by edwn

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This album is based on a collection of poems by Ed Wn, all about a small patch of Exmoor near Dulverton.

The terrain is moorland, riverside, woodland and pasture. All of the places written about are on a figure-8 walk from Tarr Steps that could be done in a day.


released September 20, 2016



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edwn England, UK

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Track Name: Lakehead Combe
Leg-tired dusty
I pause by a foxglove hedgebank
Choosing a spot
On the close cropped grass
I stoop, sit, curl up and
Sleep like the moon
Under an inverse sun

I am wallside bombyx-bounded, hemmed
Pinkish purple digits
Glowing as the heat haze
Shimmers over the mid-day moor

I sleep dreamless, milkwort-pure
For unknown minutes
And awaken, blinking
In the dry sideways light

Bonded to the land yet boundless and freed
Path-ready yet leave-regretful
Slumber-connected to the combe consciousness
And the lakehead's lunacy
Track Name: Hawkridge
Top of the world
I walk like a cloud
Looking down on
Three soaring buzzards above me

Legs effortless
Sky wide

Sheep speak in honorific
Telling of a reward,
My homecoming

The shape of my ideas changes
As I walk
Realms of possibility open up
Cast by the blueness of the sky
Rendered by the freshness of the grass
Contextualised by the patchwork fields
And the tutelege of distant moors

Miles pass like minutes
I become formless, vapourised
And the high hawk has the empty sky
Back to itself
Track Name: Marsh Hill
By this quiet lane
I am small and peaceful
Each day my fingertips flourish
In ever-expanding green tingles
Figwort tall

If you put my torn leaf to your nose
Awful and wonderful

My toes clench and bury
Nails slicing through soil
Curling deeper, tasting wider
Crumble dry keratin seeking moisture
In the cool of the ground
I grow like a weed

Vegetative shooting polyfurcate
Suddenly I am acres wide
A breathing tangle
Avalanching down-county
Consuming light greedily
The incisors of hares are hardly felt
I am weed

Fields, stone walls, barns, buildings, roads
Towns and whole counties merely a liquid geology
A nutrient source crushed and dissolved
Beneath my quaking colossals, stems and shoots

As I foam with tongue-red flowers
I think back to my roots in Marsh Hill

It was all so simple then
Track Name: Winsford Hill
Lying in a wambarrow
Whortleberries wavering in the breeze
The earth floating on my back
Pressing our weight into the heavens

I am suspended
Between cow wheat and lark
On a thread of nothingness
A thread that has endured millennia
Of geological forces
Yet has retained complete hillness

Frosts heave shatter and crack us
Winters pass as soft flickerings
Plans are unnecessary
When you think like a mountain
Track Name: Ashwick
The hind locks eyes with me
She decided what I am before I even saw her
But we lock eyes for a long moment
A peopless, pastless moment
In a parallel present

Then we're off, she bolting on her path
I continue on mine
In homage to her I spring into action and
Run like a deer

My soft feet don't touch the ground
Floating uphill
Apparent wind whooshes past my ears
Legs faster than I knew how
Stitchworts blur white in my peripheral vision

After two hundred fleet foot-flitting yards
I'm clean away
And I stop, panting
Wondering if I'd seen her at all
But knowing I'd found a new part of myself
Track Name: Shircombe Slade
In this riverside glade
Each tree is as one, united in hope
While the soft-leaved wood sorrel,
Lounging at the dark trees' feet
Heavy with magic timelessness
And calls forth a constant, unwavering, unforgiving hope

A thousand flickering tongues of whitegrey Barleness
Flicker over a thousand tumbled boulders
And the grey wagtail sees each and every one
It sees every outcome, every future

The Slade energises the trout as they work upstream
To even higher peaks of optimism
And showing mehow to
Hope like a forest
Track Name: South Hill
Crouched in the doorway of a mossy burrow
High on a hedgebank overlooking South Hill
The fieldmouse listens
To the mare's heartbeat quickening
The moss growing
And the soft gurgle of sap rising through the beech
He hears the creak of chrysalis
Emerging into a Heath Fritillary
And the delicate rasp of a fly rubbing its forelegs together

I did not know this at the time
But he had from miles and days ago
Summoned me

And now I walk past his burrow
where he had waited patiently for my footfall
He vanishes, job done

All I heard was a rustle,
And I stood there
Mouth-open quiet
And wondered what powers I would wield
If I could
Listen like a mouse
Track Name: Ashway Side
Moor of mistful quietness
The grey world foreshortened
To fifty yards

A raven plucks a rowan twig
And flies into nothingness
Wingflaps pulsing in my ears

I feel
In the care of something higher

To the whitebell it is plain as day

The leaves of the roawn tree
Giggle in the wind
Ten thousandfold

I feel
Light, mischevious
Privy to a secret
Granted access to a far chamber

Wafts of happiness wash over me

Then I see an ant, drunk on fermented berry
Comically dragging a floxglove ten times its size
Out loud
I laugh like a leaf
Track Name: Tarr Steps
Five thousand years hang
Rock heavy
A beautiful demoiselle
Flickers blue across the river
Dashing aomngst the sleepy boulders

I am an honoured guest
But not sure what to do
Unsure of bankside etiquette
Or the hemlock's protocols

I sit back against a tree and doze
Until I dream like a river

I feel myelf floating, swimming in the air
above the burbling waters
as I am lowered to meld with the flow
becoming each ripple and eddy
Fluently fluid
Transparently aware of
each fish , shrimp, larva and weed
wholly dispersed

Until I coalesce as consciousness
and carefully clamber up as stalk of reed
to gasp the air
and feel the sun warm my pumping veins
until, blue-winged,
I fly free once more
Track Name: Draydon Knap
The stonechat knaps
A lark sparkles
The song vibrates
Unheard in every heart
Until suddenly I find I too can
Sing like a bird

Larynx becomes syrinx
In and out I call
The true names of the
Heath Speedwell, foaming
and the Green Hairstreak's random dance

New fragments of a
Song begun long ago
Unspooling over generations

Notes tumble over frost shattered rocks
And flow sinuous
Through stalks of cross-leaved heath

Flute-flurries fashion fugues and fantasies
I am aloud
Open, honest and harmonised
Singing for my soul, uncaring, anacclaimed

The stonechat and lark fall silent
But the song continues on
Track Name: Varle Hill
Heath burns
Forty foot flames
Consuming the now, nothing held back

A love like fire
Leaving nothing but
Twisted blackened stalk aftermath
Carbonised, wing-dry
Cables connecting to past and future

Yet unshadowed and untouched
A secret grove of
Heath spotted orchids remains
Pure white and dapple pink

A true self
Immutable in the face of passsion
Inscrutable and whole
A flame-resistant core of
Inner beauty

That I long to touch
Track Name: Caratacus
I feel kingly, tenacious and leaderful
As I climb like a ladybird
To the top of never enough

Pause to savour the moment
Swaying, shining-glossy
Then unfurl and take glorious flight
On to the next one

Might indefatigable

Not like that lazy lizard
Slowly burrowing itself
Its careless tail still within reach
Or that langourous lousewort
With its ruffles of pallid purple

No, I marshal the field
Strategise my heathered divisions
I will overfly and overcome
Repelling the invaders with my two-spot shield
And ranks of gorse ambition