The land sings with strange echoes,
The prophet bent against the wind
Stiffened and dumb, pointless fingers
Crooked beyond pain; the whispers
Of forgotten graves, the echoes
Scattered across nameless fields.
My own echoes –
That speck of rust in the eye
Blinding me to summer’s absences;
The discovery of otherness
And of my own presence, cradled
Fuzzy headed in a teacher’s arms;
The texture of mud in the rain
And the tang of sherbet.
Something undiscovered – Shirley –
Important only in a retained name
And a sense of something missed;
A world wrapped around my father,
Everywhere leading the way,
Gowned like a raven.
History sprang free from books,
Tasted in cod liver oil and orange juice,
Serenaded by war sirens,
Painted on the terraced stone walls
Echoes muffled with no home key.
Soft focussed myths hid
The brutalities – the killing
Asbestos mills, our dog
Put down by an angry farmer,
The grave plot waiting across the dale
For dying congregations.
But there were clues to the elemental –
The water crashing down from the moor,
The snow drifts against bedroom
Windows, the shiver of cold winds
Through the bones.
Some years ago, interested in the connection between my childhood and place, I wrote a three part musing of which this is the first.