The Lord of Powis Castle
and the forecourt is bathed in welcome but unseasonal sunshine.
Outside the castle walls great banks of yews grow as densely and as prolifically as algae
carved into glorious mounds with Rubensesque bulges,
and secret spaces
hiding another, imaginary, kingdom.
A footpath through an ancient orchard reveals another view
and then another; variegated leaves
leading onto paths with blossoming rhododendron
and other delicate flowers.
Close to the exit, a bronze peacock
presages its living prototype
and greets Marly's approach (or maybe his harem of three peahens)
with a rattling display of feathers:
the new Lord of the Castle.
(Yesterday, Marly Youmans, David Bonta (two writers from the US) and I visited Powis Castle in mid-Wales. As you can see we had a fine time. It was great to finally meet Marly (who I first encountered on this blog), and I was delighted to be introduced to David, too.)