For John


Always pacing

always measuring out the room, 

measuring the Pennines

measuring your words. 


Always gaunt,

but jaunty, that spring in your step, that turf stride.

Lean, and bent 

on whatever you were bent on,


for it was always a three-quarter profile, 

face averted, eyes on the next hill, thought

an underground stream, laugh

like a starter motor,


never catching. Until

the last day, the shock of

depth, eyes pooling in recognition.

Face on. Walking still.