From this house on its hill the sea appears,
through a gap in the trees two fields away,
like a wall – grey, green, blue: the horizon
straighter than any true line in nature.
A spider perhaps two millimetres long
has spun a web in the outside corner
of a window frame. It catches flies twice,
thrice its size daily. Our granddaughter
and I monitor it before breakfast.
The bullocks see us and, curious like
all young creatures, trot over. Jostling
slightly, they lift their heads above the wall.
We can smell their sweet, grassy breaths, look
into their large chocolatey pupils, see
the pristine nap of their hides, count the flies
clustered round their tear ducts.
A south westerly is billowing the rain
like wispy smoke across the pastoral fields
and shimmying the woods of tall trees
in their finery like underwater weeds.
The sodden wide sandy beaches out of sight
beyond the shallow gap in the trees
have witnessed immemorial shipwrecks.
As the bullocks will, the web has gone.
She is too young to think of the past as past.
Spider and flies and the web’s almost straight lines
will be etched like dry points pristinely.