• BAGGAGE CAROUSEL

    1

    A bag is born,
    a good baby
    the quiet one beside you,
    It scares away seat-sharers,
    makes companions draw back,
    here on the seat
    its leathery tongue blub-blubbing
    its mouth
    an open and shut case,
    until you close those lips;
    the bag is your memory, too,
    your mobile, your squidgy purse,
    your headache pills, your gloves,
    it holds your sunglasses -
    this basketful of light
    on the long journey into night.

    This is the still centre of the burning world, between your fingers.


    2

    Only women have fully understood
    the possibilities of the little bag:
    Yesterday I opened a drawer
    and found them lying there,
    the red leather one, found
    in Manila, one to hide under your coat;
    another, studded with jewels for a reception
    I take for a little walk to escape idle chit-chat
    And find it sanctuary in the ladies' toilet;
    one a shoulder bag,
    one that's a second backbone,
    a strong support for your newly-freed hands;
    the wear and tear of handbags tells women's histories;
    the tissues which hide the tears,
    the order of service, folded in two
    to keep out the tears and rain.
    In grief, a bag is a stout companion
    who truly understands the way ties slacken.


    3

    What lay behind the snicket of the joke
    About Thatcher and her bag?
    And where, exactly, was it
    When the bomb blew up in Brighton?


    4

    Midnight at Seiont Manor.
    I woke and saw a man
    sneaking over my balcony;
    When I got out of bed and chased him
    There was my bag,
    sat there as buck-naked as myself,
    shining under a full moon,
    open to the whole world.


    5

    On a tram, in Amsterdam,
    a step onto the pavement,
    My bag undone
    Above the raw lights of this street.


    6

    Once, as I stood on the pavement
    in London,
    in our days of protest,
    I was mistaken for a whore
    because my hands were handbag-less.


    7

    One of the first words in the Big Book
    to live in my mind
    was ‘scrip'.
    I drew a duffle bag of imagination around me -
    Did Adam weave a sack?
    Did Abraham rustle up a wallet
    to carry his terrible plan up the mountain top?
    There couldn't possibly have been enough bags in the world
    To hold all Noah's beasties?


    8

    If one plastic bag
    takes a thousand years to rot
    Why can't we in Wales
    ban them from our plot?


    9

    It's not easy for a committed baglady
    to understand anybody who,
    rucksack on back, passes through the station,
    his shoulders weighed down with Death,
    to a strait, dark gate
    on a lovely summer's morning,
    to pull a string,
    and lay himself, as well
    at the trampling feet of suffering

    his gift -
    a bagful of sorrows.

    Other bags are brought
    to forensicize limbs and matter
    that's beyond and outside matter -
    the only matter that truly matters.


    10

    The traveller true has one refrain
    I'd rather get back home again
    Than wait in the rain without my luggage.


    11

    ‘Have fun,' said the Dutchwoman
    As I paid three euros for her bag
    on Orange day in the Prinsengracht;
    The day I took her satchel home
    I felt like a carefree girl.
    I intuited the satchel would like a bike.


    12

    Of all my home's possessions
    The wastepaper basket by my feet
    Is my best and dearest friend.
    Once it jiggled on the handlebars
    of my mother's bike as she,
    a pretty minister's wife
    rode up and down, doing good deeds;
    I can smell the lemon in her cake
    rise to my nostrils,
    see her marble cake whirl
    before it swirls into place;
    and my fingers, licking icing.

    When I look again
    the basket is empty
    nothing but greybellied words,
    cuttings scattered
    yn ‘eisteddfa gwatwarwyr'


    13

    It's an old workshop trick,
    the question,
    ‘What's in the bag?'
    A sort of poetry-world
    What's My Line?
    The mentor ventures
    to mention what the bag shouldn't contain,
    e.g. sinews, and blood, and bone,
    reptiles or severed hands.

    Today I am watching a CCTV film and
    I see the bags.
    Oh, how they could be packed
    with climbing gear, with flasks
    to ease your thirst at the journey's end.
    Oh, how they could be full
    of gifts, a late present for a lover
    or a new book to read.

