Poetry page; Triune

                        Triune was published in Shearsman 75/76


You can see them shaped in the frame looking through the window they are on the threshold at the projection of this Devonian  land: she  stares eastward over into her own future;  her concerns only in the west with those that have passed; between the both catching the thread, she’s for ever sitting in the window, completing her book, without end …

is Artemis attuned to earth
new land   cone-shaped   a volcano
opens every morning over the eastern brow

of Meldon Hill    nose to peat ground
she’s discovering buried cities in the husks of silt
and sand   yet curiously oblivious to lost voices

of invisible fates she’s immersed in this landscape
the source of the starting points of life’s journey
a future for travel yet grounded in moor

and steeped with its bones   Stones  
in her pocket weigh forever her way
salt to dust-earth   Moor is her playground   Prelude

Treasure    later she will make her own map
text uncoiling in a long ravishing italic sigil
over shadier foreign lands    At last Arabia!

How aware she is of hushed voices
warning of those future years of wracking pain
Her house desolate     unsettled as the now rare texts

but in her mind a bijouterie of words
She knows of those in mist   they sift
with early ghostly shifts on water

notes voices listening on stone and
light’s gaze through grass from the brink
of moor   thus found she can’t write  

her soul’s on a trip somewhere
else   assailed by death and its intricate choice
of paths     Herself one of the undead dead

she’s saved by those she’s always
comforted    wild animals of earth
tortoise   cat   owl    moth

lampyridae blaze their singing trails
Her poems are encrypted
where her mind’s a lark
over Roborough Down

She’s watching sunsets
quivering on the shafts of light

Lux eterna   Lux eterna


at her window describes the rainbow high behind Hound-Tor back
Afternoon     she climbs Bonehill Down    her high-laced boots
     on peat     beneath  
  Shadows       limestone caves    an age when mammoths roamed

She is and will be remembered     Matriarch of the Moor
now her girth surmounts an east to west moorland circumference
heavy that gait      solid the texturing green tweed overskirt

sweeping boulders and brooks     watch her squat
 over bracken      purple moor     the sweet vernal grass  
   crossleaved heath        a-swirl of sigils on rock      
her belly a crevice
     the issuing wound of words

Slow   Eternal 
this rich fermentation
                    the textual ground.

[Freya Stark, 1893-1993, travel writer, essayist, photographer, Arabist, adventurer, autobiographer. In Traveller’s Prelude she wrote of sitting in the bay of her bedroom at her father’s house on Dartmoor, looking through the window and imagining her future travels. At Last Arabia is the title of one of Stark’s ravishing accounts of her travels to the then most exotic places on earth; she is drawn to the Orient and her twenty travel books include maps of uncharted regions of Arabia.
Francis Bellerby, 1899-1975, poet and fiction writer lived at Clearbrook on Dartmoor from 1951 1955. Early in marriage a cliff fall left her with a permanent back injury and in 1950 Francis was diagnosed with breast cancer. In her poem “It is not likely now” she looks west from the bedroom window of her cottage: “a great fleet jewels the sky tonight”. Beatrice Chase (Olive Catherine Parr), 1874 -1955 writer, especially of books on Dartmoor. Her most famous book, The Heart of the Moor was written in 1914. Beatrice added what became a famous window to an extension of the cottage she moved into at Widecombe in the Moor, in 1901. She loved to sit and look through this window whilst writing; two titles reflect this: Through a Dartmoor Window and The Dartmoor Window Again.]      

 The following  photos  are of Clearbrook, where Frances Bellerby lived for a while and Widecombe, (Beatrice Chase's grave is here).

Photo Julie Sampson

Widecombe in the Moor
Chase's grave