The NS Poem: Mam Tor

A new poem by Ben Wilkinson

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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

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]

This article appears in the 11 December 2020 issue of the New Statesman, Christmas special

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