Inspired by Eycott Hill Nature Reserve

Inspired by Eycott Hill Nature Reserve

A poem inspired by a visit to Eycott Hill Nature Reserve.

Eycott Hill
by Jeremy Benson


Still now and quiet

in the lee of the hill,

walking through the slow

articulation of stone.


We follow the strata’s flow

rippling and eddying

in the ancient streams 

of our molten planet.


In this holy, pagan landscape

the layered intrusions of history

seem timeless and more distant 

than the ice age they spanned.


As we reach the hill top,

a burning blue dragonfly

settles on a volcanic boulder

in crystallised decoration.


Its enjoyment is momentary 

in the late afternoon sun,

driven on, like us, 

by urgency and brevity. 


A sudden, scouring wind 

sweeps from Blencathra, 

perfectly describing the simple

realities of fell and stone,


And I am silenced by the eloquence 

of this implacable geologic, 

locating us inexorably

in the fragile uplands of our lives.


You can read more work inspired by Eycott Hill Nature Reserve in the anthology The Raspberry and the Rowan. 

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