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notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK
Saturday, March 20, 2004Floodwaters Ffald-y-Brenin, deep in the heart of the old country, Pembrokeshire.....
I have seen roads become rivers: cars calmed, lorries lulled into tarmac-floored lakes.
I have seen trees afloat
And sheep adrift
And ex-chapel showrooms awash at the edge of watery fields.
I have seen dark clouds scud across Preseli's gentle peaks
Washing their green slopes greener
I have seen Cwm Gwaun soaked: subdued;
Which once exploded into shape through the upward force of icefields
I have seen a three-legged dog wag its tail once at me
Then hop rapidly into a doorway.
I have seen the eye of God in the glance of a magpie.
I have seen dead creatures staring out blankly through roadside puddles.
In a churchyard
I have seen an ancient cross that glows fire-red
And a yew tree dripping blood.
And I have seen St Brynach, who once subdued evil spirits
And brought a dead cow to life in defiance of a king,
Portrayed in cross-stitch, in a cope of many colours
Armless, expressionless, beautifully designed.
I have seen my way marred by mud
And have stared out a squirrel, twitching at me halfway up a tree.
I have seen my face in a mirror: it looked shocked.
I have seen St Dogmaels on All Saints Day
Grey and unsurprising save for an astonishing Abbey.
I have seen the past catch up and overtake
In places like this.
With the world slowly sinking under floodwaters
Lights blinking, lines open,
I have seen the old land
In the tar-lined coracle of faith.