If wishes were horses

The big horses

I rode them –
The big horses.

The racers and ‘chasers,
Old horses, bold horses,
With the fire of years in their blood.
Blacks and bays, chestnuts, greys,
Through fields, over fences,
Following hounds, devouring the ground.

Smart horses, carthorses,
Thrillers and killers –
Work-hardened and wild,
Iron mouths tearing the reins from my hands,
Stuck to the saddle
By will and the love of the war.

Green woods and show rings
Rang to the laugh in my heart,
And the hooves’ hollow knock
In a quiet country lane
Beat out steady
The time of my life.

Another relic from the archives today. A huge ‘thank you’ to Tikarma for her wonderful poem ‘Dreaming‘, which reminded me of this piece I wrote way back in December 2004 but have never previously published. Horses were the centre of my existence when I was in my teens and twenties: nowadays, I view them from afar, since it’s altogether too difficult, expensive and impractical to consider going back to them. I’ve been in denial about this part of my life, which is why Tikarma’s poem really shook me (in a good way). This poem is now almost seven years old, but the words, and sentiments, remain unchanged.

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10 thoughts on “If wishes were horses

  1. Hi Nick, I like this one, a very masculine poem, it is full of energy and power, the fast running of the horses in the rhythm of the lines I can almost hear the hoof beatings on the soil.

    Thanks for your comment on my blog, I like the idea giving you a chill lol. 🙂
    Warm hug
    Ina

    • Thank you Ina – glad you like it. It’s fun going back to my old work and reading it again; I wish now I hadn’t been so reluctant to publish it all those years ago. You are a great encouragement – thank you.

    • Absolutely agree – this poem had sat unseen on my hard drive for seven years before Tikarma’s poem prompted me to revisit it. Mutual support is in pretty short supply out there in what they laughingly call the ‘real world’ – so what we share here is all the more precious. Really appreciate it.

  2. I’m so glad you shared this poem and am moved that my poem was a catalyst of kinds for you.

    Having rode horses in my teens as well as having two draught horses for a short time as work collegues, I can certainly relate and feel again the joy and energy of riding horses.
    I do very much relate to your sentiments here especially wanting again those feelings and experiances.
    I guess that’s part of the beauty of horses. Their grace, but also their their strength, to be able to form a bond especially where horse and rider become one. It stays with you for sure. They are indeed magestic animals.
    Your poem brought a smile in remembering back on those days of many a good afternoon after school riding through the back lanes and paddocks and weekends through the countryside, with the peaceful clip clop on the road going to and from work.

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful and energetic piece.

    Tikarma.xx

    • I probably would never have shared my poem if you hadn’t (ahem) spurred me to action with yours. So, all thanks to you. I was lucky enough to have my own horse in my teens; then in my early 20s (a LONG time ago now!) I worked with horses (hunters and point-to-pointers) full-time for a few months to get my head straight after I quit teaching. Still the happiest and most fulfilling job I’ve ever had.

  3. This is great Nick, I could hear “the hooves’ hollow knock” (I can recall attempting to replicate the sound by knocking together two halves of a hollow Easter Egg!!! – Yes, I am probably mad!)

    I have always admired horses but even more so of late I find myself marveling a their sheer beauty and elegance. The eyes, in particular, say so much.

    On a more shallow level I always wanted to be one of those tall, slim, blonde long haired girls clip clopping sexily on a Sunday morning down country lanes *sigh*.
    I guess being short with short dark hair may have had some advantages though I can’t think of any! LOL

    It is good to be back; I haven’t been too well.

    Christine

    • Thank you, Christine – and it’s lovely to have you back, by the way: we missed you.

      I knew a few of those ‘tall, slim, blonde long haired girls’ but they never gave me a second glance (and if they did, they were probably looking at my horse, who was way more handsome than me). And my wife is about 5’5″ and has short, dark hair…

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