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Filtering by Tag: poem-a-day-for-four-days

Poem-a-day-for-four-days - 4

Elaine Walker

Tumulus An unobtrusive mound, just off a road too small to

number, surrounded by rowan trees – ah, druids – symbolism – ritual – but they

weren't there twenty years ago so a deep ancestral meaning

seems unlikely.

From time to time earnest types with round

spectacles and backpacks drive up to stand by the gate - nodding - then

duck back inside their cars out of the hanging cloak of damp

mist, pausing only to wind down water-speckled windows and ask if there's a

pub nearby.

I look at the tumulus and see a bump in a field – maybe

beneath its neat hummock, instead of bones and slabs of

slate, there are old engines and worn out tractors like there are in the cleft of

the valley below, where the rushing water has washed away the earth used

to cover their passing.

But walking home under a blood moon, I watch the

dark shape on the skyline and remember how the old lady at

Dolau claimed to see, on nights like this, long-haired

warriors dancing, casting shadows around its

echoing silhouette.


A poem-a-day-for-four-days - number 3

Elaine Walker

My third poem was written on the day my beloved Appaloosa X Welsh Section D mare joined my herd. Her registered name is August Serenity but this poem is about the way she came by the name I call her.

Autumn Horse 

Against the fading brightness of a bank of mountain ash,

with the burned brown ends of last year’s reeds beyond, she

surveys her surroundings. Behind her, a crown of red berries, a wreath

of golden leaves, a swathe of crisped and faded purple heather. Her black

and white spotted rump is round as a full moon floating across the tired-moss

field. Her finely shaped head is alert, the arched-bow neckline echoes the curve

of the moor against the muted sky. She plants her neat hooves evenly with each

step. She is interested as she explores her new field, keeping a distance

from the unruly geldings crowding along the fence to call her. She does not

trouble with them. A whole day, she wanders ground that’s strange beneath her,

smells air that’s damp and rich with loam and tastes grass that’s a new texture

in her mouth. She is thoughtful, cautious but not overwhelmed. She will breathe

the peat-soaked air from the moors until the rhythms of her blood are attuned

to this place and she blends like her patterned coat into the russet background of

the rippling valley. By evening I have named her ‘Rowan’ and

the colours of autumn have gathered around her.


A poem a day for four days

Elaine Walker

I was nominated by a friend on Facebook to post four poems - as I'm so tardy at adding material to this site, I thought I'd post them here too. The first was inspired by the landscape around my home. I read this poem aloud this week for the first time in a while, when I took part in The Watchman's Walk as part of Denbigh Midsummer Festival.

Moors Weather

The moors stretch flat into the distance, until your struggling feet learn that flat is a relative term, that small undulations, deep holes and hollows, sudden crags and thigh high bogs make A to B the tiring route. There are no straight tracks on Mynydd Hiraethog.

‘Hiraeth’ – longing, yearning, an ache in the heart - they are like that, these flat, not-flat peat moors, worming their way under your reluctant skin while you think of softer places to live.

Places where the wind stops thrashing occasionally, where winter is over before June and summer extends beyond July. Places where trees are many and stand straight, not leaning alone, weather-crippled like Wordsworth’s leech-gatherer.

Then moors weather closes in to offer a damp embrace. The hills leap closer with mist hovering at their shoulders and each sprig of heather stands out clear below. Every lush and lethal bog shines bright green, and moisture soft as breath soaks you bone-deep in moments.

Moors weather, when blizzards rage for two days straight, making you seal your family, home and animals safe inside as best you can to wait, and wait, and wait for the silence. The utter silence.

Then you venture out into a strange world of snow gate-high, swept into waves and billows, filling the lane and the yard, burying cars and human things. Reclaiming the land as wild, destroying fences, phone-lines. Isolating you in white too bright for seeing.

Except when fox-cubs catch your eye playing in the drifts, or rabbit tracks or badger prints remind you of the secret lives, unseen alongside yours.

So you stay a little longer, brave a few more winters – long winters, short summers, no blissful spring or fruitful autumn.

Just moors weather, under your skin, niggling at your heart, defining home.