Imagine please that I am blind

Imagine please that I am blind
Describe your home, life and mind
The colours, spices, faces, sounds
To me are joys that lie unfound

For I may never walk upon your land
Might never get to hold your hand
To kiss your cheek or eat your bread
So please, I’m blind, need to be led

Tell me of the native trees, the birds
The streams, the songs you’ve heard
Show me pots of steaming food and
Crowded streets with smells imbued

There’s more to words than just some ink
Please make me want to think and drink
Your culture, costumes, gods and more
This online world we walk to open doors

The water, wind and air we breathe
Is ours to share until we leave
Respect to you my fellow friend
Best wishes, hope and peace I send


up here looking down
over this our river valley
the old toll bridge
closed to traffic
some forty years now
we watched with wonder
the new flyover rise on stilts
bridging the decades
concrete and wood cousins
side by side in tidal drifts
not a mile apart

the time frame paused
ebbed and flowed

like us kids in long grass
and short summer shorts
sporting green knee legs
bright orange pushbikes
young dreams chalk marked
one part baby boomer
one part generation x
harking back to the once was
cycling onwards without purpose
still up here looking down
waiting for something to happen



Axehorn and Olwen

Axehorn, cast out from his village, had returned
He stole away Cornweld’s woman to the mountains
Hid his prize away inside a rock and timber bothy
Gorse, heather and bracken had sealed the cleft
On a perilous ledge where men wouldn’t follow

They had passed the summer feasting on wild berries
And on the love that began to flow between them
Furtive and frightened at first in young Olwen’s eyes
Impetuous and persuasive to bold Axehorn’s own
She was to him his stalked deer, captured and tamed

As Cornweld before had stolen her from the Welsh clan
That bunch of ragged ruffians up raiding from the south
Inching their thieving way around the lakes and tarns until
Cornweld’s men circled them near Thorstanes Watter
Staving in heads and running through with long knives

In time the days had grown shorter, the nights longer
With the onset of winter the hunting retreated lower
Seeking out new grazing on wood edge and river bank
Leaving Axehorn and Olwen alone in their eyrie nest
Clutching each other tight for warmth after dark

She desired to leave, he insisted they should stay
To wait out the winter, for him to hunt in secret
Keeping out of sight of Cornweld and his men
But the prey grew scarce as the season wore on
Hungry they scattered and later were watchful

Axehorn stayed away longer with each passing week
Chasing the dwindling herd through valley and fold
Forgetting young Olwen wrapped up in skins on high
Shivering and cursing her lot and Axehorn’s eyes
Until one day, mid-winter, Axehorn returned in haste

A yearling buck slung broad across his shoulders
He found fair Olwen froze to the bone, half buried
In white powderous snow so soft and cloudlike
As once were her breasts in his roughhewn hands
And her thighs against his more muscular own

Confused at the stiffness of her dead body’s frame
Afraid she was brittle, would snap without due care
Axhorn cursed the gods and raised up a great fire
Dragged poor Olwen to warm and thaw by his side
Stripping her clothing like bark, exposing her flesh

The flames resurrecting back some form of life
Made limp the utter stiffness that had fused her
In suspension, on the ledge, between two worlds
She was once more supple, pliable to his lips
He kissed and held and clawed and spat and raged

Through a blizzard of swirling dreams, time frozen
Like their love, their fate, his beard on her cheeks
Axehorn lay with Olwen and forgot to eat or drink
Within the bothy, upon the mountain, here on high
He vowed to wrap her warm and keep her safe