Day 16: Callington, Calstock, Gunnislake, Tavistock & Dartmoor

Notes
The second of two days on the Devon-Cornwall border, exploring the border settlements of Callington, Calstock, Gunnislake and Tavistock, and walking more of the Tamar Valley discovery trail. By this far south the Tamar feels like a proper river.  In the afternoon I visited the slopes of Dartmoor with striking views of the border region over to Bodmin Moor and down to Plymouth. Stayed the night at Routrundle.

On Moors
My friends Toby and Lily have a homestead called Routrundle just underneath Ingra Tor, which is to be their family home, an artists’ residence and the home of Ingra Tor studios. It’s one of those houses that, surrounded by an ancient boundary wall, sits in an oasis of old shrubs and trees, in an otherwise wild and forbidding moor. Growing up around moors in Yorkshire I’ve often been enchanted by these remote and ancient homesteads but until recently have never had the opportunity to get inside one. Moorland is somewhere I feel very at home, especially when I’m out walking over craggy rockforms, and there’s a good sky. This effects the shape of my writing irrespective of topic or intention, as I think it does for Hughes and Macsweeney.

Poem
signal

a bright internet hare
using two small skewers transmits
regional oil mushroom miles

chicken flavours extended
by broccoli antennae
hill skim cavity rabbits

meanwhile the drizzle aspect
forms lattices and crystals
to a bodmin sorbet

the moor broadcast
rushes into the valleys
beaming the news

rowan season and ripe
granite toss gliding furze
shoots micro diverse sloerose ash

Visuals