speed-written poem written in 1998

portrait of the late great genius poet-author-playwright-broacaster Dylan Marlais Thomas.

When The Lord was Young (after Dylan Thomas's 'Fern Hill')


"When the lord was young and carpentered by drums
Around the herded rungs of the jacobed stair of dreams
And the angels flew ferociously
God took his cherubim
And scaled them with his seraphim
And brassy as the trees then was a world inside the seas
And when the seared commander of heaven caught alight
Time and its daughter went down the mean water
Along the keen rivers and on into the night.
And when the Lord was borne afar, and dimpled by the stars
And the sprawlings of the chapels as they boomed
In the velveteen rain that lived inside the vein
Of the succouring shadows of the blooming light
Green and sylvan, the word was spumed and molten
And sang forever in the cities of the bright
And feathered foxies of the towns
That span, as the pedals on the spinneys burned.
Heavenward and strong, the sun was golden in its throng
The angelus piled high and the harps and trumpets blaring
And praying in the wind
That was soulful and endearing
And time lay down to see the buried stars
As they shone on the keeps of the shepherds fast asleep
With love’s moonstones flaring and the blessed cattle raining
And the heartstrings of Easter
Flashing with the swains.
And then to intake the seasons stirred awake
And the runes like a womb veering from the skies
It was in every way an Eden to behold
With the oats and grapes colliding and the vineyards grinding
And the sunrise of the dead always rising
And it must have been no more than a minute’s yore
In the prehistoric world that rent the first god’s pearls
Away from the tombs and their spire-stormed looms
And on into the manic meadows of the mind.
And knelled amongst bells in their presidential cells
That scuttered in their skippings like an evening on a hill
In the wafers and the wines
Of the winding whorls of time
God’s kisses snared and careered down the stairs
Of Jacob, and nothing could be shattered or contained
Nor any bird of violence be detained into the license
Of the word, as god’s children
Bellowed in their joyfulness too deep.
And nobody, not a thing, could sour the earth of springs
That fallowed in the ardours of the heavens and their spies
And the mad moon moved
Like a stone upon the water
And to wake forever and to hear the bells of pleasure
And the coiling curls of wisdom unravelling far away
Oh yes, when the Lord was new to his word
And his flittering apostles siblings in their speech
Rhyme and her brides lay regal in the tides, roaring replete."

nb.  this response to the genius poem Fern Hill is not truly christian in nature.

Copyright jdb 1998.