Saturday 27 October 2018

Twll Du

On the hillside the beacon light of Cylfynydd was extinguished. It was night beyond night. Stars lit the valley and the endless rails gleamed all the way to Risca. The brook whispered secret messages down the Nant y Crochan. From my bed I could hear quiet conversation in the kitchen below.
There Pot sat by the black range. Huge boulders of railway coal glowed like hellfire. A great black kettle swung and hissed above the sulphurous flames. Pot’s short sentences were punctuated by the crackling of the fire.  There his loving Nellie consoled him: “There’s tired you are my love. … yes, the children too! …  Yes you sit down … a nice mug of cocoa … Well I’m sure, exhausting  … all that rampaging. … ”
Outside, Bran of Twmbarlwm stalked the valley, looking for his lost land. 
In the powder house brigands and pirates loaded their muskets for their night’s illicit work.
On the green hills the Tylwyth Teg rode unseen in procession through the starlit land.
Islwyn feasted in a dark cavern, waiting for the call to battle to sound above the music of his minstrels, all the time secretly watched by a wide-eyed girl. The music was echoed by a distant chorus of kindly Welsh miners.

Twll Du means ‘black hole’ and is the name of a dark gulley in Snowdonia known as ‘the devil’s kitchen’.