Gelli Fach

Gelli Fach

I'm a cell, I'm fragmented, I change my form;
I'm a repository of song, I'm a dynamic state.
I love a wooded slope and a snug shelter,
and a creative poet who doesn't buy his advancement.

Wyf kell, wyf dellt, wyf datweirllet;
wyf llogell kerd, wyf lle ynnyet.
Karaf-y gorwyd a goreil clyt,
a bard a bryt ny pryn y ret.

From: Legendary Poems from the Book of Taliesin, edited and translated by Marged Haycock

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

November and a Poem for the Ancestors

The Verses of the Months

The month of November, the fool grumbles,
The wethers are fat, the woods are half-bare…

Mis Tachwedd, tuchan merydd,
bras llydnod, llednoeth koydydd…

Welsh, circa 15th c

For the Ancestors at Nos Galan Gaeaf

As life’s hours tick beyond autumn
and winter shadows the far hill,
bats gather where once swallows played
and the birch lets fall her golden leaves.

I sit with you, silent ones, to share this meal,
however harsh our words once were,
however discrete our lives,
our worlds leach now one into the other – a gentle confluence -

and like blood the dark ale carries your spirit
to rest, in this small circle of light
where united we gather strength to nurture
whatever future may be born.

Outside the marigolds glare down the approaching dark
While beyond the river, the crane is flying with my wings.


  1. Bendigedig! I love the poem, and the Welsh saying. I am learning Welsh at the local school. I will be sure to show this to my tutor. Have a wonderful week end :)

  2. Diolch yn fawr, Jasmine! Good for you learning Welsh. I find learning languages very difficult but keep trying. My Welsh classes are in a local pub...

    Great to see you back, I'm glad your computer is better now after its nasty virus :-)

  3. lovely photos and words, I used to know a bit of Welsh when we went on family holidays in Wales, but there's not much call for it in Edinburgh!