Carols of candles at the back of Mary’s
old shieling flickered lyrics – wrapped shame
in waves of song as blue as mussel shells.
All danced the way a cloven beast can dream.
Then tears of tallow engraved their name,
conjured stillness in veins; the kiss of light
coloured their blooded hooves to wax, stiffened
bracken within their kind. All were moon-racked.
The crowd of coracles fled their way across
Llangorse lake to the crannog. They sensed
the whiff of paradise and bellowed a flame –
the abracadabra of unfettered life.
‘I’ve heard that tale before,’ I whispered.
She shared a smile beyond her holy frame
and replied, Llwyth dyn ei gorwgl.
That day I weaved a coracle with willow.
Phil Wood works in a statistics office, and enjoys working with numbers and words. His recently published work can be found in online publications London Grip, The Recusant, The Stare’s Nest, Streetcake Magazine, The Screech Owl. A sample of his work can be found in The Centrifugal Eye.