He just appeared to me, like wispily curling
One grim and early morning in the very midst of
Decembers briefest days, on the highest slope,
Toiling through my daily round; where, slowly
Driving up past the Whitethorn hedgerows to
Ascend the snowy Heys, I had carefully negotiated
The wide and slowing bend to regain the summit of
Grappenhalls ploughed and upper-ground.
Stopping the car I stepped out to take a closer
Look. There he stood: New born and rather wobbly.
His long blustery mane thick and silky: Liken the
Mythical Enbarr; a wide eyed expression of staring,
Uncomprehending malaise written all over his
Shaggy face...So wondrous was he of this icy world
So rigidly bound.
Perplexed - perhaps, or amazed, at the utter
Desolation of this cruel place and the callousness of
The Fates wounding imposition upon him...when
Thrust forcefully into yonder shattered bowl - shrunken
Hopelessly into the clutches of such an altogether frozen
Little icicles beginning to form upon his fuzzy beard;
A first taste of his mothers hot milk, that, in his
Awkward blundering, he must have hastily spilt
When clumsily fumbling with extended and pouting lips
Upon the swollen teat. The foul weather, so unfortunately
Adverse, of hail and sleet, gathering more momentum -
Didst indeed still prevail...increasingly growing
Steadily even more worse!
Stood his mother there - resolutely, as if grave Epona
Depicted in a hewn chunk of Grecian rock! This
Metallic pan he shivered within: The centre of his
Twirling Universe designated as this one small
Spot...And all it should ever contain therein.
A ripping wind that snarled and savagely bit down like
A pack of wild hunting dogs, oblivious to his obvious
Distress, into newly formed bones,
where, stretched across: Tightly pinched muscle and
Tautly sinewed flesh - involuntarily flinched!
Whilst all the while, not withstanding despondent
Resignation, an aggrieved
Spirit that silently and inwardly bemoans;
Contained here...In his sparkling kingdom of barbed
Wire and an irregular scattering of smoothly rounded
A torturous blast that blew so raw I stamped my feet,
As if a horse myself, and exhaled upon my hands, now
Clasped and sore, vainly trying to reinforce myself
Against the unrelenting cold; a fearsome breeze
Howling in rising crescendos, unopposed,
Through the blasted files of battered trees, whose
Roots clawed in desperation at the thin soils of that
Barren hill, leaving him naked and painfully exposed
To the ruthless torments of a vicious blizzards
Casting hopefully about I sought to catch sight of a
Kindly soul, whom, with an imploring stare or polite
Shout, I could impose upon to relieve the slight laden
Over the plight of the brave little Foal. Oh staunchest
Mare: Thou art Impenetrable like the shield of Achilles!
Grimly determined as if to refute the very elements
Themselves, and dare the brazen God
Of Thunder - to break! And heap upon this forged and
Ferrous land when unleashing his indolent Furies -
The mauve and purple clouds to violently tear asunder!
For, gripped in the maw of such a gnawing ire,
What could you possibly know, little man, of
Comforting warmth leaping across a cheery hearth
When stoked and released from the confines of a
Parlours glowing fire?
Or Vulcans hellish fires bursting forth from erupting
Volcanoes - when spewed out blistering magmas run!
Majestic fires pervading Angels disrupted heights:-
They whom bear witness to the obliteration of an
Exploding Supernovas doomed sun!
Fire or Ice...it be all the same: One scorches within a
Tightening Vice - One within a wanton flame!
Tarried I a while longer, like a man unsure whether he
Was to be completely overtaken by some momentous
And wondered out aloud: What hardened heart had
Deserted this poor creature to this inhospitable
The self same heart that had decreed that he, the
Finest of this rare breed, should open his eyes on that
First morn to find his meagre plate encumbered with
Miseries so devoid, and served with inadequacies of
Such spiteful forlorn; with nought to sate the ragged
Edge of his desperate appetites...save his mothers
Fluids; although, in urgent anticipation, should
Give him good cause to keenly salivate wouldst barely
Suffice the discontented juices, that unceasingly
Complained aloud, to happily digest and
Gratefully dissipate within his hollow bowel.
It was then I suddenly noticed, slowly revealed to my
Aging sight - Barely thus adjusted and focused to that
Opaque light, what looked like a black tarpaulin thrown
Across a bundled pile of straw, still obscured but now
Dumped carelessly in a far corner recessed on the
Furthest edges of this dismal field.
Could this be his drafty stall? Delivered here, unseen
And unheard, upon a bed of dried and bleached stalks -
Enabled Like a baby Messiah amongst the Israelites!
Wherein, comes the crunching night, which coils
Around his cradled form with damp and insidious
Vapours, he reclines against the unyielding Dam -
And valiantly Fights... To attain uncontested slumber
Beneath the refrain of Heavens dispassionate
Firmaments; whose Great Creator counts and records
His given number;
The blazing lanterns, admidst rolling oceans
Of abandonment and disdain, now abruptly parted -
Like the sea of Galilee! Towering waves rolled back
From the denuded and ageless bar:
Pushed out wide - And far aside...
To usher in the immutable brilliance
Of one small horses lone and guiding star...
And if I recall rightly, my little friend, I christened you
There and then...And thereby named you - IRONBAR!
God bless and keep you always little fella...For you
Awakened the poet, however inadequate, within me.
Copyright © john fleming | Year Posted 2016