Friday, 10 April 2009

Pen Hill

Unfortunately, I've not been able to get near a computer for the last week. However, I've just found an internet cafe in Criccieth, so this is my first, brief chance to catch up. Odd, to be in Wales writing poems set in the Yorkshire Dales...

Pen Hill

Ignition's off - the music stops.
The man steps out of the machine, 
stretches the muscles in each leg
(every time the same routine)
then locks the car and then sets off
along the road edge, teeters through
the cattle-grid, then jumps the gate.
The grassy hillside's wet with dew.
Stereoscopic eyes research
each footfall, plan routes in and out
of tussocks, rocks and rabbit holes
(the stuff the fell-side's all about).
A GPS of sorts, built in,
(impervious to Allen keys,
part of the logoless machine),
locates the summit-path with ease.
Back at the car, the music on,
the hill's a landscape under glass.
Hands and feet engage controls:
the two machines, a single mass.


The Weaver of Grass said...

Like the poem - the only word that grates for me is "teeters" but that is just a personal opinion.
Also I like the idea of the landscape under glass.

Poetikat said...

Loved it, Dominic! I was with you every step of the way.
I really liked these images:

through the cattle-grid, then takes the gate"

"A GPS of sorts, built
in, (impervious to Allen keys"

I enjoy your walks, but in poetry they are sublime.


P.S. Are you writing any in Wales?

Dave King said...

I'm afraid I paused at stereoscopic, but not worryingly. My little stumble, but a really great poem.

L. Rochelle said...

Life under glass, too.. we can step back, study, leave, come back..really liked the walk, the poem.

BarbaraS said...

Odd, but good! Keep going.

Lucy Corrander said...

This is such a pleasure - a modern poem with rhyme that works without turning sentimental, jaunty without being daft.

A couple of your other commenters have some quibbles but I enjoyed this completely - in fact more than other poems that I've read on blogs for a while.

(Which is not to say others aren't writing good ones too, of course.)


John Hayes said...

I loved both "stereoscopically" (tho like Dave I probably paused there for a moment too) & "Allen keys"; the rhyme is handled very well. Thanks.

Poet in Residence said...

Hope you're teetering in and out of some of those Robinsons' pubs on the Lleyn between coastal path runs and walks. R S Thomas' church is at Aberdaron but you probably know that.
Dad took his first car, a Ford 8, onto Black Rock Sands. Drove like a maniac.
Hope the weather stays fine and the Snowdon Marathon training is holding up!

Denise Burden said...

Really like your poem. You have managed to write something that rhymes which is not forced or sugary, so well done!
I was not sure what "GPS" was (but that is just me) - I sort of worked out it as computerized gadgety.
My favourite line was "landscape under glass" - wonderful.
Enjoy the rest of your holiday and keep on writing.

Anonymous said...

Glad you took the time. This is a good one.


Sepiru Chris said...

I too like the landscape under glass, further I am delighted that you found the time to drop this into an internet cafe to beam it out to us.

I'm curious about what you will write of Wales once you are back home.


Dominic Rivron said...

Thanks for these comments everyone. Pleased you all enjoyed it! It's late: we've just arrived back from Wales pretty knackered and I thought I'd check the email before going to bed.

A couple of points:
Stereoscopic eyes: I was coming round to thinking of the man as a machine (like the inbuilt GPS).

RS Thomas, etc.: We've been to his church a number of times, but didn't get that far down the peninsula this time. When we do, our favourite occupation in that area is recreational eating on the summit of Mynydd Mawr (SH140258). You can drive right up to the top of this pleasant little hill! The running is going fine. Ran a couple of sections of the marathon course just to get the feel of it (Beddgelert to Waunfaur in particular). Also went for a drive on Blackrock Sands. Always do - great fun.

Poet in Residence said...

My grandad William Williams, who fortunately survived Earl Poppy Day Haigh's 2,000,000 civilians in military uniform scrambling over the top muck and bullets slaughter fields know as the Somme, lived on that beautiful sheep and slated hillside in a small house with no back door.

Poetikat said...

For my part, I liked "stereoscopic" - almost envisioned those goggles used in ultraviolet light - you really do need that sort of vision to pick your way, don't you.


Dominic Rivron said...

PiR: Interesting to know that. I often come across tumbledown cottages in the hills and wonder about the stories of the people who lived in them. (Wasn't sure - are we talking about Mynydd Mawr or the hills over Waunfaur?)

Poetikat: Yes. You need stereoscopic vision to judge where things are in space just as a stereo hifi, conversely, uses two speakers to present sounds in space.

Poet in Residence said...

I sent you an e-mail.

Dominic Rivron said...

Odd. I haven't received an email. Quickest thing to do is try sending it to The Weaver of Grass - she'll forward it, then I'll have your address.

The Solitary Walker said...

like this poem, Dominic. 'Teeters' and 'stereoscopic' are excellent.

I see it as a Vorticist poem.

S.L. Corsua said...

Loved the musical cadence; the rhythm worked well with the rhyme. I imagine it having a sonnet version, too; that'd be a blast. ;) Cheers.

Dominic Rivron said...

Thanks for this. I know what you mean. It's only a few feet longer than a sonnet and the ending perhaps lends itself to that. However, I probably didn't use a sonnet form as I wanted shorter lines to keep it moving.