Fields of fire

20 June 2011 § 4 Comments

Night fighters

A white beam
Sweeps the midnight fields
Like a hand searching under a bed.
Grass-blades caught beneath its bright gleam
Bristle black; a million tiny gnomons
Telling the rapid hours
Of this unwonted, sudden sun.
The woods recoil before
The engine’s heavy throb,
And poplars flare
Like burning buildings
In the tail-lights’ angry glare.

Two shots.

The echo rolls
And ricochets around the farm.
Keep your head down, Reynard;
Squeeze tight the shining eyes
That will betray you
And seek the shelter of the earth.

At half a mile, my skin grows tight
Waiting for the spent stray’s bite;

Then wonder. The hunting dog is gone
In search of rabbits on the wrong
Side of the hedge. Caught in the edge
Of that cruel light, a half-second’s untutored sight
Of that long nose and wolfish gait
Would be enough to seal his fate.
I call him, with the sickened urgency
Of frantic fathers trapped in Tripoli
When unseen hunters rip their night
With noise, and death’s unholy light.

Advertisements

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

§ 4 Responses to Fields of fire

  • slpmartin says:

    The end of the poem brings a completely different emotion into the poem…it was a surprise…but very powerful.

  • belfastdavid says:

    A poem which in its final twist provoked very strong emotions in me.

    It is so easy to see events far away as impersonal. You make them very personal. Really well done

    David

    • gonecycling says:

      Thank you for that response, David – as often happens, I started out writing a simple poem about lamping (I often see them when I’m taking the whippet for his last walk of an evening) but halfway through I saw the news about a NATO missile strike going astray in Tripoli and I found myself writing a whole new ending. I’m glad you think it works.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

What’s this?

You are currently reading Fields of fire at Gonecycling.

meta

%d bloggers like this: