Just a quick bike ride,
no more than thirty, thirty-five minutes.
From the village to the incline of the mount -
It's what it's called but I never know
whether it's a joke.
I suppose everything's relative and from the top,
the country dips and rises -
the start of the Cotswolds,
I like to think.
And somewhere, I've read that the village
is the Gateway to them.
But, is it? Or is that a travel agent's
On the straight, after the brow,
looking, dangerously, forgetting how
pitted and pot-holed the Tarmac is,
you can imagine you've
leaped from flat earth - the
Polder Lands, Victorians called our wide,
wide stretch of the river's planes -
to vistas and rolls that make poets
lyrical and estate agents skip.
In the far distance used to be the
power station with its micro-climactic
But now it's gone.
Or has it?
I can never remember whether the papers
said they'd left one tower -
and sometimes I have fancied I can see it.
At the junction, I turn back and
soon climb the longer, gentler slope.
After the straight, the road and fields falling;
the village, the near-thousand-year-old spire ...
The old part, the new part, the newest part,
that everyone says spoils the view.
But then you think,
Am I being a NIMBY?
And on a day like today, the sun
coming through, traces of mist softening the buildings,
you wonder what the fuss was about,
where the truth lies.