At first sight, nobody has really had much chance to travel over the last fifteen months, and yet when I talk to people, it seems that almost everyone I know has managed a getaway or three – to Cornwall, to Wales, to a B&B on the coast, a caravan or country cottage… I begin to think I am the only one who hasn’t had a holiday or a weekend away since 2019.
In fact I have travelled a few times, by train, to visit my aged mother, but I’ve not stayed overnight. Each time, I’ve returned the same day to the same one-horse town in Middle England.
I’ve been living here for a few years now, but never really taken the time to walk around and explore until lockdown forced us to realise just how important it is to get out for fresh air and exercise.
And my local explorations have shown me that it isn’t actually a one-horse town after all, even if some of them are a little more like ponies.
In fact there are quite a few of the creatures, including some with riders.
I haven’t decided which is more threatening, the highwayman or the knight.
Of course there are horses to be found in many places. Here’s a fragment from a much longer poem called, for reasons that might be apparent to fans of T S Eliot, “Love Song”.
When we walked along the beach listening for mermaids,
they never sang for us; the underwater church bells never
rang for us. Though we caught sight in the moonlight
of white horses in the crests of tumbling waves, they were always
out of reach. Would we dare to take a chance? Would there be time
to learn to dance? And would we dare?
Perhaps one day I’ll get a chance to return to the seaside and see the white horses again.