Saturday, 4 February 2012

Fragments: Otley Chevin


Christmas dogs, still fresh from the purchase,
Litter the the woods with their presence.
‘Dogs aren’t just for Christmas.’... they’re for Boxing Day too.

Labrador twins run ahead of their masters.
Return. Then run ahead again.
Their joy; purer and simpler than human joy.
Such easy satisfaction.
Yes. The freedom of rummage and sniff.

The dogs are ecstatic in freedom.
They bound, with energy, through the muddy puddles
And onto the footpaths’ banks.


Suddenly, right at the heart of the wood,
Rocks of all kinds, wake you.
All as ancient rockfall and legacy.

Huge boulders, hewn by wind and by rain,
Sculpted by glaziers some other time,
Impose themselves upon us.
The terraced levels
Trace the rocks’ ages,
Like the circles of a felled tree,
And point back to I know not when.

You must touch the rock. Just touch it.
Feel that beautiful solidity.
A rock-skin like sandpaper.
Lighter-toned wounds, within the dark skin,
Display flesh against grey.

It is strange the tactile pleasure from solidity
The rocks leaning back a million years.


We talked at medium pace.
Not the manic speed of the seasoned walker.
Nor the sluggish pace of the fat unfit.

Then upon a tightened valley, a shrinkage of a larger one.
Yet it still had it all.
Horizontal trees grasp the banks.
A waterfall feeding the stream,
Pushing it with horse-power
Down to the out-of-sight.

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