Monday, 25 November 2013

Dark Earl

The clear terminating line between sunshine and shadow, a knife cut of cold as we walked over the edge of Earl Crag.

Down shouldered we hunched up against a smooth fractured pinnacle of Millstone Grit.

Thumbing a guidebook with winter gauntlets, steam train breath on the air.

A clean edge of arete and wall stretching away seemed to intensify the cold, blackening the shadow.

"What do you fancy?" 

The idea of a warm up climb felt laughable, we all knew that as soon as we started dressing down for the climb we would freeze, still in our tracks.

Down in the abyss carried on the warming valley air the sounds of Saturday football drifted up, dreamlike.

"That bloc looks good"

A quick hand out of the glove, the rough caress to test friction is all it needs, The eyes dart, assess a line, holds identified, body dance ready.

And there it is, the moment when the climb takes over, I do not feel cold until later....

Left foot on the incut, 
high right foot, 
reach the flake, 
step up, 
match feet, 
left foot out ,
rock over 
right hand over the top 

Stood looking down at the small mat, our bags and the stretch of valley away to Lancashire

I flex my fingers 
I am clean again

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Come down from the moors

I have had this going round my head for a while... its trying to condense the feeling of not wanting to return from the wild.

Come Down

They heard it through wind fire, waving bent grasses.
They heard it susurrus through gaps in grey stones.
A gentle hand dragging, plucking attentions
A pleading through darkness of moss drawn plantations.
“Come down from your moorland, come down from your hill, we need you to care us and wind us in tightly. We need you, we need you, come down from your hill”
Spread-wave rolling from light veined valleys.
It caught on the hems of the moor, tattering, un-walling
Welled from the depths of red rich dependencies
Filling and pooling at each feather lined hollow
“Come down from your mountain, come down from your peak, press yourself to me, gather round me and love me. Come down, come down, come down from your hill”
Winding through high flatlands of bog-oak torn tendrils
Drowning the catch a glance rising, miring long shank bent beak.
Cloying sedge tendrils and filling peat footprints
Taking your frost breath before even it was thought.

“Come from your Iceness; come now from your wildness. Come now when I need you to wrap me up warm. Hold my grey head to your body and whisper me lifeness. Just come down, come down, come down from your hill.”