Walking on Sleights Moor

Over breaking heather a sudden breeze
takes my hat.
Then peace – a touch of air on the cheek,
one small white cloud hangs silent,
just the tseep . . . tseep . . . of shy pipits

Grey stones, strewn like lost teeth –
who is the owner of this tomb?
Nothing comes; but here is a pool dug for thirsty grouse,
the sliced edge a profile of years,
an earth sandwich to gaze upon.

Dark peat above dun, ice-age clay.
Where is the filling? The rich,
forest humus that the old ones
tilled to feed their families.
It is gone.

The earth they heaped
over their fathers’ stone-lined cells
has also blown. No bones, just half-sunken
bleached rocks litter the moor.
Indecent nakedness.

On the breeze, faint voices,
perhaps the chants of celebrants,
the laughter, chuckles, sobs, shouts,
commands, giggles, the mewings
and the whisperings . . .

All the way down I wade
through waving grasses, purple and gold.
Ringleted creatures rise up from my stride
and dance like children in brown frocks.
Claret thistle heads nod.

Grasshoppers churr;
the whin pods crack.
Far below, on the floor of the dale,
an old tractor clanks and rattles,
turning hay in July heat.

Harry Nicholson
3 July 2011

28 Responses to Walking on Sleights Moor

  1. Average Poet says:

    Just great rustic views really well conveyed, would certainly enjoy a walk such as this.

  2. I appreciate the beauty and musical quality of this piece, and am even more impressed thanks to the rhyme and meter you create. Nicely done.

  3. A very peaceful stroll where you just take in every image every sound and just fill special that you are experiencing it… Well written piece, Harry thanks for sharing

  4. So peaceful. I felt I was walking on the moors with you….beautiful, as is your header photo.

  5. Jack says:

    The long “e” sounds at the beginning, flowing into then after the onomatopoeia (“tseep”) was thoroughly well-done. I also have to echo the above, great word choice and imagery, kudos.

  6. It’s a gorgeous poem. I could smell the earth and the grass, hear the grasshoppers, and feel the wind, the heat of the July day. You transported me to the countryside.

  7. This is absolutely paradise for the senses, vivid imagery! Gorgeous writing I was especially taken with the 4th stanza

  8. Beautifully rendered!

  9. JD says:

    Nicely done Harry. Quite a masterpiece.
    ~JD (The Uneasy Supplicant)

  10. TheMsLvh says:

    Amazing writing! So glad I stumbled upon this piece.

  11. jennifaye says:

    I can almost hear “the laughter, chuckles, sobs, shouts, commands, giggles, the mewings and the whisperings”. Great choice of words. 🙂

  12. Such a good poem. I love all the parts about the stones blowing away and hearing all the sounds in the wind. Great poem.

  13. thingy says:

    Gorgeous stuff. : ) I loved the books of James Herriot and this reminded me of him.

  14. Heaven says:

    a nice and light poem… (I feel like skipping thru the meadows) thanks ~

  15. wordcoaster says:

    This one reads like a great poem. My hat’s off to you–and I can’t even blame the wind 😉

  16. Padmavani says:

    Hello Harry!

    I am glad I found you. You can really tell a story. The many sounds, the smell of rich humus, the feel of the breeze. Very rich! And poignant….

    I am going to follow your site and look forward to reading you!

  17. Jingle says:

    deep, dreamy imagery, well done.

    Happy Rally.

  18. You get a WOW for this one, Harry! I am in awe. a poem like this puts me in my place. I’m a hack! You, sir, are a poet!!

  19. haikudoyou says:

    Wow, I feel like I am there- I love the images of stones and rocks – how beautiful!

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