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From the terrace at Polesden Lacey, it was

the guttural calls caught our attention –

then sheep flowing fast over rising ground

like a pale yellow banner in the wind,

then the shepherd himself, then his dogs

flattening themselves at his command.

By the time we reached the valley bottom,

the beasts were penned – lambs from ewes,

the latter funnelled for the shearers.

The bleating drowned the whirring of the clippers.


From the high bridge over the Tweed at Kelso,

we watched a fisherman upstream cast

from a skiff – his companion skulling gently

to keep steady in the current – when,

suddenly, between us and the men,

who, of course, were facing the wrong way,

two salmon leapt from the river six feet

or more and, turning,  re-entered the depths

silently. Oblivious, on those costly

waters, the ghillie rowed, his master fished.




© Copyright David Selzer
4 Responses
  • Caroline Reeves
    May 29, 2012

    I love this! Both places are dear to my heart and reading these words immediately gave me a warm glow of recognition.

  • Ashen Venema
    April 21, 2013

    I’ve not been there, but your evocation makes the place feel familiar. Some great images, like … ‘then his dogs flattening themselves at his command’ … applicable to shepherd scenes the world over.

  • kittyb78
    April 22, 2013

    Your feelings for these places shine through your words.
    Thanks for sharing it with us. 🙂

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