all roads lead to Cardiff

Hamadryad Park
The Bay
St David's Hall
The Museum
The City
Check Your Accent
Ffynnon Denis

Cardiff Poets Map

Shots of the City

Real Cardiff
Bute Street
Charles Street
City Road
Flat Holm
The Four Elms
The Garth
Gorsedd Gardens
Hadfield Road
Lloyd George Ave
Mount Stuart Square
Newport Road


The Parks of Roath
The Pearl


Womanby St.

to Cardiff

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The Wentloog Levels between Cardiff & Newport

Climb up, you can do it. Top of the sea wall
overgrown with fix tail, bent grass, cranesbill,
ribwort, speedwell. The fields here flat, crossed
with reans foreign as Mars taking the swamp away.
We walk single file. Shelduck on the
mudflats, groyne teeth, breakwater, boat-ribs,
wrecked hard-core, the slope to the sea estuary
toughened with a boulder skin rough as navigator's hands.

The ponds they've built for fish look real enough,
ditch and slack joined behind the Peterstone Sluice,
but up close their Disney geography belies the buckling
winds, neat angling piers made of log, clips
for catchnets, fences. The sea-board warning sign
rain eroded. Do Not. The path thickens with
heavy cock's-foot. As if we would.

The flats stretch away into sunlight alive with
thunder-cloud, waste mud like thrown paint. Cars
are smashed here, brick, city detritus, logs
drifted with scoured plastic, cans. Blue smoke off the
last beaches, gravel, waste concrete, sand.

Across the Channel the Somerset Levels as wrecked
as these. Distant hammering as some kid smashes
a bus shelter and the thug-roar of a high-cleated
Kawasaki carving across grass. Behind us chicaned,
traffic-calmed housing merges slowly with wilderness.
Gull overhead in a turning cloud. Soon they're gone.

from Useful (Seren). A further section of Finch's Real Cardiff book covers these flatlands. A version of this appeared in Planet.

Peter Finch


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