Tuesday, 3 June 2008

bright field

Not feeling very bright at the moment; I think that I'm having a reaction from all the activity of the last couple of weeks. So in lieu of any great thoughts, this is a picture I did to accompany a poem by R S Thomas. It's a sort of South Wales picture. We'd have been doing the haymaking at this time of year, back on the farm, and relaxing in the shade of the hedges with bottles of Newcastle Brown. Sometimes I'd find old bottles in the hedgerows, thrown there by the people doing the same work fifty, a hundred years before.

Farm's gone, blasted away by a quarry company. I read this poem to my father as he lay dying, six years ago.

The Bright Field

I have seen the sun break through
to illuminate a small field
for a while, and gone my way
and forgotten it. But that was the pearl
of great price, the one field that had
treasure in it. I realize now
that I must give all that I have
to possess it. Life is not hurrying

on to a receding future, nor hankering after
an imagined past. It is the turning
aside like Moses to the miracle
of the lit bush, to a brightness
that seemed as transitory as your youth
once, but is the eternity that awaits you.