It feels nearer the sun up here.The stony track struggled upthrough dark of trees towardsa growing disc of light, which swelled, brokeinto majestic brightness.Now the path levels, the valley opens.
Across the river one farm spreads yard and barnsin shadow against light. Above it risesbare mountain, a final wall that flanksthe upper valley, curves round its distant head,in a strange visual accordwith the valley-floor’s sharp greenof re-seeded garths, proclaimingwork, settlement, fertility.
Alongside a fence that dwindlestowards the far-off valley-head, unseenhigh passes, into barren distanceruns a green road. On it, downfrom hidden solitudes, a dark dotgleams and grows, zooms into a phalanxof mountain-bikers, black-clad, impassive,hissing dizzily past. Unmoved,a fat ewe suckles her twinsunder a track-side thorn.
In this domain of sun,so all-encompassing, so royal,only the traitor mind createsin the shiver of sun on skina shudder of ice-wind, subvertswith a sly imagining of snow.
by Ruth Bidgood
UPDATE! Matthew Jarvis, author of the book Ruth Bidgood
mentioned below, has written a blog post in response to 'Treachery',
giving some very valuable context about the setting for the poem. You
can read it here, and find out more about Matthew's book here.
'Treachery' is copyright © Ruth Bidgood, 2012. It is reprinted from Above the Forests by permission of Cinnamon Press.
Notes from Cinnamon Press:
In Above the Forests,
perspectives of ordinary life, rendered with this poet's effortlessly
questing precision, serve as means of further discovery. Her writing has
always shown 'how different is real/from ordinary'. As she says, 'to
feel bounded is our only way of being with things, because we have fewer
dimensions than actually exist…but we can feel the boundary sometimes
being transcended.' In these poems, the lie of Welsh land, local and
family history, social pressures, the promptings of dream and of
scientific speculation are all evoked, serving to draw the reader, often
literally step by step, into processes of questioning, self-questioning
and an intuitive crossing of boundaries. (Anne Cluysenaar.)
Ruth Bidgood was born of a North Welsh father and a
West Country mother in Seven Sisters, Glamorgan. Educated in Port Talbot
and at Oxford University in the 60s, she later returned to Wales and
settled in Powys. Her second collection received a Welsh Arts Council
award; the sixth and seventh were shortlisted for the Welsh Arts Council
Book of the Year Award in 1993 and 1997 and Time Being was a Poetry Society Recommendation and won the Roland Matthias Prize for 2010. Above the Forests was launched to mark Ruth's 90th birthday in conjunction with a critical appraisal of her work by Matthew Jarvis: Ruth Bidgood (University of Wales Press, 2012).
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