    But the imagination dulls,
    threadbare from humanity's wear and tear,
    its evil, so black and merciless.

    This is a game without rhyme, or reason.
    It is no longer appropriate.


    14

    Plath said
    that poets make the most sublime packers
    each word squeezed in tight
    before we sit on the case, struggle to get it shut.


    15

    At the Assembly
    (according to the wags)
    the esteemed lady members
    worry where to place their bags.

    16

    At life's end
    no need to worry
    where we left our bags
    this is the journey we need to take without our baggage.... more »

  • CARWSEL O FAGIAU

    1

    A daw bag i'r byd
    Yn faban ufudd,
    Yr un distaw
    Wrth eich ochr,
    Ar drên, ceidw rhai draw,
    Un sy'n swilio cwmni,
    Yma, ar sedd
    Ei dafod lledr sy'n blyban -
    Cau ac agor ceg,
    Cyn ichi gau'r gwefusau;
    Y bag hefyd yw'r cof,
    Eich ffôn-ar-y-lôn, pwrs clyd,
    Tabledi cur pen, menig,
    Ceidw sbectol haul -
    Bagedyn o oleuni yw
    Ar siwrne faith,

    Hwn yw bydysawd llonydd y byd gwenfflam, rhwng eich bodiau.


    2

    Fe ddeallodd gwragedd
    Fendithion y bag bach:
    Agor drôr ddoe ddiwethaf
    A'u cael ar orwedd,
    Yr un o ledr coch a gafwyd
    Ym Manila, un-cuddio-dan-ddillad,
    Un arall, llawn gemau, at bwrpas cinio crand;
    Gyda hwn , af am dro i osgoi mân siarad
    A'i lochesu yn seintwar stafell y genethod;
    Un dros ysgwydd,
    A'r un sy'n ail asgwrn cefn
    Yn eich cefn hefyd ym mhob penrhyddid llaw;
    Hanes merched yw hanes traul eu bagiau;
    Yr hancesi papur a guddia ddagrau ,
    A'r daflen angladdol a blygir yn ddau
    I'w gadw'n ddwrglos.
    Bydd bag ar ôl galar yn gyfaill hawdd ei gael
    -fe ddeall holl linynnau'n llaesu


    3

    Beth oedd tu mewn i glicied y jôc
    Am Thatcher a'i bag?
    A ble oedd hwnnw
    Adeg y bom yn Brighton?


    4

    Ganol nos, unwaith yn Seiont Manor,
    Fe ddihunes a gweld dyn
    Yn sleifio dros falconi fy ‘stafell;
    A phan godes, a'i gwrso
    Dyna lle roedd fy mag ,
    Yno'n sefyll,
    Yn noethlymun, fel minne;
    Ar agor i'r byd,
    Llathrudd dan leuad lawn.


    5

    Ar dram, yn Amsterdam
    Camu i'r palmant,
    Fy mag wedi ei matryd
    Uwch goleuadau cras y stryd.


    6

    Unwaith, wrth sefyll ar balmant
    Yn Llundain,
    Yn nyddiau'r gwrthdystio,
    Cael fy nghamgymryd
    Am butain,
    Am na fagwn rhwng fy nwylo-fag.


    7

    Un o'r geiriau cyntaf o'r Hen Lyfr
    Imi ddal yn fy nghof
    Oedd ‘ysgrepan',
    A chasglodd gwdyn dychmygus amdanaf -
    A weithiodd Adda sach?
    A drefnodd Abraham ffetan
    I gario ‘i gynllwyn i ben y mynydd?
    Tebyg nad oedd ‘na ddigon o godau
    Yn bosib i ddal holl rywogaethau Noa?


    8

    Os yw un bag plastig
    Yn cymryd mil o flynyddoedd
    I bydru
    Pam yn y byd na allwn eu gwahardd
    O dir Cymru?


    9

    Mae'n anodd i eiriolwr bagiau
    Ddeall y sawl - pwn ar gefn,
    Yn myned trwy orsaf
    Angau'n oedi ar ysgwyddau
    At borth gyfyng, dywyll,
    Bore hyfryd o haf,
    I ddatod lliynynnau,
    A'i gynnwys yn gynsail
    I ddamsang ing

    Rhodd -
    Bagad gofidiau.

    Yna, sachau newydd a gludwyd
    I fforensigeiddio aelodau a mater
    Tu hwnt a thu draw i fater -
    Yr unig fater sy wir yn cyfri'


    10

    Un ddameg sy i'r teithiwr triw:
    Mae cyrraedd yn fyw
    Yn rhagori ar giw yn ‘lost luggage'.


    11

    ‘Mynnwch hwyl' meddai'r Iseldires,
    Wrth imi ddewis ei bag am dri eiwro
    Ar ddydd Oren yn y Prinsengracht;
    Ei bag ysgol ydoedd,
    A'r diwrnod y caries ef adre
    Fe deimlwn fel geneth ysgafndroed
    Cyn greddfu y byddai'r bag yn caru cael beic.


    12

    O bob dim a feddaf yn y ty,
    Y basged sbwriel wrth fy nhraed
    Yw fy nghyfaill pennaf,
    Herciodd unwaith ar ddolennau
    Beic fy mam,
    Wrth i honno
    Fynd ar neges yma a thraw,
    Yn wraig gweinidog landeg;
    Gallaf glywed y lemwn o'i chacen
    Yn codi i'm ffroenau,
    Gweld ei chacen marbl yn chwyrlio
    Nes dawnsio i'w lle;
    A'm bysedd yn llyfu eisin.

    Ond edrychaf eto,
    A does dim yn y fasged
    Dim ond geiriau torllwyd,
    Helion ar wasgar
    ‘yn eisteddfa gwatwarwyr'.


    13

    Mae'n hen dric mewn gweithdai,
    Rhyw gwestiwn,
    ‘Beth sydd yn y bag?'
    Rhyw fath o ‘What's my Line'
    Y byd barddol.
    A bydd y mentor yn mentro
    Nodi'r hyn na ellir ei gael yno,
    Megis esgyrn a giau a gwaed,
    Ymlusgiaid neu ddwylo wedi eu dryllio.

    Heddiw, edrychaf ar ffilm CCTV
    A gweld y bagiau,
    O, fel y medrent fod yn llawn offer
    Mynydda, fflasgiau diwallu ar ddiwedd dydd,
    O, fel y medrent fod yn llawn
    Rhoddion, anrheg hwyr i gariad
    Neu lyfr newydd i'w ddarllen.

    Ond mae'r dychymyg yn pylu
    Gyda thraul dynoliaeth,
    A drygioni mor ddi- ddu-drugarog

    Dyma gêm ddiawen
    Nad yw bellach yn gweddu.


    14

    Fe ddywedodd Plath
    Mai bardd oedd y paciwr
    Mwya' godidog,
    Pob gair wedi ei wasgu'n dynn
    Cyn inni eistedd ar y cês , straffaglu i'w gau.


    15

    Yn y Cynulliad
    Fe ddywedir gan rai,
    fod yr aelodau benywaidd yn poeni'n enbyd
    ble i osod eu bagiau.


    16

    Ar ddiwedd ein hoes,
    Ni raid inni boeni mwyach
    Ble mae'n bagiau,

    Dyma un daith sydd ar gyfer dwylo rhydd... more »

  • CERDD GAREGOG

    Carreg ddrws dy fodolaeth,
    Sy'n llechen lan y bore

    Maen ar gronglwyd f'enaid,
    Un cam wrth fur cariad
    Sy raid. Un syml, sownd.

    Wnes i ddim deall helfa
    Pobl am risial, neu glap aur,
    Na deiamwnt. Dim ond

    Diolch am y meini mewn llaw,
    Meini mellt weithiau o'r awyr,
    Maen sugn., dwy long mewn harbwr,

    Maen tynnu atat synnwyr
    A'r maen hir mewn oes o raean
    Fe dreigla, heb fwsogli.

    Maen hogi fy ymennydd
    Meini cellt, yn mynnu tanchwa
    Dan feinwe'n chwarel grai.

    Maen ar faen yn gerrig milltir
    Y cerddaf atynt yn llawen,
    Gan delori fel clap y cerrig.... more »

  • LITANI AR GYCHWYN CLADDFA

    Gwnaeth dogn o faw ddim drwg i neb oedd coel mamgu.

    A yw geiriau pob dyn fel glaswelltyn?

    Trefnais angladd heddi ar doriad dydd.

    Bydd yr ymadawedig yn cael ei chladdu
    gyda'r cathod eraill, ben pella'r ardd.

    Bydd y perlysiau lintel ffenest yn gwybod amdano.

    Byddaf yn codi'r pridd a'm cledrau noethion.

    Byddaf yn sgwrsio a'r malwod- wedi gweddi'r terfyn.

    Bydd, O fe fydd yn cael claddfa barchus.

    Pwy a wyr na fydd ‘Margaritas' yn weddus.

    Caiff hen bennill anhysbys ei hymian , yn ddigyfeiliant.

    A bydd, fe fydd yn ddedwydd yn yr anialwch a'r anghyfanneddle.

    Pwy a wyr na fydd yn cellwair wrth y morgrug mai dechreuad felly a gafodd hithau.

    A byddwn, byddwn yn dal i'w dathlu fel rhyw eni gwyrthiol a fu farw'n ffrit-ffrat.

    Bydd cylch o chwiorydd o'i chwmpas i ddynwared angladdau'r ‘dynion yn unig'.

    Bydd gwaharddeb ar ddagrau , ond gall odlaw ddisgyn yn dawel.

    A byddwn yn diolch am ei bywyd, am eni, am feithrin , am ein magu'n dyner.

    A bydd nythiad o'r glewion yno, yn gywion di-gwyn.

    Ni fydd carreg fedd ond bydd pawb yn cofio mai yn y fan honno y claddwyd
    ‘ffeminyddiaeth'.

    Ac ni fydd ewyllys, namyn yr ewyllys i barhau i fod yn un teulu dynol... more »

  • LITANY ON BEGINNING A BURIAL

    A bit of dirt never did anyone harm, was grandma's belief -

    Are all men's words like a blade of grass?

    I arranged a burial today at daybreak.

    The departed will be buried, with the other cats,
    at the far end of the garden.

    The herbs on the window sill will know nothing about it.

    I shall lift the soil with my bare hands.

    I shall talk to the snails after the final prayer.

    Yes, Oh she'll have a decent burial.

    Who knows, margaritas may be appropriate.

    An anonymous traditional verse will be hummed, unaccompanied.

    And yes, she will be happy in the waste ground and the isolation.

    Who knows, she may joke to the ants that she started out this way.

    And yes, we shall still celebrate her, like a miraculous birth that all at once died.

    There will be a circle of sisters around her, to mimic the men-only funerals.

    There will be a ban on tears, but sleet can fall quietly.

    And we shall give thanks for her life, for birth, for care, for the tender nurturing.

    And there will be a nestful of the valiant there, uncomplaining fledglings.

    There will be no gravestone, but everyone will remember it was there that feminism was buried.

    Everyone of her stock who has outlived her, a human family.... more »

  • STONE POEM

    The doorstep of your existence
    is the morning's clean slate,

    a stone on my soul's roof-hurdle,
    a single necessary step
    by love's wall. Simple, stable.

    I've never understood why people hunt
    for crystal, or a lump of gold,
    or a diamond. I'm simply

    grateful for the stones at hand,
    meteorites from the sky at times,
    the magnet that holds two ships in harbour,

    the loadstone of sensibility,
    and the long stone that in an age of gravel
    rolls, and gathers no moss,

    the whetstone of my brain,
    flints demanding an explosion
    beneath the tissue, a fresh quarry.

    Stone upon stone. Milestones
    I walk towards happily,
    chirping like a stonechat.... more »