The Basin (extracts)

In thatchlight.  Humb.  Slowly weapons.  Black, lyrical hallucinations.  Stang.  Feltic. Deified mist.  Tremble be firm.  Drink in slag growth.  Perpetual weather.  Sproad, blant.  So snown.  Perish into sky.


We enter the Basin by aqueduct and turnpike bridge.  Single arch spanning a narrowing Taff a few hundred yards before it meets the Cynon.  The Company’s chief clerk and his assistants conduct business up at Navigation House.  Offices, committee room, living accommodation for clerks and house servants, rooms for visitors on canal business, coach house, stables.  Uninterrupted views of aqueduct, exchange wharves, tramroads.

Nearby, Craig Evan Leyshon Tollgate.  For every horse, mare, gelding, mule or other beast, laden or unladen, drawing any wagon, any carriage with timber, any coach, every score of sheep, swine, every score of oxen or other meat cattle.  In loving memory of Ann, wife of Walter Morgan, Tollgate House, Abercynon, who died 1896.  Double tolls every Sunday.


Glacial tracks crawl.  Abandoned tramlines stream.  Twisted tributaries.  Frost knife towns.  Muddy amphitheatres.  Iron valleys.  Shapes layer darkness.  Downstream gasjets.  Coal waterfalls,  camouflage draining.  Spider head collieries.  Glistening houses.  Millstone peripheries.


Abercynon is situated at the mouth of the coalfield interior.  As the bevelled surfaces emerge from the sea, drivers of pack-mules, laden with glacial debris, often call there for refreshment.  The ancestral river pattern begins to form, with the shopping centre being Margaret Street. 

Behind Fife Street, the ice carves amphitheatre-like corries.  Houses are produced by subaerial stream erosion.  Streets appear along the belt of disturbance.  Looking away to the north-east you can see chapels spring up to cater for the different denominations. 


Pool town.  Caves steam.  Houses chatter.  Glacial voices.  Carboniferous crowds.  Coking species snapping.  Concave cabins.  Melt lamp.  Snake stones form rooms.  Sandstone archway.  Morraine eels plopping.  Sewage caves.  Steam reservoirs.  Bubble rooms.  Geological feathers ripple.

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