Bare of sheep
The field welcomes the Hunt.
A pheasant runs into the wood.
The cries of wild geese come first.
The cries of the hounds
Rise like a joyous mist.
Then the horns
And cries of the hunters.
And then, not silence -
A woodpecker - my boots -
But the cries and the hunt are gone.
The fox runs quietly across the road in front of me,
And disappears into the wood.
[A walking poem is a poem written while walking; in my case, until recently, it was while walking to or from work, across fields and countryside. That walk itself was about an hour long, and had a blog genre all to itself. The walking poems are transcribed onto a phone; and the tradition that grew up is that they were/are composed entirely in the moment, while walking, and not edited or polished later. They arrive, or don't, complete, with flaws and perfections. One can mess with them afterwards, of course (see "The Fly"); but that changes the genre. They become poems.
This walking poem was huge fun. It began, crossing a small wooden bridge over a stream at the start of my walk into work. One could hear the sounds of the hunt in the air - distant, but horses hooves on a hard road, hounds, horns. I noticed how empty the field across the bridge was, which had been full of sheep the day before; and a pheasant ran into the woods. Walking poem one - Stanza One - that simple. Perhaps twenty minutes and several fields along a sound cloud emerged; it began with geese flying overhead. This became a second walking poem. Two or three fields later, and on the dirt track that leads to the top of Toddington, I was struck by the absence of the sound of hounds and horns, and stopped long enough to listen to their absence and to transcribe what became the third walking poem. A hundred yards on, on the macadam road leading down into Toddington, the fox trotted out of the field to the left, ran across the road in front of me - the quintessence of nonchalance -, and into the woods on the right, and disappeared. And that was it. The fourth poem was written, and four separate poems written in sequence over the course of a forty-five minute walk fell into place as one completed structure; a single narrative poem. Giving the illusion of a coherent structure in the world. ]