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There are soo many things in and around us everyday that go unnoticed, things that we used to love when we were a child but have now grown up and just don’t see anymore. We have become blind, oblivious to them.
Today, I took a trip to “Dialogue in the Dark”. For a complete hour, I was blind and guided by a charming blind man. To say that it was an experience I can hardly describe in words is an understatement. What he said right at the end touched me the most.
“In the dark, we guide you. Similarly in the light, please guide us.”
So today’s post is dedicated to the little living beings around us whom we love, but have just forgotten or have turned a blind eye because we just become too preoccupied or busy.

“Hey Mr Universe, My Heart is so sad, Has everyone in this world gone mad!
So much destruction all over the nation, Whole countries suffering Death and Starvation.
What has happened to cause all this pain?That people kill for power and gain.

A human life was once a precious gift, But the world’s leaders are causing a rift,
Amongst their own people, amongst their own kin, When will they realise to kill is a sin.
Despair and hunger go hand in hand, What happened to tilling, and feeding by hand,
Not drilling for oil, Or killing for spoil.

Where can it lead? There are people to feed,
but no! They want power, Don’t they know poor people cower,
Down to extremists, religion, dictators, Where’s all this damage going to take us?

Nature will fight back, she knows she is owed, Floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, Volcanoes
ready to explode.
Each country has suffered, but people look away, Some try to help, but sometimes there’s no
We all once were brothers, not separate, not others.
Something terrible’s happened for life to be lessened.

Taken for granted, rich people play, Whilst poor people shrink into nothing each day.
What does the future hold for us all? If we ignore all the signals, we’ll all surely fall,
The balance is threatened, so called progression, We worry each day and talk of recession.
Whilst elsewhere it seems there is deliberate ferocity, Killing and maiming just two such
Dignified people these nations once were, Now only murder and genocide occur,

What must they think of their fellow man, Letting their children die while they can,
Do something to help them, there must be a way, Help us, please help us do something today.
Before Mr. Universe looks down on us all, And tells us and shows us, we’re all going to fall,

The rich and the famous, the mighty, the poor, Will anyone be here after the mighty core,
Has exploded, imploded, and waged its own war, Upon mankind as a whole, the great Gaia
takes its toll,
Ferocious anger will be released, no humans able to stop this mighty beast,
Save our people, before it’s too late, Help us to save them and all will abate!”

The first 5 entries were made at our facebook group. Join our group to submit your works too!
The last entry is by Judy Laylo. You can find her blog here:Thriving Thoughts
The poem was written by Baarbaara. Check out her blog here: Baarbara Sheep
Find Baarbaara on Twitter here:
Baarbaara is hosting a POETRY COMPETITION  (closing date is 30th June) entitled “The Black Hole” which is to raise funds for their campaign against opencast mining . Details here

Would like to share this wonderful music video with you. I’m sure you’re familiar with it.

Heal the World – Michael Jackson


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Poetry Competition

Calling All Poets


Poetry   Competition

There are four age Groups

7 &Under  50p entry

11 & Under 50p entry

16 & Under 50p entry

Adults  £1 entry

There will be an Anthology of 100 poems titled

“The Black Hole” for sale in August 2012.

Closing date: 30th June 2012.


The Black Hole theme is to get your views on opencast mining, the area around the opencast, such as Rhaslas pond, the wetlands & wildlife, & what living close to an opencast feels like. Also what effect you think it would have on future generations if an extension was granted.


There will be 1 Prize in each age group

Which I’m sure is going to be a very tough decision for the judges; however we will be including the best 100 in the book, with an author page for the winning entries as well.  Copyright remains with the author.

Adults & 16 & under groups will receive £15 cash & a copy of the Anthology “The Black Hole”

11 & 7 & under will receive £15 cash & a choice of either a copy of “Save our Valleys – A Sheep’s  Tail” or “Hedgehog Rescue saving Itchee & Scratchee” signed by BaarbaaraTheSheep.


Judges will be announced before competition closes and will not be related in any way to anyone entering, judging will be anonymous, rules of entry and application form can be downloaded from or

Locally application forms will be made available in Schools, Libraries and Community Centres.

You may enter via email (paypal) or post please include the correct entry fee.  

Get your entry forms here:

Guest Blog by Swansea Jack of Americymru Wales and the 2012 Olympics


In a little more than 120 days from now, the 2012 Olympic Games will begin in London, UK.


