Cwmdonkin Park, Uplands, Swansea, Wales

Cwmdonkin Park, Uplands, Swansea, Wales

'And I went up, through the white Grove, into Cwmdonkin Park, the snow still sailing ... in the suddenly gentle wind. Dusk was folding around, like another darker snow. Soon the bell would ring for the closing of the gates, though the park was empty. The park-keeper walked by the reservoir, where swans had glided, on his white rounds. I walked by his side and asked him my questions, up the swathed drives past buried and loaded utterly still furred and birdless trees towards the last gate. He said,

"Oh yes, yes. I knew him well. He used to climb the reservoir railings and pelt the old swans. Run like a billy-goat over the grass you should keep off of. Cut branches off the trees. Carve words on the benches. Pull up most of the rockery, go snip through the dahlias. Fight in the bandstand. Climb the elms and moon up the top like an owl. Oh yes, I knew him well, I think he was happy all the time. I've known him by the thousands".

'We had reached the last gate. Dusk drew around us and the town. I said: What has become of him now?'

Dylan Thomas, excerpt, "The Return Journey"