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Poetry, Australasia, Australia
Rosedale Chimney Hill.
By Maurice Fairfield.
Long ago in a different time
The World seemed bright and shiny new.
My chin still wore downy fuzz,
My eyes saw clearly, straight and true.

Though money was scarce I had my share
Of strengths and skills, and loads to bear
Could never crush inside my heart,
The love of life abiding there.

A working life for a working lad
Was hard but there were goals to reach
And always a chance to taste the joys
That hung within or near my reach.
Riding north from our homes in Hull,
The road before us straight ahead.
Our pockets were empty our tanks were full.
Our paths would be where our fancy led.

A hard and heavy working week
Was easy to forget,
When my friend Walt had an A.J.S.
And I had a Velocette,

Bought as wrecks (and rusty ones)
Carefully furbished, old, and yet
We loved that battered A.J.S.
That old and lovely Velocette.
Those names are only history now
But then they meant a lot
Along with Norton, Ariel
and B.S.A. and Scott.

But let that go, remember still
The route we used to ride,
Across the moors to Whitby
Or east to Ambleside.

The choice was ours to leave or take,
To ride our chosen trail,
To mighty Rievaulx Abbey,
Or pretty Thornton Dale.
And then the time was marvellous,
Too good to tell with words,
The roads were lined with hedges then,
The hedges sweet with birds.

The butterflies were with us still
And prettily they'd fly.
Before encroaching pesticides,
Decreed that they should die.

By Goathland Kirby Moorside
The ancient Roman-Road.
By tumulus and bailey
Where vanished legions strode.
But we were young, adventure called,
And sometimes when we'd had our fill
Of history we'd ride the moors
To fabled Rosedale Chimney Hill.

The gradient was one in three.
The hairpin bends were steep.
The cobbled surface rutted, loose,
The scattered potholes deep.

And starting up the gravel slope,
The steep forbidding climb,
Jetting the gravel from our wheels
And spurting it behind.
Jabbing a foot down now and then,
And bouncing up the hill.
Skidding round the hairpin bends,
Careless of painful spill.

Up at the top the grass was green
And while the moorland sheep would graze,
We'd stop and let our engines cool
Under their calm, reproving gaze.

We'd eat the sandwiches we'd brought
And rest awhile before we'd go.
Within our hearts we always knew
That life was good and time ran slow.
Well that's all done those days are gone,
But memory still endures.
I look on brighter foreign skies
Remembering the moors.

And if there is a Paradise.
And if they let me in,
(I've knocked around a bit since then
My chances may be thin.)

Ah, to be seventeen again,
My youthful vision sharp and clear,
Mistakes unmade, regrets unsown
And innocent of crouching fear.
To ride again, to ride again
Across the moorland high.
To taste the unpolluted air
Beneath the arching sky.

By Ambleside, and Goathland,
By Brock, and Gaping Ghyll.
To bounce and skid and kick and roar
Up Rosedale Chimney Hill.


Copyright © Maurice Fairfield 2004

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