I wrote this poem some years ago after experiencing the events it describes while walking on Cannock Chase. It was later included in the pamphlet “Road Kill” which I co-authored with poet and publisher Nadia Kingsley for her Fairacre Press. Recently, during a similar walk, I experienced something like the same events.





The sound the stags’ antlers make as they lock together in a clearing in the wood above the quarry one morning in October


A hard clattering rattle

With a hollow after-echo

In the wet trees.


The sound of the victorious stag’s voice, heard from further down the quarry in the hidden, wooded valley


Deep, dry, a rasping

Grated booming, as of

Bark cracking

A tree splitting.


The way the herd of does are glimpsed running towards the stag’s voice


A sudden scattered

Flash-fragment through the undergrowth

Quivering of twig-ends as they pass by

Tail-flutter, hoof-tingle

The high-voltage approach.


What other sounds are heard, peripheral to this grand drama


A woodpecker’s rolling

Stuttered laughter, the jay’s

Alarm-scream, the dove’s wing-clatter

A crow tearing a hole in the sky.


And what is experienced after


A secret silence –

A whisper in the blood –

The deep below singing

Of generations.






































4 thoughts on “Poetry

  1. Elaine says:

    beautifully written and sad.

  2. Julian Beach says:

    Oh my….

    “Lud” is transports me right back to the Roaches and the “Church”.


  3. Julian Beach says:

    Darn. How I hate typos. Feel free to edit.

  4. Keith Bradbury says:

    Splendid. Captured some experiences I have had.

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