by Gillian Clarke
The skeleton of the ram lay on a mountain called the Fan, (pronounced Van) in the Brecon Beacons in South Wales. It is a meditation on the life, death and disintegration of the ram, while taking a close look at the skull, a beautiful object picked clean, washed and bleached by sun and rain. The poem links the skull of the ram with the mountain landscape where it lies. It ends with images of life and fruitfulness, and suggests, and rejects, a new use for the skull.