Chance of light showers

5 June 2018

Here’s a poem about a walk we attempted on Saturday. It was inspired by Robert MacFarlane’s excellent book The Wild Places, in which he talks about the idea of the ‘story map’ (as opposed the visual map):

Chance of light showers

Beyond the babble of Burbage are horizons of pewter,
platinum, silver and smoke,
index cards cataloguing altitudes;

granite is teased by weather into Picasso faces,
tumbled into surfacing sperm whales; it spawns, with invisible languor
rings of ripples which spread as from a berry plooping into cream.

Chew on the Christmas-y jingle of climbers,
the ovine efficiency of their approaches;
stop for frames of rock which capture worlds, proffer portals,

confirm that rain will bring the itch of swarmy humidity,
the feathery wetness of bracken on bare legs,
the peppery scent of goblin-fist fronds.

So now the curve-ball of a trudge along this runnelled road;
bear left at the longed-for sight, through sibilant curtains of rain,
of the trig, that aberrant obelisk in a jaw of haphazard dentistry;

quickly now, past the frog with passion fruit coulis skin,
down the hour-since arid facsimile of rapids, to
capture children’s blithe splashes as crowns of peaty glass.


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