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Wychwood poets

A walk in winter Damp-cold clinging Claws at his exposed chin Penetrating Like a second stubble He walks A cold frisson Worms a way Through all his layers of clothing Niggling Round the membrane of his navel His life line He gazes from the hillside Over the tiny hamlet Trees cry out to him As if in agony Thrusting fleshless fingers Starkly naked Upturned, unearthed Like men and women drowning Beneath the bow wave surge Of a great grey battle-ship sky It is all too much! Green wellied Hill hammering homeward He pounds the crumbling tarmac Crowns another hill Fingers throbbing Coldly aflame, even within soft gloves His heart engine Determinedly affirms the life force Throbbing through him Out into the gathering gloom Nick Owen

King Fisher Today I saw the Kingfisher Resplendent in a tree This is really something That makes a difference to me Oh, I have seen a badger That came begging at my door I saw him round the wheely bins Fifty times or more The first time that I saw him Was a very big surprise Opening my back door To his big soft upturned eyes. And I have seen three foxes At a moon-lit mile cross meet Each departing different ways From my approaching feet And I have known two barn owls As companions on the road Flying along beside me Like a destiny bestowed I used to see the King fisher Blue arrow down the river Each time I saw his brilliant hew My body gave a shiver But now I've seen the Kingfisher Go diving in the stream Did he catch a tiny trout? Was this my Fisher King? Contentedly he flew past me Wings bluer than the sky And could it be, he winked at me As he swept by? At last I watched the Kingfisher Go perching in a tree This is really something Makes all the difference to me Nick Owen

MILLENNIUM MORN Woke to sunshine Streaming out of a new millennium Buzzing with energy Bubbling with joy I had to be out there In the world of nature Glorious sunshine Glorious new world Glorious new day Peddalling out Face to face with the sun himself Flooding market square Beaming in the delight of his own being Squatting at the end of Sheep Street Over Hixet Wood Delicate gossamer strands of mist Floated just feet above the fields. The evenlode Brimming with rain Brimming with trout Rushing out of Charlbury Butting under the old stone bridge Tender soft cold caress of Not quite icy mist Hanging from sunbeams In the cradle of the valley Oh to be a millennium babe, Born out of water Into the sparkling, shining, Rising-sun day The single magpie heralded closed gates Black iron gargoyled faces Tearing up our invitations To walk in Cornbury Park on new years day But all the land was sun-kissed Under a soft sky, As the road eased out to Stonesfield And the remnants Of Wychwoods primeval forest. This millennium So very well met, The most beautiful morning Of this winter, yet. Nick Owen

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