Beneath me, the soil is like rock
And even the blades of grass
Are crisp to the foot’s touch.
Heavy frosts and now snow
Have all played their part
In a bleak, wintry landscape
Across the hills and valleys today.
The snow has sprinkled itself
Like table salt on the ground.
A few feet above the earth
The air is heavy and dark
Full of dampness and snow,
Penetrated only by car headlights.
The cows, usually grazing happily,
Huddle together for warmth
Around a cluster of bushes.
Their generally sparkling coats
Are wet and curly today.
Just one other winter walker
Braves the fearsome elements
Out in the open, on top of the downs.
The landscape seems tense and tight lipped
Shocked, perhaps, to be plunged
Back into such a cold, dark, damp day
A stark reminder
That spring has not yet arrived.
Copyright © 2012 Vicky Newham. All Rights Reserved.