Today is World Poetry Day; while many established poets will be honoured and celebrating, I thought there would be no harm in joining in, but I make no claim to have skill as a poet.


Today I had a swallow in my hand,

its silky sheen of blue and black

within my grasp. Just one from out the band

of fledgling chicks, gape-fed, still hanging back

to crouch beside their nest across the beam.

A day went past before they launched and flew

save one small bird, dropped from their team,

to press against the window pane, not through

to sky, but tangled in the spider’s den.

I heard the noise and took it to the light

a while it sat upon my hand and then

was gone, at first uncertain shaky flight,

but next in wheeling arcs it soared away

its sweeping flight my huge reward today.



Dark Brendon night, see lights shine out from sheds

where panting ewes and standing cows bide time

and through the night, tired souls get up from beds

and go again to watch their stock. Hours chime,

they wish themselves asleep some more and yet

seek out first signs of life to come; they wait

to ease the way with skill or call the vet

if trouble shows and problem signs dictate,

till bleating lambs and rasping licks relieve

concern and nursing dams bring young to suck.

The dawning sky creeps in the day to weave

as skipping legs and wagging tails will buck

about their pen.   The school bus comes uphill

to take the kids to class against their will.


I live on Brendon Hill, the eastern edge of Exmoor, UK.


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