Blue Man i' t' Moss

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cynwulf
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Blue Man i' t' Moss

Post by cynwulf » Wed Feb 22, 2017 3:28 pm

Blue Man i' t' Moss

The ochre scar curves over the moor ridge,
clarty, knee deep so often, but today we walk on brick.

Around us parched khaki ling, patched with wind-carded cotton grass,
and by the path stars of pearlwort, occasional suns of tormentil.

We flush pale moths from the rushes they float like ghostly leaves,
tiger beetles scatter, gold and green, from our tread.

Six miles above contrails drift, form cats' cradles, white on gentian,
one thread unrolling still behind a glinting jet plane.

No sound but the wind's voice, mournful with the golden plovers' piping,
and two-toned calls of tewits, looping and tumbling over the grouse butts.

We reach a standing stone, nowhere in particular in the waste,
a shallow bowl like so many others amid the contours of the moor.

Yet someone felt need to set this grey stone here in primaeval oak and ash,
where wolves still ran, and bears sought honey in the trees.

All that green fleece gone, long since shorn by axe, or singed by fire,
skin ripped by plough shares to this wilderness by Roman times.

Here in June the Blue Man receives no honour, but as summer dies
he rules on an imperial carpet spread to the fringes of the moor.

He stands alone, rising from the moss and rushes, fluted by years
of wind and ice and rain into the semblance of a hand.

An enigmatic gnomon, aligned east-west, above him the constellations' hub
has precessed through forty centuries from Kochab to Polaris.

His name folk memory perhaps of a hob,or some shamanic haunter of the riggs and slacks;
what he was to the painted men , and those who came before, who now may guess?

No wiser then, we head on due west to Shunner Howe, elegant on the horizon.
We have twenty miles beyond to walk, before we meet with those awaiting at The Buck.
Last edited by cynwulf on Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

David
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Re: Blue Man in t' Moss

Post by David » Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:43 pm

Really lovely, I think. Every line is a pleasure, which makes for a very satisfying whole.

I assume "the painted men" is a reference to the supposed etymology of Britain - or Pritain, or Crutain?

I would only point out that there is evidence of cynwulfian sprawl as the poem proceeds - compare the average length of lines in the first half with those in the second.

And would you say (ignoring for the moment the fact that you did) "awaiting" in the last line?

But I really like it.

Cheers

David

Macavity
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Re: Blue Man in t' Moss

Post by Macavity » Thu Feb 23, 2017 5:34 am

A lot to enjoy here C.
We flush pale moths from the rushes, they float like ghostly leaves;
tiger beetles scatter, gold and green, from our tread.
or
The pale moths we flush from the rushes float like ghostly leaves;
tiger beetles scatter, gold and green, from our tread.
Agree with David on 'awaiting'.

Love the image of the imperial carpet

best

mac

Lou
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Re: Blue Man in t' Moss

Post by Lou » Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:06 am

Around us parched khaki ling, patched with wind-carded cotton grass,

Wonderful assonance here! Altogether you have written a beautiful and musical poem. My pick of the week.

Best,
Lou

cynwulf
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Re: Blue Man i' t' Moss

Post by cynwulf » Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:17 pm

Thank you all for the generous comments.

You are right, David, Prydain was in my mind-never understood why Ps and Qs seems more like Ps and Ks. I'll look at curtailing the sprawl. Not sure what the objection to 'awaits' is, tho' 67% of commenters have picked it up. Pleased you liked it,mac, and Lou.
Regards, c.

Arian
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Re: Blue Man i' t' Moss

Post by Arian » Tue Feb 28, 2017 7:52 pm

A pleasure to read.

I'm not familiar with the area or its history, but no matter - you paint a lovely picture for the unacquainted reader. Despite the perhaps arcane references, the piece remains unforced, relaxed and enticing. I like it a lot.

Not sold on the title though.

Cheers
Peter

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