That was the night we drove to the highlands

And the fierce white peaks were arrows pointed at the stars.

I remember the moon, the colour and texture of snow

Crumbling from the mountain

Tumbling into the dark.

You took me there

Because the day had spread like an oil slick

And tarred my skin

But I saw now the night was not black at all

But indigo

A screen-print of deep blue hills


Like so many heartbeats

Into the always.

I thought of the night we crossed the icy border into Kyrgyzstan

The flint-arrow mountains

Dipped in shining white

Piercing the inky night

Our feet crushing snow as soft as light

The men who picked us up: hard-faced, kind hearts

Building us a nest of blankets for that cold, cold drive through the high mountain pass

My own heart beats with the rise and fall of the hills,

A symphony of synchronised cardiac rhythms –

And you say, what are you writing?

Squeezing my hand so the pink-white peaks of our knuckles

Form a a miniature mountain range of our own.

And your eyes shine

Because I feel better now


And you know I am ready to start the climb.







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