Miller's Dale (after Adelstrop)


                                                         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)



◄ Five Walls at the Hatton with Kate (significantly revised)

Newcastle, Ice Cream, Coffee, Culture and Katie ►



Mon 14th Oct 2019 17:14

Thanks, both, I've edited it a bit since this morning and feel I've got it 'right' - whether I have the same optimism tomorrow is another matter ha ha 😃

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M.C. Newberry

Mon 14th Oct 2019 15:23

"Adlestrop" being one of those poems I liked enough to put to memory, I approached this with some curiosity/interest.
It certainly captures some of the essence of the "other worldliness"
of the unexpected in that famous Edward Thomas poem and I
enjoyed it, not least for its mixture of the expectation of the meeting
the familiar (football) supplanted by the unexpected encounter with the less familiar instead..

Now I must check my larger OED for "ensorcelled".

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Mon 14th Oct 2019 13:01

Some nice flavour of the past, recollections and the realities of being stranded with all your adjustments to reality Rick. The power of football and its allegiances never bothered me, but you certainly have caught the urges here. Millers Dale is or was the place of Craft Supplies, a massive wood store and tool centre. (By the by).

All the best. Ray

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