‘OK’, you say, ‘So what’s that got to do with Wales?’


Well, first, let’s put up a bit of ‘info’ :


I’m not sure, but maybe there is something in there to explain that crazy logo!   See if you can find it – then clue the the rest of us in – please! 


This next link may begin to indicate some relevance to Wales:…


Did you see references and links to various places in the UK?  Like ‘Visit Wales’, maybe?  This Olympic event will capture a global audience. What an opportunity to get the word spread aboutWALES !  See the video!  As great as it is in its animation, it can also serve as a good ‘promo’ forWales.


Not convinced yet?  Did you see the map that shows where the torch will pass through Wales?  It will be showcased in Cardiff, Swansea, Aberystwyth and Bangor – the four pillars of theUniversity of Wales – where notables such as Ceri Shaw, Swansea Jack – and Professor Dai Twaddle once acquired from, and imparted upon, a plethora of stwff – with learned colleagues.  


Here is a link that shows the route the Olympic Torch will take in Swansea




There, and in all of the other places in the entire UK that it passes through, there will be world-wide TV coverage of the torch and the torch-bearers.


Did a light go off in YOUR head yet?   


No?  How about this – let the WORLD know that we WELSH are still here – ‘YMA o HYD’. How? 


As THE ‘Once and Future’, and AC’s only TRUE Swansea Jack, I challenge every AmeriCymrumember in Swansea to make a sign or poster that says ‘Visit’ and hold it up where the WORLD’s TV cameras will have to see it. Rhianne, are you up for holding an AmeriCymrusign as the torch visits Oystermouth Castle? Jeffrey Phillips, I KNOW you can draw a great sign!


After the torch leaves Swansea, maybe our AC friend Alan Evans (at St Clears TV) can get some ‘AC coverage’ for us as it passes through Carmarthen. How about help from Gillian Morgan in Pembroke? Sure, you can trot up towards Aberystwyth – maybe sell some of those expensive Pembroke Spuds there! Once it gets up to North Wales, Iona and her Hall’s Angels will surely help!  All of this, we hope, will be kicked off before the torch ever goes down the A48 (or M4) to Swansea, because we know we can count on Madoc Roberts in the Cardiff area. Lord knows, even DGJ may show up to help put AmeriCymru front and center, as the torch puts much-needed light in Port Talbot!  


Every AmeriCymru member in Wales – hey, why not wherever you are in the UK that is on the torche’s route – is hereby challenged to display a ‘Visit’ sign. I’ll bet Gaynor Madoc Leonard will help when it finally gets to London


Maybe Ceri will award a $5 bill for the best designed, most eye-catching sign. Submit your entries here! Help put Wales and AmeriCymru out there – for the WORLD to see!


I’ll buy a pint of cwrw for the best entry – to be awarded at the next WCE that I attend. Here’s a teaser:




Save Rhaslas Pond! – An Interview With Baarbaara Sheep

Ceri Shaw speaks to AmeriCymru member Baarbaara Sheep about her current and forthcoming books and her involvement in the campaign to save Rhaslas Pond from open cast mining.

AmeriCymru: Hi Baarbaara and diolch for agreeing to talk to AmeriCymru. Care to tell us what your book, ‘A Sheep’s Tail’ is all about?

Baarbaara: You are very welcome, the book started because of a real threat from a Company wanting to build an incinerator on the mountain above where we live, it is a beautiful area, full of history and wildlife and has only just recovered from the coal mining industry.

Years ago the mountains were black and the rivers were black and the whole area was unwholesome to live in but obviously people had no choice, the mines were where they earned a living and they had  to live close by to get there every day.

Anyway back to the book, the character Baarbaara the sheep was created to try and get children involved in the campaign, my partner Ian suggested getting animals involved and so evolved Baarbaara. Who is also a puppet now, here is a pic….

baarbaara sheep puppet and fridge magnet
Baarbaara puppet and fridge magnet click for larger image

Baarbaara almost eats a piece of paper she comes across on the mountain, she normally does this because she doesn’t like litter, luckily her friend Mr. Coal, the old pit-pony stops her and tells her what the paper says “No Monster Incinerators”, the humans are protesting against a huge Incinerator, so they decide they have to help, it would ruin their landscape and pollute everything all over again. Why?….

baarbaara sheep

In real life United Valleys Action Group (UVAG) took on the fight and after appealing to Downing street, the Senydd and IPC in Bristol and collecting 13,000 signatures, having protest days and fundraising campaigns, the Company withdrew.

