Grinlow Hill

Footprints in the snow give us away
as we climb through the overarching woods
and up to the temple
with ice on its steps

Like echoes, light rays bounce
off thin surfaces,
the scarred and sacred skin above the caverns
where jewels are stored

And there is no way of telling
what lies beneath –
what we are trampling on,
dreams or deep designs,
nightmares or living water

They wait to swallow us
but we fail to submit
tiptoeing too fast and carelessly
across crisp country,
giving no thought
to the treasure below

seeing only the view from the summit,
the naked tower so easily destroyed,
the beckoning finger,
the sword in the frozen lake
far, far away


〉Part of a new Lent project: poems about hills. Grinlow is in the Peak District, above Buxton.