Wild Horses

wildThese poems about the natural world have been illustrated by the internationally acclaimed wildlife artist John Busby. From otters to newborn kittens in Highland Perthshire, this is a celebration of the wonder of nature in all its raw finery.


The collection won high praise from Magnus Magnusson in particular.


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The Birth Of The Foal

My eyes still fought with sleep. Out over the fields
Mist lay in grey folds, from vague somewhere
Curlews rose up with thin trails of crying. Our lanterns Rocked in soft globes of yellow, our feet
Slushed through the early morning thickness of the grass.

She lay on her side, exhausted by her long night;
The hot smell of flanks and head and breath
Ghosted from her spread length.
Sunlight cracked from the broken yolk of the skies,
Ruptured the hills, spangled our eyes and blinded us,
Flooded the pale glows of our lanterns.

There he lay in a pool of his own wetness:
Four long spindles scrabbling, the bigness of his head, a bag of a body –
All struggling to find one another, to join up, to glue
Into the single flow of a birthright. He fought
For the first air of his life, noised like a child.

His mother, still raw and torn from the scar of his birth,
Turned, and her eyes held him,
The great harsh softness of her tongue stilled his struggle.

We knelt in the wet grass, dumbed
By a miracle, by something bigger than the sun.