And sort of...
At the first climb
We stop, breathing
Heavily - both dead, but for a comma -
And look at concrete under our feet
and windmills turning distant on the hill.
on the Way now
Hawthorn and mud beside us and new green in the fields.
Easier victories of pace and breath alongside talk.
Of Warburtons and nuts and bolts.
Getting into it now
Feeling good - seeing green, paces flow
And rocky styles and sloping fields made possible.
'To that edge?'
- Our version of sprinting -
Across the hard ridged grass
To an upward sloping wall corner,
And now the first real pain in chest and legs. Briefly desperate.
But another topic turns words to distance
Along a gully and narrow treed ridge
To another climb.
Our brief paces stab the ground.
No words now.
We push unforgiving gravity
Up a turning track
Still going up and around
The agony of contrasts -
Pale glorious clouds lift late sky colours of rose and blue
- While we are slow and heavy torments of road, and stones, and bones.
Can see the lookout now at Royd
We can do it
Doubled up gasping clutching the wall
Try to read the tourist sign's shaking print -
- may it stop the pounding -
But hearing also that eerie sweeping close now, and the gears -
A dizzying look up at the spinning blades
Can't believe we've got this high...
But no rest - chill of early Sping
Tells us not to linger with our light going:
Shadowing will be the woods:
Drawing up dark between the trees,
And we're not there yet.
We float along high fields and farms and light and words
How many milliseconds for hot cross bun dough?
How about a Triumph Triple?
(And you can forget electric scooters in Brighouse)
While late March branches hint at leaves
In the narrow lane we half run-walk
- Across another field - and under a quietening sky
A dark downward flight through trees to tarmac, street lights and...
The Big Finish
- Aches gone and tiring feet forgotten
In a final dash to the pub.
Briefly arching for air over the car.
"Not bad -"
"No - Not bad at all"
Whose turn is it?
(That Third Person never buys a pint)
- And however long or short, I will still have run with Neil
across those sloping fields with the light
and the words and the hedges -