I had, then, two young and energetic terriers that were always eager to be out and about, and many evenings, after dark, we'd set off 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.
One evening we saw the magnificent owl that prompted this poem.
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.