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Tag Archives Cheshire Plain

PEN BARRAS PASS

At the very top of the pass a crow is perched

on the car park’s dry stone wall. The bird’s

black magnificence is ruffled by the wind.

With two wing beats, as we approach, it lifts off,

above the narrow road down the escarpment,

into the thermals from the valley.

A market town and pastoral farmlands

are hundreds of dizzying feet below.

 

This range of towering hills stretches north

from moors of gorse and heather to the coast

with caravan parks and carousels.

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THE FALLACY OF WARNINGS

for Ashen Venema

 

Walking back to the house from the composter

one late afternoon in early autumn

I looked up, and stopped. There was a roseate,

mackerel sky moving from North East Wales

over the Cheshire Plain towards the Pennines,

and drifting above me. Whatever weather

it presaged, it was ordinarily

lovely, a mundane epiphany.

 

At the kitchen door I turned and there

was a raven on the paving where I had been,

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THE MINER’S WELFARE INSTITUTE, LLAY

Taking a wrong turn, as per usual,

out of Wrexham, I found myself driving

to Llay* up that gradual gradient,

looking for signposts to places I knew

to set me right but reached the colliery houses –

built in the ’20s with indoor toilet,

bath and the electric at nine pence a week –

on First Avenue, Second Avenue

and so forth to the Ninth as if the owner

could not be arsed to find proper, local  names.

Llay Main was the deepest pit in Britain.

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