The chapel crouches slack,
broken backed on the verge wall.
Too many years of sky sinking
stone. Cloud weight.
Behind, Carmarthen Fan climbs
with low swollen mounds
before a shear crag wall
of tooth toppled sandstone.
Mid Wales recumbent.
A lane winds in past the last lonely farm,
bounding over the parish like the band
around a tennis ball.
The whole world is backed away
to those who shut doors
on everything but the land, seeing
more clearly than anyone that here lies their raft.
Night. And the stone rent valley
syncopates the sparkling
of the filter brook to the crowding
eye-winks of a thousand watching stars.
Morning. The clouds are tower
stacked, ashen demolitions rising
from the south as though the colliers’
cottage fires, valley hidden, still burned.
Paul Deaton was runner-up in 2010 Arvon International Poetry Competition. His poems are regularly published in The Spectator, hwww.spectator.co.uk/author/paul-deaton/ and magazines such as PN Review, The London Magazine, The Dark Horse Magazine. Eyewear Publishing will be releasing his debut pamphlet early 2016.