Walton Walk

 

A Sunday walk from proud Dial Hill and down the Avenue

To where the golf course meets the sea and sunshine lights each view.

Where folly turrets oversee the bold, if wayward, drive

And wild blooms in profusion along each footpath thrive

Across the valley pheasants harsh and brave chiff-chaff compete

Against the low insistent roar of cars and haulage fleet

As they cut through the man-made cliffs, most blindly unaware

That far above them buzzards soar and glide on thermal air.

Then through the woods past bluebells bright against the nettle green

And serried ranks of campion pink brushed with the dew's soft sheen.

At Walton Church the joyful bell is firmly, gladly pealed -

Its echo mingling with the sounds of cattle 'cross the field

On up the lane past rushing stream tamed in its bed of stone

And cottage gardens morning fresh recall the centuries flown.

The gunmen heading down the path discussing their last kill

Ignore the walker blessing life as he ascends the hill.

From 'top the Common is arrayed a vista cupped in trees,

With Clevedon barely visible within its nest of leaves.

Through bracken banks and blackberry, round hawthorn, elder, may,

The path meanders gently as it leads along its way

The hoofprints in the soft, red earth reveal the riders' trail

Past burrows where grey rabbits play then dash with flick of tail.

Into the woodland dips the route through sunlight-dappled shade

And past the pens of wood and wire where game birds are betrayed

The rutted tracks show tractor treads and purple orchids wait

To spring a botanist's surprise beside an ivy gate.

From every treetop songbirds call to herald summer's joy

And seek to captivate a mate with every courtship ploy.

The fingerpost points to the coast and 'cross a wooden stile

Where Wales appears off in the haze beneath the sun's warm smile.

On high-strung wires the swallows perch like crotchets on a score

And busy bees work on below to build their nectar store

A sign shows where the way should go but it must be ignored

For on along the coastal path is blocked by bush and board.

And so a hike upon the road with traffic charging past

Then through the site of caravans 'til shore is reached at last.

Beneath a clear and cloudless sky the Channel's normal hue

Of brown is turned deceptively into a shade of blue.

Smells of seaweed rise upon a freshening sea-borne breeze

And underneath the lighthouse gaze a seat to take one's ease.

Towards the West like guardians stand the Holms of Flat and Steep

With sanctuaries for birds and Man amid the waters deep.

The rocky path steeply descends 'tween banks of golden gorse

And dandelions and buttercups lend colour to its course.

Past rock-strewn beaches made of mud, where anglers wait in hope,

The morning dogs run gaily on and joggers panting lope.

A robin flits from post to post before the meadow's roll,

Where horses graze upon the grass around a new-born foal.

Against the incline of the hill it bravely tries to stand

But struggles still to gain its feet without a helping hand.

A fresh stream flows out from the cliff and larks soon disappear

But leave a wake of sparkling song to satisfy the ear.

Fresh bluebells clothe the hillsides beneath the seagull cry

And wash towards the shoreline bringing beauty to the eye.

At last the toil up many steps - good exercise for heart -

To pass the golf club once again and return to the start.