The Hunters in the Snow

On Hartland Point
a snow-hare’s poised,
hushed for the sound that’s out of place.

beneath the tilted discs
in a perfect storm of white noise,
it’s all ears to the wintry sky.

From far-flung stations to constellations,
fine-tuned for the secrets of peasants and kings,
it’s looking for the cracks between their worlds.

Brueghel’s hunters in the snow
trudging home to the ice-bound village,
knew their quarry and its field.

Safe within their daily frame
they lay their game before the evening fire.
But now the hunt is all there is.

Across sleep’s deep and ragged border,
beyond all science and poetry,
there is no rest in the frozen silence.

But one snow-hare is under the radar,
delicately balanced,
ready to give the world the slip.

David Penhale
This poem was Commended in the FRP Competition 2014/5


David was born in Port Talbot, South Wales in 1947; raised and educated mainly in Fowey, Cornwall – then Bridgend; experienced late-60s’ arts education at Univ.of Warwick; returned to Cornwall in ’70s to teach English & Drama; as professional musician, toured Europe & Australia for 3 years accompanying Brenda Wootton, Cornish singer; ’80s & ’90s taught Drama in Cornwall & ran an Arts Faculty in the Cotswolds – further degrees in Literature & Modern Art (OU), and an MA in Arts Education & Cultural Studies at Univ.of Warwick; in 2002 returned to Cornwall to develop writing, painting and music.

Recent poetry awards/publication: commended by the Poetry Society (Annual Stanza Competition, 2014 – published online); commended for the Charles Causley Prize (2014); fifteen poems published in ‘Wave Hub – New Poetry from Cornwall’ (ed. Alan M.Kent), published by Francis Boutle, London 2014.

David’s website