from  Paul Mobbs
from  Max Fuller
from  Lars Osberg
from  Robert Minhinnick
from Amy Gdala
from Tony Blair
from YOU
Travel in good company, try the

                                           HEAVEN ON EARTH

The late dubscout  Amy Gdala has left sparse glimpses of a noumenal land whose language she never acheived. This is ecotourism without a vengeance: all you need is a thermos flask and a pair of wellies.


from POWYS, Wales


This is such a beautiful dingle.  Still frosty but the sun is creeping in.  There are already buds on some of these trees.  I like the edge between the little river and the flat grass.  It feels like a walk to the paradise-garden.

Look at the patterns in the water: fractals, vectors, pebbles. Physics can be overpoweringly persuasive to the naked eye - let alone the lens! How I wish we could all stay here on this planet and obey its laws as it obeys its own.  I wish we could stop letting the telly indoctrinate our children to Disneyize and exploit Nature, to disrespect the very thing that gives us life.

How lucky I am just to be able to walk this way.

What more should I need?

Ah! That must be the lane there. So I turn left.

Oh! Wow! The trees meet at the top. The lane is like a tunnel through the trees.  It must be fabulous when the leaves are all out.  I wonder if this is one of the drovers' roads.

And here is the terrace.  Grim little houses. Heavy!   Full of a strange vibe. Reminds me of Pompeii.

Strong stone walls, only the roofs are gone. Odd that nobody has developed them for holiday cottages or anything. Weird!


from p.57 of Heads We Win   by Amy Gdala .  Published by Superscript 2005.




I can't be more than fifty yards from the road but there's nothing to say what century it is. No vehicles, pylons, masts, tarmac, screamingly acid-coloured anoraks, none of that ugly clashing chaos. 

And . . .

Yes! No whining noise!

All I can hear is the water singing over the boulders, a wren, some tits and . . . who is that?  Yes, I thought it was. Hello blackbird! I love you, golden-beak. You speak for us all. Amen.

Amen and Allelujah. Jah Rastafari, Haile Selassie-I!


Look at the lichen!  And all the different mosses and liverwort. Oh, look at the tiny gemma cups - chalices of the Elfin princes -  the forgotten beauties of  childhood.

Bryophytes, the early  ones, the first plants to take hold on an earthless Earth. Settling in the nooks and crannies of the bare rock, creating the virgin humus for the ones to follow, ferns like this -  exotic, unbelievable - and then the grasses.  These are the pioneering ones, the ancient monocotyledons, unchanged since the dinosaurs, still working away making the earth, building the rich soil for the more complicated flora to come: aconites and wood-sorrel, sweet violets, and tall, proud trees.


The light on the water!


The intensity of the greenness.  The smell of Heaven. The taste of the sparkling water.


The very breath of life.


                                    * * *


So this must be the fence Edna mentioned.  I'll get over the stream  and take a diagonal route towards the ridge.


Out here in the open it is a different kind of grass. Springy, reedy.  And, in among it here,  the tiny whortleberry leaves.


Hehhh.  Hehhh. Hehh.


I'm getting out of breath. It is steep. I'll just get to that comfy-looking hollow there and take a rest.  It's easier if I grab bunches of grass and pull myself up. I wish I had proper climbing boots, the wellies are not helping any, to say the least.


Hehhh. Hehhh. Dunnit!


What a fantastic view.


                                                * * *


Come on then, girl. You'd better get on up or you could get caught by night.


Hehh. Hehhh. Hehhh.


Shit! Don't look down there you idiot. Just look in front of you.


And don't expect the grass to take your weight. No wonder it's coming out in your hands. Just lean forward and concentrate on where you are putting your feet.


Hehhh. Hehhh. Hehhh.


Hehhh. Hehhh. Hehhh. Hehhh. Hehhh. Hehhh.


Well done! That's the worst over.  There's a bit of a sheep-path here, looks like the safest way now.


                                    * * *


Yeah! Here we are on safe, flat ground. I can walk upright like a higher primate: see everything for miles around.


I never would have believed this.  It's a whole different world up here. Further above the everyday world than Tam's people are below it. Many times further.


I feel like a giant. Hey! Maybe this is my chair. I am the actual giant whose chair it is.


That reminds me of a joke: Hello, hello, hello did you hear the one about the Trotskyist baglady? She went to the poshest university in New Zealand and they offered her a chair. They said,  'You look tired, why don't you sit down' .


You loved that joke. It always made you laugh.


Oh I wish you could see this view, man.  I can see right over Snowdonia, it's kind of on the same level, as though I could jump over.  The colours are not what you'd guess. Purple and maroon and pale buff. It looks like Afghanistan. Oh I wish you could see it. Or, I wish I had a camera so I could send you a photo . . .


Send! Where?


Oh Ben! I wonder where you are. Are you safe? Are you happy?


Up here everything falls into it's proper perspective.


Suddenly I see how hard was the path I pushed you out on: the hardest route that could ever be drawn on one life's map.


And you trod it so bravely.  You walked your way with intelligence and creativity, humbly softening and smoothing the earth beneath your naked, moulding feet - like a potter at his wheel - impacting it with your perception, your unshakeable altruism, and the kindly mending thrust of your will, adorning it with the fairy flowers that spring up in your footprints, nourished and watered by the sweet sweat of your toil.


You walk a rough and stony path and leave behind a carpet of lush, close, velvet green; as if a thousand generations of gentle sheep had followed you on your way.


Walk on, my son, in faith and trust, without naivete or guile.  Shape your route where you will. And, as you go, pass on the stories we have come to this world to bring.


For this is our purpose and our joy.


                                            *   *   *


And there is the sea. Shining and wavering like a mirage. And the great gold-red ball of the sun dipping it's toes, contemplating total submersion with complete equanimity.


And I've got to go down too. I have to welly-bounce down that  jagged-stone tourists' path. Quicker than the sun.  Reckon I'll make it.  I've got gravity on my side.


from pp.186-191 of Heads We Win   by Amy Gdala .  Published by Superscript 2005.