She crouches slightly to see the horses –

a grey and a bay – through the wire fence.

They are eating windfalls of sweet chestnuts.

She watches them fully open the cupules

with their teeth then tongues to eat the nuts.

They notice her, feel safe to approach.

She is not much bigger than either of

their heads. Each half a ton, they walk with the grace

and circumspection of fifty million years.

They bend their heads towards her. Fearlessly,

she offers them grass. Gently, they take it.




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  1. #1 by John Chapman - February 28th, 2012 at 11:58

    Only the photograph is missing to complete this scene but, perhaps it is unnecessary.

  2. #2 by David Selzer - February 29th, 2012 at 10:48

    I hope it is. I place a visual image with a poem for a number of reasons: 1. the poem is about the image; 2. the image is interesting in it’s own right; 3. the image is related to the theme of the poem. I don’t choose an image to illustrate the subject matter of the poem.

  3. #3 by Pat Rogerson - March 11th, 2012 at 15:10

    The words say it all…I can see her and the horse.

  4. #4 by Tim Ellis - March 18th, 2012 at 11:50

    This is my favourite of these poems David. It’s a poem of contrasts: the hugeness and long evolutionary ancestry of the animals against the youth and fragility of the child. But the way I read it, you’ve shown that mankind is the master of nature: the horses are fenced in, not her; they approach her humbly to be fed.

  5. #5 by David Selzer - March 18th, 2012 at 19:06

    Thank you, Tim. Yes, master – they feel safe to approach, so, yes, are ‘humble – but also and/or destroyer. The latter sometimes postponed? Please see PRIMATES –

  6. #6 by Jane Bailey Bain - March 20th, 2012 at 17:08

    I love the timelessness of this scene. The freshness of a world seen anew; the ancient pact between humans and horses. That wire fence would be small protection without this mutual bond. David, you have captured both a moment and a relationship beautifully.

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