Wednesday, 06 November 2019 09:47

To A Different Country

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in Poetry
143
To A Different Country

To A Different Country

by Mike Jenkins

We were selling tickets
for a journey to a different country
(our own, yet changed totally).
At the station our flags flapped
in a strange wind
stirring from valley to mountain
despite the frosty stillness
of another Monday morning.

‘But it’s the same old train!’
moaned the half-asleep
commuters heading for the city
as they took our leaflets
which explained the way.
‘They’ve only painted it up,
it still runs late
or over-crowded too often.’

The train followed the river down valley
and high up on the stonework
of an old viaduct plinth
someone had painted ‘Cofiwch Dryweryn’;
was it the ghost of Meic Stephens
suspended on dragon’s breath?

‘You will arrive on time.
We will build it together.
There is no guarantee,
no money back or return;
but watch it emerge
at the end of the line:
our hands, our imaginations.’

Notes                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    'Cofiwch Dryweryn' means 'Remember Tryweryn'. Over the past year in Wales many people have graffitied this: on walls , rocks, bridges and most recently on an old railway viaduct plinth in the Taff valley. It follows the vandalism of the original one on a rock near Aberystwyth, originally painted by poet and editor Meic Stephens in the 1960s referring to the drowning of a valley and clearance of the village of Capel Celyn, in the Tryweryn valley. See here

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Mike Jenkins

Mike Jenkins is an award-winning Welsh poet and author and unofficial poet for Cardiff City FC. His new book of political poetry, Nobody's Subject, is published in Summer 2016.