In search of Dylan

On our way back from Ireland we stopped off at Laugharne to tread once again the bard’s unsteady steps from Mariners Arms to the boathouse.

Beginning at the Castle view chip shop with its view of the castle, past the concrete bus shelter where a no good boyo sits alone on the bus stop bench, head in hands, still and bent on going nowhere. Across the Dewi river, now tumbled into its conduit, jostled by carrier bags and muttering into disposed beer cans.

The town-hall clock stands above it all and stares resolutely out to sea dreaming all day of sightless captains and lost and misspent time.

Up the hill now past the bleached and ageing cemetery and along the cliff path lined with stories and secrets only it could tell. The railings all flaking paint and rust laze in the dappled sycamore shade.

Reverential tourists from Japan and Alabama drink up the sunlight like the last pint from the barman’s arm and stand in the pulpit of our lord of words and gaze across the estuary and mackerel skipping sea to Milk Wood, the Gower, Worms head and Rhosilli down beyond. They wait patiently outside his writing shed, gazing over the boathouse to be filled with that same anthem and glorious voice that perched here with the cormorants too short a while and dreamed and wrote the sleepy town into all our consciousness.”

Ian Griffiths