Monday, February 15, 2010

Tan Hill

When darkness shrouds the summit peace, like pollen, spreads.
Cows that glow, like dying bonfires, rest on briary beds.
Lost lovers with laryngitis pitch their songs of woe
Over Arkengarthdale peaks and into Keld below.
The inn is out and out the highest in the land,
A pole-vault from the sun, a haven for the tanned.
Walkers swap their scary tales
Of ghouls and farmers on the dales,
But if a corpse in old West Burton
Really curtsied seems uncertain.
And does a man from Reeth keep demons in his barn?
No one yet has ever dared to verify that yarn!

Burial at Sea, off Helgoland
(for Anna Landgraf)

What were you doing?

Were you busy the day

That Long Anna sank

Below the red clay,

In a vast coffin

Of co-ordinates?