arts / poetry / Weather

Return (part of the way) to Top Withins

A sentimental journey

KD on the way to Top Withins, May 27, 2013I didn’t go all the way.

They’ve made the footpath steeper and stonier since the last time I came.

And the signs are either confusing or non-existent. (Given the Brontë significance of the place, why are there no signs to Top Withins?)

Anyway, it felt good to be there, though the sun clouded over on the way to the parking place, and came out again as I approached home.

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A drink of water

My love bent down
to drink at a mountain stream;
she cupped her hands
into a tiny waterfall
and raised them, dripping, to her lips.

When she scrambled back to me
I asked why she had brought me none to drink.
It would have been lost between my fingers as I came back, she said,
and anyway my hands got all muddy as I helped myself back to the path.

I would have licked them clean, I said.
And remember, it is the licking not the drinking that is the point.

She laughed and gave me a clear drink from her mouth.

Top Withins
September 30, 1999

From Carapace

I ask only that on some spring day,
when the wind blows wuthering over the hilltop,
you will recall the perfume of my body’s garden
and remember what was
as the foundation for what is and what is to be,
yet always growing together
through eternity
like roses and briars from our
separate graves

June 15, 2002

From Instead of a funeral pyre

. . . she strides like a giantess
across the high hills,
her naked feet striking the pebbles of the paths whose
sharp flints she chooses to enjoy,
her sudden smile banishing the clouds from the wuthering heights,
her mouth cool with the kiss of mountain streams,
her voice the curlew’s cry and the soft touch of the rain.

September 20, 2002

From Mut’a

The Spirit is a wilful wind,
blowing where she wishes.
None may mark her beginnings and endings,
nor when her work is begun,
or done.
She blew through you into my heart, making me whole,
singing the song of Top Withins’ wuthering.
Then a cloud covers the sun
and I gather my coat around me,
slim protection from the blast.

January 25, 2002,
adapted May 28, 2013

From The City and the River

. . . shall I discover myself alone,
up on the wuthering heights with only sheep for company,
caught in the clouds while behind me the city lights blaze
with the familiar luring I have known all my life?

I love these wild hills,
as I love to stoop and drink from the stream between us,
tasting the dew from the moors,
the rust-red iron that penetrates my soul.

February 10, 2010

From Graffitti

On the wildness of the moors
On the paths where people pass
On the land no foot has trod

I write your name

On the wuthering of the wind
On the waters rushing by
On the sheep standing to stare
On the skylark’s soaring sky

I write your name

March 14, 2002


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