I don't like this, being carried sidewaysthrough the night. I feel wrong and helpless – like
a timber broadside in a fast stream.
Such a way of moving may suitthat odd snake the Sidewinder
in Arizona: but not to me in Perthshire.
I feel at right angles to everything,a crossgrain in existence. – It scrapes
the top of my head and my foot soles.
To forget outside is no help either –then I become a blockage
in the long gut of the train.
I try to think I'm an Alice in Wonderlandmountaineer bivouacked
on a ledge 5 feet high.
It's no good. I go sidelong.I rock sideways... I draw in my feet
to let Aviemore pass.
Norman MacCaig.May 1966.