Monday, 29 April 2013

Turn your head


Turn your head.  Can you see her?  
That little girl with the dark hair, running down the track? 
There, by the gorse bushes, air heavy with their scent of coconut,
Sunshine burning skin like a magnifying glass.
She’s gone, with a twirl of cotton skirt, round the bushes
In search of ponies.  Always ponies in her life.
 Always somebody else’s. 
There they stand across the valley, in the shade of the holly grove,
Eyes watchful, ears flicking backwards and forwards,
Tails switching flies on sun-warmed flanks,
Foals dreamily blinking and snoozing at their feet.

The stream takes her attention, warm peaty brown water
Swirling over the gravel pebbles, discolouring them, distorting them,
Forming little eddies around the rocks, tickling heather,
Bouncing the branches of broom which dangle over them,
Licking at the banks, curvaceously meandering,
Trespassing under tree-roots, plashing and splashing and
Clunking stones.  It is home to minnows and sticklebacks,
Waterboatmen and whirligigs, a drowner of insects,
Highway for flotillas of fallen leaves, stealer of shadows,
Thief of foxglove flowers, home of Guinness-coloured pools
And embroidered skeins of bubbles.


 The sultry breeze jangles the ash keys like loose change,
Tickles the willow leaves, combs the flossy hair of the bog cotton,
Chimes the heather bells, rattles the gorsepods till they explode like artillery,
Sidles round the bracken stalks and plucks at ponies’ forelocks.
 It carries the notes of the skylark, the scent of the Sweet-gale,
The wing of the buzzard and the hum of the bees.
It skips through the marshes and breaths on the peat-moss,
Exhaling a summer song under the trees.


  1. Lovely poem and photos and it takes me back to when I was a little girl in search of ponies.

  2. So many beautiful images in that poem--sight, scent, sounds. I wasn't horse-mad, but I think that little girl would be my friend, never-the-less.

  3. MM - she already is of course!!!

    Terra - my dad always said we didn't go out for a drive, we went "pony chasing"!

  4. Lovely Lovely Lovely poem.
    Pony chasing what a wonderful Dad.
    I was rather horse mad.
    Your photos today are wonderful and that last one is really terrific.

    cheers, parsnip

  5. Thank you parsnip. My dad put up with a lot from my horsiness! All summer long his back lawn turned into a show-jumping course! The bottom half of the child was the horse's legs, and the top half the rider, complete with twig "whip"! Glad that the poem and photos gave pleasure. That final photo is looking across from the top of the Burley road in the New Forest.

  6. What a wonderful poem. The first bit brought a tear to my eye it brought back such such strong childhood memories of my own, particularly the line 'Always somebody else's'.

  7. Just love that first photo and the poem is just beautiful :)

  8. Beautiful poem and the top photo is exceptional, a path leading on to goodness knows where but full of promise and excitement...

  9. I love that BB - all quite magical.

  10. Wonderful poem and photo...thank you for sharing!