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Horizons and herring made us Vikings

No estuary beyond our sixteen oars and shallow-drafts.

Silver arm-rings we wore, bound by allegiance,

Chained thralls shared our graves


Ninety miles a day in a fair wind

Sea-sick abaft oak prows and reeling sails.

Monks in towers prayed for stormy seas but

Stiff with salt it was nuns not gold we wanted


After conquest we traded ...

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Ystrad Fflur: Dusk

Who will ever tell or know

the unheard silent echoes

from passing lives laid low:

those ghosts of chanted psalms

once melodious in their praise

lie buried beneath the turf

within walls they helped to raise;

and who can see the cowled monks

whose ghostly whispered prayers

whose canticle or hymn

whispers through the evening's airs -

through the great stone entrance a...

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