SCAT

It had been a long walk across the boggy moorland at the foot of Snowdonia’s Carneddau mountains. The choice not to wear gaiters had been ill-fated, and our feet were soaked and tired as we came to rest for a few minutes by one of the numerous abandoned slate quarries. The scree-strewn hills rose above us on all sides allowing just a small breach in the grey-green walls for the Afon Eigiau to feed into…

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SIGN IN THE SPINNEY

The sun has spun its last threads Among the dark-dappled campion And dog’s mercury. It is all black And silver beneath. The moon’s colours. This is an old badger track, dead Footprints dissolved, but a route unfolds Into tangles of hazel and briar. It leads to the base of a massive ash Which I, listening, lean against. The dry and oily muntjac scat Betrays somehow the death of badgers At the secret hands of men.…

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PITMOREHILL COPSE

It is not much of a hill. A smudge of yellowy brown On the white sky, like fox shit in thin snow. But it is a Midlands hill, brought to the plain fore By the black, leafless copse veining the field. Seen from this distance, the cold thicket gapes wide Like a mouth opening to utter a muffled word Without expression. Visible breath exhaled softly From bones beginning to cool at their edge. I have…

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