A kind of darkness; leaf mould, mist
Dank and rich, water sluicing mud
Into pathways, staining walkers’ pants,
Capillary action dampening
The spirits of all who pass. The dark
Seeps into the hotels; the heavy
Mansions weighed down with the sweet comfort
Of the middle people – middle aged,
Middle class, Werther’s originals.
Yes, it was weight more than a darkness,
Not ominous, more heavy, dense,
Over rich, sugar saturated.
It required the openness, wind blown
Heights, rock faces of adventure, seen
Between the thick foliage below,
As if the drama of the mountains
Sprang out of the valley’s rich brocade.
For me, freedom comes on the bare rock ridge,
The barren fields of summit boulders,
Looking down on the coach bound trippers
Who cling to the deep hued luxury,
The chocolate filled lounges, the heart strewn
Gift shops and carefully staged viewpoints,
Who bask in the closeness of people
Whilst we nod, shy in our solitude.
The heavy stone and lush gardens may
Be to me like Christmas Day after
The turkey dinner with a blazing fire,
Paralysed in a fug of family,
But the summit ridge needs the valley,
Its colour, its promise of comfort.