The story was told in all the local papers over a period of time and local magazines as well, and we had a big party to celebrate.

rhaslas pond protest 
AmeriCymru: You are involved in the campaign to preserve Rhaslas Pond. Can you tell us why the pond is environmentally important and what threat it faces?

Baarbaara: This new campaign is regarding an application from the present opencast mining corporation to extend the already huge black scar they are running.  It is the biggest eyesore you have ever seen; here is a photograph…..

open cast as it stands - rhaslas pond

This is the opencast as it stands

The area concerned is known as Nant Llesg it is around 2000 acres of untouched scrubland and Rhaslas Pond which itself is more like a lake, there are more than 50 species of birds, ducks and waders that next there at various times, my friend is an avid bird watcher and has recorded them since 2005, unfortunately he has lost everything before that however he has a huge amount of information which will help the campaign, including the fact that the area has been untouched for the last thousand years or so.

People who live in Fochriw and the Rhymney Valley are already plagued with dust from the existing opencast, as well as huge trucks taking the coal away, and the trains which are supposed to be covered but have been seen overloaded with the tops open in the late night/early morning transportation.  The petition states as follows:

We the undersigned wish to state our objection and grave concerns regarding the prospective planning application that may be made by Miller Argent to expand the opencast mine to the Nant Llesg site.  This will have a devastating impact on our health (both physical and mental), community morale, our quality of life, local jobs (green), our protected historical landscape and out children’s futures.

Not to mention the wildlife the air quality and the fact that Rhaslas is an extremely well preserved example of the Dowlais free drainage system and we wish to preserve this historic feature  In its current state for the education and enjoyment of the people of Wales and future generations.

Here is Rhaslas pond, which would disappear if they extended the opencast along with all the wildlife….

rhaslas pond

This is the area around the lake known as Nant Llesg, it has never been touched in a thousand years or more…..

nant llesg

The surrounding area untouched….

rhaslas pond - the surrounding area untouched

AmeriCymru: What are the latest developments in the campaign?

Baarbaara: The forms are ready for distribution to collect signatures and the UVAG roadshow will be ready in a couple of weeks to travel to all the villages to give talks and answer questions.  There is a petition heading to CADW, Cadw is the Welsh Government’s historic environment service working for an accessible and well-protected historic environment for Wales.

Cadw is a Welsh word meaning ‘to keep’ or ‘to protect’.
AmeriCymru: Where can our readers go to learn more about the campaign and is there any way that they can assist?

Baarbaara: There are campaigns on twitter and facebook, (united valleys action group)
and (stop the rape of the fair country)
as well as baaarbaarathesheep,

I will also be setting up an online petition shortly, I will post a link as soon as I’ve done it.

If anyone has any relatives who live in Caerphilly County council area who would like to join the campaign or just sign the petition please let them know, even Merthyr is very close by, but it actually falls in the jurisdiction of Caerphilly County.
AmeriCymru: Where can readers go to purchase “Save Our Valleys-A Sheep’s Tail” online?

Baarbaara: Readers can purchase the book  on kindle $2.05 or paperback editions $4.49 the links take you directly to the book. Kindle edition only  £1.30, will be available in paperback in the next couple of weeks….;

CreateSpace estore….. for paperback version $4.49

AmeriCymru: What’s next for Baarbaara Sheep?

Baarbaara: Baarbaara’s next book is almost completed about saving baby hedgehogs, then the third book is an idea to help with the Rhaslas pond protest, two lapwings go to Baarbaara for help.  She is very busy trying to design covers as well.

Here is a preview of the cover for “Save Our Baby Hedgehogs – A Sheep’s Tail” the second in the Baarbaara the sheep books.

itchee scratchee

Also baarbaara’s blog is here…..
And her website here…….
AmeriCymru: Any final message for the members and readers of AmeriCymru?

Baarbaara: Thank you for showing an interest in Baarbaara, We love the Americymru site, and although busy at the present we’ll try to have more of a presence in the near future.

Diolch and Baaaa……

Interview by Ceri Shaw Home  Email