Pennine Trail

lying on its side
on the warm sandy
path-track the shrew
moved slowly
as if in pain

thinking it injured
i raised a booted foot
to eliminate suffering
and then pausing
stooping closer
i noticed the beetle
beneath struggling to
move the tiny creature
to a hole scratched in a
freshly dug soil patch
close by

i sat and watched for
some time, fascinated
by the power
and determination
of this brightly spotted
insect with its focused
endeavour seeking to
stock its larder
or provide food for
springborn offspring
on a warm May day

and close by in
woods and reeded ponds
death struggled
constant and unwitnessed
amid seething life

Alan Corkish