Support 110 years of independent journalism.

  1. Culture
9 December 2020

The NS Poem: Mam Tor

A new poem by Ben Wilkinson

By Ben Wilkinson

All winter we ran across the moors,
the doors to the peaks blown open

by blizzards or taken clean off their
hinges, like those ancient houses

on gale-torn summits. Winnats Pass
was closed but we skipped the warning

that day-like-night, parked halfway up
its ice-age helter-skelter, stumbled out.

What were we thinking all that long,
long year, barely sensing what was right

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

up ahead? At the trig point we swore
we saw a figure, hunched and cursing

in the sleet. We trudged back down
as if it were a coffin path, each of us

counting out their own metred feet.

Ben Wilkinson is a poet, lecturer, and critic. His first collection, “Way More Than Luck” (Seren), was highly commended in the Forward Prizes for Poetry. A second collection is due in 2022.

[see also: NS Poetry: Car Park, Christmas Eve and January 1st]

Content from our partners
<strong>What you need to know about private markets </strong>
Work isn't working: how to boost the nation's health and happiness
The dementia crisis: a call for action

This article appears in the 08 Dec 2020 issue of the New Statesman, Christmas special