Saturday 12 November 2016

'A traveller with the moon's halo above him...'

Talking of Godfathers of Gloom (see 'RIP', below), I was reading R.S. Thomas last night. The Bard of Bleakness certainly deserves his craggy and forbidding reputation - nobody has written better of life's fierce rigours and God's stubborn absence. However, when, on occasion, a shaft of light penetrates the Cambrian gloom, it shines all the brighter for its rarity. As here -


Not conscious
    that you have been seeking
    you come upon it

the village in the Welsh hills
          dust free
    with no road out
but the one you came in by.

        A bird chimes
    from a green tree
the hour that is no hour
    you know. The river dawdles
to hold a mirror for you
where you may see yourself
    as you are, a traveller
          with the moon's halo
    above him, who has arrived
    after long journeying where he
          began, catching this
    one truth by surprise 
that there is everything to look forward to.

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