Winter Light

This week, when I walked to work in darkness, I thought about poetry. I thought about the Ciliau and the wilds of mid-Wales. But most of all, I thought about light.

In our January Landscape Writing workshop, Emma and I discussed the significance of light in winter. We examined how it can magnify our experiences, influence our moods, and signify changes in even the darkest season. After lunch, we took our participants on a long walk up Cae Mawr to explore the real-life relationship between light and the Welsh hills.

As we walked we wrote lines – descriptions, ideas, thoughts – that sprung to mind as we watched the sun fall over the landscape. We went up the hill and down, taking in the views, writing, and talking together. When we returned to the house we combined the lines we’d written to create two patchwork poems. I’ve included these pieces as well as a few photos of the day below.

Thank you to the wonderful people who spent the day with us, filled with humor and so much light.



The poet said that Wales is “a small coat made of deep pockets”
a steep climb towards a changing sky
fields a patchwork
like all shades of green
paint on sale at the big
Homebase in the sky.

Here is the evidence of the passage of time –
brown fallen leaves meet fresh, shiny holly.
Natures, debris, leaves, rock tree
a flash of color, yellow fauna, springs promise to the wind.
The hypnotic familiar sound of a far off place
mapping my life story in the sky.

The vessel of light brings it’s own darkness
and I bask in both.
Grass speckled with hints of green
a land last to sleep under the green hills.



This is liberating,
I can be quiet here, or loud.
I am in love with a puddle –
each wet step echoes through the eternal
halls of the earth.
Hidden gate in mass of green,
promising the delights of an unknown scene,
black hole at the base of the tree
handy sized to make a squirrel’s home.
Secret was hidden beneath the shadows,
whimsically whispering, chanting
divided we keep the land. Afraid of the wild.
The low sky marks out
the workings of the field.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. The colours in your photographs are lovely!

    Rachel has the best tights, as per!

    I think similarly about light, I love this time of year when you notice being out in the light in the evening more!

    Great poetry, aa ever

  2. francesca kay says:

    I can’t believe you found a day in January when it wasn’t raining! The poems are lovely.

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