Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Rope Bridges

The coastal rope bridge at Carrick-a-Rede, Antrim, Northern Ireland 
We writers like to think of ourselves as versatile, so when I heard about Caerleon Arts Festival’s comic poetry competition, I decided I should have a go.

My entry was very hush-hush (I know one of the judges) and – I thought – not a bad effort for someone who hasn’t attempted to write poetry of any kind since university.

Harri liked my poem very much, but wondered if it was maybe a little elitist, i.e. he thought that few, if any, on the panel of judges would understand the feeling of absolute exhaustion (mental as well as physical) when faced with yet another peak to climb. In essence, he doubted whether they would grasp the exciting concept of a system of rope bridges across Wales!

Alas, he was right - I wasn't even short-listed. I am, however, determined to publish my first-ever comic poem so, for all you hikers who wish there was some way to make the mountains a little easier, here it is:

Rope Bridges

If there’s one thing that hikers hate – yes, even more than stiles –It’s conquering the highest peak for miles and miles and miles

Then spotting just across the vale, another bloody cairnAnd knowing that the only route is down then up again.

But wait, I think there is a way to salve those weary feet A nifty little rope bridge ‘twixt where the high points meet.

Starting with the Beacons, Snowdonia, Pen y Fan,Rope bridges are Wales’ future – our all-inclusive plan.

The Rhinogs, Cambrian Mountains, Carneddau, Cadair Idris
Just sway your way from A to B and hike above the abyss.

You’ll need a head for heights it’s true; perhaps Glynd┼Ár’s nerve.When faced with sheep or goats, a bull, it’s wiser not to swerve.

The all-Wales coast path beckons, those heathered trails drop deepRope the gaps between the cliffs ‘cause tourists don’t do ‘steep’.

From Rhyl to Aberdovey, Mwnt to Pembroke DockTransform the landscape, add the ropes, keep hikers off the rock.

The plan solves unemployment. No job? Then plait a bridge.What skills are more transferable than linking ridge to ridge?

Think of it, one climb a day, the tough bits done and dusted.Yet a question still remains, can suspended ropes be trusted?

Brecon beacons cattle might appreciate a few rope bridges 

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