Climbing Kinder (for the 1932 Mass Trespass)

To these slopes
Here on the sides of this great and ancient plateau’s edge,
Where the curlew sings on a summer’s day
Its solitary, swooping note
Like a crystal drop of Kinder water –
A song far sweeter
Than any music humans ever made –
The walkers came
To claim for all who’d follow
The right to hear that song
To breath that air with smog- bruised lungs
To taste the sweetness of the open space
To pause a moment from the draining race
Of hard industrial existence

And they called those walkers ‘trespassers’
As if by claiming back these stolen treasures
By repossessing all these hard won pleasures
It was they who were the criminals.

But when you climb up Kinder now
And feel your legs strain hard against the earth
And fill your lungs with fresh free air
And watch the long white hare
Kicking its legs in the very ecstasy of life
Remember there are those who would have kept this from us
And those who even now would, if they could
Keep us from the silver stream and open moor
And windswept wood.

Dave Toft