Golden Mile in snow
Turn left, towards the west,
in a quarter-mile turn right towards the north
onto the Golden Mile (a straight track
half a mile up, turn about, half a mile down).
Stop, look! see there,
rising high a third of a mile
into the sky, now grey-shrouded,
Foel Cwmcerwyn (that is, the Hill
by the Coombe, hollow like a Cask),
a white whale in winter, green pillow in summer,
legend-saturated, myth-laden, tale-clouded.
Here, near the summit cairn, the mighty Arthur
hunted the giant boar Twrch Trwyth and his piglets.
The blood of Arthur’s followers flowed
down the barrelled vale, steeping the earth,
slaking a ground thirsty for stories
to satisfy the land’s lonely soul.
Now, back at home, turn right for one half-mile,
then left towards the north again,
down twisty turning lanes and see!
see there, along the Preseli ridge,
advancing slowly, stealthy silhouettes
of walkers, soldiers – Arthur’s men,
silent, almost standing still –
Cerrig Marchogion, the Stones of the Knights they are,
a phalanx of sky-hued bluestone pillars
hewn, as it were, by age-old glaciers.
One hundred centuries ago south the ice sheet marched,
then retreated, scarring the battlefield, abandoning
battered bodies, leaving a landscape as bare as bone.
Not quite bare: down, under the ridge,
below unseen Bedd Arthur — Arthur’s Grave –
loom Cerrig Meibion Arthur, the Stones of Arthur’s Sons
slain by the merciless twrch.
Sentinels, they serve as signposts
directing the curious traveller to a land made fertile
by febrile human imaginations, peopled by figures
larger than life, stirring the modern mind
with wonder and, perhaps, an elusive wisdom.
Foel Cwmcerwyn, Preseli Hills, Pembrokeshire