Tuesday Poem: The Night Horses by Jean Atkin

The Night Horses

are stalled between sleep and dreaming.
In the steading they lower their massive heads
to the earth’s nod. In darkness
white-faced Clydesdales lip at nothing.

Below a halo of bats they rest their load
of feather and bone and horn. They hear,
don’t hear, the scrape of shoes, as a gelding shunts
his weight to tilt the other haunch.

Their slow brains orbit the tracks and rigs
breathing in water, heather, grasses.
Sometimes through the slats above their heads
they watch the burn and tremor of the stars.

(Copyright Jean Atkin from Not Lost Since Last Time Oversteps Books 2013)

Jean Atkin is a fellow Cumbrian who now lives in Shropshire, England and works as a writer and educator.  You can find her poetry here.  And she blogs here - Love Letter to the Bothyman 

This poem brings back a lot of memories.  When I was a child my father used to rescue heavy horses being sold off everywhere and destined for pet food, or the continental meat market.  I loved going into the stable with him in winter to bed them down for the night.  This poem catches the atmosphere perfectly.

The poem is shared by invitation from this wonderful website - And Other Poems ... which has some wonderful poetry on it. 


Please pop over to the Tuesday Poem hub and see what the other Tuesday Poets are posting today ...  You can find them at http://www.tuesdaypoem.blogspot.com  Don't forget to check out the sidebar for more poetry. 


  1. This makes me nostalgic for the fields of horses on Saanich peninsula when I was a girl. Sigh. Lovely poem.


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