This must be a way into the underworld.
The road is straight, with old green iron lamps,
the footpath creped with leaves. I overtake
a man holding himself in his slow, metered walk.
The trees are great, thick things, anchored
in the green gloom. Under huge webs of dead
wood, water moves in its mulched channels.
Further in, the elms hold their hacked limbs
free of brambles. The paths trail uncertainly
into shade, some closed off by nettles or rubble.
The story is of a blast throwing the old earth
right out onto Dobcroft Road. I stand among
the year’s dormancy, windows of bathrooms
and back bedrooms dark and unreflective.
From ‘Dore Moor to the Marples Hotel’, one of five long poems and sequences that comprise Rob Hindle’s Flights and Traverses (in the Longbarrow Press anthology The Footing). Listen to Rob Hindle reading ‘Dore Moor to the Marples Hotel’:
A short film of Rob Hindle reading part of ‘Ecclesall Woods’ (on location in Ecclesall Woods, Sheffield):