|"In de mountains we is free."|
Ben Neville is my favourite mountain.
Up there in the clouds it was. Nice.
Right there inside bony Scotland’s midriff.
It had a certain charm and an uncertain grace.
"Ben, Ben, I love you Ben."
What I liked was its highness.
The way it went up and up - as a mountain.
Its tops floated among the clouds on high: without floating.
Then the peaks pierced deep the sky’s blue
And dispersed all the bright clouds too.
So one day, among other days, I did climb the Big Thing.
From dawn ‘til dusk it took me, wi mi bird at bottom, waiting,
Knitting warm underwear with bark.
When at the top, the truest top, I saw the August snow.
Snow in August! It was like rain in June.
It was as snowy as a snow-capped mountain; but less so.
But with some green things; and stones too.
I saw some sheep and some sheep saw me.
And hovering above us an eagle eyed the vast below.
Took me nearly eight hours to climb.
But quite less than that.
Back at the tent, it was deep in dusk and watering too.
Time had flied as I climbed and climbed.
The air had chilled and thinned to me.
I strode one leg before the other – in that order.
Striding as wide as the day was long.
And on that August, the day was as long as a wide stride.
Oh joyous existence and stuff.
That’s what I had that day.
I was being and seeing it all.
Deep in the depths of the outside.
Nothing purer. Nothing better.