Friday, September 01, 2006

Alston to Slaggyford, along the line

a diversion
the toy train for adults
running parallel with the Pennine way
this is the first time we've stepped out of line
we want to walk where there are people and tracks
5 miles parallel
the track confines and makes it easy to walk
attention wanders elsewhere
there's a group of us
with an array of knowledge
the last real train down here in 1976
the wisdom that sheep have passed down
grazing parameters
the pheasants that never get a chance to teach their young
a book called 'A Land'
cambrian building a vertebra like mountains
listening for trains
ears to the rails
the track disappears
under bridges of stalactites
Tim in a pink shirt plays cow bells behind the trees
home comforts flying down the bank
a different shade of heather in the background
an explorer of sensual detail
sunken between two banks of green
they would be good to scream across
to one another
his figure grows and fades with distance
with home comforts
a cushion's day out
they recline and let us watch them
a green boulevard for walkers and characters
pushed along, eroded, built up
a departure with a backwards walk and imagined run for the bus
walking behind each other
seeing through our ears
colours rush like sonar waves
Tim can slow time and stretch our periphery
absorb the landscape for an hour, sit against a stile
shul - a mark that remains after that which made it has passed by
the indentation in the grass where an animal slept last night
we three animals sit there for just an hour
sit and look, sit and eat, sit and talk, sit and look

Tim returns down the line
reverse journey
the other way

a changed body
stronger in the legs and lungs
weaker in the arms
a body that walks

dinner in a castle
a serene day
with a surreal ending
armoured knights to greet us


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