Cirencester Scene January 2017


Poetry – by Sophie Livingston

Winter Landscape

It is a winter landscape that your feet

Tread now. A brittle arrangement of trees

And fields and low, mossed walls that hold nothing


The sheep are gone and no one walks the path.

“Something is warmer than something else,” you say

As whispers of fog rise from a stream that rushes on.

“I can’t remember which it is, or why.

Or even how I came to be


Under this motionless sky.”


The Ridgeway

The ridge belongs to the dead.

They have laid claim with bones.

A horizontal shrine of beech leaves

sifts the light that falls on stones

that still pay homage.

The path’s a scorching streak of white

And nettle flesh hangs from chalky


Here’s Belief.

No shade for travellers.

And though we tread, we tread, we tread

from Overton to Ivinghoe  we cannot reach

the place they know.


Thermos and Marmite in the 70s

 Mum waited with the thermos and marmite

sandwiches half way up the mountain. The

rest of us began the climb, Dad, Alice, Ed, Me,

in Pac-a-Macs and Adidas, all quite

relaxed, ‘cos in the seventies that’s what

you wore to climb mountains, and we were full

of oxtail soup and Famous Five and pull

-ing on our empty rucksacks we got

nearly to the top – before the fog came.


I was twelve. Did not dare climb on, though Dad

swore we’d be fine. At last he said: “chase the same

stream down.” The rest climbed on, while scree-slid, pad

ling, rough, down-stream, tumbling, I sunk to the main

path. Kodak snaps record them triumphant,


brooding, faithless, in our orange tent.