Back to the archive today, and another Mari Lwyd drawing, this one titled The Second Fall. Beneath it is Catriona Urqhuart’s poem Pegasus, made as the text for the drawing when it was shown in my 2001 exhibition at Newport Museum and Art Gallery, The Mare’s Tale. This was the only poem in the sequence that was written in Catriona’s voice, and it’s a letter to her friend and my father, Trevor. While the title of the poem is explained within it, that of the drawing is more enigmatic. It refers to the fact that twice during his last illness my father fell from his bed. The second fall was traumatic and humiliating for him, and heralded the decline that led very quickly to his death.
You came back in June
We tackled the tomatoes:
debated on the merits
how early and how late.
In August, you came here every day
Now you are ill suddenly,
‘How did I get this? Where did it come from?’
and proffer gifts: Fred Hando’s Journeys in Gwent,
You take a mouthful just to please me;
and you are drowning.
Is it the Mari still? Is it careering there?
I pray for Pegasus to wing you clear.
Sometimes you make a strike for shore
by time’s slow snake
All that Autumn the plants you’d watered for me
Bishop of Llandaff flamed till Christmas;
Catriona Urqhuart 2001
Reproduced with the kind permission of the poet’s estate.