Poem ‘Molehill’


Scafell Pike was a few miles distant.
Not visible.
But this was England’s highest point.
“A molehill!” he said, while we sat
laughing at each other from our tatty
old sleeping bags.

You should have met my Swedish
friend, a cabinet maker
resident somewhere in Switzerland,
accustomed to real
mountains and the exuberant air.
We got on like the proverbial house,
cooling it down with his wit, my
natural reserve, but we had
Abba and Borg and now the Buddha
in common – what was there not to like?

“But who is this Borg?” he said.
“Didn’t you know? Back home we say ‘Bory’.”
Really? Well I thought that wouldn’t do, shocked
out of my anglo-centric world.
But I trusted my sudden blond friend,
this infectious alpine Swede.

“And watch out for the snails!” he said, leading
us to the huge white tent.
Yes, weren’t they lives, too? just
not with our potential
to love and to care – though how often do we choose?

“Maybe on a clear day?” I said, pausing
by the entrance, pointing towards
where Scafell Pike might be.
He laughed. “Not in a billion years!” he said,
with his arresting smile

© copyright David F. Barker 2012



  1. brian miller · July 3, 2012

    ha fun story telling…i know Borg, and not the star trek kind…read a few of his books…weren’t they lives, too? just
    not with our potential
    to love and to care – though how often do we choose?…really like the placement of that question…


  2. Anna Montgomery · July 3, 2012

    I love the shift in perspectives here: cultural, natural, and eventually toward an empathetic stance.


  3. claudia · July 3, 2012

    you should see me smile…


  4. SusanWritesPrecise · July 4, 2012

    Nice. I like it.


  5. Chazinator · July 4, 2012

    I really enjoyed the friendship, described so warmly in your narrative. The poem takes on a life of its own, exuding that spiritual light drawn from the inside of its narrative. Friendship is one of the major intellectual virtues, says Aristotle. Your poem shows why that is so.


  6. dfb · July 4, 2012

    Hi, thank you so much!!!


  7. dfb · July 4, 2012

    Anna, thank you very much!!!


  8. dfb · July 4, 2012

    Thank you very much Brian!!!


  9. abichica · July 4, 2012

    lol, super fun, nice.. 😀


  10. Pete Armetta · July 4, 2012

    A whole new world for me that’s for sure haha I guess you don’t have many mountains in England eh? I grew up where it was flat (Jersey coast) but have lived among mountains all of my adult life. I get nervous if I’m somewhere and don’t see them. Nice story, and so worldly for me to read haha


  11. susanjanejones · July 4, 2012

    I love the subtle passion to this. Lovely.


  12. Thomas Davis · July 4, 2012

    Poetry centered on a conversation is usually difficult to pull off effectively, but you manage here. The key lines, of course, are:
    Yes, weren’t they lives, too? just
    not with our potential
    to love and to care – though how often do we choose?
    In this case you’ve chosen your Swedish friend even though there is a bit of drama in the interplay of words between the two of you. A wonderful poem.


  13. jane tims · July 5, 2012

    Hi. I have trouble with titles, but ‘molehill’ suits this very well. I like the glimpse of a specific personality. Jane


  14. dfb · July 5, 2012

    Jane, I’m grateful for your comments. Thank you.


  15. dfb · July 5, 2012

    Thank you Susan!


  16. dfb · July 5, 2012

    Thank you Pete!


  17. Francina · July 6, 2012

    Great poem about friendship and a well chosen title, David . I know which mountain you mean… we were very close to this one . Beautiful area.

    Ciao, Francina


  18. Gotta love a fresh perspective 🙂


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