… yn y bwlch rhwng bomiau
… in the break between bombs

Muddy land and misty sky.
Though they have not, in the break between bombs,
the decency of a wooden coat,
nor a stone, finely carved,
nor eulogy, nor hymn, nor flowers,
nor tea, nor chat, nor friends
raising a glass, raising a smile,
each one bears,
wherever they may be,
the weight of soil
and tears.


Er na chawsant, yn y bwlch rhwng bomiau,
barchusrwydd y bais bren,
na chwaith garreg a rhifau’n gain,
na marwnad, nag emyn, na blodau,
na the, na sgwrs, na ffrindiau
yn codi peint a mynd i hwyl,
mae ar bob un,
ble bynnag mae,
bwys o bridd
a dagrau.


©Sian Northey, reproduced with the author’s permission
English adaptation ©Susan Walton 2023


The images of a light garment of wood – pais bren – and weight of soil – pwys o bridd – are taken from the fourteenth-century lament for a woman called Lleucu Llwyd by court poet Llywelyn Goch ap Meurig Hen: Marwnad Lleucu Llwyd.


Image by Jan Tancar on Pexels.

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