Liberty #7 – nature doesn’t have a scratch on us

diamond stamped foal
hiding behind its mother
and the two hiding in turn behind rings of barbed wire fences
overgrown verge keeping us as not-quite-friends

the sky is lobbing these big
gobs of goatlight
like the ones undivided in old paintings of birthright and destiny
the knoll behind our vignette prophetic

and pathetic too for its loss,
how the valley used to house a river,
the bend of the field explaining itself in
obvious exaltations, how

there was a clamorous marshland
this used to be a place of frogs and weasels but the plain is all peated out
now the market’s gone
home to nettles and dandelions and

exactly one billion sheep pellets
that crunch under foot.
the lambs billow out from another field
begging not to be left behind in The Stories We Will Tell (quiet, please)

all this ferality is ugly to me
I cannot respond to it with the nature with which it is offered up
the stench flares the nostrils and
I am so disconnected

too far from my mobile even as I use it to take pictures
rancid frogspawn gauzy over the lens,
a quivering need from the beasts
to be loved as they are

well we say no!
we will love you when you are prepared and carved,
not a landscape scarred but
cattle with inescapable wounds leading to their heaped death

an expectation sighed from up high.
get back to me when you’ve gone to the moon, little field mouse,
and we’ll talk about respect earnt.
until then I’m taking off my rubber boots and going home, to a house with bricks that humans built.