Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Blackstone Edge

Down in the towns
the future slumbers -
dark churches, invisible mills
purled with sodium stars.
Here, yawning moors stretch out
their early colours,
night rains ditched
in bone-cold puddles of skylight.

By the roadside a ewe grazes.
Numbskulled, she glances upwards,
no light inside her brassy eye
as her young lamb
dallies in front of me,
holding me in a glorious dangling
beyond the curb
of a temporal 'is'.

Lit by shadows I drive on
past swards of cotton grass,
smell the gummy oils from fires
set by moiling farmers -
blessed to feed upon
this yeastless bread
and quick to rumble the pylons
thrumming their strings with joy.


  1. Peter I have absolutely no idea how you construct beautiful words in this way. That last stanza in particular just amazes me. So many incredible phrases in the piece: "bone cold puddles of skylight", "gummy oils from fires", "feeding upon this yeastless bread" you really have a gift for poetry. Well done.

  2. That's utterly beautiful and you paint such a vivid picture. There's something of Dylan Thomas here, for me. The use of words like 'moiling', 'swards', 'purled' add a nostalgic and timeless quality. I wish I could write like this. And thanks to Heidi for tweeting the link.

  3. I don't know Blackstone Edge but even the name conjures up an impression. These words are so evocative, bringing so many images together in my minds eye. Lovely.

  4. Heidi - thank you so much for your lovely response. I'm certainly struggling for words now - your comments have blown me away. I'm just so thrilled that you connected to my poem.

  5. Graham - thank you too for such wonderful comments. I have never been compared with Dylan Thomas before ... but coincidentally it was he who, eons ago, first seduced me into the world of poetry with his poem 'The force that through the green fuse'. Though he & I are also eons apart in terms of ability, I am so grateful to you for your extremely lovely & encouraging response.

  6. Helen - thank you so much for taking the time to read my poem & for your lovely comments. I can actually see you strolling over those moors & revelling in their beauty & the surrounding scenery as you walk.

  7. Gorgeous phrasing - purled with sodium stars,Yawning moors stretch out their early colours and that idea, neatly slipped in, that gives the meat- a glorious dangling beyond the curb of a temporal 'is.' The summing up lines put it all in context. We see a little into the mind that made it, the light inside.
    Thanks for following me on twitter, and providing a link.

  8. This is such a strong visual poem, you literally take me there beside you with your words.

  9. Thanks Karen - really pleased you enjoyed it.

  10. Hi Sheila - thank you so much for your positive comments. I actually wrote the bones of the poem last year but didn't finish it ... not sure why. Took it out of cold storage a month or so ago after driving over that same route & the words seemed to dance themselves into what felt to be the right places. Thank you too for the follow. Will check out your website today.

  11. Hi Marousia. What a lovely comment - thank you. It all started with the lamb dawdling in the road, causing me to feel an incredible responsibility for it (in the absence of its mother's lack of concern), which led onto a wonderful epiphany ... a sort of spiritual connection to my immediate world & far beyond. It was, indeed, 'a glorious dangling'.