flayed to the bone with wind and rain,
where watercourses double as rights of way
and the black-nibbed sheep
are tireless scribes
who annotate an endless text of grass

where we came upon a massive oak,
uprooted, upended, having dragged
from the underworld
a half-ton boulder, which it held
aloft in its claws like a trophy

where the river trots
on small white hooves
over the pebbles or – slowing – spreads
over treacle-pot depths

and the mist, like a night nurse,
comes with soothing hands
to the long dormitories of the hills.

© Anthony Watts

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