Our Feet Know

There are wide rivers in this land 
still rich with fish, and 
beyond, behind, in spite of the 
dark ranks of Forestry Commission 
profit, beauty in deciduous 
ebb and flow, colour and fall, 
nakedness before winter.

There are too high-flown crags
impassable, unreachable, un-
scaleable by us - places
our hands can't reach to
strip and chew.   This
wide purple-green waste with
deep eyes of blue

is still covered by an 
infallible sky, cloud-filled, 
puff-balls of moisture moving 
inland from the sea 
refreshing barren spaces. 
In its thin week-long stretches 
still breathes this ragged rock

pierced by metal, crushed concrete,
roads upon which we ride.
We have new beasts now.
It keeps different time - its slow heart
coursing mineral wealth
as cargo - the grooves of its mind
cut deep by glacial memory

of extremes now distant.   It lives 
in summer climes, despite us, 
with its own wave and move, 
growth and spread, our small 
communities tiny to its size 
taking-over nothing - for nothing 
is ours.

Our days are fleeting, glass-blown 
things, easily shattered, unlasting. 
Our own bone breaks down 
to feed those to come - keeps 
the globe rich of vein.   There 
are places you might tread 
you never want to reach again -

places so inhumane, so 
inhospitable, they frighten,
and we long for our own 
kind, however lacking.   Most 
days I think of you - your 
modern kist and ancient 
stone I wrote upon trying

to hold you in a place 
you did not belong.   A machine 
takes me home, away from 
spirit and its breath breathing 
in harshnesses, a brilliant sky, 
diamond light, deep water, 
the heaving of the heart.

Our lives are geography and
weather more
than we know.   Our bodies fashioned
by the place we bear and grow,
an isthmus with its secrets
indivisible from the land
our feet know.
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