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.