Thursday, 25 October 2012

I Would Walk Again a Dorset Year



I would walk again those spring tides
The unsettling shift of shingle slides
And all the spray in rainbows spun
Against the high tide harbour flung

Dried seaweed crackles underfoot
A cuttlefish, a long lost boot
A razor-shell, and old, tarred rope
The beached turtle of an upturned boat

My steps are swamped by the shifting stones
The air pungent with bleached fish bones
And the sea is wild and free and rare
Shaking horses from his hair

I would walk again those summer lanes
With leafy boughs and murmuring streams
And overhead in the whistling sky
A lark song lost to cloudless eyes

White campion, ragged robin, cow parsley and wild garlic
All choke the low brook and wreathe a hedgerow garland
And underfoot the warm, worn tread of stile and chalkstone
Climbing up across the harvested flank of the hillside
To find the view all lost in a late haze
Sweet slumbering landscape on which to gaze

I would walk again those cold autumn cliffs
Towering above the wind drowned waves
Their buttress trees all torn into shapes
While scattered crows shout down the droves
As blackberry pocked and flinty scree
The valleys clamber to the sea

A sheepswool twist caught on the wire
The seagulls loud lamenting choir
The whip crack cold cutting through my coat
And sea salt burning in my throat

I would walk again those winter fields
The frost cracked branches bare of leaves
And slide across the frozen bow
To where the river slowly flows
Hugged by mist-hung willow trees
Catching dew-strung cobwebs about my knees
Across the bank a rook coughs twice
And beats a path home for the night

And under early stars and greenish sky
The first snowflakes fall and fly
And I am certain standing here
I would walk again a Dorset year







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