THE PETER WYTON POEM
ASCENT OF THE M50
Not a sherpa to be hired, for love or Euros, in the base-camp at Ross-on-wye, save for the expatriate Myfanwy of the Hard Shoulders, banned from every peak in the Principality, after propositioning the Prince of Wales on Cader Idris, the day after his Investiture.
I encumbered her with crampons and pitons. We traversed the steep screes of Rudhall, reached the snowline above Dymock Forest, passed Ryton overhang and chose to bivouac upon the central reservation at Junction 2, where my first serious setback occurred.
I lost Myfanwy to the Pendock yeti, known by local guides as the abominable yeoman. She barely struggled. Curiously, I swear I heard ecstatic squealing as they abseiled down defiles in the direction of the Three Choirs Vineyard.
Rarely able to see more than three cats-eyes ahead, I carried on alone, inching past icicle traffic cones and totally irrelevant speed restriction signs, to straddle Guller’s End, and ford the Severn glacier.
All of a twitter by the Twittocks, my frostbit fingers lost their grip on the last bar of Kendal Mint Cake, which, plummeting earthwards on a chilly downdraft, concussed the vicar of Twyning, cycling to evensong.
I made my final push for the summit, through clouds of noxious exhaust fumes, in the vicious slipstream of refrigerated juggernauts. At length, I reached the longed-for goal of Strensham Services North, legendary home to mountain deities like Roadchef, Texaco and Travel-inn. Later, when reporters asked me, at the crowded press conference, “Why Strensham?” I replied, “Because it’s there!”
After many years in the workplace, Peter Wyton is enjoying retirement, which gives him more time to devote to both writing his poetry and performing it to groups and societies in the Cotswold region. He is contactable on peter[email protected]mail.com