Shire Child and Other Poems was published by Nicholas Dykes in June 2015. Price £7.50 + £1.75 p&p.  To purchase contact nick@nicholasdykes.com or call in to Ledbury Books and Maps near the Top Cross in Ledbury town centre.


poemShire Child

There were warm days then,
green warmth in hay meadows
where cowslips and buttercups lived;
pollen drowsiness under the trees,
whose shimmering canopies
sprinkled our bare arms
with white, pink, and gold.

Harvest days,
when rabbits lollopped across shaven stubble
as we searched for pimpernels and cornflowers
under a blue, blue sky
lazy with the flight
of fat, grey doves.

Bonfire days, as the mist rose;
a skein calling southward over the sycamore,
its panoply rusted,
as were the beating wings, briefly,
by the subdued red passing
of the huge, distant sun.

Barn days, with ice in the trough,
rustling and sneezing in the snug hay;
while the cattle stamped,
their breath and ours
mingling jets of steam,
under solemn eyes.

Loving retrospect:
a boy with windy hair
and bluebell eyes
dreaming on a five-barred gate.