Water Avens


Geum rivale

I grew this, in dedication
by my garden altar,
sewing the seed
by the welling water
of Mererid’s spring
keeping the pot wetter
than I would
for any other.

The first year
there was no flower
but I tended the leaves
on into the winter
and now, with the spring
the petals of liminal colour
bide their time to open
but are suddenly here, brighter

In the mind than it would seem
from their contained power.
So I wait upon them,
each new flower
as it comes, finding a way
to be itself far from any lake or river:
A testament to a sacred space
where things are placed to be made over.

The Well and The Stream

Ffynnon Sanctaidd, Llanfihangel Genau’r Glyn

Every time I look into the well the level is the same placid equilibrium: it never rises nor falls. No water is drawn from it these days, not for drinking nor for healing. Little rain runs in around the slate cover over the grill that tops the shaft. Around the edges a shiver might be seen on the flat surface beneath, the dark water inscrutably responsive to enquiry, keeping an elusive counsel. 

This is a tranquility that comes from a remembered past, dwelling on an interaction with the human world that is commemorated but no longer practised, though I bring it to my visits and ask a blessing still.

Yards away from the well the stream that has tumbled down through the woodland above rushes over the bank and crashes noisily to its channel below when in full spate, or ebbs back to a trickle after a dry spell. It is not constant like the well and demands human attention, so has to be actively taken account of, especially in times of flood.


In the well
the pool lies still
beneath the grill cover

At the falls
the stream fills
the air with living water