Stacks Image 3


These are a couple of fabulous cow poems by Phillip Bentall

Cows at the water trough

The tank slop
And ballcock hiss,
The rough tongue rubber
On galvanised metal –

Cows jostle, rub heads,
Bulked with grass,
Suctioned in mud –
The bronchitic coughs
And nostril drips.

A moment of stares,
Head shakes
And mud-caked
Tail flicks,

When bellows
Unroll across fields
As slow as
The drift of continents.

Where cows are met

Downland. A chalky emulsion
Of trodden plantain and jutting flint
Makes up its ridgeway track.
Overhead, skylarks’ faint
Invisible chirrup follows
In a dry verge hiss of wind,

An hour could be a year,
No one is seen.
Then, where the ground levels and falls away,
Cows are met –
Sleepy heads dip and dark eyes peer,
As if the last passer-by
Wore skins and carried a flint-headed axe.

Time steams
And swirls off their mud-splattered hinds,
Nostrils flare and sniff,
Legs bend and brace.

Then the skittish backward lurch,
The startled-eyed retreat,
The avalanche of fears

And the field explodes with hooves
As if mallets of stone age fists
Were set hammering in barrows under chalk.

Charleston in the eye of the beholder by Veronica Van Eijik

Bo Peep Hill
bromegrass, timothy , couch and creeping red fescue
birdsfood, grosswort, hawksbit and , trefoil
trampled and crushed underfoot with equal distain
as wearily over the brow of bo peep hill I toil
stop to rest and defecate
add more methane to the atmosphere
swallow the cud , bring up another to chew
tail swishing flies away, tongue flicking up a nostril
I've never seen friesland although I am a friesian
below the farmhouse tucked in the crease of hills
unchanged though the time I have known it
people come and go, one sitting making images of me
ruminating on the meaning of these things
reflecting though the eye of this beholder

Tim Davies