Rob Hindle

Ecgbert

People lust for this place,
its arrangement of copses and small fields,
hills layering the light into the south.

It is a no man’s land: a glamour
between the high emptiness
and a ditch of water.

Dore – an end and a beginning:
King of Wessex and Mercia
come to take oaths from York.

A car pelts past me into Old England,
Ecgbert’s broad scīrs laid out like a cloth
napped by the tread of his armies’ blitzkrieg.

The sun sets my shadow in the road north;
I start down into the city,
its roofs pale along the tree-line.

*

The first poem in Rob Hindle’s sequence Dore Moor to the Marples Hotel (part of his narrative cycle Flights and Traverses, which closes The Footing). Listen to Rob Hindle reading the full sequence on location in Sheffield:


Click here to read Rob Hindle’s account of this ‘one-way journey’ (which traces a possible route taken by the German Luftwaffe on 12 December 1940, the first night of the Sheffield bombing raids). A short film of the re-walking of this route by Hindle (and a small audience) on 12 December 2010 can be viewed below:

 

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