Hiking to Porthgain
We’ve all seen them . . . in Conti’s or wherever . . .
sprogs of walkers, setting out
to walk long tracts of coastal path,
carting those effing great rucksacks.
And we’ll flick a fleck of cappuccino
from rim of cup to rim of mouth
and think . . . For God’s sake, why?
Well? God’s sake maybe? Are they holy men
(and holy girls- sometimes the veriest slips)?
Or is there something to be exorcised?
What justifies the drizzle
of sweat on eyelids, back-clinging shirt?
Maybe some rising sense
that at the brow of Abereiddy’s slope,
the dredge of lung and muscle
has surmounted hill and hardship,
stands them, gasping,
on some kind of crazy height.
The light in the Lane is almost crystalline,
as spring and a late March Sunday coalesce.
There are traces of late Saturday’s adventures,
but mainly in the alleyway by Tesco.
The cat, the mouser, has been out since four,
now squats content, mulling a fat corpse.
Ernie is in the garden early, hoping just
to weed a patch or two, smell earth.
The Harries sisters shape themselves for church,
having re-found a faith in recent weeks,
will grace new vicar Rory’s pulpit-feet,
forswearing lust for Lent.
Greg’s garage doors groan open furtively.
Some fiddle again, a trip to Swansea later.
Some guy he knows on a trading estate.
Nice bit of wood, some felt, a few brass screws.
And two lost souls already on white screens,
one with her piece for the council’s focus group,
the seminar, inclusiveness, the other sweating
on his teaching module on King Lear.
And outside, in the blue and amber day,
the mouser’s teeth and claws are red indeed,
the hopes and quirks of humankind are flickering
and Ernie weeds the morning’s friendly earth.
Robert Nisbet is a poet from Wales who has over 500 poems published in Britain and the
USA, in magazines like San Pedro River Review. Third Wednesday, and
Burningword Literary Journal. He lives in a small market town within 15 miles in one
direction of the ancient cathedral city of St. David’s, and 20 miles in the other direction
from Dylan Thomas’s Boathouse.