Fingers and Thumbs

Three of us it took, and over an hour, to agree

That all the cows were where they ought be

How many could we see and count

Fifty six should have been the right amount

Browns and blacks and Devon Reds shifted

As we counted, those huge beasts drifted

Heavy silhouettes turned to solid shapes

They moved and merged, seemed to evaporate

What was one, then sprung two more cud dribbling heads

Then a brown one suddenly grew six legs

And stretched out long until it was two

And so we had to start the count anew

Up on the hillside we saw them clearly

And at last confirmed the tally

Each of us found fifty six

But wished we had known the farmer’s tricks


n.b. To count the herd when there is no one about to help, organise the cattle to pass through a gate into the fresh pasture one at a time, counting them as they go


Christopher Perry

21st April, 2020

Under the Moon

Turn through the gate

And you’ll be at Peace Field

A meadow, full of knee-high, soft, wild grasses

Mixed with blues of corn flowers

Yellows of buttercups

Purple ragged-robins

And browns and whites

Of butterflies and moths

On your left a mown path

Winding through the orchard

Still holding pink blossom

On spreading boughs


To the right, in the corner

Look for the chimney pipe

An L-shaped black metal tube

With a solar panel by its side

It is a round structure of canvas

Stretched on a lattice frame

Green cover pulled tight

Sitting on a level wooden platform

With table and chairs to match

It has a near perfect heart-shaped window cut in the door

Which is close enough to perfect

Clichéd as it sounds


A hedge thick with brambles

Runs beside it

Gives shelter from the east

When winter winds blows in.


If you come by night

When the moon is full

Owls will call you on

Glow-worms light the path

You’ll smell apple wood smoke

Burning in the stove

Bring nothing

Just your book of spells


n.b. This is a real place. Precise directions omitted for obvious reasons. A yurt can only accommodate so many poets and witches; but oh! so many.

  Day 2 prompt: a place.

02/04/2020 Christopher Perry