An Online Literature and Art Journal

The Quarry at Cwm Penmachno

By David J. Costello

Plump with sheep,

and bigger than the sky,

a rill of ruin

spills its broken buildings

down the mountainside.

They tumble into braille

so you can read their story

in the rubble,

like a sunken ship

that manages to thrust its mast

above the waves

to warn the wary

of the wreckage underneath.


Somewhere in this desolation

lies a sheer and monumental cliff

that’s tilted to a headstone.

There’s no inscription

chiselled on its surface,

no reminder of what’s

buried deep beneath

and yet you know,

in Cwm Penmachno,

all they quarried there was grief.



David J. Costello lives in Wallasey, England. He is a member of Chester Poets and North West Poets. His publishing credits include Prole, Orbis, The Penny Dreadful, Shooter, Magma and Envoi. David is a previous winner of the Welsh International Poetry Competition and was also a prize-winner in the Troubadour International Poetry Prize. No Need For Candles is his most recent pamphlet from Red Squirrel Press. Read more at