Glass

by David Callin
Poets' Graves
Third Place, June 2010
Judged by Fiona Sampson


Shades of green and grey. We have one word
for both, suggesting either colour-blindness
of an unassuming nature – not the sort
that blackens skies and paints the cornfield red –
or a mild disinclination to distinguish
between two cats of a similar complexion.

Was it the world turned down a notch or two,
simmering over a moderate heat without
rightly coming to the boil, or did they view
the landscape differently, through eyes
attuned to all the subtle interplay
of glorious green and polychromatic grey?


This meditation on the Welsh word glas (or similar in another language.) manages wonderfully to be intelligent and think-ey and not to lapse into Anglo-Welsh twee. Not a Blodauwedd or bracken hillside in sight. Thank heavens! Modernises and purifies the dialect, or at least the poetry,of the tribe. --Fiona Sampson

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