Lunchtime was done and the afternoon sun
Started to dwindle and drop.
The dog and I lifted ourselves from the rocks
To wind our way down from the top.
The path seemed so smooth and so kind on the feet
On the inward bound journey before,
Now there was darkness and shadows below
A sinister cast to the floor.
The light, a deceiver; mystic and mad;
Confusing the eyes and the mind
Even my dog walked to heel with no prompt
While I quickened my footfalls in kind.
A stone was a troll, and Tolkien had taught
It would rise by the fall of the sun
Looming above the track, lichen wreathed;
That was when we started to run.
Childish I know, but the feeling within
Clamped cold on my heart like a claw
This place that I loved had transformed to a trap;
Every twig, every rock, every ‘caw’.
Mud was now quicksand and dragged at the toes
The sound of the leaves? Mocking laughs.
The rustle of squirrels and birds died away
Silence from towering staffs.
Mist started rising; dirty white, swirling lies
Hiding the ground at our feet.
Wary of tripping I slowed to a walk
Though my heart hastened, beat after beat.
A crack to the left and a snap to the right;
My head whipped around: nothing there.
Dog was now whining, eyes wide as mine
A pungent smell hung in the air…
A thick, heavy feeling was closing upon us
Treacle and dream like and dense
There suddenly, miracle like, was the entrance;
The gate and the stile and the fence.
We scrambled on through and the sun slapped our face;
Squinting we ran to the street.
The sound of concrete smacking under my soles
Had never sounded quite so sweet.
Looking back (couldn’t help it) the mist seemed to part
And the mocking trees seemed less sincere
I realised this place that I loved was a temple
A place for respect, even fear.
The birches, wise ladies; the oaks, ancient men;
The crossroads of tracks, paths and streams
Were just as I felt at the start of our trek
The symptom and substance of dreams.
The companion piece to Post Hill part 1, posted earlier in the month, available Here.
Copyright Mabh Savage April 2013
Picture copyright Kris Milner, 2005, from bbc.co.uk.
Holiday is almost here
Rushing, manic packing
Buying crap I’ll later forget
One car for my tent
Another for me, and four friends.
So much disorganisation,
So much stress.
Work won’t give me the day off
So tired and angry and het up
I will carry all my gear
To the office and grind
My molars to mush while waiting
For elusive 6pm to appear.
Phone charged, boots cleaned, pegs brushed,
Bag full, food cooked, son kissed
Man hugged, blog blogged, cat fed
Lawn cut, hedge slashed, house scrubbed
Clothes and pens and paper
My survival gear for the weekend away.
Gasp, sigh, check once, twice and thrice.
Then wheels rumble beneath
The road sweeps by in a dream
Hugs, wine, fire and tent
Holiday; almost here.
Picture credit wallpaperstock.net
Sizzle and snap
Hissing pan at the heat
Cracking fat and a popping
The involuntary ‘mmmm’.
Colour so bright
Red, pink and orange
Brown where I indulge
My love of ‘well done’.
Sigh at the smell
Visceral and smokey
Sharp on the throat
And the back of the tongue.
Rashers are placed
Lovingly on the wholemeal
A perfect fleshy yin yang
To fill up my tum.
As we near the end of NaPoWriMo 2013, I look back over the last 27 and a bit days with tumultuous feelings. For me, it began as an experiment; could I really write a poem everyday? Did I have the stamina? Did I have the time? And did I even have the talent?!? Well, I can’t really answer the last question; poetry is truly a beauty that lies solely in the heart and eye of the beholder. But the stamina; yes, although I have lapsed behind at times, I have made the time to catch up. I have used my phone under my desk at work to tap out those last few lines. I have stayed up until the blackbird stirred, playing with metaphor and simile and other ‘vernacular tomfoolery’. I was saddened that I strayed from my initial goal: to make every poem a journey into the outdoors; a foray into nature. The month starts bright and cheerful and skipping joyfully through the woods, but by today I have found that, although my words gaze out of the window, they are indeed trapped within the aforementioned gilded cage. Is this fatigue? Am I simply dampened by April showers? Or have I followed the prompts so closely I have forgotten my own goal for this month of reckless writing? Two days remain, and I shall endeavour to renew the spirit with which I started this NaPoWriMo. Two days to open the door, and breathe the breeze again.
This gilded cage
That holds my life
My hopes and dreams
My fears, my goals, my end.
I look outside
But strain to stay
Within the bars
Each step is forged
By money, work and fame
I cannot see another way
I cannot break loose of these chains
I cannot end the cycling pain
But this gilded cage
Of TV, film and games
Pretty shoes and hair
Tents and camping even
Cars to take me there
Music bought to soothe
Instead of pouring from my soul;
This gilded cage distracts me
From the answer, from the key.
I, the night
I, in rain
In rain outwalked
I, the city lane
I, the watchman
I, the sound of feet
Far away cry
From another street.
Call me; say goodbye
At unearthly height
Against the sky.
Time was wrong
I, one, the night.
When on a grey and dismal day
I realised it was true
I had forgotten nature’s theme
I’d promised; it was due.
‘Post hill part two’ was on the shelf
Though ‘Earth’ my latest gift
All else had just been tied to prompt
So time to take a lift!
Let’s step outside and face the sun
Although it hides today;
Just close your eyes and count to one
The warmth will drive away
The doubts and fears and NaPo tears
The strain of all these words
Just listen to the dragonfly;
Just listen to the birds.
The grass beneath your cramping feet
Is soft and bouncy balm
The breeze that blows your stress to shreds
Will comfort you; will calm.
I cannot give you more than this
This perfect, easy life;
Just take a breath and break beyond
The NaPoWriMo strife!