Sunday, 19 July 2009

The Byre at Milking Time

Here's one I ve tried to get down ...

Summer Winter Autumn Spring
We'd bring that train of cows in
Tails a-swishing cuds a-chewing
The slap and plop of cow dung murdered the yard
The chorus of chains, shaken heads bowed in prayer
Munching yesterday's summer grain

The nimble flick twixt head and tail kept flies afar
The suck and pump of the stainless steel sump
Stole white gold from bloated sacs

Uncle stood stooped, one hand on haunch
We stood back one step safe from fear
Uncle Joe, cap cocked and crushed
by fifty graying summer suns

and we drank of wit and wisdom
40 sheep went through the gap
That’s the rhyme I call to mind

40 sheep went through the gap

40 followed after 6,7, 10,11
Two and three how many’s that?
Two and three how many’s that?

The pump sucked no more
The slither of chains fell to the floor
The back byre door scudded open
Crippled by layers of caked cowdung ,
Creaking, the fading summer sun

The swishing train headed out
The dart and dip of the sudden swift
Rising in, rafter high , arrowing out
To a brighter winter sky

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