This high and lonely landscape
lays no claim to grandeur
chime the air, to wake still silent
The Black and White Lyne
a two-pronged divining rod
meet north of Roweltown
forming the Lyne, follow the line
always the line
So I am drawn here,
time and time again,
at threshold moments
life’s magnetic compass,
always pointing North
God bless this sacred wilderness
this wild uncharted darkness
these combes and heathered hollows
metalled, peaty earth
Ley lines crisscross
like the lines I trace
across your palm with silver
sky, a rainbow’s arc,
a glorious rebirth
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Sharing with earthweal
I could write and write about the high, lonely lands somewhere on the border between Cumbria, Northumberland and Scotland: The former Debatable Lands once raided by Reivers, revered by Anglo-Saxon and Roman settlers alike. I do intend a more informative post on the area at a later date, but for now, a poem: an emotional response to the landscape. And some more photos on Instagram, should anyone be interested…
This poem was inspired by Heaney’s ‘Bogland‘ – a firm favourite of mine for many years.
Sharing with earthweal’s Open Link Weekend #139.
I remember a cold January afternoon back in early 1976 as it was getting dark – my father and I had been drinking Scotch and talking feverishly about the spiritual lines in the earth. We bundled up and walked out down to the frozen far field of his property in wooded Pennsylvania, looking with our hearts for leys. Concurred on a point of confluence, marked it with a stone; he later erected a tripod of long branches there, still later built a bell tower named for St. Oran. We keep prospecting those places inside, going back over them in memory, engaging in the sidhe buried there. As you do here, feeling into the boglands of the heart..
There must be a reason the ancients favoured certain sacred spots…
Thank you Jennifer 🙏
We holidayed in Bewcastly two years, as a teen. I loved it up there. Wife and I went up there again ten or twelve years ago. She was bowled over when we went on to Hadrian’s Wall.
It’s a magical landscape, isn’t it?
Beautiful and magical, Ingrid.
That bottom photo is stunning!
Thank you, Merril – the rainbow was a special gift 🌈😊
Rainbows always are!
So beautiful, Ingrid and dare I say mystical! Love it. ❤️
Mystical works for me, Punam! Thank you 😊
Great! My pleasure. 😊
Beautifully penned 🙂
Thank you 😊
You’re welcome 🙂
So beautiful, Ingrid. 💕
Thank you so much Grace 💕
My pleasure 💕
Surely this is a place of beauty and the arc blesses the land.
Indeed it does – a desolate kind of beauty, but also profound.
Tis is sacred isle , this one we inhabit, ( I am in Scotland) and our ancestors knew it well. I hear how the land calls you in this piece and I welcome that connection for both you and for her. She needs all the prayers we can muster right now and this poem has that lilt about it. Thank You.
I was walking the border just yesterday-a beautiful land we would do well to take better care of. Thank you Paul!
Tis a sacred Isle, this one we inhabit, and our ancestors knew it well. Being magnetised or drawn in by the land is a blessing of sorts and your poem is a reflection of the reciprocity,an answer to that call, a kind of prayer. Our Earth is in need of such gifts at all times but perhaps more so now. Pray away.
A poem full of the spirit of place, and of a heart filled with the search for it, and for the resonance and strength it gives. In a more trivial vein, I watch a great many British television shows, and am always feeling the beauty of those Isles in their ever-renewing yet magically unchanged feel–it’s easy to picture Picts and Celts and Romans all at home there, all traveling their history up and along those hidden lines. Beautiful photo to match the poem as well.
Thank you, Hedgewitch, I did picture many such inhabitants!
I love your landscape poems, Ingrid. As my heritage is Scot-Irish, I enjoyed this post. The history and the magic!
I have Scot-Irish ancestry on my mother’s side too – we could be distant relatives!
I imagine we are! My brother’s research traced us back to James V (and farther back), and hence, Mary, Queen of Scots, which I say is why I don’t like a cold neck. (I always have it covered in chilly weather.) 🙂
Your verses and pictures wow’d me!! Classy and timeless all the way through! 👏👏
Such a beautiful landscape! And you write about it so beautifully. A lovely read!
All one has to do is read your words to know how deep your affinity and love for nature runs. Gorgeous piece, Ingrid!
You words are gifts that truly touch deeply Ingrid and majestically light the page. Superb work💗
Such magical light. (K)
Thank you Kerfe.
I like what you say about majesty not grandeur of the landscape!
Writing about your hearts love! This is a beautiful poem Ingrid. More! More!
Thank you Kim 😊
Ingrid, a reverence for this beautiful and historic land are evident in this lovely poem and photo. My ancestry is English, Scot, Irish and German. I am intrigued to learn more and look forward to your future posts on this enchanting area.
I have been exploring this landscape a lot, so grateful to be back and reconnect with my motherland.