a quirky look at London Life


It was my thirtieth year to heaven 

Woke to my hearing from harbour and neighbour wood 
And the mussel pooled and the heron 
Priested shore 
The morning beckon 
With water praying and call of seagull and rook 
And the knock of sailing boats on the net webbed wall 
Myself to set foot 
That second 
In the still sleeping town and set forth. 

My birthday began with the water- 
Birds and the birds of the winged trees flying my name 
Above the farms and the white horses 
And I rose 
In rainy autumn 
And walked abroad in a shower of all my days. 
High tide and the heron dived when I took the road 
Over the border 
And the gates 
Of the town closed as the town awoke. 

A springful of larks in a rolling 
Cloud and the roadside bushes brimming with whistling 
Blackbirds and the sun of October 
On the hill’s shoulder, 
Here were fond climates and sweet singers suddenly 
Come in the morning where I wandered and listened 
To the rain wringing 
Wind blow cold 
In the wood faraway under me. 

Pale rain over the dwindling harbour 
And over the sea wet church the size of a snail 
With its horns through mist and the castle 
Brown as owls 
But all the gardens 
Of spring and summer were blooming in the tall tales 
Beyond the border and under the lark full cloud. 
There could I marvel 
My birthday 
Away but the weather turned around. 

It turned away from the blithe country 
And down the other air and the blue altered sky 
Streamed again a wonder of summer 
With apples 
Pears and red currants 
And I saw in the turning so clearly a child’s 
Forgotten mornings when he walked with his mother 
Through the parables 
Of sun light 
And the legends of the green chapels 

And the twice told fields of infancy 
That his tears burned my cheeks and his heart moved in mine. 
These were the woods the river and sea 
Where a boy 
In the listening 
Summertime of the dead whispered the truth of his joy 
To the trees and the stones and the fish in the tide. 
And the mystery 
Sang alive 
Still in the water and singingbirds. 

And there could I marvel my birthday 
Away but the weather turned around. And the true 
Joy of the long dead child sang burning 
In the sun. 
It was my thirtieth 
Year to heaven stood there then in the summer noon 
Though the town below lay leaved with October blood. 
O may my heart’s truth 
Still be sung 
On this high hill in a year’s turning.

Dylan Thomas


27th October 2014

Happy Hundredth Birthday, Dylan Thomas


See on Scoop.itLondon Life

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