Poem Hunter
RG (June 1,1965 / Cheltenham, U.K.)


Threading his Great Wall
to its pinnacle, Llanfair,
Offa overlooked Stow Hill,
a tall man higher.
Base camp is the church
where the dead of its hamlet dream:
tarmac turns to boot-scrunch,
switch-backs past a cliff of ferns
as at my feet, mossy green
hurls to the valley.
On the first plateau,
the oval pool slakes the herd:
it is grey, and cold, and nobody knows
how deep it is. Over it
Holloway Rocks stand guard,
a Jacob's ladder funnelling
the buzzard's fohn, fog-fraught:
four feet from the summit
I lean to breathe, whipping
like a scarecrow in my Peter Storm
and left to right, above me
the cattle are making their journey
as how many times, how many times.
Last push, to meet -
a muddy field, as flat
as a football pitch in Foulness
and on unsung Stow Hill
the wind is still.

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