Liathach

The ray of light that broke the cloud departed.

I descend; the pace increasing, the pulse

steadying after the shock.

Sat in its shadow as evening draws a close on the chapter

I survey the soaring ramparts, searching for the return

that will never come.

A joyful ache takes away the pain as I sit

staring at the pieces, pondering the next move;

upward glances marking time

in the silent lullaby of Liathach’s lament.

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A senseless series of suppers

Would you have chosen the same

if you had known? Blown by the winds

of change and dissatisfaction.

A little goat’s milk, perhaps

some hard boiled eggs.

Would you take direction

from those who would document

your campaign or refrain

from hot sauce and hot topics

to settle for some corned beef?

Would it be a release, a relief

to know of your ultimate consumption?

Sit me up, turn me loose

the proof is in the pudding.

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Behind the scenes

Some recognition of the work that goes on behind the scenes to make a hill race happen. Last year’s Slioch Horseshoe features in the latest edition of The Fellrunner. One of many great photos documenting the race by Phil Hindell.

Fellrunner photo

A certain birdsong in the silence

[1]

I was lost when you found me

standing next to the stairway

another path not yet discerned.

 

[2]

I remember the small girl spat upon by the roadside

the violence of men fearing innocence

little sense as my strength betrayed me.

 

[3]

It was fear that tore me

from what I had known

certain truths will cut the ties.

 

[4]

I remember the young woman in the headscarf

the flowers that she had bought

a lump in my throat as she handed them to me.

 

[5]

It was absence that drove me

toward a certain uncertainty

my rebellion finally overthrown.

 

[6]

I remember the old woman gentle in wisdom

her husband by the open door

as he sat and bade a silent welcome to me .

 

[7]

It is not wisdom and yet

I am content to sit and listen

birdsong beckoning in the silence.

 

The loneliness of the long distance volunteer

It’s the same old faces at all the races

scribbling and scratching and watching

over their wards, who threaten to reciprocate

over cake and lashings of tea.

 

But those older, bolder and increasingly colder

guardians and shit-givers are left standing,

demanding aid whilst the promises fade

and a word of thanks remains a word.

 

A world of difference between doing and doing

but in the long run the sacrifice does not come

from those who toe the line and post a time

but those that would, and could, “but…”

 

It’s the same old faces at all the races

scribbling and scratching and watching

over their wards, who threaten to reciprocate

over cake and lashings of tea.

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