and in the shop…
“The agister’s experiment”
Two Rivers Press
Land art by David Nash
It began among spleenworts and filmy-ferns:
a chunk of stricken oak was chainsaw-carved
until it was round enough to roll.
Four hundred kilograms were heaved
to Afon Cynfal’s edge and levered in.
It tumbled over waterfalls,
caught on a ledge,
meandered from bank to bank,
lodged under a bridge.
The artist tracked it, mapped it,
photographed its every drift and stall.
Twice he had to nudge it on
but mostly it made its wilful way alone,
gambolling over rocks,
settling now and then in silt
till winter torrents washed it free.
One time, now black as slate, it lay in a stone and gravel bed.
Through more than thirty seasons,
it was girdled by foam, draggled with leaves,
carapaced in snow.
At last it reached the Dwyryd estuary
and beached on a sandbank
to be jostled by tidal push and pull.
Finally, it slipped away.
Sometimes it’s sighted – once off Ynys Enlli
heading towards the Irish Sea –
but the artist’s watching for it still.