27th Nov 2018



When I run through Cwmorthin, slate shifts and settles

long after the rhythm of my feet have stopped.

There are no echoes

rubber on blue Blaenau slate.

No chisel splitting mudrock.

Its monochrome landscape colour-washed

by a steel sky.


But solace, assurance of my being.

I don’t need to decode the QuaRry sign

I read slate

write my own story

carved and buried years ago in

joined up writing. A jagged slate, my pen.


Capel y Gorlan, canopied by ravens dipping

heads, guarding, warning

alarm calls for squatters’ rights.

Rhododendrons too, no longer visitors

bruising their way through grey slate, purple and green.


The path guarded by crawiau

clasping veins of wire on lichened slate

spliced cells microblogging

orange, lime green…QR code

black on white barcode


an optical label,

data stored.


I read slate

write my own story. 


A poem my Tina Louise McDonnell