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.


  1. You already showed me the poem...and the picture is a beautiful accompaniment to it.

    No wonder you're knackered...you need a bit of down time...

  2. Love the poem. Do you know the Byron Rogers biography of Thomas (it is terrific).

  3. Thank you, Jo.

    I agree, Chris. I always enjoyed Byron's journalism, and I think he was the ideal biographer for RST. I have a fond memory of going over to Lower Machen for a reading in the church there; it was a good crowd, and we discussed Wordsworth with the vicar in the graveyard before the gig. RST came on, and gave a very curt nod to the altar cross; it seemed to embody his feelings on the subject...

  4. It is a lovely poem and your picture fits beautifully. We used to run through the fields trying to stay out of the sun's beams when I was a child. The farm where I grew up is now a golf course. The smell of hay....

  5. I should find a sunny spot, put your feet up, enjoy a Newcastle Brown and recharge your battery, hope you feel brighter soon.


  6. And what could be more relaxing than playing tag:


  7. Sorry to hear you have not been feeling too bright Dru and hope you are a bit brighter by now.

    It must be quite something to see a childhood home become a hole in the ground.

    I loved Richard's book which I have now read almost non-stop. Your illustrations are perfect and for the first time in my life I actually appreciated Haiku - yours :-) It never made sense before and just seemed like a load of cobblers! I usually review the books I read and will probably post one next week.

    I hope you have a good weekend.

  8. Haiku hitherto cobblers
    Says Doris bluntly.
    Till now. Dru’s is good.

  9. Ha, the light comes on;
    What's more, I see that it's a
    Low energy bulb.

    A golf course, Anji? -I imagine that would feel like desecration. At least with a hole in the ground you're left with nothing but memories.

    Thanks, F and Caroline. Sorry I didn't get round to the tag.

    And thanks, Doris. I look forward to reading the review, too.

    Jo :-)

  10. Lovely artwork.

    I can see a series of these with poems! ;-)


  11. Beautiful. Makes me feel quite homesick! But I better get used to that if I start reading your blog more, hey?