David Duncombe

Mam Tor, January

You’re high. Breathe in the crystal-pure air,
breathe out clouds of mist. Keep on going up.

Marking the path, dark timber fencing poles
line up to stake the stone-hard mountain slope.
Ice bristles along the stretched wire mesh
like magnetised iron filings, to make
an ascending filigree sculpture.

Seen from the valley you are just one fleck
dotting across a camouflagefell.

Yet butting upwards to the peak you thrill
at high banks of cumulus gapped by rays
of silvered sunlight, feel you belong,brush
between cushions of tangled heather, step
over jagged rocks and marvel on your way
at a simple fence on a freezing day.

Mam Tor, January by David Duncombe won first prize, Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (August 2019) judged by Roger Elkin

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