Sunday 27 June 2010


Caught in the center of a soundless field
While hot inexplicable hours go by
What trap is this? Where were its teeth concealed?
You seem to ask.
I make a sharp reply,
Then clean my stick. I'm glad I can't explain
Just in what jaws you were to suppurate:
You may have thought things would come right again
If you could only keep quite still and wait.



  1. Thanks Frank. I love this poem.

    It was in an old school textbook, thrown out a good while ago, and I was unable to find it anywhere on the web when I last looked.

    I couldn't remember the first two lines of the second verse, try as I might.

    I'd just got back from searching our library without success - so I was very pleased now to find it here.

  2. That left the following (from the same book; and for which I'd also tried hunting; I see it has at last arrived)

    Cynddylan on a Tractor
    RS Thomas (1950)

    Ah, you should see Cynddylan on a tractor.
    Gone the old look that yoked him to the soil,
    He's a new man now, part of the machine,
    His nerves of metal and his blood oil.
    The clutch curses, but the gears obey
    His least bidding, and lo, he's away
    Out of the farmyard, scattering hens.
    Riding to work now as a great man should,
    He is the knight at arms breaking the fields'
    Mirror of silence, emptying the wood
    Of foxes and squirrels and bright jays.
    The sun comes over the tall trees
    Kindling all the hedges, but not for him
    Who runs his engine on a different fuel.
    And all the birds are singing, bills wide in vain,
    As Cynddylan passes proudly up the lane.