The wide men swayed the streets of Port
with silken stories, and easy returns:
"One had only to open a door in the mountain
for riches to pour out"...
Masters and Mariners,
crisp collared capitalists with letter box eyes,
hay dealers, feed merchants, hungry horse mongers,
toffs with red noses,
plain buttoned spinsters-
normally known to see well through their spectacles-
all pledged their savings.
Slate was the thing.
The promoters brewed theatre,
mummery, flamjamfery, the sound of jingling sovereigns.
Fair wind followed stacks of opiate cumulous
over Braich-y-Bib junction.
Levels had appeared on the mountain
a mill with fine arches,
inclined planes invited gaze to the quarried heights
and a tramway
from Port to the top of Cwm Pennant.
Bubbles and froth
bore the first train
before "Pert" ran out of steam for anything more.
As the brume swirled below Moel Lefn,
semblance, a brief flame, extinguished
fading to grey skies
the colour of slate.
Planished by hosts of armoured winters
worn thin by the wind and rain
the tramway, rumoured and vestigial,
threadbare along the contour.
A rough slab bridge
crosses a ravine murmured with water
the way merely a gesture.
A line of reeds, a bead drawn
seen in a droplet
remembered by a gate in a wall
or a name: "Railway Terrace".
we walk and
appreciate the clues,
think of those who laboured
to leave a cutting in the meadow
a revetment on a hillside.
One last strand of a spider's web
that linked in delirium
miraged towers of fevered
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