Poem: Gratitude At Bach Ac Yn Gyflym [Revisited]

20190107 poem gratitude at bach ac yn gyflym

I’m back in Capel Curig, the location of my north Wales ‘cottage’ in the wilderness. I like to connect with the wilderness every so often, and here I am again. Around me is green and grey, around me is grass and mountains, as white wisps of mist embrace me.

Surrounded now by that mist, you could be forgiven for thinking that you weren’t in my garden, as all the familiar landmarks, named trees, much-loved foliage, small rocks have all but become invisible as the cloud descends.

And as I slowly walk on, there it is. That, small, wonderfully inviting rivulet that flows unimpeded. Even if it is unheeded, it flows. It needs no human eye to convince it of its status, but when around, it does indeed invite all to look on in wonder. And, as you look into it in awe, I do believe others look back in a similar manner.

Water, particularly wells, the tides ebbing and flowing on the beach, and rivulets, like this one, are liminal places, ‘thin places’, where here and the Other are unusually close. Could this rivulet be a place for angels, the fae, elementals, the Waters, or the Others, ancestors etc to come near(er)? Who knows. But, there is a presence here, a Presence!

I call this watery friend, this rivulet Bach ac yn gyflym. Welsh geographical place-names are very descriptive, and it seemed right to call this stream by this name. Its name means ‘small and fast’. Very apt. Very Welsh.

Some time ago, deeply moved by it, I wrote a poem, and now as I gaze on at this constant companion, this faithful flow of water, almost mesmerising, I recite the poem to the rivulet, once again.

In this rugged, wild, grey-green place,
Bach ac yn gyflym, that ancient stream flows.
Downstream represents that past, of days gone by,
the old, the familiar and known.
It is an empty plate of cakes, just crumbs, now gone; it is yesterday’s meal.
This flowing water is time.

I surmise that you look upstream! Most do.
Upstream is unfamiliar.
It is tomorrow charging towards us and becoming ‘now’.
It isn’t red-shift; it is blue-shift.
It isn’t the past, it is the future.
It is potential, opportunity,
a ribbon of possibility reaching out toward us.
It is the unknown. A challenge. A risk. An adventure.
Time could be the harbinger of good or of bad,
however we define those mysterious words.
And yet Rumi’s wisdom of old, words of invitation
to accept those who knock at the door of one’s life echo loud.
For in playing host to all,
we may accept a benevolent ‘guide’ from beyond,
and grow in stature.
The flowing water is time.

As I stand motionless and observe, the water flows and yet so do I.
A body that ages.
A mind that thinks.
A heart that beats involuntarily.
A planet that spins. And one that orbits.
A solar system that moves.
Tempus fugit.
Everything is in a state of flux.

And so, like you, I look upstream.
Could this be Bach ac yn gyflym or even Pishon?
But, I crane my neck and look upstream,
for it is from there that the Spirit calls out to all of us by name.
The Bat Kohl whispers in the desolation, the forest, even in the city.
Her activity is recorded in the past, felt in the present, and reverberates to us from the future.
The flowing water is time.

Time moves on.

Is time an illusion? Is it inear? Cyclical? Or a combination of the latter two, a ‘slinky’: repeating itself but with the progress of minor changes and adaptations, new things, along the way? For now, all I know, is that this rivulet has a sameness and a difference in its flow: a paradox. . Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher born in 544 BC. said, ‘No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river, and he’s not the same man.’

Yes, time moves on. But, ‘chronos’ or ‘kairos’. The former is mechanical time, the relentless tick-tock of the clock which governs our rising and sleeping, our working and relaxing, marking the seasons in the heavens or instructing us of the time of the next bus home. The latter, ‘kairos’ is opportunity, time that allows us to do something. For the ancients, this would have been an important thought, perhaps the most important of the two, for they would say to us; ‘now is the time’.

However, having just glanced ay my wristwatch I am walking briskly back to the cottage now, as time indicates that its breakfast time, and somethings are too important to miss. But, and it is an encouragement to each of us: today there will be times of opportunity, kairos (time) to seize and take hold of, to enjoy and make the most of. Carpe diem.


10 thoughts on “Poem: Gratitude At Bach Ac Yn Gyflym [Revisited]

  1. The little streams are some of the best places to visit, to sit and think long thoughts. This one sounds wonderful.

    An interesting question about time and our perceptions. Long ago I considered time as a linear construct, a straight line from “here” to “there”. Now time appears to be operating more on the order of our solar system and galaxy. Cycles occurring within ever larger cycles until we no longer perceive the curve from “here” to “there”. As I grow older I am becoming more comfortable with this view.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, I think you’re right, Steve. You’ve reminded me of the old song sung by Noel Harrison (and more recently by Alison Moyet) called, ‘Wimdmills of your mind’, which has some prettty profound lyrics, and also of the ‘wheels within wheels’ mentioned in Ezekiel 1.16- 21in the Book. Something for me to ponder over. Thanks for reading the reading in the poem and article, and commenting. Many blessings to you and yours, Tadhg.


  3. Deep thoughts from deep waters. I remember an advertising slogan ‘always and never the same’ and think of it when I go down to watch the sea. Love your poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Many thanks for reading the poem and commenting. I’ve never heard of that advertising slogan before but it’s an apt one. Thanks for your positive words. Much light and love be to you and yours, Tadhg.


  5. I found your poem very moving as I am drawn to water.
    We have recently been visiting a house we have to sell near Lake Bala and it is a beautiful peaceful area, rugged and wild and your descriptions brought it back to me. Thank you for your very moving poetry.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for reading the poem and for commenting. I know that area quite well and have fond memories of Lake Bala, especially when I was a wee lad. A beautiful area. I’m pleased you liked the poem. Do stay in touch – and all the best with the house selling. Many blessings, Tadhg.


  6. Such a beautiful poem.

    Reminds me of a passage from Siddhartha:

    “He saw that this water flowed and flowed, it was constantly flowing, and yet it was always there; it was always eternally the same and yet new at every moment!”

    Thank you so much for your posts, they are a ray of light that shine and guide through the mists.


    • Thanks, Kevin, for reading the poem/article, and for your positive comment. I’m checking that passage, for further inspiration, from Siddartha, as soon as I’m finished typing. I’m pleased you like my posts. Many, many blessings to you and yours, Tadhg.


    • Many thanks, Trish, for reading my blog. I hope you stay in touch as there much more to come. And, north Wales is wonderful, isn’t it? Thank you for your positive comment. Many blessings, Tadhg.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.