A winter field is flooded, iced
bare frost chills the air;
at the border beneath withered Elms
words are muttered in the dusk
as the February birds settle
into a dark resting at night,
their trees cloud shadowed
with a language of coldness
by a guttural croak
as if stuck in the throat.
This city of silhouetted branches
protectorate of eggs against sterile weathers,
an east wind as orange day breaks,
birds swarm black in the matins sky
charting ancestral paths over wood, field or town
speaking as if the air is a love charm.
Richard Sellwood was the winner of The 1000 Monkeys Poetry Competition in 2016, with Last Day of November. Richard writes sensitively about nature and the enduring history of the countryside. His love of the ancient sites of rural England and the changing seasons shines in this, his first collection. This is a book to keep by the bed or armchair and dip into often.