Saturday, 13 January 2018



A distant owl’s haunting drifts mournful along the valley
Piercing choke heavy hanging wet grey morning mist
Silencing an unseen robin’s cheery boisterous song
Hiding away on this bird emptiest “no-fly” dawn
Into which only boldest jackdaws dare to venture
Balancing black on bare jagged lightning treetops
Challenging the wind to soar clap-handed backwards
Through opaque bright light-stained sunrise sheets
From afar a rhythmic squawking pump needing oil
An overnighting goose panicked into misted flight
By to-and-fro barking from unseen baying hounds
My boots crunch on towards higher broken ground

Beyond the newly painted hills surrounding the valley
A glimmer of light punching far beyond its weight
Waits in vain for the day’s blankets to be pulled back
Jackdaw-wrangling breezes push the worn tears along
To give glimpses of pale pinks to tantalise and smother
Blight blues flash with unkept promises of a better day
Drowning despair of dazzling dance spectacles hidden
After eight with the sun still to trying hardly to appear
An orange concrete mixer chokes and churns into life
To accompany and bury the ever building birdsong
Breaking morning silence the machines still pound
My boots crunch on towards higher frozen ground

Far away on another winding road far across the valley
A slowly moving orange flashing escorted vehicle
Leads a creeping crawling frustrated light parade
A chain of stunted bright beams crawling along
Blazes furiously from cars, buses and wagons
Whose drivers did not expect such travel delays
To be snaking away before dawn on a Saturday
They are not guided by a red flag-waving warden
But more flashes splitting off up to the quarry slopes
Leaving followers free to speed to their own destinies
Streak and fade leaving me once more silent and alone
My boots crunch on towards lower safer ground

Martin A W Holmes, Jan 2018

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