George Wilson

When Cymri say
“Pwllheli”
I hear again
the pebbly ripple and lap
blessing the shore.
No human voice, no engine roar
only the thin cries of arctic tern
ganneting the sea.

Across Tremadoc Bay
Snowdonia’s curtain of cloud
blacked out war.
The still air
calm as the prayers
of a thousand Celtic saints
cleansed my head
of death, of furnace fires,
so many missing friends.
The world was still at war but
Pwllheli
was elsewhere.

George Wilson

At last they fade from sight, those fields
of white crosses, rigid, regimented,
on parade. But now the Sacred Way
cuts through woodland, dense as battle-smoke,
concealing still the threat of instant death.
Here the war continues, birch and alder
inter-strangle with their tangled limbs;
some in shell holes stand like moated forts
flooded nearly ninety years ago.
Some defend a blast-heaped mound of mud,
undetonated weapons, metal waste
and chips of bone from countless unknown graves.
Occasionally through these haunted woods
officialdom has hacked and flattened lawns
as if to gentrify barbarity.
On each firebreak greensward cowslips peal
their yellow bells and sway seductive stems
so unconcerned, so innocently proud
that instantly, from thirty years ago
I hear Joan Baez singing her lament
where have all the graveyards gone?
Gone to flowers every one.
When will they ever learn?
Perhaps in Viet Nam days this could appear
a plea for common sense, but not again.
The song is so much older than the Nam.
These are cowslips of reality.
Their innocent persistence now declares
our lemming-like obsession has no end.
All is passion-driven, irrepressible,
unreasoned, uncontrollable, unchecked
from flowers to girls to young men waging war
to cowslips blowing kisses on their graves.

George Wilson

Two women, both in black, the widow’s veil
is flung across one shoulder, cast aside.
A child’s face where sorrow can’t prevail,
those sloe-dark eyes more suited to a bride.

The funeral past, she sheds no mourning tear
as she surveys the seething cafe crowd.
What does her confidante say in her ear?
What secret that she dare not say aloud?

A glorious auburn head displays behind;
a sunset orange sweats the juice of life;
but all her beauty is concealed, consigned
to nun-like garments of the mourning wife.

What future can this widow-child foresee?
Could manacles of marriage set her free?

George Wilson

With the kind permisson of the author

He helps me keep alive those active cells
that sometimes light the spark of thought anew,
hoping that the cave where reason dwells
might warm with feeling as it used to do.

When thought and feeling fuse, just now and then
and blood rejuvenates the numbing brain
the ageing world regains its glory when
light and laughter match the constant rain.

That surge of mystery, that day in night
encapsulates an element of grace,
a moment of existence brought to light,
cradled in a sonnet’s firm embrace.

Such moments of delight his words conceive,
So much for me his sonnet can achieve.

George Wilson

With the kind permisson of the author