The Ladies of the Boat House

Once again I had a wonderful weekend at the Dylan Thomas Boathouse, where I am currently Writer in Residence.

The views are very inspiring; the people extremely interesting.

This weekend I mostly wrote poetry postcards with the visitors, who came from all over – Wales, England, Scotland, the Netherlands, Germany, the US.

I’ll be documenting some of the poems written in a later blog post.

For now, I just thought I would share a poem I wrote on Sunday, inspired by the ladies who were working tirelessly in the kitchen just behind me, while I enjoyed writing and engaging with the wonderful people who visited.

This is for the ladies of the boathouse! Thank you for your chat, kindness, and cakes x

The Ladies of the Boathouse

The window at my back cracks
open like a mouth, into this place
where a poet once was, and
where these women now are.

The heart of the house, these days,
is its stomach – its scones which
warm our noses; its soups which
pepper the salty air with herbs.

China teeters neatly in this kitchen,
where cups and plates are washed
as clean as teeth.

The women with precision are
baking, boiling, serving,
washing up the dishes
in the soapy, crumbloved sink.

Their work is just to feed the rising
tide of visitors, each day
a swell of such that
fills the slabstoned back,

as they make jokes and Welsh cakes;
chit-chat and cafe lattes;
these ladies of the Boathouse who are
its floury, hob-cwtched heart.

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