FOLLOWING ON FROM RAE HOWELLS’ POEM ‘AIRLINGS; THAT WE FEATURED IN LAST MONTH’S EDITION OF Bay, WE ARE DELIGHTED TO BRING ANOTHER POEM BY RAE, WRITTEN FOR ST DAVID’S DAY.
RAE FROM WEST CROSS WON THE PRESTIGIOUS WELSH INTERNATIONAL POETRY COMPETITION 2017 – WALES’ ONLY MAJOR POETRY COMPETITION, WHICH RECEIVES ENTRIES FROM AROUND THE WORLD.
St David’s Day
by Rae Howells
On the first of March we will pin spring to our collars
we will bound up the hill in patent shoes
and sing with our robin chests
the woodland colours of words.
The yellow kisses of daffodils will brush our lips
and we will taste pollen, smell the allium reek
of leeks necking up from the new earth
and in the trees oak leaves will flutter open
like green flags and fox cubs will yawn their red mouths
and we will look up at white clouds on their dove wings,
stand tall on groaning hilltops,
gaze down to the sapphire altar of our barley sea,
and we will hear the earth’s ancient hymn:
be joyful, and do the little things that you have seen me do.
St David was said to have performed the miracle of making a mound appear where he stood to preach, whereupon a dove settled on his shoulder. In his final sermon, he advised his congregation to “Be joyful, and keep your faith and your creed, and do the little things that you have seen me do.” There is some evidence that he donated a sapphire altar to Glastonbury Abbey.