Paul Steffan Jones 1st


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Tŷ Unnos

user image 2019-12-21
By: Paul Steffan Jones AKA
Posted in: Poetry

It was always night

would always be so to him

how it crept to become his friend

after childhood dread

tonight with axe and hammer

(or bwyell and mwrthwl in his language

somehow sounding less edgy

and threatening but almost comforting)

in that tongue

in their hands

choosing the longest spell of blackness

cold clear close to Yuletide

they began their work

Thomas David

Jacob and Joseph

trusted masons and joiners

from the scriptures

timber and thatch

nails and planes

saws and chisels

grinding gouging grunting

cursing as bats reconnoitered low

he knew that David would later admonish him

in his good-natured avuncular way

by his ironic use of the word “holidays”

to describe some of the more wayward/


despite the urgent energy of this shift

the desperate grip of the haft

when at last their task was complete

and they were done with checking the horizon 

for the first sparks on the anvil of sunrise

and had kindled their own warmth

in the newly installed hearth

the cloud of their exertions shrank

back into relaxing lungs

they clapped each others' backs

before nursing their aches

and extricating splinters

smiling broadly as Mary came over the rise

bringing the dawn in her basket

of bread cheese and ale

the first rays of a new day

a new life in her smile

and Christmas was coming

Ceri Shaw
12/22/19 10:02:06PM @ceri-shaw:

Diolch Paul. It's great to see this old practice celebrated in verse. Posting on social media now. I am taking the liberty of including a link to the Wicipedia post for Tŷ UnnosHappy

Tŷ Unnos   (Saesneg)

Tŷ Unnos   (Cymraeg)

Paul Steffan Jones AKA
12/23/19 11:44:31AM @paul-steffan-jones2:

Diolch Ceri.  

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