Tuesday, 18 March 2014


From Whinny Hill

A potent pathway runs along the rim,
trodden since unlettered times
beyond the consciousness of man
by feet that understood the power of paths.
But now the roads on lower land prevail
and these high places no longer stimulate
the stagnant soul and stultified imagination. 

Still, we whose heads have always been in clouds
can gaze on sights unknown to those
whose tiny minds are there below,
amongst the tiny works of men:
the houses, villages and fields,
where their inconsequential voices
could never pierce the wildness of the wind. 

Only in high places do we truly know
the sacredness of space.
Only here, above the daily clamour,
can we stand and listen
to the turning of the earth,
hear the wisdom that the birds impart
and feel the pull of ageless intimacies
from beneath the barrow’s mound
that speak in voices sorrowful but proud: 

“When we had life, the world was quieter.
We had the time and space to stop
and stand here on this winsome ridge
to view a world that we had not created.
Here the wolf could roam
and find a peaceful sanctuary
amongst the shadows of the trees.
Then we shared with wolves,
and all the creatures of the woods,
the bounty that renewed with every year.
In those days giants walked the earth
and though we did not know them,
we felt their presence
and could see their works,
for our eyes were open then,
instead of filled with dirt,
or closed, as yours are now,
to all the wonders of the world.”

The path is little-trodden now,
except by those who need to seek
the solace of an open mind,
clear of all the affectations
that crowd our every waking hour
and chase us even
into the haunted depths of sleep.
Perhaps I’ll meet you on the pathway,
coming either from the rising sun
or from the shadow regions of the moon,
and we will stop and gaze at one another,
as if the two of us
each had met a ghost.