small town life

At first sight, nobody has really had much chance to travel over the last fifteen months, and yet when I talk to people, it seems that almost everyone I know has managed a getaway or three – to Cornwall, to Wales, to a B&B on the coast, a caravan or country cottage… I begin to think I am the only one who hasn’t had a holiday or a weekend away since 2019.

In fact I have travelled a few times, by train, to visit my aged mother, but I’ve not stayed overnight. Each time, I’ve returned the same day to the same one-horse town in Middle England.
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a horse of a different colour

After I published yesterday’s post, I remembered that I do have other poems with horses in, including the very summery Before breakfast, which begins:

When the dew lies cool in the day’s eyes, beyond
the umbelliferous lace of napkin fields
morning horses toss and fret, and rooks stalk
among the stubble.

Those “morning horses” were not as quiet as the ones in the Ted Hughes poem, where the narrator “[…] climbed through woods in the hour-before-dawn dark” before coming across the horses: “Grey silent fragments/ Of a grey silent world.”
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neigh-saying

This early in the year it probably behooves me to be positive, but it’s been a bit of a grey day and I’m saddled with updating the blog, although I’m bridling at the thought.

The big hitch is that my head seems to be mane-ly stuffed with sawdust – the ideas are hardly jockeying for position in the race to be written. Indeed, progress has completely stalled for the last few hours and I’m beginning to think wild horses couldn’t drag a blog post out of me today.
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new year, new thoughts

horses in a field
A few years back, I wrote the post what’s in the poem, where I said that I didn’t like how poets tend to use an explanatory “blurb” between pieces at readings to tell the audience how they should understand the poem rather than giving listeners the chance to respond for themselves.

This week, though, I attended a poetry reading by Michael Hulse and saw just how well that inter-poem blurb can be used.
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new neighbours

horses grazing
They moved in yesterday, and although they sound very close when I hear them snorting, they are mostly keeping over to the other side of the olive grove where there is a little more shade.

In the garden on the other side, we have a small flock of sheep and a Shetland pony. Maybe I should write a village memoir and call it Fifty shades of graze.