It’s so clear in the freezer,

the sky deeper.

Steam rises from the falls,

turns grass stems to prayer flags

and trees into wedding gowns.

The windows of the big house

shine gold while

Thomas Payne’s excellent bridge

burns like a biscuit

against moors of palest pink. 


Crystal deep,

the sparkling deer

join with cosy sheep

in a warm circuit of silage,

fermenting an uneasy friendship,

a cloven harmony of hunger.

Flashing red, a woodpecker picks

at frozen bark

while titmice forage

out of habit more than hope.    


Spying a discarded raft, I climb aboard

and launch myself down the slope until,

disgorged in a tumble of laughter,

I get the drift, use my hands

like rockets on a space module,

gain stability but no direction. 

A stranger watches by the cattle grid,

‘I’ve only come for my grandson.’

I smile like a sheep in silage

and resolve to buy a sledge.