Thursday, February 27, 2014

Red sky at night.

The soft smoke drifts and swirls, eddies and twists,
And carries into the clouds the scent and memory
Of the animals whose bodies are consumed, slowly
And lazily by the oily-oranged flames.
The ice-cold tears of pain run down the cragged
And wind-worn face of the shepherd, whose evening
Breath caressed the falling night, and gave warning
That there would be frost tonight, a frost that
Answered the heat of anger with the chill of pain,
And tonight the sky would be a red one.
The fells, painted with the greys and greens of winter,
Bare of the warmth of spring, broken reeds and woody
Stalks of dying heather, were dotted with the dull
And dirty white sheep, and the music of the lapwing
And the curlew soars piercingly over all, a
Keening song of grief.
The softly swaying glow of orange and red
Paints the grey and blue of the evening sky,
And slowly the flames eat the life that has been
Killed and desecrated. And only the dog
Is left, walking to heel with desperate concentration.
The wind whipped a tear from his eye.

© 2ndwitch, 27/02/14

(With thanks to Ralph McTell, whose song 'Red Sky At Night' brought back so many bitter memories, and inspired this poem, see


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