Featured Poem

Offcumden

A Yorkshire term typically used to describe someone who was not born in the county 

I didn’t know I’d fall in love with bleak:

the swerve of dry stone walls along the hills,

the fissured scars of rock above the fields.

I’d never found an ammonite before

one nudged its corrugations out of mud 

and curled its spiral shell in my palm. 

I’d never heard of words like wapentake,

or village names that twisted lips and tongue:

Yockenthwaite and Muker, Thorpe and Keld.

I didn’t know I’d leave the swarming south

for winter dark and outstretched summer days 

to trace my Viking name on Whitby graves.