postcard from 1974


I wrote diaries
of holidays
in 1974,
logged every mile
of the long noisy progress
in dad’s overloaded
brown Maxi
Wimbledon fortnight,
past black-country pubs
grim cheeriness:
The Bear at Bearwood
where nan and grandad
joined us,
The Old House at Home,
home among the houses
of industry,
and gradually
into the green,
the greener,
’til magical
the mountains arose
Dinas Mawddwy
mountain of mountains,
last defender
metamorphic incarnation
of Owain Glynd┼Ár,
conquored at last
(though heavily laboured
and in lowest gear)
and over,
into the Welshness
of every stone-strewn field
and every green red dragon
flag flying,
ar werth signs selling
the homeland
to the old enemy
at hopeful
(but reasonable) prices.
Then the first sight
of the sea,
a shout of blue
among the blueness,
a deeper sky
where the holiday still resided
from last year where we left it.
Every detail i recorded
in an old green diary
gone now,
like even then i knew
this was too good to last
or to let slip by
The chalet among the many
on the hot grid of
holiday macadam,
the shop selling holiday things:
snorkels, comics,
sweets exotic and familiar.
But best of all
at night
the utter foreign,
Welsh darkness,
and the lane
just there beside us,
with the music
and the chipshop,
that led to the sand dunes
and the sea.