Ric Hool


This New Year's Day walk is movement of mind, and mind is
the foot as land rises to make giant of all that has foot on it.
Breath and view. The lessening town below closes
upon itself as knuckle-fingered ridges disfigure the eye
to open directions: ancient compasses.

Land and leg beat tattoo as sun sears vision.
Northwards the high peaks rise in leviathan blocks.
God, they are gods!
Transfixion a state of knowing.

A single finger has written, "I love Helen" in early morning snow.
An innocent discovery. The fox followed
in its print, its hungry indent
too high for fat prey asleep.

Local pressure cloud-patterns The Beacons overall
the system is Polar Maritime. See,
the fox picks his feet high to leave the ground
struck in strong poetry.

A roused grouse cracks the air and shuffles sheep.
A kestrel quarters slopes.
Consciousness works against descent and somehow
everything recognized new, in this pristine day.

                                                            Alan's Walk

                                                                      Mynydd James 550 metres / 1830 feet
                                                                      O.S. Landranger 161 (214,075)


Weather, a fine cloth of silver
hung about land;
slid between legs scissoring time
towards Chapel Bank.

History holds numb clues:
farm machinery sunk in silent soil.
The Levels, gloved in secrets, erase
last footsteps, ghosting all visitors.

Chapel Bank inclined in claggy marl
and crowned by forgotten headstones
worded and worn as language ever is.

                                                            Chapel Bank

                                                                      near Stone-in-Oxney, East Sussex
                                                                      O.S. Explorer map 125 (928,297)


32 skybreaths shunt north against my motion south
cumulus building ahead into the already heat

                    &neat houses punctuate fields
                                  the road straight

            to departure
the way of the traveller

time & distance
variable obstacles
           making more or less of this

road sign after road sign in lettered jumble
the sea pushing off to the left making up a mind for my crossing

                                     the word crossing
                                     its use baffling and like
                                  a boat upon the water of language
                                     away to horizon
                               an object of no purpose but to go

            a mind seizes emptiness by this contract
                        the subject navigation

                                                            Road Lines

                                                                      from Wexford to Rosslare     11.30 am     24.9.2000