Poetry Group

A Day of Hope in Haiku

Enveloping dark,
Cover in silky blackness.
Rising moon brings light.
Stars punctuate night.
Sharp pin-pricks of white spread ‘cross
the vast void of space.
A change in the light.
Creeping sun rises, chasing moon
from vision. Day dawns.
Expectant heads turn.
Celandines look to rising sun.
Follow ‘til sun down.
Sounds of the day start.
The dawn chorus harmonies
ebb and flow like tides.
The cuckoo calls out.
Interrupted by drilling
woodpecker, hunting.
Resplendent in his
Finery, pheasant struts his
stuff, looking for love.
Day continues on.
As the sun bows down, twilight
arrives again. Night returns.
Enveloping dark,
Cover in silky blackness.
Rising moon brings light.

By Penny Leck, Loweswater

Darkling Stands the Tree

Darkling stands the tree
In the corner of my garden
Gatepost to the fells
Guardian of my soul
And more
Refuge of rook, pigeon and tree creeper
Still stands my tree
And on this night 
Stirred by the faithful hooting of the owl
Ever reassuring me of a love that was lost
Rising from my bed
Drawn to the window
Let in the cool night air
Shining stands my tree
Heaven’s stars cascading 
Into her branches 
Each filigree twig incandescent 
Exploding into the radiant sky
Becoming part of one united, dazzling aura.
Trembling I stand 
False cares dissolve
Shining stands my tree
Darkness overcome.

Lorton Resident

Milk white moon

Cradled in stars cascading
Watch over my child

Lorton Resident

Flying Crooked by Robert Graves

The butterfly, the cabbage white,
(His honest idiocy of flight)
Will never now, it is too late,
Master the art of flying straight,
Yet has — who knows so well as I? —
A just sense of how not to fly:
He lurches here and here by guess
And God and hope and hopelessness.
Even the aerobatic swift
Has not his flying-crooked gift.

From the Herdwick point of view.
And I wouldn’t eat that no matter what!
Hay, hay? Who would lower themselves to eat hay?
I have most of my teeth and use them for grass
And as for cyack!
Even with no teeth, I wouldn’t eat that!
Who are these people that offer this fare?
They know nothing of me
I am after all a superior being
I am proud and fiercely independent
This fell-living malarkey isn’t for the faint hearted
Life may be short but…
No need for hay and no need for cyack
Challenge is what I like
Freedom is what I seek
Walls, what are walls?
Merely a heap of stone to be vaulted
Not to entrap,
I’ll have none of that.
I’ll ratch round my heft
Eat the sweetest grasses
I’ll ignore the walls, never eat hay and refuse to be insulted with cyack.
I’m far too grand for all that!

Lorton Valley Resident

Herdwick Character.

There is no such thing as a stupid sheep
Only a stupid person would say such a thing
You’ve just got to understand her logic and ask…
“Is it wise to be trapped in a corner?”
Of course not!
So don’t expect to corner her.
Wise is what she is.
When you see her quietly admiring the landscape
do not be fooled.
Even without GPS or a compass she know exactly
Where she is
Where the rest of the flock is
Where you are
Where the wall gaps are
And where the dogs are
Who is stupid?

Lorton Valley Resident

Night, Light

A terror of the dark when I was four

   Brought crawling creatures all around my bed;

   I’d lie awake, await the tiger’s tread,

   Smell spiders crammed behind the wardrobe door.

   And lightless dreams would bring the monster’s roar

   With nothing there to see outside my head;

   Imagined movements filled my mind with dread,

   Each touch upon my hand a threatening paw.

   But now, for me, the dark must be complete:

   No digital device, no glaring screen;

   To sleep, I need the absence of the light;

   No passing cars, no lamplight from the street;

   No glimmering moon or starlight to be seen;

   The darkest sky will give the perfect night.

   John Scrivens

On Parting and Not Parting

We were not granted the gift of parting

But we were given love.

Separated by oceans’ waves

Surging through my veins 

Came your release

And such a sense of peace

As you slipped away.

We were not granted the gift of parting

But we were given love.

No tender kiss

No holding hands

No gentle words

No ‘fare thee well’

What words?

You knew them all.

We were not granted the gift of parting 

But we were given love.

They say that when

The final moment comes

That we must go alone 

But this I know for true

I knew the very moment when you went

In my dreams I held you 

And waking let you go.

And still you call

In nights’ small hours

A song on the wind

Of fluted, wooded, hooting notes

Falling like dew to soothe my grief

Liquid stardrops to lighten my darkness

Gentle owl

I thank thee.

We were not granted the gift of parting 

For parted we are not 

Your very love is part of me 

And I am part of you.

This love lives on

And holds me fast

And will not let us go.

For we were given the gift of love

Love eternal

By a Lorton resident

The Plough

His swollen feet straddle fresh torn ground

Tracing ancient lines

Watchful eyes search the sky’s familiar forms

The Plough, constant and comforting

Present but unseen when that earth was formed



Sale Fell

Sky heavy with stars

Jostling bats accompanying

We feast together




Meteoric dust

Amid stellar camouflage

Darting mouse of light



A bright winter night

With Orion as my guide

I search for the dog



Each night the Great Bear

Ploughs eternally westward

Hunting the lost sun



Daylight is no use

only in darkness stars show

to comfort the frail.



Enveloping dark

covers in silky blackness

the moon brings the light.

Penny Leck


Night search under trees

Lamb to feed; owl’s silent swoop

His wing brushed my cheek.



Life is like black sky

Brightened with shimmering stars

How joyous is that?



The hills hold the dark

In still silent suspension

Awaiting the dawn



Man’s light steals black night

And those pin pricks of true light

Gifts from stars far away.