For newcomers

At the bottom of each post there is the word "comments". If you click on it you will see comments made by followers, and if you follow the instructions you may also comment and I always welcome that. I have found many people overlook this part of the blog which is often more interesting than the original post!

My blog nick-name is SIR HUGH. I'm not from the aristocracy - my middle name is Hugh which relates to the list of 282 hills in Scotland compiled by Sir Hugh Munro in 1891. I climbed my last one (Sgurr Mor) on 28th June 2009

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Monday, 20 April 2020

Exploration


Exploration.

My road from home stretches,
An airstrip long abandoned from the war.
Unpeopled.
But no!
Way ahead man and dog approach, 
They switch kerbs, declared intention
Before I get the chance - like two boats
Ensuring no collision.
But no impending danger here,
Just  a manoeuvre, avoiding the unseen.
“Social distancing"  it’s called. 

We pass at regulation measure but
Swap our pleasantries, a sort of code
To say we know  "we are all in this together." 

The Cemetery Gates are locked - Joe wouldn't have approved,
Sadly, he recently passed that way.

Right at the Cemetry onto the limestone path.
Climb towards the Knott.
Recent years on other tracks kept me from this home terrain.
New paths abound, and now I can pretend
Exploration replaces this well known trail.

Listen! A new kind of silence, 
But more than normal birdsong interrupts, and
Squirrels scamper tamely under trees,
As unaccustomed peace and sunshine’s warmth
Nurture the springtime urge.

The path is steeper, breath comes harder, 
I  push to gain some form.
But am I really going to get the chance
To explore for real again far away from home?

8 comments:

bowlandclimber said...

All I said was well done, sums up our situation perfectly.
I was just off out for a short exploration walk which didn't go as well as expected.

afootinthehills said...

I think that is really rather good, Sir Hugh. The reference to Cemetery Gates and Joe Brown brought back many memories.

The question you pose in the last two lines is, I suspect, one many of us are asking and fearing the answer might be 'No', or at best, not for a long time.

gimmer said...

yes , this confirms you definitely have a talent for the 'metre' - keep it up

but - airfield at your backdoor (as it were) - eh ? very short take off and landing !

Sir Hugh said...

gimmer - if you continue uphill to Silverdale Road and turn left towards the cemetery the road does stretch out for quite long way in a straight line with the cemetery just visible far away on the left. That is the sight that conveyed that idea to me, especially as it was deserted and quiet. It is not just that quietness in places one normally expects to meet people but also the thought that it is likely that nobody has even walked up or down there for the last couple of hours.

I will do more only when the urge comes upon me. When I started writing this one I had no definite idea about the ending lines until I got to the point about "pretending" to explore.

Sir Hugh said...

afoot - I've recently discovered BBC Scotland and last night watched a fascinating documentary about, and narrated by Hamish McInnes - as you say many memories. I went on his snow and ice course in Glencoe with Ian Clough back in 1969 (I think) - I have a few stories to tell about that trip.

afootinthehills said...

Sir Hugh - Do tell. We’d love to hear about your experiences.

We recorded the BBC Scotland programme so will watch tonight.

gimmer said...

I see - as substantial as . . . chinese whispers - or 'facts' - perhaps ??
It is getting to the stage that you need a new blog with access granted only to those who can guarantee absolute secrecy and confidentiality, on pain of some thing decidedly uncomfortable and almost certainly fatal . . .

Sir Hugh said...

gimmer - I'm not sure exactly what you are getting at. The poem is not designed as an accurate description of that route to the Knott - it is meant to convey the general impressions of Lockdown where, amongst other things, I perceive deserted roads as looking like abandoned airstrips - if that doesn't gel with readers I have failed.