David Anthony was born in Ffestiniog, North Wales, brought up in Hull and educated at Hull Grammar School before going on to study modern history at St Catherine’s College, Oxford. He worked in the financial services industry for many years.
His life has been spent in the near aura of famous poets: Dafydd ap Gwilym, greatest of the Welsh bards; Philip Larkin, one-time librarian of Hull University; Andrew Marvell, a fellow-alumnus of Hull Grammar School. He now lives with his wife in Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire, a stone’s throw from the churchyard where Thomas Gray is buried; still hoping that one day something of these poets will rub off on him.
Gettysburg, 3 July, 1863
Perhaps we should have waited for the night:
those Yankee guns were fierce by day. Instead,
we could have nailed them in the fading light.
The South’s high-water mark lay straight ahead;
but food was short, our army badly shod,
the ammunition low and Stonewall dead.
Longstreet couldn’t speak, would barely nod —
obeying, not agreeing. And the men,
who followed Lee as if he were a god,
in certain hope of triumph once again,
were sacrificed in thousands on the height.
Why rush to die? The dream was fading then:
our hopeless cause would soon devour the light.
Perhaps we should have waited for the night.
I raised the anchor; sails flashed out unfurled,
then filled; I set a course, h t t p://—
and started out across a cyber sea
in search of fellow feeling in the world.
I wandered where the winter seas were pearled
with scattered islands of affinity,
whose harbors sometimes felt like home to me,
calm havens when distress and discord swirled.
Seafarers slightly known and swiftly gone,
some here to listen, some with things to say:
those strangers warming in the light that shone
from empathy had little time to stay.
Minds met a moment, touched and traveled on
to look for something lost and far away.