One Day in June

One Day in June: 24 hours in eight movements

Eight sequential sections from the eight successive recordings of a replicated walk, walked every three hours across a June Icelandic fell

Eight times I face east                   across the fell to the cairn

9:25 a.m. Movement one; start to 8 minutes
Down the slope               track along the south side of the fence                      through a yellow mat of marsh marigolds                  step/jump the stream that spills from rough pasture to ditch       climb the double fence

Among the birches
redwing cackle and churr.
Arctic fox hunts the hill.

12:15 p.m. Movement two; 9 minutes to 16 minutes
Blown across the wet paddock        to the leaning post                        follow a horse-track east towards the valley               the next fence     cross on a downhill slope

Step with care;
tussock, ridge, trough, tussock.
Wind chases the fell.

3:20 p.m. Movement three; 17 minutes to 24 minutes
Pick along the wet hillside cross four small streams                 drop down from the wind to the valley burn

Hunched low, the dwarf birch
is not in leaf by June.
A raven flies over.

6:18 p.m. Movement four; 25 minutes to 32 minutes
Upstream to a waterfall                 clamber onto a raised bog an unsteady sink to a final stream                 cross by a water’s meet                 up the slope        to a false summit              on up                over a lip            to the cairn

Mosses and lichens,
rainbows splashed on new rock.
Horses walk the fell.

9:18 p.m. Movement five; 33 minutes to 40 minutes
West                 over the shoulder              head for the gap in the ridge          down the stone and mud slope                   follow my own track         there are no other footprints                       same stream       different stepping-stones

The wind picks up
and floats the whimbrel’s call.
Colour blue-greys away.

1:32 a.m. Movement six; 41 minutes to 48 minutes
Step step up onto the bog             step step sink       step       concentrate                    the waterfall tumbling into earshot               along the edge of the burn             around the shoulder of the hillside

Home lights shine,
pin pricks in the gloaming.
Iceland past midnight.

3:29 a.m. Movement seven; 49 minutes to 56 minutes
Pull up   pull       pull up               up the hillside      stride four streams                        step over step step over the fence               on up the slope   up the slope                    contour round to the horse-path                 and the leaning post

Seven walks in
the way on the fell is harder.
Walk, step, stumble.

6:14 a.m. Movement eight; 57 minutes to the end
Step      stumble trip across the paddock                 climb     over      over      the double fence              jump the stream   cross the mat of marigolds             to the last pull             last        pull                   last        pull       up the slope

Plover pipe,
snipe croak, dive and drum.
The fell feeds the sky with song.