).
We watch a grey mother,
her brown foal.
They stop grazing, stare back.
Whitford Beach, Gower, Wales
(Poem previously published in "All the Beautiful Dead along the Side of the Road")