The sheep farmer


Where the cocked-tailed wren is darting
across the sally tree in the breeze,
where winter colours come suddenly in slanted light
he falls in love with this life, high up
in the winds of the Black Mountains,
this landscape that morphs and bends
with the scent of dawn in the meadows,
the noise of the tractors and the rattling of clippers,
when the ewes peel in creamy waves,
and the sour smell of lanolin drifts from the sheep                                             belling in lanes on the way to be dipped.
He makes hay and shears his flock of small, hardy sheep,
getting the ewes and rams ready for tupping,
time after time on the rhiws that run upslope
between valleys and to the three-sided shelter.
In a quiet corner, braced to this plotted and pierced lands,
earth-drawn, all eye and ear, he observes
a kerb-coloured sky, how the air whitens the sunlight,
and the cold hardens the blue; he marvels
over running water, the hidden strength of a spider web
and the moments, when the birds sing
close to the tune of harmony.

© Yutka 2020
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critique and comments welcome.

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YutkaPelequininwonderlandIonicusFrancimanSavvi Recent comment authors
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delightful to read and absorb, easy on the ear, I can see you welcome crit so If I could be so bold and ask you to take a look at S2 its just needs a trim to punch out the image you are giving us and its a delightful one but it gets a little lost in the words. I will look forward to reading more of your work. Best Keith


Nah. Being a Taff, I totally get this. A series of sepia images dancing from the nib.


Nothing too serious I was just suggesting a trim on S2 because I thought it was a bit wordy for example in S2 L3 you have two gerunds that stretch the line and later in S2 you have a double use of waves these could be combined in some way?

Please take this as just what it is a suggestion, it your poem and I love it as is.


Hi there,
I love this enchanting word picture. Very evocative. I spent five days in the Black Mountains on an RN endurance trial. Along Offa’s Dyke; peering over the cliff edge above Abergavennie. We slept one night in the porch of a fabulous small church on the slopes above a narrow valley. Painted icons on the walls; simple rough wood pews. Your verse brought it all back in surround-sound and cinemascope…


Hi Scharlie, no criticism from me, just a query about format. Why the big gap between ‘sheep’ and ‘belling’?
Luigi x

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