Monday, 7 August 2017

Of Rich


We take no memories to the grave,
   not even a pallid, cold sweat in pain.
So when you laid your memories at our feet,
  by such memories you will remain,

forever voiced deep in that Welsh valley,
  your gravel words to stir our guts,
along the brogue and downward lanes,
  where infamy spits, no ifs or buts,

in eyes that ride upon the voice,
  that stare crazy part the time.
That pierce my soul, my bloody-fool soul,
  as that voice harsh blasts the grime 

of ordinariness, in ordinary people,
   that so inordinately love your words,
cut and polished, inebriate in style,
  in feral ferocity trod the limelight boards,

in theatres harangued by sackcloth-to-glory times,
  in a Richardness unbeknown of many men,
swallowed, as must bring meaning to
 the wife of your life. So that if any then

would sink into your worldly sneer,
  or in the far horizons of your bleary eyes,
wrapped deep in smoke, that, when the hard spirits
  had wrought what lay therein, therein up and dies.

What words of yours shall we read,
   to know exactly who you are?
Until, sanded by your gravel voice,
  we will know then, that you are ...

Richard Burton,
from Pontrhydyfen.

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