2 poems by Steve Milroy


Hands and feet up Loweswater Fell:

Heads down to the browning bracken,

Shirts plucked by the scented wind,

Denizen of the grey rocks and cold gills

That runs like Puck, with his laughing eye,

Across the sparse grass.

Hands and feet up Loweswater Fell:

The grasses bend and the sheep

In calm and dumb detachment gaze.

The fox stares fixed

From the fold’s firs

And the high birds shear down the long wind

On taut and wind-filled wings.

Hands and feet up Loweswater Fell:

The silent seething cloud, cold,

Moves, organic, from the north

And the lords of the earth

Retreat down the runnelled track

As the sheep continue mute observation.


In the shade of these ancient olive trees,

Transplants from some other time and place,

Old men slur French to their glasses

And women display with pride

The epaulette of unshaven legs.

We eat,

And watching, in a self-supporting circle,

The eye to the left,

We laugh and talk a touch too loud;

Credentials of familiarity.

But pause,

Savour this rare and excellent wine,

Spurned by most and wasted on many.

Look to the few

Who still will relish the rich and the good

And grow strong in quietness.

Let me yet drink deep from this cracked cup

And in the morning

I will dance on the warm lawn

Without points or cap or gown

And with my trousers rolled to my knee!

About the contributor

Steve Milroy has had poems published in Famous Reporter and The Mozzie in Australia and by Valley MicroPress in New Zealand. He has upcoming work in Dawntreader (UK). As an agricultural researcher, he has enjoyed living and working in rural communities, which is reflected in many of his poems.

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