June Emanations Crag Notes

© Nikki Clayton

note: Cwm Silyn translates as spawning lake valley


Whilst Climbing Outside Edge, The Great Slab, Craig yr Ogof

addressed to a reader


Cwm Silyn's three llyns below

– smooth blues slight


ly rippled and spat

tered with the day


-star's sparks


my ropes pale

orange & blue

stripe down


wards across grey tuff


ropes as tugged

map-marks on

actual rockscape


simple linear legends rubbing


their passing over

the complex-crinkled


surface of a

solidified aeon


the day-star's force bounces

off the tuff my skin


seeps salt-wet as


     black flies like

     letters fallen

     from a bible twirl


           two ravens throw

           soft slow kron-n-n-n-nks from




                to the o


           ther across

           the simmering cwm


I climb on up

the stone's star-heated

rippled hardness drag


ging my smooth map

-line rope-colours


pitch finished I

anchor to the crag

to bring


up my companion tied

in    to the lines' ends    out

of sight below


and beyond the crag-horizon I've


     just cli

        mbed o



my mouth gummy

with thick spit

I gaze


-guzzle at the sleek

sky-silent llyns reclined

in the level of




I almost



I could reach

down and lift and tip



a big blue sheet to



a deep bubble of water down

my throat and              g    guh    guh


glug a llyn dry


swallowing whole its

light & sil

very fish-glinters


           a sudden high sli


           ding speckle of dark

           -spark swallows lets


           loose gli



           chips of song across

           the cwm's blue


           shivering sky-lid






At Summit above Craig Pennant, 734 m






ing steps across light-grey clitter

lovely hollow



ks of


     stones rocked


     a geo


logical music folding

an animal's now


ness move

ments in

















During Return Walk to Road-Head, Lower Slopes of Garnedd-goch

addressed to my climbing partner & a moor's gone gods


moorland wide-writhing under

sky buzzing white with


the spikes of the day-star


 windless air bend

s into warp

 ing walls


of greased rippling glare


distraught ice-bergs of over

-heated full-fleeced sheep bounce

through black-green reeds away


from us ab

     surd fire

 -faced spectres we


are heat's terror


and it's our

visions that play


on the mind of the June moor


bog-cotton puffs copy

gauzily the flock     are

little sheep stuck

on straws


and heat's fuzz-shine is


a tremor at     at

om magnified

to this




smudge of


lenticular space this

material of contorted


moor & spook-forms our



faces pull all


this moor's molecular

vibrations    its forms


into our skulls a craze



of temperature-rise crystallises

behind our eyes



     suddenly I hear a gliggle now

     ribbon-glisten in a narrow channel

     the pebble-bottom pristine through


     limpid prophecy


     we kneel to this

     transparent angel reclining

     amongst the reeds


     we plunge our hands and pull

     up cupfuls and tip


     splashes upon us and

     laugh a relief-rapture as a clarity

     cold-&-smooth as a home


     coming until now un


     known re

     skins our faces with




           's lo






Crag Notes: June Emanations




Photos: Nikki Clayton

June Emanations was first published by Shearsman Magazine. The poem is included in Mark's next full-length collection – At – forthcoming from Shearsman Books. His author page with Shearsman is here:

Mark's latest chapbook collection, a highly compressed mountain travelogue called Erodes On Air, has just been published in America by Middle Creek:

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15 Jun, 2021

Didn't check the author, got about two verses in and knew it was Mark! Sublime as ever. I'm still dipping in and out of Rock as Gloss when the mood takes :-)

15 Jun, 2021

Thank you! What a lovely compliment! :)

22 Jun, 2021

I love these poems. They draw you in to another world surprising you at every turn of the line with vivid images and metaphors. I particularly like

bog-cotton puffs copy gauzily the flock are little sheep stuck on straws

24 Jun, 2021

Thank you! :)

I rather like the way you have laid out your comment -

particularly like your 't

urn' on the word 'tur


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