Miller’s Dale (after ‘Adelstrop’)
Intro: up to 50 words (delete this text and enter your own)
a day of dreams and hopes
a day of losing and finding
I overslept. I missed the coach.
This was one match I had to watch,
it was long odds that Leyton Orient
would ever grace Maine Road again.
Maybe we’d scrape a miracle win –
I bought a Manchester day return.
I was no fan of rural vistas –
one eye on the clock, the other
ticked off towns through Derbyshire;
Matlock, Two Dales, Rowsley, Bakewell.
So far, so good, until progress stalled –
a signal failure at Miller’s Dale.
Thirty frustrated minutes later
I shrugged off football for the day –
the Os would have to do without me.
I left the train to stretch my legs,
filling my lungs at every breath
with autumn sunshine redolence.
At three o’clock as whistles blew
the match kicked off, the train also.
I waved ‘goodbye’ and strolled away
off the platform, through a gate,
down along a dry-stone lane where
a blackbird’s song ensorcelled me.
With Jerusalem coursing every part
I walked from time to timelessness,
savouring England’s pleasant heart,
sweetening my soul with its heritage;
ancient cottages, stone-wall inns,
sheepdog trials and hawthorn hedges.
(Saturday October 6th 1962 … Man City 2 – 0 Leyton Orient)
© coolhermit 2023
So much nicer to stroll in that wonderful countryside catching one’s breath and imagination than squashed up with screaming, frantic football fans.
Loved the ‘new to me’ word had to look it up, 🙂 Great writing. Sue.
Thanks, Sue. The poem was inspired by Edward Thomas’s ‘Adelstrop’ .
I have just listened to a reading of ‘Adelstrop’, and I can see the connection. The calming and peaceful atmosphere comes across in both these poems. sue.
Adelstrop was written from the trenches – Edward Thomas died the same year – his kind of rural idyll poetry fell out of fashion but it is so good 🙂