Drought time

and on past
the clapper bridge,
round through to where
the trees part,

thinning out
like the last wedding goers
holding sentry on the steps

the land slips slowly,
oozing down,
inwards
over bump grass,
shades of chart richness –
consecutive rings of whites
ochres
rust –
drip-dry edgings
crusting
as the sun bleeds heavy
to where
black-green weeds
wait on the leaving,
dark,
airless,
stranded,
as if on their marks
with no
Get Set, Go.

But, out there, past the ripples

there’s a silent tickle, lap
at
pillars
walls
gutters
chimneys,
show & telling
silt-lidded
white-eyed
backwards
to the shore –

one small
Devon farm
held
after drowning.

© Gary Studley