A short walk on the wild side

Leaving the bustle of the town behind us we ascend Bellfountain Road at a fair pace, knowing we’ll soon reach the crest opposite the bluebell wood.

shorn roadside hedges
their short back and sides alive
with squawking sparrows

Cars give warning of their approach, their growling audible round each bend even when the vehicle is invisible. The intermittent interruptions don’t disguise the sound of a songbird on a bleached telephone pole, though it’s hard to tell if the song proclaims territorial dominance or sexual allure.

bone-like pole, a perch:
robin’s liquid melodies
pouring from his throat

We’re off the road now, our boots scrunching on loose stones or squelching in muddy tractor tracks. Ahead of us the smell of fermented hay almost masks the warm odour of contented cows in their stalls. We’ve passed bungalows and modern outbuildings now; almost at the top of the world, Sugar Loaf’s bump peeps over one end of a field, but our steps take us downhill, towards views of Blorenge’s lowering profile. A distant aircraft floats effortlessly towards the Atlantic.

murmurs and footsteps;
high flier’s faint monotone;
quiet solitude

Down past an avenue of stolid trunks, the ground littered with last year’s leaves, through gates and over waymarked stiles we go. In a nearby field we disturb a fleecy flock which, surprisingly, doesn’t resort to the expected bleating.

spooked sheep stampeding,
a rustling susurration
fading to silence

We pass a couple of small groups of pukka walkers, hats on head and poles in hand, grinning a cheerful greeting and enthusing on the fine weather. Through a hollow way next, a couple more gates to negotiate and then we’re on Llangenny Lane. A familiar sound erupts above us.

buzzard quartet soars;
parent pair’s vocal pew-pew;
their chick reassured

We continue on down, to the roar of the A40, the exuberant bellow of a motorbike, the thump of a lorry; and we’re soon back into the background soundtrack of busy human life.

A haibun exercise for a creative writing class on attentiveness and feeling


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