Best to Keep Your Questions Brief

Country Lanes, North Yorkshire A141104 Yorkshire Bronte MT7311 National Geographic Traveler

For Ann Caldwell Dearman

Early morning rain makes blue roads
Look like water flowing up melancholy hills.
Across the moors are flocks of sheep,
Whilst violet clouds move across blue skies
Old stone walls make passage slow.

Homes are swallowed by vast expanse—
Green grass and ambling highland cows.
Parish church looks small beside
High jagged tombstones of the resting dead.
Life was short and death assured relief.

Here I want to pause to write a verse
To late afternoon English tea complete with scones,
Flocked wallpaper on tainted walls of empty rooms,
Fading silhouettes of Labradors and terriers,
And ghosts of little girls that walk alone at night.

Phantom choir of monks still chant in ruined abbey.
In moonlight, a head appears on block of stone.
Rocky ground and purple heather lies upon the heath.
Play in the graveyard your little games of hide and seek.
Find imagination released upon wide dark canvas—
But best to keep your questions brief.

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