Bluebells bloom in Middleton Woods
Quite late each year, the old tyke tells,
At least compared to Berkshire’s bells
(If they survive the wind, the floods).
So Southerner, take this advice:
When bluebells bend in Berkshire journey
North, that you might take
Communion with bluebells twice.

Brass bells clang on Ilkley Moor            
Each morn at who-knows-when-and-why.
They tell me not the hour, but try
To drag me to St Margaret’s door
By peeling out my godless guilt
For all of Ilkley, Middleton to hear.
But louder, louder they accuse,
So deeper sink I neath my quilt.

In Middleton Woods the bluebells ring,
Deafening only to the eyes
Of old tykes who, from quilts would rise
 – (Eventually!) and with them sing
A hymn of gentle, blue-green beauty.
While brass may stir me from my sleep,
The woodland bids me guiltlessly to rise
And walk for pleasure, not for duty.

Simon Mayor

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