Thursday, October 31, 2013

 Community Rights of Way Service

Who opened up these moors CROWS
Who cut holes in the wire CROWS
Who rebuilt these dry stone walls CROWS
Who built these stiles CROWS
Who hung all these new gates CROWS
Who built these new bridges CROWS
Who dug all these ditches CROWS
What tool do they use CROWBARS
Who shows the direction to go CROWS
Who pays for all of this?  Not sure
Who pays towards some of this? CROWS
There is a need to CROW about it

Graham Ramsden

With apologies to the Ted Hughes estate.


 Moor Music

The shrill piping call of the returning Curlew
Contrasting with the lonely peep- peep of Golden Plover
Plaintive note of Peewit carried on the wind from its arching flight
Wading birds reclaiming their share of the corduroy moorland
Nesting sites found on drier ground among ling and crowberry
Ascending notes of Skylark lift the spirit and raise hopes
Honk of Raven above the outcrops sounds the alarm
Heard by the Red Grouse who stutters  Go Back, Go Back
Black Crow who sees everything with his cruel eye
Hears the dull thud as Peregrine stoops and connects with Pigeon
Blood and feathers speckle the falcons chosen rock
Life and death together sharing this special place


Graham Ramsden 2014


Over the Edge

Black gritstone Laithe barn facing the watery late afternoon sun
Echoes to the clatter of bovine hooves on shiny dung slicked cobbles
Milking complete, the plod to grazing fields underway accompanied by buzzing flies
Tails flicking, heads shaking, the small herd spreads though the running grass each cow finding space
The field edge drops away into the steep wooded valley patched by bluebells
Water running over gritstone boulders the new soundtrack to the journey
Crossing the stepping stones we spot a Dipper flashing a white bib cutting into the stream
A bubbling zip marks his passage through the golden peaty water
Entering the abandoned hamlet, ruined buildings with broken windows like sad eyes watching
Ghost voices and sounds carried on the wuthering wind into the tall trees
Gaining the upper slope passing pine needles humped into formic domes by resident wood ants
Patches of blue turned pink by acid in the secret life of a woodland floor laid bare
Overhead raucous Jays call territorially from the fresh green canopy
A Fox barks sharply in the distance sensing our presence
Owls shuffle in rest trees waiting for the twilight hunt to start
Deer unseen by us skitter and disperse at the new sounds of our passage
Badger sniffs at the sett exit and listens, waiting for the safety of the approaching darkness
We gain the next edge and the welcome pack horse track leaving the crags to themselves

Graham Ramsden


A response to the poem ‘Hardcastle Crags’ by Sylvia Plath