Climbing to Another Climate

Across the valley
the Lion and Lamb
free-floated on a carpet
of low-flying cloud
when the snow dropped.

Each swarm of flakes
was a magnified slow-mo
of the particle world
until we climbed
into another climate
where heartbeats steadied
to the creep of sykes
slowing down their pulse
under ether of ice.

We glimpsed Windermere
drawing veils of mist
then trooped on
against gravity’s bias
to attack the ridge.

We made it up to Fairfield
and there our story
developed a stitch,
got squeezed for breath.

On the summit
we freed gouts of steam
from our flasks
and lingered, gazing down
the snow-line, aghast
at the muscle tone
of drumlin, moraine –
               worked out
               over those seamless ages
               of taking the stress –
just about – under
a glacier’s weight.

*

From ‘Trig Points’, the first section of The Navigators.

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