On foot

I still remember them
those books about angling
as summer dusks fell
in search of sport

how to tread carefully
the use of camouflage
the quality of terrain
and they were reinforced

by that northern voice
smoke wreath and tweeds
of an English patriot
who insisted I leave

no devastated trail
from gap-stone to cairn
and I knew the appeal
was to natural cunning

bound up with the image
of full-grown men
ghosting the undergrowth
gliding like phantoms

no green vein crushed —
but barely distinguished
from my lack of confidence
as I moved hesitant

from one girl to the next
my foot dab-dabbing
at interior brakes
hoping not to create

a more turbulent wake —
till metaphors now
reinvigorate themselves
I’m told to curtail

these blackening trails
I smudge on earth
though  at times I feel
too much constraint

till I barely discern
my presence at all
and a wilful right foot
slams to the floor


Martyn Crucefix