Simon Armitage is like a walking hug. I love everything about him. The lumbering way he stands, the way his hair flops around, the only Yorkshire accent I've ever heard so soothing.
When he read "Mist" at Poetry Parnassus on Friday, and talked about his Stanza Stone Trail project through the hills of West Yorkshire, my mind just kept repeating, thank you thank you thank you, and wishing I could carry him around in my pocket. Somewhere near Oxenhope, this is carved on a large series of stones. Beautiful.
Who does it mourn?
What does it mean- such nearness?
Gathering here on high ground
while your back was turned
drawing its net curtains around
featureless silver screen
mist is water in its ghost state
holding its milky breath
veiling the pulsing machines
of great cities under your feet
walling you into these moments
into this anti-garden of gritstone and peat
given time, the edge of your being
will seep into its fibreless fur
you are lost
adrift in hung water and blurred air
but you are here
Listen to Simon read it here.
For a guide to the Stanza Stone project, check out here.
Photo by Paul Wolfgang Webster