On Ragleth Hill

Those of you who know me will know I’m not a poet. Or rather, should I say, poetry is not a form of writing that comes naturally to me. But that’s one of the joys of going to a writers’ group … because it exposes you to writing and workshops that you wouldn’t naturally choose to go to. And so it was a few months ago at the writers’ group I go to, when we had a poetry workshop.

We were tasked with drawing our favourite landscape first. Another pet hate of mine – drawing. I can’t draw. Well, I can, but it’s not very good. Or rather, it’s nowhere near as good as I’d like it to be. So already this poetry workshop was frustrating me and we hadn’t even got to the poetry yet!

After ten minutes of scribbling, we were then told to draw a box around a small detail in our picture. That was what we were going to write about. My sketch was of the view towards the Long Mynd, seen from the summit of Ragleth Hill. I won’t scare you with my drawing, so here’s a photo instead:

The Long Mynd in evening sunlight – seen from the summit of Ragleth Hill

I drew a box around three skylarks I’d placed in the sky, hovering, while singing their delightful songs, a most English of sounds, in my opinion. This, we were told, is what our poem would be on. Eek!

We were tasked to write 14 lines. It need not rhyme. Just encapsulate the essence of that detail. So here is what I wrote:

On Ragleth Hill


Melodic concertos drift high on thermals,

Orchestral volumes from petite musicians.

Come mizzle, or gust, or heavenly sun,

Joyful skylarks sing.

Sheep may baa,

Or munch short grass.

Wind may roar at 1300 feet,

But up there, way above this rounded hill,

The smallest of dots,

The brownest of birds,

Fills the air,

and my heart,

With beautiful song.


And to prove you can hear the skylarks on Ragleth Hill, here’s a video. (You might need to turn the sound up a bit.)