A Dartmoor Walk

The gentle rise of land
Through meadows of fine grass
Up ancient drover tracks
Cobbled and worn though time
Walls cloaked in moss and liverwort
Grey lichen hanging from stunted oaks
Draws the walkers upward to
The moorland gate.
Soft swathes of grass
And bracken flanks
Lead to the babbling of the brook
Over granite slabs
We nimbly step;
At Glasscombe mounds of stones
And ruined walls
Lead conversation to ancient times
The boundary wall becomes our guide
The eastern brook provides a ford
And then Ball Gate
Elaborate balls and granite columns
Tell of a forgotten age
The banks here adorned with flowers
Painted heather and flames of gorse Amidst jewels of berries bright.
Through lush growth we descend
On ancient routes that trace the edge
And finger down in secrecy
To meet the tiniest track
Like veins they wander and connect
And draw us down the hill
As moor is left and fields merge
Seamlessly a change
The track widens, becomes a road
Until the stream is met
And crossing a stile and past the woods
We have made our way right back.

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