Guest poem submitted by Gareth Jones:
(Poem #374) Psalm Of the Valleys
We dedicate, O Lord, this flame to The Valleys, In loving memory of our beloved ones, To the thousands whose toils, hopes and aspirations Gave life and sustenance to us all, Families, friends and colleagues, For the warmth bestowed to those with and without To the energies of coal, its miners and The emptied wombs who gave birth to this unending glow, You gave us light. Give us hope for peace. Guide us through our darkness. To the hills, though silently you listen and look on, You'll remain the eyes, ears and manuscripts. You hold in your vision, treasures, Faces, voices and footsteps of generations. You are the legacy of hope, The Psalm for change, The flame to keep alive the memory of Blaenavon, Ebbw Vale, Rhymney, Merthyr, Rhondda. Sustain us with radiance and confidence, Give us the essence of peace for tranquillity. You are the everlasting.
Alex Pascall is one of the story tellers on the TV program Teletubbies. He is a truly amazing person to meet, which I was lucky enough to do at a children's festival in Cardiff, Wales. It was here that I was given a copy of this poem. I don't know if it has been published. I must admit to being biased here, because my parents, and their parents before them came from Rhondda, but I think that even though the coal mines are now almost extinct, the memory is still very strong, and should not be forgotten. The memories will always be there for people to see, but that there is a future as well. Oh, what the heck, I just like it. I am not one of those who memorise things and can quote a whole poem, which has distinct advantages, each time I read this it is fresh, and yet reminds me of the hymns so aften associated with South Wales and the rugby internationals particularly. It is quite a feat to bring all this to life for a West Indian whose home is in London. Gareth.