Cows on the Somerset LevelsPhoto Roger Harper - http://www.panoramio.com/user/317493
this has to be my favourite poem and got me the highest marks on my degree.
It’s silent here
I wait in the morning for the first beams
There is a frost and I see a stream
of mist; it is
the warm breath from the mouths
of my sisters.
It creates the fragile fog forming
by the rhynes.
My sisters and I hear the call of
the early rooks as they crow
when flying from their roosts.
We shake the dew from our hooves
and crystals plunge
into the ground.
The land smiles.
Pearls of dew reflect the rays
of the early sun
onto pea green willow trees.
Sisters shuffle restlessly,
aware of time, aware of
Swallows and Swifts
diving above deep green fields
scooping up sleepy insects.
We hear the farmer, with his dog,
calling and whistling.
Voices echo across the empty levels,
a distant dog barks in reply.
Now comes the slow, painful walk.
The struggle with our too heavy teats,
as we are herded along
to the milking sheds
It is a struggle, I know, because
I am the cow that led
my sisters to stand here,
to be milked by the machines
that replaced the man,
who called and whistled to his dog
on this frosty April morning.
1 a rhyne is the Somerset name for a ditch or canal.