Longlisted Poem 2013
Charterhouse, Godalming, Surrey
Throwing Snowdonian slate
over the ramparts of the old quarry, side-on
skimming the air, I seize a momentary break
from scrambling over
the stony outcrop, negotiating the next tentative step
Towards the summit
now clouded with snow.
The glistening icing sheets
a blanket of blankness.
Through the eyeglass I can discern
its unique latticed form, its permanent and fixed bonding.
Six dendrites protruding
the beautiful crystalline structure,
tessellating, radial symmetrical.
I worry about the next summit’s agenda,
the tedious negotiations.
But not long before a westward venture.
A time to relish the freshness
and flee the office.
Carving Snowdonian slate pointedly,
ensuring the crisp, clean, fine lines
are executed as anticipated:
every flourish, every ligature expertly inscribed.
The text fully illustrated
Upon the stone.
The epitaph reads: Disgwylgar yw angau i’r henoed‡
But, inevitably, it will become shrouded,
And I softly forgotten, alone
on the mountainside.
†A mountain in southern Snowdonia, Wales
‡’Expectant is death for the old’
© Nicolas Walker
- Date January 4, 2015
- Tags 2013 The Details - Longlisted Poems