This is a piece I wrote this morning, on St David’s Day. If you would prefer to listen there is an audio recording at the end.
If you believe the hype, the Welsh are rugby-obsessed lamb-eating choristers. As with most lazy stereotyping this is completely wrong of course. I’m as Welsh as they come and I don’t like rugby, lamb or male voice choirs. It’s not just me though, but most Welshies are too afraid to admit it. For example, a friend persuaded me to go to a rugby international in the Millennium Stadium a few years ago, to see a match involving our Celtic cousins Ireland. Because of a ticketing mix-up I ended up sitting up next to strangers in the upper hinterlands of the stadium. Continue reading →
An audio recording made 3 years ago of a poem I wrote 15 years ago, there’s a transcript below the picture that was taken 1 year ago. The picture is of a man-made meadow near Llandaff Fields in Pontcanna and it’s just there because people apparently like pictures to illustrate mere words.
I wrote the poem in the canteen/refectory at Trinity College, Carmarthen after arriving early for a session of the MA Creative Writing course I was studying at the time.
I had driven through the wonderful Carmarthenshire countryside with its green green grass and rolling hills and become pissed off at how the beautiful and mystical nature of Wales and its inhabitants have come to be defined by stereotypes involving sheep farming, rugby, chapel and industrial abuse.
Where is Your Song? What is there to sing about in the dirty valleys of Wales? The land of my fathers’ follies, the land of Mam’s poison cake. Where sheep flood the green hills like maggots, munching to certain slaughter, and pass their moronic character to the people, through their plates. The rivers run cold and collect the toxic discharge that the Lords left. The stone-walled slate-roofed mausoleums of mediocrity, house the bigots and the hypocrites of fear. Why allow these demons to inhabit our beautiful land? Where is the sleeping Prince who promised to return? Wales is not a place of blood and tears. Wales is not a deposit of dirty rain. The evil of our history has skewered our hearts to a red jersey, the only paltry pride we have left. Oh Wales, where is your song of joy?
Well – not really, life is a wondrous inexplicable miracle, but this is an audio recording of a song I wrote with Marc Roberts about 5 years ago for The Flight of the Wren, the Rock Opera that never rocked – performed by Marc