My Border terriers, Rufus and Holly, were then young, energetic and always eager to be out and about, and many's an evening, after dark, we'd head out together to explore the fields and green lanes of the area.
There is a heady sense of freedom and exhilaration to be had in being out with dogs by moonlight, rejoicing in the rich night scents and reveling in the sense of space and solitude that darkness affords.
I miss that now.
Sadly, Rufus was laid to rest three years ago and my lovely Holly, now almost seventeen years of age, is far too old for such pursuits.
I see the owl, that silent bringer of death, as a metaphor for that which awaits us all.
In a green lane in St Peter’s
near midnight, under a full moon,
a pale owl
flies across my path, silently,
over dark fields to the tree-line, hunting.
to watch his tireless sweep
over dumb ground, mist spreading like a shroud,
till I lose sight of him,
and coldness, creeping,
turns my leaden footsteps home.
In bed, near daybreak,
I jerk awake, heart pounding,
mindful of accelerating time, moments eaten up,
of golden, soundless wings,
a questing eye;
sharp talons reaching for my heart.