Malham Trod

come-bye flock   on rubber hauled

shod wheel   shod foot    and all gear weighted

tread calcite veins   through rise and fall

choked    boundaries bounded

to shield  a landscape   from this temper

‘till haemorrhaged

into metre feet   as point directed

tomorrow’s fossils mill the past

Penny Boughstare sullen cow    and penny bough

where present tears of history trickle

from a face   not lately washed

                          but melts of grey   and echo smoothed

                          as nature veils   a self-harm scar

up swallows soar   and climbers poke

to place a kiss upon a wound

that hurts    still              

                         of choice

upon reflection

i ponder by the tarn

where water sits    and waits

in mirrored silence


                   the night crow’s wings

                   spread shot-peppered through

                   to the forge wrought skies       beyond    the

ivory mouths of moon sirens

Richie Mais