In the Wilderness

by Audrey Theodosia Bryant

The air is heavy and thick with heat

but clear through it come the coolfingers of the wind.

The thunders answer each other, valley to valley,

in long and angry conversation.

The distance is lost,

the line of the mountain

is drowned in a sea of pale grey

and the mountain beyond it

is more imagined than real.

A bumble-bee journeying the mountain miles

is very noisy.

He returns to investigate three or four times

and is gone.

The birds are too high up to see

and sing like heaven itself:

the reeds blow and the cotton-tops

make stars across the heath.

Cool fingers of wind

bring a little rain in the palm of your hand

and cool me -

my head aches with heaviness

and the freckles appear on my skin as I watch.

My eyes are very dry

but I lift them again to the hills

that stand above thunder

for ever and ever. Amen.

Milltu Cerrig 11.6.70