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Rhuban Gwyn

I haven't updated this site, or had time to blog, for nine months. A lot has happened since then and now seems as good a moment as any other to begin the slow catchup.

I know that there seems to be an 'Official Day' for everything now, but this is one we should all get behind: #WhiteRibbonDay - prevention of male violence against women.

Regardless of who you are, what your gender identity is, you will undoubtedly know somebody who has been a victim - and somebody who has been a perpetraitor. Maybe even yourself.

This evening, in Lampeter, our community held a White Ribbon event in the middle of town, around where vigil candles are still being lit for Kasia Paszek. Poems were read, statistics stated, songs sung, lives shared and traffic stopped for a minute's silence. People were seen and heard.

It's a small thing in the midst of a huge one; but every flame makes the world a little brighter.

Below is a poem I wrote this morning, following a traditional Polish form as closely as I could in English, with sixteen lines for each of the sixteen days this. Ironically, this hendecasyllablic method was popular with Sappho, after whom it is named.

'Rhuban Gwyn'

Have you ever walked down a street, and wondered At life behind stone walls? The flickering lights, Drawn curtains, the slide of a latch and the click Of a bolted door.

Have you ever grown so used to the rhythm Of voices that rise and… fall… that only their Silence makes you listen, or sigh with relief At sleep undisturbed?

Have you ever felt the bruising of a gaze? Heard the storyteller’s clever, convincing, Chronicle - and dismissed disquiet, because - ‘Surely not?’ - and then

‘They’re one of us!’ We say… they keep on walking, Leave it for just another day. Carrying the Battered, broken, bodies hidden in our hearts, Bound in white ribbon.


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