winter storm

on the journey home the skies darken

a bomb cyclone blows in

what is that?

a visitation



dark clouds sweep across the road ahead 

then rain

down-pouring on towns

and hills

and fields

our car toiling

through streaming torrents


half-submerged in

sudden floods

blinding spray  or

driven up embankments

carving mudtracks

deep into grass

blue lights flash

on the other carriageway

once, twice, thrice in our passing 


in the distance

the wailing of sirens


in the storm

we turn east and find another route

the sky lightens

and the regular wiper-blades’


once more


the drumming 

of the rain

on the windshield


we pass miserable fields

of silent sheep 

heads bowed

winter coats hanging heavy

they stand or lie

in grass

amongst rushes

or huddled

against clumps of heather

fields are wire-bound, squared-off

there is

for sheep

no shelter at all

I worry, is their skin wet

beneath their wool?

do their ears ache

from the sawing wind?

their feet hock-deep in freezing mulch,

do they burn from the cold?

we pass a field with no grass

but a flock of white sheep


nowhere to lie

standing drenched

in brown mud,

sodden fleeces dragging


cold underbellies

muddied brown faces


for broken

plough-split turnips

beyond the square wired-off fields

copses of trees, bushes

undulating land


over-hanging rock formations

sheltered gulleys and patches of woodland

where sheep could gather

if they would



to bleat together


in their dreams.

do they dream? do they bleat?

we turn away and listen

to the thrumming rain


the sound

of the wipers


our tyres

rushing homewards through the storm.

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