Wedi Cad Coludd ar Ddrain

by Mererid Hopwood


Wedi Cad Coludd ar Ddrain

Cynddelw Brydydd Mawr

 

I should like the word ‘alien’ and ‘foreign’ be banished from the language.

We are all members of the same family.”

Charlotte Despard

 

The wind that shakes the memory tree wakes me.

It tears the flesh from the carcass of the mare that rides my night,

And howling, hurls it, skin and meat,

to dress the wounded branches, furious fright,

beside the bowels of my brother,

my father, my sister, my mother.

For there is no foreigner

no alien, no other.

This is the mercy of memory.

And then before me, bold, bright,

dawn’s first blade slits the day open–

and unforgotten

the tree now sliced with light’s clean knife

shows me how it grieves for the leaves of life.

 

Cynddelw Brydydd Mawr: a 12th Century Welsh poet – the line translates: ‘After battle I saw bowels on thorns’ … see, alas, similar descriptions of WW1 battlefields in Hochschild’s book.

 

For Charlotte Despard, See To End All Wars, Adam Hochschild, p. 279