Feet on the grass,
walking a steep track,
up to the cow grazed common.
A raft when I reach,
its level plain,
over its rumpled turf,
and travelled tracks:
cowslips in spring,
knapweed and orchids in summer.
A raft as i trundle along needle slim ways,
embroidering the common,
a map of wayfarers ghosts.
Tinkers, drovers, gypsies,
all passed over this high common,
as if carried on a raft,
taking them down to the valleys:
A raft those limestone bones,
a million sea creatures of deep antiquity,
crushed into Cotswold stone,
desired by the clothiers.
quarriers tramped up here,
where i stand in a hollowed grassy scar,
imagining the horses pulling carts,
listening to the quarriers beating
out the chant of iron on stone.
Over this common land,
i travel as a butterfly,
from life story of one traveller,
to songs of creaking wagon wheels:
a pace that continues,
still today over the raft of Rodborough Common,
Robin performed this on Rodborough Common on John Clare Day - a day of collaborative reading and walking through the landscape.