Stephen Robertson

Slanting Lines

In the cloud

After the climb,

the moor is gently undulating, the path

well-marked, flat wet stones

set into wet turf.

Beside the path, every so often,

a wet standing stone.

To the sides, as far as we can see,

wet heather, wet bracken, wet moss, wet

hardy grasses, and sometimes, dimly in the mist,

wet sheep.

As far as we can see?

A few yards only.  As we climbed

out of the rainy valley, we climbed

into cloud.  We walk

in a bubble, a damp and fuzzy

igloo-tent-cocoon, both future and past

veiled, invisible, lost in the mist.

Forty-some years ago, when I first walked

this path, it would have been

a little scary—no sense

of where we are, of how far we have come,

of when we should turn.

Now, on the glowing map, the glowing

blue dot reveals the now, and traces

of past and future both.