BLWYDDYN GENEDLAETHOL I'R
YSTLUM, 1986
THE YEAR OF THE BAT,
1986
Menna Elfyntrans. Gillian Clarke
Rhwng gaeafwst a haf,
y digwyddodd
trwst y tresmaswyr,
cychwynnodd gyda chnoc
ar ddrws y t,
gwraig y t gwyliau - a'n gefelldy,
yn chwilio cymorth - rhag ystlumod.

Câr dy gymydog fel ti dy hun,
a dyma gael fy hun
yn ei chegin
yn gwylio ystlum
fel radar, yn rhwydo'r golau,
a'i hoelion clopa o adenydd
yn pwnio parwydydd,
ac islaw, hen wraig
yn llechu tu ôl i adenydd eraill;
un ymbarél du, ar agor.

Adar o'r unlliw, ehed ...
a dyma gamu'n dalog
i ganol y llun, agor ffenestr ar ffrwst,
y weithred seml o ddileu swildod
dau fryd at ei gilydd, am byth.

Pwy a gredodd fod ystlumod yn ddall?
a pha ddisgwyl i famolyn ddeall
natur tresmasiaith:
ond carwn fod wedi drilio ato,
'Crogwch yn fy nenfwd i',
Cans crogi peniwaered a wnaf innau
gan storio'r Gymraeg o'r golwg;
ac weithiau agorir drws arnaf
a'm drysu, am im fyw
yn ddiniwed ddi-nod
heb berthyn,
a'r noson y'th welais,
rhagwelais yn y rhwygfyd
y daw dydd y bydd -
'Blwyddyn Genedlaethol i'r Cymry'
pan fydd teithwyr yn tuthio'n dawel
i sbio o hirbell arnom - yn trigo.

Ond bore wedyn, mawr fu diolch
y ddwy wraig o'r ddinas
am eu gwaredu rhag Draculau
y gorllewin gwyllt ... !

Ac am imi ragfarnu o blaid
yr hil ddynol
a'th hel flewog-beth oddi yma,
un rheswm sydd i'w roi:

Gelli di, o leiaf,
ehedeg.

Between virus-weather and summer
there came
the sound of intruders
with a knock-knock
on my door.
A woman from the holiday home - our house's twin -
seeking rescue - from bats.

Love thy neighbour as thyself
and I found myself standing
in her kitchen
watching a bat
snare light like radar,
the two-inch nails of its wings
tapping the party-walls,
while below an old woman
crouched behind the wings
of her open black umbrella.

Birds of a feather fly
and I walked straight
across the picture and opened the window.
That simple act set free for good the fear
of two breeds for each other.

Who said bats were blind
and how can a beast know
what it is to trespass?
Yet I wish I had insisted,
'Come, live in my roof-space'
for I too hang upside-down
keeping my Welsh in the dark.
Sometimes a door opens
and I'm caught in the act
of living innocently
where I don't belong,
and the night I watched you
I saw in the crack between worlds
that the time will come,
'The Year of the Welsh',
when visitors will come tiptoe
and from afar will watch us - almost extinct.

Yet, next day, how grateful
the two women from the city
for their rescue from the Draculas
of the wild west ...


And because I took the part
of humankind
and drove you, wild thing, from the house,
I offer my excuse:
At least you can fly.



Copyright © Menna Elfyn; trans. Copyright © Gillian Clarke - publ. Gwas Gomer


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