in praise of the calder valley (a sonnet)

(NaPoWriMo, day 16: ‘write a poem of over-the-top compliments. Pick a person, place, or thing you love, and praise it in the most effusive way you can’. I’m not very good at anything over-the-top or effusive, but I’m really loving walking in this landscape on these sunny days. Those walks have reminded me too of a children’s story I love about a little bear and a little tiger who leave their home in search of Panama (because Panama is the land of their dreams), and who end up seeing their home landscape from above and realising they’ve arrived. Our local landscape is so beautiful from above too, and recently, when I shared a few pictures, a friend commented that we live in paradise. I’ve heard a lot of gratitude from others who live here too in recent weeks and days. So… here’s a sonnet in praise of this valley – probably not sufficiently over-the-top, but on the plus side every word is true!)

we truly live as if in paradise
amid these trees and meadows, crags and vales.
the tops have stunning views of open skies
and every valley tells its thrilling tales:
of coins and murders and satanic mills
of daring protests and experiments
ideas and plots and feats between these hills
parades and festivals and merriments.
oh, how i love the many varied walks
in bluebell woods, on moors, to stoodley pike
these paths that hold the memories of talks
i’ve had at different times with those i like.
with all its up and downs and views and streams
this surely is the country of my dreams.

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