The North York Moors

Rating: 5.0
When a man stands on the edge of the moor
Receiving the wind’s rough investiture
Of all that power which remains extant
From the creation of air, sea and land

He can cower in the lee of a wall
Or stand at his task on the pinnacle,
A monument against the howling sky
To all the ambitious dreams of mankind.

If I were an artist I would demand
Between new Hambleton and Old Byland
A statue raised to the living and dead
With hill forts behind and the vale ahead;

Though the Yorkshire grit from which it is hewn
By facing each day into the typhoon
Would come to clothe the air in yellow dust,
That change I understand, as all men must.


To rise swiftly from the valley of cars
Scything the heather in mud-spattered arcs
With boots crushing broken straws of bracken
In peat which darkly preserves our passing,

When warmth as solid as the sun is rich
Builds as you break like dawn over a ridge
In the deep strata of shoulder and thigh
And suddenly covers a thousand miles;

When, disturbed, a grouse hiccups into flight
Low through the mists which are thick with light;
When this could be some damp city alley
Where children and drunks meet principally

For love, and to solemnly keep their trysts
For all that the outside world still exists -
Know this, the old walker you overtake
Is yourself, setting a different pace.
Monday, February 4, 2008
Bob Blackwell 22 June 2008
Christopher, you caught the atmosphere, your poem made me want to hike the moors again. A wonderful part of our beautiful world. Thank you for the memory not of walking but of the moors. I still walk but in another hemisphere. Bob
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Greenwolfe 1962 19 April 2008
This is a finely written poem. A lot of work was involved here. That's much appreciated by this reader GW62
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Andrew Blakemore 05 February 2008
I really like the wonderful images in this poem Christopher, it also has a lovely flow to it. Thanks for taking time to look at my poems too. Andrew '10'
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