Long lanes

These long lanes bewitch me, reaching out
Stretching like a dog after twitching slumber
Or the fingers of a wizard, grizzled by centuries
On a diet of wine and Philosopher’s Stone
My finger tracks them across the maps
As they in turn track through time
On Penwith, high walls, hedge-topped
Shaped by the salty vicious winds, blinking with
Broome and the bright taillights of gorse
Narrow, their only crown is of grass
Snaking round blind bends of horse muck
Falling Stars and surprised joggers
In the Peaks, the long lanes are cut by man
Pushing across the landscape, they constrict the eye
At the rumble of a cattle grid, all hell lets loose
Broad vistas, precipitous valleys ripped from the plateau
The great slashes of our roman roots are plain to see
Scarred today with tarmac and the furniture of the road
But here, in my humble home, unremarkable
Hills and unremarkable fields
With unremarkable villages
They are at their glorious best
They curl and twist and flow; they follow the land
Like a diaphanous silk dress drifts
And drapes round a tantalising leg
Our lanes, my lanes, are as sinews
Or veins, they give life, move me
Droves and drives, as time alone has dictated
And they move me still

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