Posts tagged ‘Yorkshire’

16/04/2018

Pinhaw: Center of This World

Pinhaw1

Pinhaw is the center of this world. Around it the hills, the valleys, the clouds and the skylarks wheel. To the North are the Yorkshire Dales, to the West the Irish Sea, South  are the fells of Lancashire, East the moors and towns of West Yorkshire. On one side is the village of Lothersdale, on the other Gargrave (the two villages in which my parents were raised). It is the center of all the Tales I write, whether explicitly or no.

Pinhaw2

Paradoxically, it is a marginal place. It sits on the border of Lancashire and Yorkshire. It is at the far end of a ridge of hills which raise near Preston in the west (including Pendle and Wheets). It overlooks both the Aire and the Ribble valleys – the former heading to the North Sea far to the East, the latter empties into the Irish Sea.

Pinhaw3

For all of these reasons, Pinhaw is at the center of things. The curlew know this. They nest in the sedge by the peat pools, and call to the sun as it rises on spring mornings. They know the people who built the stone walls all those years ago. They know them and they know their spirits. They watch them, as they gather to beat the boundaries away from this – the center of their world.

pinhaw5

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16/04/2018

Pinhaw: Center of This World

Pinhaw1

Pinhaw is the center of this world. Around it the hills, the valleys, the clouds and the skylarks wheel. To the North are the Yorkshire Dales, to the West the Irish Sea, South  are the fells of Lancashire, East the moors and towns of West Yorkshire. On one side is the village of Lothersdale, on the other Gargrave (the two villages in which my parents were raised). It is the center of all the Tales I write, whether explicitly or no.

Pinhaw2

Paradoxically, it is a marginal place. It sits on the border of Lancashire and Yorkshire. It is at the far end of a ridge of hills which raise near Preston in the west (including Pendle and Wheets). It overlooks both the Aire and the Ribble valleys – the former heading to the North Sea far to the East, the latter empties into the Irish Sea.

Pinhaw3

For all of these reasons, Pinhaw is at the center of things. The curlew know this. They nest in the sedge by the peat pools, and call to the sun as it rises on spring mornings. They know the people who built the stone walls all those years ago. They know them and they know their spirits. They watch them, as they gather to beat the boundaries away from this – the center of their world.

pinhaw5

31/07/2013

High Summer at the Roman Fort (Mastile’s Lane) – video poem

 

a video poem by set around the site of a Roman fort on Mastile’s Lane, above Malham in the Yorkshire Dales.

 

the written version of this video poem can be found at:

http://www.thecheesewolf.wordpress.com

 

this video poem is copyright Gavin Jones 2013

04/07/2013

Pipit – Lapwing – Swallow – Chaffinch

 

Up on the moor tops, fields are cut,

And soon the berries will be ripe.

Amongst the heather, pipit rich,

The tewits fake their broken wings.

 

I think too hard about the words.

The sun is low and burns the eyes.

The dry stone walls form broken lines.

I hear the words, but cannot write.

 

And down below, the dale is dark,

Its words are carved on whispered stones.

Around the empty chapel hall

The swallows coax unwilling young.

 

So this is summer in the north:

A chaffinch calls at mottled skies.

 

 

26/01/2013

The Summit of Pen-y-Ghent (Walk No. 7)

 

So what is truth and what is not?

In words, the evidence of loss,

Of spirits swirling round the peak:

The nameless souls who named the hills.

 

I heard the songs, I saw the dance,

I felt the heartbeat in the rock,

I saw the springs of pasts converge,

I formed Brythonic words again.

 

This place – where lapwings guard the skies,

And ravens roll about their throne –

Has stripped my language from its roots:

My English never climbed this far.

 

Relentless winds have scarred its name,

Across the passing clouds of time.

 

 

08/01/2012

Treecreeper

 

They live another planet’s life,

Their world a maze of creviced wood ,

And flakes of bark and spider’s webs.

They seek the scent of insect’s paths.

 

And up they spiral, ever up –

Their probing, prizing spikes of beaks

Are thrust into the rotten reek –

They never reach the canopy.

 

Then out across the autumn woods

Where fungal spores spread sickly mats,

They claim their trees with needle trills

Like crystal wrens at misting dawn.

 

In otherness they live their lives,

As alien spirits of the oaks.

 

08/01/2012

Ring Ouzel

 

A lunar crescent, skyward horned.

A tail which traces scree and ling.

A plaintive tone, a mournful tune.

A solitary black and bib.

 

Alone in rocks above the scars,

Where streams from bogs first scratch their beds

With steady tick like lowland merle,

A lost and wayward song of moors.

 

The moon is pitched in afterglow

And scattered with the trace of stars.

The melancholy call of space

A flick of night pitched wing and gone.

 

And left as one with what was once,

The sadness of a memory’s song.

02/01/2012

Yellow Wagtail

 

The gentle rains have summoned gold

From limestone walls as light as leaf.

The summer citrine floating gems

Are raised to shine on sundewed peat.

 

Their calls as fine as spider’s silk

Are threaded through the spikes of sedge,

And bright as mirrors to the sun

Chase heaven in a skyward vault.

 

As fragile as the cotton grass:

Arrive in April, dance in May,

Come autumn join the swallows south

And leave the hills to still and grey.

 

The yellow wagtail’s second life:

Is gleaming in the Sahel’s sands.

02/01/2012

Grey Wagtail

 

The river racer, foam of sulphur,

Is dart and shivered mercury.

A scattered feather, pitched in peat,

Which whisks the water’s surface clean.

 

A never still, a bobbing weave,

A flight and dance, a flip of tail,

Its tick tricks time, alarmed and shrill,

Is chasing after waterfalls.

 

Then up and gone on undulations:

A shallow trace of wings and air;

A shadow left on deeper reaches;

A moment’s fire of fight and life.

 

And left, a woodland’s damp is hanging,

Awaiting echoes from the streams.

 

(first published in the collection “From the Shore”, 2011 – Shore Poets)