Midsummer on Bodmin Moor by Rose Mary Boehm

england helen hotson licensed

Midsummer on Bodmin Moor
by Rose Mary Boehm

White feathery tufts of
of cotton grass
wave in a breeze.

Wind rustles in the golden gorse,
whispers in stunted thorn trees,
strokes heather and the odd
battered blackthorn.

My tightly tied boots break
dry, hard grasses over
treacherous ground. Below
the surface run kilometers
of badger tunnels.

Occasionally a bird lifts off, its
flapping wings the only sound.

At the edge of my vision
a little meadow pipit runs
up and down, wagging its tail.

Near Golitha Falls I sit, quiet
like a deer hunter, camera ready,
waiting for a glimpse
of a grey wagtail perhaps
or even a kingfisher.

Way off, across the heath,
a woodpecker drums
in the ancient woodland
where old oaks house
lichens, liverworts,
mosses and ferns.

Far overhead a couple of buzzards
wheel and mew. Even higher
a skylark rises into the immense blue,
warbling its mating song.

Bees buzz among bog orchids and
needle spikerush, avoiding
sundews and butterworts.

A sudden blaze of the evening sun
gives away the hiding place
of a golden plover.

Multi-colored dots move towards
me from a big travel bus
with wing mirrors like huge
bee antennae. “Mum… I saw
the ‘Beast of Bodmin Moor.'”
A small sticky hand
bores itself into mine.

PHOTO: Bodmin Moor, Cornwall England, with ancient stone cottage (center), stone marker (foreground), and Brown Willy (mountain in the background). Photo by Helen Hotson, used by permission. 


NOTE: Bodmin Moor is a granite moorland in northeastern Cornwall, England. Eighty square miles in area, the moor dates from the Carboniferous period of geological history. The site includes Brown Willy, the highest point in Cornwall, and Rough Tor, a slightly lower peak. Many of Cornwall’s rivers have their sources here. Inhabited since at least the Neolithic era, a period when primitive farmers started clearing trees and farming the land. These inhabitants built megalithic monuments, hut circles, and cairns, and the Bronze Age culture that followed erected additional cairns, as well as stone circles and stone rows. By medieval and modern times, nearly all the forest was gone and livestock rearing predominated.

IMAGE: Map of the United Kingdom, with Cornwall indicated in red. 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rose Mary Boehm is a German-born British national living and working in Lima, Peru. Her poetry has been published widely in mostly US poetry reviews (online and print). Her fourth poetry collection, The Rain Girl, was published by Chaffinch Press in August 2020. Visit her at rose-mary-boehm-poet.com

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