So it is done: this lone exploration
– Of seventy-eight days, three pairs of shoes
And fourteen hundred miles – between and through
The extreme four points of mainland Britain.
Maybe, by a certain definition,
I might rightly claim that I, faithfully,
Have walked the length and breadth of the country.
What, you ask, has been the greatest lesson?
In life, in living, is so much to see
That the fundamental resolution
To Hamlet’s famed existential question
Is unquestionably, ‘To be’. To be.
You have been beside me in my walking:
Thank you, sincerely, for your kind reading.
Note: How co-incidental that I complete this walk/project on World Poetry Day.
The entire collection of poems from this project was published by Eyewear in 2016. Only a sample of the 78 poems remain accessible on this website.
15 thoughts on “Sat 21 Mar: Helston to Lizard Point”
I have not read your poems (YET), but last night I had the priveledge to meet your parents on the camino. Your mother really made us laugh.
Congratulations on your amazing journey and the awards afterwards.
Hopefully I will be able to order your book online from South Africa.
Greetings from Maneru, Spain
Well done. What’s next? Louis
Thanks very much, Louis. Still not quite sure. I’m rather hoping that some opportunity might just materialise, but I suspect that passivity is not the right approach. Maybe I should turn to writing some fiction, now that it’s clear that I’m not cut out to be a poet!
T. E. Hulme
Once, in finesse of fiddles found I ecstasy,
In the flash of gold heels on the hard pavements,
Now see I
That warmth’s the very stuff of poesy.
Oh, God, make small
The old star-eaten blanket of the sky.
That I may fold it round me and in comfort lie.
Hello. Someone sent me a note early on in this walk, which contained a sonnet by Sidney ending with the words, ‘look in thy heart, and write’: I think that the warmth of which Hulme writes may well refer to a similar sentiment. I can certainly agree: amongst all the really poor poems which I’ve written in this collection, the worst of which play around with the words as if they were technical puzzles, the poems which I’ve come to value myself are those that have been most closely transposed from the warm core of my heart. PS. Hulme’s ‘old star-eaten blanket of the sky’ tenderly reminds me of Yeats’s ‘heavens’ embroidered cloths, enwrought with golden and silver light’.
Congratulations on your achievements of completing this 4 points walk in England today. You have made us all proud!!!!
Your success is truly measured by your hard work, patience, discipline, and determination to get through.
You have proved that you were able to do that to yourself.
Wish this success and life experience of this walk will lead you to a bigger achievement in your career in the years to come.
Dear Father, thank you also, and yes, there was a real measure of wishing to prove to myself that this was something that was indeed achievable. Having said that, I think that the modern infrastructure of the UK, with hotels everywhere and internet widely available, made this project much easier than it might have been two or three decades ago. Also, I’ve been really blessed with good weather: I think that in the 78 days of walking, there would have been less than 15 days of rain.
Well done, good and faithful soldier. Very proud of your grit and determination! Enjoy the “rest” of your life.
Dear Olive, many, many thanks. I’m not sure that there is much difference between determination and stubbornness, but I am sure that the latter has been a key quality of mine over these past months. Anyway, there is a popular aphorism which is associated with the end of the Camino de Santiago, which is that the last step on the Camino de Santiago is the first step on the Camino of Life … well, that led me to this walk and we’ll see where the last step on Lizard Point shall lead me now.
Very please to know that you can achieve your dream and goal successfully! Hope you can follow everything with your heart in future too. Well done Son!!
Thank you, Mother. We’ll see what the future holds.
Absolutely brilliant Tony. What an amazing achievement, and yes, completely right that you should finish on World Poetry Day. Salutes from me. xx Liz Sheard, English and Skills Development departments. ________________________________________
Dear Liz, I’m tremendously grateful for all of your buoyant support from start to finish: I salute you back for your willingness to plough through all the flaws of my poetry.
you got your trip done
i finished reading a book ‘the snow leopard’ by Peter Matthiessen
stating his journey in the far north west of Nepal in 1973
in the end, there is a quote from ‘The Songs of Kabir’ by Rabindranath Tagore
O SERVANT, where dost thou seek Me?
Lo! I am beside thee.
I am neither in temple nor in mosque: I am neither in Kaaba nor in Kailash:
Neither am I in rites and ceremonies, nor in Yoga and renunciation.
If thou art a true seeker, thou shalt at once see Me: thou shalt meet Me in a moment of time.
Kabîr says, “O Sadhu! God is the breath of all breath.”
another paragraph from ‘snow leopard’ in chinese
when i want a clear mind, i like to listen the complete version (3 hours) of
Bach, St Matthew’s Passion, the story of Jesus Christ
especially, erbarme dich, and the last song, wir setzen uns in tranen wieder
yes, i love music and poem, both are beautiful with their characteristic rhythm
soon will be the beginning of another journey
we are heading to a new journey at every moment.
wish you be strong, diligent and inquiring
Dear Uncle, thank you for all your comments through these past weeks: they’ve been deeply thought-provoking and have helped me to reconcile the inescapable spirituality which has accompanied each day’s walking and time spent alone. I’m still very far from any kind of enlightenment myself, but I have come to see the great value in pilgrimage, something which was clear to me from the first step on the Camino de Santiago … which I still recommend to you (perhaps for this Holy Year which the Pope has declared).