A Short Journey
from Allershaw Lodge 27th March 1993
1700 feet up on Cold Moss.
Calum, Catriona, Jack & me.
These three stop as my
city lungs gasp for air.
They could go on, but
good companions always wait
for a slower friend.
There is talk of ale & grouse,
& poems of grouse;
of the silver hares seen
scurrying along barely visible sheep trails.
As my chest heaves
the bleakness of these barren hills,
once covered in thick wood.
I think of the Great Forest of Caledon,
... hulls of long sunk ships;
... timbers of forgotten mansions;
... ashes of a million bonfires
To the south Jedforest cut down to deprive
Reivers of hideyholes.
The only things growing here, now,
are sheep; a large woolly occupation force.
Robbing us of land;
robbing the land of binding grass.
2 minutes now
& my breathing becomes more regular.
200 feet to the top,
the other side
to the narrow gully.
Then its up Lowther Hill where,
from the top we will see our goal
a mile & a half distant
a village which boasts
the highest Inn in Scotland.
An Inn, we are soon to discover,
that has no beer!