Jotting Down A Line A Day In Tranquil Yorkshire
Let them chubby chiffchaffs own the garden acer,
till again the furious nimbi sweep the hillcrest—
Sudden summer showers still will lash the glass walls,
whether we veg out like shiftless couch potatoes
or pursue our days like mad to trap the future.
Swaledale sheep and Shorthorn cattle graze at pleasure,
roaming free since they don't mind a fence or barb wire,
while we rue each mark we miss and jiff we squander.
Either product of ourselves or simply taken,
nothing can be kept beyond the given limit—
nowhere over firmland or across the ocean.
So, when lastly sick of humdrum moors and pastures,
maybe dreaming of a sailor's life, remember:
there's no place to quit as there's no one to yearn for.
Seamen calmly hold the helm whatever happens.
Should the voyage end by rough or troubled waters,
none of us must take his leave afoam with anger.
Poet’s Notes: This poem is a gathering of reflections on the human condition intermixed with weather and landscape observations and enlivened with a few metaphors, written while watching out of the window at my wife’s parents’ house in South Yorkshire and imagining distant places. The poem is formal--every line is a trochaic hexameter. The accompanying picture is one I took in August 2016 on Howden Moors, southeast of Stocksbridge, South Yorkshire. I usually spend two to three weeks every August and one week every Christmas season in that area.
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