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Bonzer Words!: Laugharne, Revisited’

"As a part of a personal memoir of a boyhood visit to Laugharne to see the friend of a friend some little time prior to the last fatal visit of the friend to America, I wrote: ‘To Nimbus Darkened Laugharne - A Sonnet’ dedicated to Dylan Thomas.

Presenting this short work at a reading, at Strathfield Poets, Sydney, shook my kaleidoscopic memory bank and produced a series of images of my fourth and so far final visit to Laugharne many years later. ‘Laugharne, Revisited’ was the result of this, in many ways, challenging return,'' writes Dermott Ryder.

Met him once in his fast fading glory,
a visitor to a mystifying bardic place,
boyhood scenes ever sharp in memory,
a stranger then but not a stranger now.

Embarking on this returning journey,
but never again to meet him in this life,
beyond the soft whisperings of his story,
in bar, boatshed and in distant cloister.

I stood alone beside his resting place,
in bone chilling wind and flinted rain,
flanked by grim, stunted, blunted teeth
of marble tributes, fading now with age.

Beneath this bleak Pembrokeshire sod,
no saint or saviour finds a worthy rest,
just a man, splendid in his unique gifts,
intemperate, wilful to his wayward last.

His memory, not in a carpentered cross,
but in the writings of his forceful years,
the dark moon shines now on Llareggub,
the park groves are ever blue with sailors.

I see him now untrammelled and unafraid,
his brilliance, to my mind, cannot be spent,
the power of his language will never fade,
nor his light die, nor darkest nights prevail.


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