Saturday, 9 April 2011

A Welsh Alphabet

One of my current projects is to produce an artwork to illustrate 'Th' in the poem 'A Welsh Alphabet by Lorin Morgan-Richards. 29 artists in total are involved. The work is planned for inclusion in a book and for display as part of the West Coast Eisteddfod to be held in Los Angeles 23-25 September.

A Welsh Alphabet

By Lorin Morgan-Richards

edited by Kevin Richards & Jason Shepherd

A is for Afanc

Whose scales could not be pierced.

He flooded the harbors

set town ablaze

Terrorizing those he unearthed.

B is for Bendigeidfran

Who laid a bridge

for his weary army to run.

In his last breath the giant fell

Sending the enemy back to Ireland.

C is for Coblynau

Who helps the miner find his ore.

But when the cavern shakes

The rocks will slide

Something he will surely ignore.

Ch is for Arthur a Chei

Who grew up together to play.

The brothers came upon

A sword in a stone

that little Arthur carried away.

D is for Dôn

Who raised her sons

To watch over the feuding land.

They battled Llyr’s flock

‘til old and gray

Taking control of their command.

Dd is for Y Ddraig Goch

Who chased away his white foe.

But the young Myrddin

found them buried

in a magic pool.

E is for Ellyllon

Who roam the valleys and groves.

Their approach may slow the shepherd

But the sheep go running in droves.

F is for Y Forgen

Who lure the travelers by their sins.

Their beauty tis overseen as ye drown

Their legs be slippery fins.

F is for Y Flodeuwedd

Who was made by enchanting flowers

For her husband’s cursed bride.

But upon finding her cheating deception

She changed into an owl to fly.

Ff is for Ffridd yr Ywen

Where fairies dance in the round.

Those who enter may never return

Turning only to dust when they’re found.

G ar gyfer Gwyllgi

Whose eyes are Ill omen of fiery red

Tells the traveler nearby he will soon be dead.

Ng is for Yng Ngarth

Where castles stood on the hill.

You’ll find angry ghosts haunting there still

Rising up from the ruined Bastille.

H is for Henwrach

Who begins every year in November

To grow from veiled crone so old

To maiden younger and younger

Just as the spring warms winter’s cold.

I is for Iarlles y Ffynnon

Who protects an almighty spring.

That if a wanderer drinks

without her permitting

The black knight rids them clean.

L is for Luned

Who made her love

Disappear with a magical ring

But once he vanished

He was swept away

Until found suffering.

Ll is for Llamhigyn y Dwr

Is found in ponds and swamps,

With a limbless body of a frog,

A tail of a lizard, wings of a bat.

A menace to fishery and farms.

M is for Myrddin

A legendary prophet

Who had the knowledge of the wise

He led a quest that Arthur partook

Protecting him with his disguise.

N is for Nissien

Who battles amongst the celestial star

He combats his twin Efnissien

Dueling for peace afar.

O is for Ogof

That can drain the life out of traveler’s nearby.

‘tis not a bear

But a force inside

That proceeds without a sigh.

P is for Plentyn Newid

Who steal children away as they sleep.

Quickly replacing it with

an ugly, shriveled beast

That has made many a poor mother weep.

Ph is for Arawn a Phwyll

Who switched their place for a year.

Pwyll hunted and survived in the underworld

To keep his promise sincere.

R is for Y Rudda Gawr

Whose enemies’ beard were made into his cloak

Sir Arthur was called to give his own

But the giant cut beardless, quivering said

‘My apologies King Arthur I must have misspoke.’

Rh is for Rhiannon

Who had a son and was accused of his murder.

But then a mysterious beast

Was seen to be stealing fouls,

The son was released to cure her.

S is for Shuï Rhys

A sad beautiful girl who always dreamt day to day

In time she was carried off by Tylwyth Teg,

last seen somewhere near the town of Crawley.

T is for Twm Sion Cati

Who tricked all those he crossed

robbing the rich, pleasing the poor,

No Robin Hood though, the gold

he bore, he never lost.

Th is for Aneirin a Thalhaearn

Who poets, with Taliesin makes three,

Known for their love of early folktales,

Including versions of King Arthur you see.

U is for Ugnach

Who is the son of Mydno

From the Black Book of Carmathen.

He is said to be a powerful druid

With riches untold,

President and keeper of earthly tomes.

W is for Y “Wwb” sound

Of Gwyllion who leads astray the familiar man.

Their stare and four pointed hat

Can only be thwarted

By the flash of knife in hand.

Y is for Ysbrydion

Who haunts the midnight hour.

Their moaning lasts

Until the relatives change

The uncompromising dower.

Monday, 4 April 2011


I returned from Japan on 23rd March having arrived the day before the terrible earthquake and tsunami. I was in a different region well away from the epicentre. I have had an article published in The Guardian Cardiff on-line blog and I am planning to set up some fund-raising events over the next few weeks. The earthquake has affected the whole of Japan in some way and although the mood has been to keep calm and carry on with normal lives there is now increasing concern about the aftermath of the destruction of the nuclear power station at Fukushima and the affect it will have on the economy and on people's health These issues are going to pose many questions not just for Japan but for the whole world about future use of nuclear power - the question that everyone wants to know is how safe are these plants and what happens if something goes wrong ? I have more images here on my Flickr page and I hope to return later to take some images of what will be a very painful and long rebuilding process. The images are from my time in the Kansai region and show peole getting on with their lives and at the same time showing concern by raising funds and taking part in events to support those involved in rescue and rebuilding efforts.