Commonplace Thoughts of a Residual Welshman: The Bards of Swansea

Greetings, my friends, from Wales. Just a poem this time:

The Bards of Swansea

In Swansea, there are no swans, just gulls

To tell its story, whose plaintive cries dominate all.

They don’t just own the skies, or just claim the chimneys that poke up

from the tops of tops of rows of rows of homes,

One stacked upon the other, hillside upon hillside,

Whose windowed-eyed faces look downward to the sea,

And see the gulls, twisting now hither, now thither,

Crying, speaking, cackling, claiming their ownership

Of this place, by their voices; their place, not that of Dylan Thomas,

Who once lived here in the uplands, in one of those homes that

Spread like a dealer’s deck, trickle out in rows, one upon the other,

Who every morning hear the mourning cries of the gulls

That say, we own this place! We are its sad bards!

There is no other! Hear our cackling-voiced cries, our plaintive lays!

There are no swans in Swansea, just gulls.

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