Taf – a poem

Walking to Dylan Thomas' home in Laugharne with Dad 2016 cr Judy Darley

Walking to Dylan Thomas’ home in Laugharne with Dad, November 2016

I’m thrilled that my poem Taf has been published in issue 3 of DNA magazine. I wrote it while visiting Laugharne in South Wales with my mum last summer. It’s a place we’ve often stayed as a family, and this was the first time I’d visited since Dad became too unwell with Alzheimers to travel.

The issue hinges on the theme Locations, so a poem written with such a strong sense of place felt like the right submission. The town, its woods and the tidal estuary are full of reminders that Dylan Thomas lived there for a while, and this time it felt as though Dad’s ghost and Dylan’s were strolling together through every view. It’s a strange thing to grieve a person whose heart still beats.

My poem Taf aims to capture some of that emotional conflict, as well as the beauty of Laugharne. You can read the poem here.

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The power of music

Judy Darley and her dad, Philip DarleyToday, Thursday 18th May 2017, is the inaugural National Memory Day, celebrating the power of creativity to aid people with memory impairments such as dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.

My dad, Philip, is one of those people. In an effort to connect with him, I recently persuaded his former choir, the excellent City of Bristol Choir, to bring some of their finest alto, soprano, tenor and bass voices to his care home and sing. It was a magical and heart wrenching experience.

I wrote about it for The Bristol Magazine. You can read the full feature here.