Rowley in Winter

Quilt the hills in soft and frosted white,

flood the land in deep, unshifting tides,

petrify the lakes to shining ivory

and deck the silent trees as lace-veiled brides.

Still the wind and brush the heavens cloudless,

buff the running streams to liquid chrome,

chill the air to breathless, raw and cutting,

and tell me why I feel so much at home.

What forgotten voices am I hearing?

Why this haunted aching and regret?

Who says "come on in, the water's lovely"?

Fifty years and I'm no wiser yet.

Tony Thorpe