All the Vale skies come down to the place where sky meets earth, and earth, sky - somewhere way across the Vale over towards Tring, where Bucks and Herts meet and kiss, and dream as the sun's last rays shine on Beds. And I think of the character Gwylim in Dylan Thomas's short story "Peaches", who converted thoughts of carnal love into religious verse, and I listen to the sublimity that is Genesis's best every love song, "Afterglow".
And I would search everywhere
Just to hear your call,
And walk upon stranger roads than this one
In a world I used to know before.
And like the young poet (not a dog in this portrait) we hear the song and ask - is Tony Banks writing about a woman? About God? Of some untouchable thing we cannot quite touch? And we put D. Thomas to one side and think of another writer's poetic imagination - CS Lewis's concept of "joy".
We walk upon stranger roads than that to the Downs - see the dust dance in a sunbeam - and search just to hear a call. Until, to skip between poets once again (and what could inspire to poetry more than this piece of absolute bliss and yearning?)
We shall not cease from explorationHappy Valentine's Day, by the way.
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time. (Eliot: "Little Gidding")