Eruption Week.



Long before the golden blue-grey

Tints hint breaking skies, and Sun, once more.

Howling Easterlies rake the facing slopes.

With poached mud, frozen. Hard.

Some time before the landing Creyr, wings folded in,

Took patient station on the spawn choked bank.

Ignoring jellied dessert, for much preferred

Spent Llyffant. Freshly skewered.

A while before the raucous rooks gather,

Tree topping sentries over Cae Castell’s hump.

Chancing late dusk sorties as night falls,

When sensible silence stills the din.

Days before the upturned, dying, fat-budded Ash,

Sprouts chattering, wintry, bleak-black foliage,

Then scattering, charging, the leaves flee West,

Beyond the Valley of Death and over

Pwll Coch’s deep red mysteries.

Centuries old battles hidden,

Beneath the litter of real leaves.

And Mud. And Muck. And Rush.

Forgotten, by all but frogs.

Which sense the air, or through the wet, all covering film,

And though still taut with spawn,

Delay their annual trek. In tune,

Aware, connected. Living green on cold slab slate.

A day before noon’s sun kissed Crocus tepals

Quickly grow. Stretch open, for sable tickled fancies.

While rapier offspring leaves power chunky parsnip wedges

Down, and down, through shale and stone

Drag that vital, precious, tiny corm,

Beyond the reach of scrabbling

Murine claws and teeth.

But not so deep,

Below the littered soil,

They touch the very core,


Beneath Cwmllynfell’s epicentric fame,

Which this week rocked the land,

Shook snowdrops’ dainty heads,

Knocked shields from walls,

And tumbled eggs,

In Llanymyddyfri fridges.





Just before all this. Somewhere,

Beyond the breaking gold cusped brow,

Sun flooded Cwm, beyond the ford

Which names this place.

Time – frozen, slowed.

Life stretched.

And hunched, I stood and saw

A single drop squeezed. Perfectly,

Yet preciously, through the central,

Ducted, icy core.


No hormonal flush to trigger this release.

A simple physic.

Expanding, cooling water

Works the trick, with my volcano.

I linger, chilled, enthralled by this.



Today, the squeezed sun lights a white and freezing cwm,

Clear thrush triplets, hanging breath,

Limp parabolic hellebores,

Arching ‘drops,

But no eruption.

Just William’s frost etched words,

Clay pressed. Hard, flat, and crystal linked


Once more,



For more on ice spikes and vases, which prefaced this volcano, (for those not already in the know), click here and here!




6 thoughts on “Eruption Week.

  1. Beautiful, just beautiful Julian! Have your Ash trees been affected by the Emerald Ash Borer? We had to remove a lovely 75 year old Ash tree last year due to the Borer. So sad!

    • Thanks Darla… No we don’t yet (!) have the ash borer here, I don’t think, but we do have a fungal ash die back which is devastating trees around us over the last 18 months, partly due to the very constant wet and high humidity – it’s such a tragedy when ancient trees – like yours, succumb prematurely,
      best wishes

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