Poems from the Young Poets Walk 2022

As part of the Ledbury Poetry Festival in 2022, David Armitage from the Malvern Hills AONB, and local poet Sara-Jane Arbury, inspired an aspiring group of young poets by taking them on a story-telling walk over British Camp. Hereunder are the the poems that were crafted through fresh eyes on the old hills.

My Dragon Hills

A dragon sleeping in the earth,

Its spine ever tramped along,

The crinkled lines of nature

Taking root in skin and bone,

Winding scars etched over

Its tree-speckled ridges.

Over a millennium of time

The dragon has crawled,

Slower than the imperceptible

Movement of a glacier,

Searching in its slumber,

The ice-capped north

That is its home.

Never known or suspected,

The dragon lies still,

Though if ever woken

The world may meet

Its unspoken end,

In the fiery rage of my dragon hills.

Myla Jones: 11 years old in 2022

The Carrion Crows Of God

The murder of carrion crows

Descends upon the sea of deceased bodies,

Swarming, mobbing,

Scenting death in the air.

Coal-black wings dripping scarlet blood,

A flash of beak and talon and eye,

Feathers streaked with the entrails

Of human carcasses.

The messenger birds of the god in the sky,

Birds that offer something more,

A future for those dead.

The Celts lay out the bodies of their loved ones,

Hoping and grieving for those gone,

The carrion crows carry those souls

From the past to the new land.

Myla Jones: 11 years old in 2022

The Hill Of Hanging Sorrow

One day, the hill spoke with a voice,

That wove together his story

He spoke of grief, of all those hanged,

Of trauma, and strangled screams of fury

And although the noose that had hung those

Had been wrenched from his soil long ago,

His voice still wavered with sorrow,

As though speaking the screams

Of those deceased, and whose bones

Now lie forever in the barrow

So wept the hill with shame and grief,

And lamented all those dead

At the cruelty of mankind

That resulted in those that bled

The mourning of the hill showed

That it truly felt repent.

Myla Jones: 11 years old in 2022

The Proud Hill Of Summer

I am the hill that helps all life,

That saves all from the cold,

I nurture what winter broke,

Springing open with the new,

I look down upon my frozen enemy,

With scorn and sneering jeer,

For who could hope to challenge me

The most beloved Summer Hill,

Of life and love and warmth.

I am the one who strengthens the newborns,

Who helps them to strive and grow,

It is I who stands proud in glory

Who has achieved so much,

Yet even I must sober down

For the undeserving winter

And watch as he destroys my work,

And kills what I created,

I simmer like the boiling sun,

With rage in the bitter wind,

For I am the Summer Hill,

And I will always win.

Myla Jones: 11 years old in 2022

The Struggling Hill Of End

There is a hill who is always forgot,

One always left behind,

She is the hill at the end,

Slower than all the rest,

She weeps and cries to catch her fellow hills,

Yet they always leave her behind,

She is angry at her name,

For she never wished to be the end

She cries that it’s only one point of view,

That she could have been the head

Yet she is the tail end,

The forgotten one that weeps,

And the only joy that’s ever given her

Is those hikers most determined

To tread upon her soil,

And when they reach her tail end

She shares with them their glory.

Myla Jones: 11 years old in 2022

When The Reservoir Is Merry

In day, the reservoir is stilled,

Though still wishes to be filled,

In its depths, there is a crayfish war,

And outside, the human bustle

That has such a clear flaw,

As its precious life water slowly drips away,

Its walls sink into nothing more than sodden clay.

Forgotten by most humans,

The reservoir dies in day,

It has no future in the sunlight,

But at night it still may…

For at night, the reservoir begins to glint,

The moonlight falling in shafts like flint,

At night, the water begins to ripple and swirl,

And the pixies dance and spin and twirl.

Shining dragonflies, pond skaters and more,

Begin to beat out a tune that will soar,

It will flourish and bloom

And ignite and fume,

Setting a fire in the dancers’ brains,

Making them wild and insane.

Yet, in the morning, they are all gone,

You no longer hear their song,

But the pixies, dragonflies and all

Shall sing again their night-time call.

Myla Jones: 11 years old in 2022