Tony Walton

Rookie (4 March 1950 / London, England)

Bleddfa Testimony - Poem by Tony Walton

He was like a fist, she said - and held
her fist beside her face to show us
what a fist was like: it was like her son.
Always so clenched with me, she said,
and I longed for him to open up.

But they spoke on the phone: all the way from
America to Cobnash, he called her
regularly - especially in those
last few months as his broken marriage
was falling apart. Peace, she said,

he found it, finally. He found it
regularly, up there in his glider
where he loved to be: so high in the sky
with all his troubles laid out far below,
beyond reaching, way up there in the sky.

So peaceful in his glider, with only
the rush of air across the long thin wings,
lifting his glider, lifting him clear,
at least for a while. I would give anything,
he told her, to save this marriage,

to save my family from this
disintegration. Four years now since
that day his glider flew him all the way
for ever - yet he has never stopped
speaking to her regularly.

I turned the glider, he tells her, I turned it
into the low sunlight of that April
fool's afternoon, in a blaze of golden
glory - and I became one with the light,
Mother: it suffused my very being.

And into the light, and through the light,
and with the light, he became indivisible
from the light that radiates, through everything.
Through his marriage and his family
that he wanted to hold on to so tightly.

And his fist is now unclenched at last
in her heart, and in the hearts of his wife
and their two daughters, as they fly
across the wide Atlantic waters
with this undying consolation.

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

This is a true story, told to a meeting of the Bleddfa poetry group, where we were reading 'Little Gidding', the last of T.S.Eliot's 'Four Quartets'. The Bleddfa Centre for the Creative Spirit lies to the west of Presteigne in Radnorshire, Wales.

Comments about Bleddfa Testimony by Tony Walton

  • (8/22/2012 4:25:00 PM)

    I had heard Tony read this poem before. It is a moving tribute to a mother who lost her son, and who understood his anger and his sorrow and his resolution (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Poem Edited: Wednesday, August 22, 2012

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