Sitting on the river Banwy I enjoyed a roll up cigarette and chilled out to the burbling of the river over the rocks. Feet on a rock sitting quiet as you don’t hear a sound out here, very quiet, very still.
Last week I felt a tap on my shoulder and it was a man rucksack, walking boots, jolly little face. ‘Could I trouble you for one of those?’ he asked. Of course I rolled him one, his hands looked gnarled like he had arthritis. I lit it for him and he sat down. I didn’t feel troubled about his company, i’m happy to share moments.
We spoke of the Hills and where he was going. From a small Church in Anglesey he walked every year through Wales and down to the West Country to the Chapel of Saint Iorfa. A journey that took over a month. In every day he felt the hand of his God steering him.
Among the hills he spoke of the damned places he knew. This place we sat within he said ‘holds some evil that has lasted hundreds of years’. He said, ‘The Gypsies knew’ and he was honest and true. What did they know?
An evil, not of fantasy and of religious madness but that of human origin. The nasty and the heart borne evil of wicked men. The Romanii knew and warned others of their kind not to approach these places where these men sat. This Valley of the Three Wizards had a hotspot of this Evility, this degraded humaness.
He bid me to approach the Gate of the Farm called Fachwen Uchar some twelve miles away and to seek out a stone left there by the Romanii. He stood and cheerily hucked his rucksack back on and thanked me for the cigarette, the end of which he flicked into the river.
I searched for the Farm of Fachwen Uchar and found it. The Gate was at the bottom of a newly laid single lane drive, the farmhouse and buildings out of sight. I didn’t approach it as yes. There was a definite air about the land held in by dry stone wall and hedge. An air of evilness and strangeness.
Among the grasses by the gateposts I searched until at last I saw a large rock and upon it a design had been scratched. It was like an hourglass within a circle and I did not touch it. It was a ‘Lumo Ringalo’ a hefty curse and one left by a powerful Shaman of the Romanii. I could see underneath a few beads from a rotted Rosary I suspect as I did not want to investigate further. It was a warning after all.
I wondered, as I watched the long black tarmac ribbon laid over the green lush meadows at either side. What warranted that curse?
Indeed we have a Job to do a little bit of twiddling of the screw
a little bit of fettling of the hinges and singing of the hymns
a certain length to travel and Briar staves a swinging
pin your arms and settle down on the concrete
press your face into the dust kick you so hard in the balls
the window shakes and let’s fall little scabs of rust
from the bars the lofty heights vibrate to their song
the meadows the screaming Crows
the Sheep all lined up in little rows
the singing the violent delights and the cramp
the screams through retro tube driven amps
sling your hook and sky dazzled we are
but you can stretch your legs out to the opposite wall
where you scratched the designs and listed the angst
put forward your petitions in little angry words
on the farm gate an old age gypsy curse scratched on stone
underneath the frazzled brow he sits and sips in the news
grim news from the Shropshire Star
violent robberies from afar
he knows his particular time is nettled
fine time to sit and stew in the grief you lay
but the curse doesn’t lie
hopes you suffer the pains and the ills
grind the bitter little pills