This is a poem I wrote several years ago but it just surfaced again unexpectedly, so I thought I would share. In the northernmost territories, where bald eagles circle their prey Smaller birds are stalked in the open sky by men with pellets of clay Grey wolves run in morning packs across the deep and pristine snow Searching for food in rocky crevices where freshwater used to flow Where fish used to swim, darting silver beneath the springs Birds swept through the clouds with two strong and unclipped wings Myriad stars hung like diamonds in the still and glassy night
It seems I spend my life crouched in some cold kitchen with an upturned glass and a torn piece of card, trying to capture time as though it could still thrive, contained in an elegant dome of my choosing. Moments, shivering and rare, scuttle across the floor wishing not to be trapped nor admired by those who do not realise that these silver, suffocated things are ancient eagles soaring over empty mountains, wide wetlands that stretch in a shimmering curve all the way to the sky.
The mountains have long stood and guarded the plains, while a thousand summer evenings have sighed and slept. They have seen children created and homesteads blown away by western winds that through the valleys have swept. They judge not but they keep their faces to the light and in the evening they tenderly cradle the stars. Young cattle grow restless in the heat of the night and flushed couples tumble out of crowded bars. I wonder about the secrets of yours that they hold as you lay down amid the debris of another day’s labour.
Here in the clamorous night my fingers upon your mouth the summer birds seek shores untouched by rain, silver and silent in their flight. And I can think of no greater joy beneath these wild oyster stars than to fall asleep in the cold grass and be licked awake by daylight.
I will no doubt write a longer post sometime about the charm, beauty and peculiar history of this place but, for now, I will leave you with this snap that I took one weekend in late September whilst on a camping trip with my good friend, Lisa. I took it through a window in Gardener’s cottage, Tyneham–a ghost village on the Isle of Purbeck, Dorset. The villagers were required to leave suddenly in the 1940s, due to the government using the land for military training. They believed that they would return one day, but they never did. One villager even