First day here and time to write.
Hear the slow tick of the dining room clock.
Who has sat in these chairs before?
Did they watch the fine Yorkshire drizzle pass along the valley,
as trees accumulated their autumn rust
and the mill chimney stood inactive?
Did they, like us, shuffle round one another
in the kitchen, searching for cups,
preoccupied with routines and lack of sleep
(or surfeit), sifting projects in their heads
as, all the while, The Poet’s images of moorland and valley
whispered from the walls?
This community’s not shy of work;
the house, built solid against rare summer heat
and, oftener, winter gales, the backdrop
to human effort, determination not just
to weave a way across a wild landscape
but doggedly excel in deed and thread and word.
Lumb’s hospitality is born of common aims,
witness walls garnering photos of poets long gone
and others writing now as though the need for words
were first and foremost in every enterprise.
And all the while Sylvia lies unburied in her grave,
inviting homage, daring us, ‘Write!’
© Janet Henderson October 2017