When the earth's crust folded

under pressure to herald a cretaceous dawn

like a stretching monster, to some slow

theatrical gesture of defiance,

the Hog's Back in Surrey was born.

(as yet unnamed.)


Over millennia, stern weather wore her down

to a mere shadow; nevertheless

a commanding view to those who were to come. 


Horizons emerged,

forests of tall trees came and went

taking their hostages with them,

under the churn and the slow creep of time. 


Foraging folk finally settled, bred,

found flints; in the  caves where ideas flickered

during the long nights of dreams

the old Gods clung on. 


In 1998, my mother admired the view.

"I love the wide open skies here," she said,

being by birth and by nature a Londoner

and not concerned with geology. 





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Sun 18th Mar 2018 21:51

Hi Col. I'm just going back over the comments on my back efforts, and sorry to say I missed yours here. Apologies. There is beauty and intrigue that comes with local names for sure; my favourite is the names of Cornish mines for example, but every town has some goodies. London indeed has some great ones! I bought a ceramic hedgehog and called him nameless. Don't ask me why, but it stuck.
I think my Mum was quite taken with the area, bless her.

Cheers, Ray

<Deleted User> (13762)

Mon 26th Feb 2018 19:29

that first verse is a beaut Ray. Us humans just love to give names to things, it's an obsession but no doubt one which has enabled us to progress out of the cave and into our semis through the evolution of language and communication. But it's good to remember that once upon a time there were no names and that's a rather nice thought I think. I guess your mother maybe summed up the same sentiment when she said "I love the wide open skies here". Sometimes the view is clearer without all the other clutter. Col.

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Mon 26th Feb 2018 15:45

Hi David ; I think we're in middle earth territory here - the road through Puttenham certainly hasn't done much changing and still has the old "Arthurian" flavour. Not a place to break down at night. Everyone should be in touch with nature in the raw. My mum was a spontaneous person and quite sentimental ( a London trait I would say). Thanks for the lovely comment.

Hi Greg, yes I am familiar with the car park and the dark doings therein (not personally obviously). I did hear that poem and it was quite graphic if I recall. Rodney is master of the throwaway humorous line - pity he didn't throw it away that time!(just joking). Classic nostalgia neatly described on the way to Devon - a classic journey in the day. I imagine there were severe holdups even then as the 60s progressed. It's a pity that wasn't taken into account by Beeching et al. Thanks for that!


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Greg Freeman

Sun 25th Feb 2018 22:04

I love geological poems, Ray. And I was driving along the Hog's Back just the other night, down to Rodney's spoken word night in Aldershot. (Have you ever heard Rodney's poem about dogging on the Hog's Back? One of his more outrageous ones). The Hogs Back was also part of our route to Devon on our camping coach Easter holidays in the early 60s. I can still hear my brother asking: "Are we there yet?"

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