The Crimea Pass

It was opened at the time of the Crimean War.

This does not seem to be a legend.

Though probably it was not built by Russian prisoners

who left their boots behind.

This does seem to be a legend.

After all this is North Wales and ours is the land of legends

and we all know that the pub at the summit 

served ale on Sunday lock-ins right up to time

when the purple dragon was sent to burn it down to nothing.

Only pine trees remain 

miraculously unscathed

to mark the spot for ever.

And as for the dragon, he found a mate

with our native red and made happy families

in a slate cavern for many years.

But when the time was right

the still angry drinkers

raised their glasses

to cast a spell

which transformed all the dragons.

Changed them into the rhododendrons

which grow like pink and purple miracles,

breaths of dragon fire colouring the slate tips.

It’s something to ponder when you pass over the Crimea in springtime.


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