‘Agents of Evolution’



These are progress pictures of a sculpture, in the morning light, mirrored and flipped to create strange objects. They make me think of seedpods the size of moons launched upon the oceans of space by a plant seeking new earth. Plan Plant Planet



On Shanks Pony – part 4

On Shanks Pony


Part 4


Highgate to Ickershaw


Up and over Hot Stones Hill

Up and down Clough Hill

To Reaps Coppy

And Gorple Cottages

In our stride

Passed Clough Foot

And Dean Stones End

A long but gentle rise

To top Withens

A cup of tea at Wuthering Heights

A pick-me-up before heading down

To Lower Withens

We left Scar Hill

For Upper Heights

Pondon Reservoir

And Pondon Hall

Maw Stones Hill

A gully of protruding stones

Reeved in ferns

Grouse Butt

Then up and over Ikornshaw Moor

Passed Further Dean Hole

And a pasta dinner

In Ickornshaw



Wuthering Heights


On Shank’s Pony – Parts 1-3

On Shanks Pony

Part 1


Edale to Crowden


‘The Old Nags Head’, Edale

We set out on shank’s pony at dawn

Up Jacobs Ladder high into the mist

Over Swine’s Back

Edale Rocks looming darkly above

A company of black stone blocks stand high and alone

To Kinder Scout

Hill Hill, and Devil’s Dyke

Bleaklow Head, Torside Clough

Along the lip of the purple valley

Plagued by midges

Bone weary

Down to Crowden where we lie

Day one done


Part 2


Crowden to Standedge


We ascend the valley’s eastern flank

In early second morning sunshine

Across stream formed gullies

Fringed with ferns

Across Oaken Clough

Over Laddow Rocks and Grains Moss

Sheer drops drip at our side

We cross the stream that also flowed far below

A long slow slab incline

To Black Hill and Soldier’s Lump

Turn at cairn and beacon

Unfurled fields lie down low

Far and wide

Wessenden Head Resevoir bows low

Pudding Real Moss darkly sweats

Names form in the wind

Blowing over fell, gully and gorse

And grow out from cracks in the rocks

Over Grouse Butts and up Blakely Clough

To Black Moss Resevoir and Brun Moor

And in fading light

‘The Carriage Inn’

To break bread

With other wayfarers

And my son



Part 3


Standedge to Highgate


Long morning shadows spill westward

We begin our climb

Up the third vertebra

Of the spine of England

Along Milestone and Gritstone Edge

Below lie cities and the western shore

Our trail lies north

Sometimes a rocky packhorse trail

Sometimes a slim snaking sandy path

Sometimes slabs, laid in long lines

Across moor and heath

Like ancient dominoes

Over Oldgate and Little Moss

Treeless open and hot

High upon the cooing breeze blows

Up and down White and Green Hole Hill

More ups and downs

Axletree Edge to Windy Hill Mast

Robin Hood’s Bed to Blackstone Edge Reservoir

Warland Reservoir and Warland Drain

Red Dykes Flat to Bald Scout Hill

At first far ahead and then above us

Stoodley Pike

Pricking the sky

Proud above the sultry valley


Down the hot afternoon we trudge

Through gnarly Callis Woods

Over rochdale Canal and the River Calder

We make the sticky climb out of the Calder Valley

Losing our way for a while with fatigue

There it is

We find it

May’s Aladdin’s cave

And a cooling spring for hot feet