Between the trees, we weave a path to the field; bracken brown and sodden.

It is dead of night and the busy moles whisper under our feet.

The moon, like a soldier with a lantern, keeps the midnight watch

And small creatures who own the darkened land worry along their way.

 

On the far ridge, car lights beam like lowered swords of steel, bend and disappear

And then shatter into pieces as they power through untidy rows of trees.

Silence comes back slowly, settling and tucking in the air around the hedgerow

To cloak damp nests and hold night sounds in a wet embrace.

 

And then we see them in the gloom, a herd with blackened earth-caked hides

Pushing out sweet breaths from heaving frames, jaws slowly grinding.

We brush past and slip along ancient stony ways bruising the hard bushes

Where brambles catch our coats and thorns spring and whip tearing furrows in the wax.

 

Our journey brings us through the night hours and a drenched grey light over the hills

Fights to push the darkness away as dull clouds chase into shapes and fade like wisps.

The cow-common is waking and hooting geese like bombers scoop low from hidden copses

On their mission to a further field to graze, leaving down-feather as clues on the grass.

 

The heron is waiting for us, shrouded as a monk in tooth-white cloth. Sharp snake eyes open,

He scans the sluggish thick river for drifting fish caught in rotten weeds for his delight.

Like a falling man from a bridge, he dives to the marbled skin of the river with an oily splash

And dances back to his tree with the fish making him a silhouette as a cross against the sky.

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