Poetry and Pictures from the Yorkshire Dales by Alan Hartley

dales poetry headerPhotograph ©David Tarn


semerwater.jpgSeeing it now in winter sun,
It seems so far removed
From the dark tale
Of a cursed village drowned and gone.

Only a line of clouds remain
To cast forebodings on
The lake and leave
The faint threat of a squall of rain.

Out in the water's shimmering,
A raft of bobbing gulls
Goes floating by,
Then rises in a flickering

To form a swirling silver cloud
That breaks into a wave
Of silhouettes
Which stoop back down weaving a shroud,

That falls again upon the lake
And settles as a raft
Of gulls once more.
The fresh wind veers, the cloud bank breaks

Sending a bolt of light to rise
In fierce reflection from
The water's face
To dazzle unsuspecting eyes.

A lonely grebe slices a wedge
Through the bright bar of light,
As clouds close up
To form a fading halo edge.

Shadows lengthen and folds appear
On the surrounding hills
Clothed in rose haze,
And I am held in bondage here,

Watching the low, slow-fading sun,
Listening to the gulls' screamed
Promise to remain,
And hearing my own promise to return.