At Laugharne / by Alex Williamson


At Laugharne summer returned.

Fine weather for a pilgrimage:

This being Dylan Thomas Town,

The place where he lived, worked,

And should have died, not on that trip

To New York, where 'eighteen straight'

And misdiagnosis did for him.

His death a product of his fame,

His fame a product of his death.


His family brought him home.

He’s buried here, with Caitlin, under some

Sore-thumb, cruciform tombstone

At St Martin’s cemetery: a brilliant white cross

Among the bible-black rows of dearly-departed.


We retraced Thomas’ October steps,

Until heavy weather closed in on us;

Ate a Welsh tea of scones and jam

And cheese. Fed our son, carried him

In a loose sling, as he murmured

And snored, wreathed in gentle night;


Saw The Boathouse where Thomas wrote

Looking across the Taf, a broad expanse

Of table-flat water, fringed by hills,

Where palavers of birds gave breath

To his perception, his poetry;


The writing shed with cluttered desk,

Shelves bearing a jumble of books,

Portraits and notes, seldom lit stove,

Grey jacked draped over a chair:

A trace of his capacious form.