On Dartmoor – poetry by Diana Durham

On Dartmoor

1. Princeton

Billowed mass of cloud door
light spilling
from its yellow threshold

onto the path before us

rising south and west
to the tor,

weather-messaged, Inca
asymmetrical

where wild ponies shelter
behind out of the wind
and a black foal approaches
close-up
to you, out of focus
in the lens.

To the true west a trail out
into open moor
the further landmass
dropping away, stepped
cliffs falling
to the far off
sea.

On our about-face
trek, the village
not so very far away:
a line of houses
on a climb northwest
the radio tower’s marker disappearing
into mist
and to the east, grey tall-
chimneyed prison buildings
circled with Victorian granite
(not razor wire-topped chain link).

Inmates unseen, unknown
inside that January sadness,

closeby to us on our wonder-eyed
first owning
of this wild expanse.

2. Corsham Hill

The oak
holding up its empty
candelabra
to the winter sky

on the middle wire
strung from the telephone pole
a robbin
chest throbbing-
sings

drops

disappears

under the mist-touched
brow
of the nearest up curve,
Corsham Hill.

Continuous this rise
of the moorland

and soft procession
of wind rain-saturated air,

overlapping

so I cannot make out
is it cloud
trailing down

or some not yet clearly back-lit
outcrop
reaching up?

The kissing touch persists
through late afternoon

through dusk,
and evening dark.

 

 

Diana Durham is the author of three poetry collections: Sea of Glass, To the End of the Night and Between Two Worlds; the novel The Curve of the Land and two nonfiction books: The Return of King Arthur and, most recently, Coherent Self, Coherent World: a new synthesis of Myth, Metaphysics & Bohm’s Implicate Order.

 

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