The hill of the horses a broad backed beast to the east of Cwmorthin.
Perhaps, long ago a string of wild chestnut mares ran like a thought on the edge of the sky here.
Free as clouds ranging the land casting fleeting shadows. From the Carneddau to the Moelwynion Their heads high, tails streaming.
They ran before the quarries plunder when noise filled the cwm, before the mine collapsed and cracks opened in the mountain.
Even before the Jones's settled in Cwmorthin Uchaf, five hundred years ago.
Did someone ride up here hoping to find them? "I'm going to catch that horse if I can" I doubt they did It's rough country.
The ground drops on both sides, steeply To the west, the flawed cwm of Orthin, chapel like a kite from here, tethered to the road. The silvered quarry tips flow like cold lava. Fingers laid into the lake, a spill of mercury.
To the east, screams announce the Zip junkies while a chorus of steady crunching goes on in the wreckage of Oakeley as millions of years of slate gets reduced to ornamental chips.
I walk over the dry dam, long drained by the mine's great fall, the heather cleaning mud off my boots. Steeply up again to the summit's broad curve Scarred by the dirt bikers, standing astride their stinking beasts like petrol fuelled Apaches on the warpath.
Then the wind drops a manta ray shadow glides quickly across from Rhosydd far below, climbing without effort over to Boethwel in the north. I imagine them, the horses hooves tilted clustered around the foals.
I walk to the quiet heights above, to Iwerddon and Moel Druman. At last, only the curlews for company. My imaginary horses take off, they must have caught my scent they run high up the side of Druman, higher than I've ever been before.
I'll rest here for a while, drink in the landscape then I'll head down into Cwmorthin scanning the ridge for those chestnut mares again.
"I'm going to catch that horse if I can"- the Byrds, "Chestnut Mare", 1969.
All images are copyright Iain Robinson 2017 and must not be used without prior permission. The depiction of a mine or site does not indicate that access is possible- permission should be sought before entering any private land. Underground exploration should not be undertaken unless properly equipped and with at least one experienced member of the party.