Poem: Barefoot Up The Sugarloaf


It all started with a pair of feet.

Wishing to explore themselves, they explored

The world, walking hill and holloway, flirting with

Brooks, and immersing themselves in bogs, as the

Thistles and bracken rose up over their heads,

And beetles became the best of friends


I could kiss your face the way my feet kiss the ground,

Wrapping around the earth like a monkey’s fable, and

Skipping down The Sugarloaf like a wind-trodden satyr,

Getting stuck in places even the sheep do not roam,

And painting myself into the waste patches left by

Ancient UFOs


You can re-imagine the land up here,

Hedgerows the seams in a patchwork quilt,

Lumpy where the land has been well-slept in,

Waiting to be smoothed out by a lazy hand,

All the towns just a bad case of Athlete’s foot

Time will soon find a way to cure


Yellowhammers pound nails of song into my skull,

Bleeding melodies back into the land,

Stonechats speak the language of stones –

Their song is the lilting of reborn limestone,

Wheatears wiping their white arses with the purity

Of the Welsh sky


And if you can’t find a better place to die,

Sweep through St. Mary’s Vale on sheets

Of Green silk, and roll your tomb into the



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