L I t T e R

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Janet Sutherland

A walk with five dewponds

the caught water
squeezed out of thin air

a single tree at the edge
a cloud catcher

along threads of grass
downwards a trickle

your cupped hand
something for nothing

this hidden bowl
sheep tracks through dense gorse
the shallow margins muddied
overhung –everything that is wild
like the wind up here
stilled to a quiet place
an under feather floating upturned
a small boat
an absence

an absence of water
in wind the rain comes straight across
and trees along the margins the boundaries
bend to an ache
that stretches the eye
up to the horizon

turf and scrub
the colour of collared doves
a muddle of trees
and nowhere the movement of water

canisters, cluckets and brass cup bells
at the fair in a great heap – he sounds them
and listens.

chords, fragments
and single notes
his flock moves
and he listens


Tom Rusbridge, Albert Gorringe, Henry Coppard, John Beecher, Shepherd Newell
brought them to water

wagtail, linnet, rook, magpie

and the skylark

Copyright © Janet Sutherland, 2006