Somewhere in the Hambleton Hills
I took a right turn down a track not
on any map and edgy with yesterday.
Like Alice I plunged down a tunnel
of yellow gorse, silver birch and rocks
that had danced in the Book of Genesis.
A large pink dog, the sort that calls
a spade a spade was waiting by a stream
where the track vanished in a tangle
of weeping willows and a warning sign
Check depth before entering. Deep water
and shadows beckoned. The dog wagged
his tail in approval and I saw beyond
the ford; a fertile valley and sheep
like ballerinas in tutus and a rainbow
house on a hill in a dazzle of sublime
clouds. I saw a smiling face and a hand
waving, an orchard and a rose garden.
I smelled strawberries, fresh bread
and wood smoke. The whispers of leaves
and birdsong drifted on the breeze.
The dog waited, his eyes wary as hope
while I considered the darkness
of the crossing and judged it too deep.