Gibbet Hill, Black Down, Mary Tavy, 1 May, 2023
First things first…
A patch of soft, springy turf,
Hot coffee from the flask,
A chocolate cake bar.
We spread out the map,
Consult Google on the phone,
Observe the 360-view,
Devon lies before us,
A patchwork of greens and browns,
Sun-dazzled and dappled by
Dartmoor dominates the scene,
Wild and desolate to the North,
Great Links Tor, Sharp Tor, Hare Tor,
Massive, steep, forbidding.
Next the deep, steep zig-zag of Tavy Cleave,
Wild and free near its source,
But tamed and domesticated
Through Peter and Mary to Tavistock.
The Southern Tors more welcoming,
Familiar from family holidays,
Three Staple Tors, Cox Tor,
Resplendent in sunlight and shade.
Heckford Tor and Pew Tor beyond,
More visible in memory than by eye;
Windy Cross, the Grimstone Leat,
Our old friend Vixen just out of sight.
Further South, the Tamar valley –
Harsh brown moors give way to
Lush, green fields and woods.
Beyond Plymouth we can even see the sea!
Looking West, a church balances
On the rocks of Brent Tor.
Bodmin and Exmoor loom beyond.
But now our eyes are drawn to
A white house closer by –
Our cottage at Was Tor,
Its welcome gleaming in the sun.
So we shoulder our rucksacks
Head back down the hill,
Grateful to God for this
Delightful Dartmoor Panorama.