No silence here.
The place is loud with peace.
Blackcap and robin
give voice in the soft June rain,
conspire in their different octaves
with leaf and lawn and stone.
The air retains
millenia of sound. Listen.
An axe-note falls through countless autumns
down the valley’s terraced side.
A wife calls out, in Middle English,
to a man who mows in the glebe,
but his blade lisps on as though he has not heard.
Shadow crawls slowly around a mass-dial
scratched on the porch of the church,
dislodging a grain of sand
which falls ringing onto the path.
There is only utterance.
Low-skimming birds pick flies from the tensile
surface of the pond, and each touch rings
as if struck from a vanished bell.
Hillside pasture lies fizzing under the rain,
through which a partridge
hurries her brood to safety
among cowslip, oat grass, Yorkshire fog, black medick.